As a generation in Palestine confronts misery, violence, and rejection, the hip hop scene is an outlet to express themselves. Photographer Pierre Mérimée and journalist Jacques Denis capture the young people involved in this scene in their new book, Intifada Rap. In it, we meet MWR’s Mahmoud Shalabi, the girls of Arapyot, and the “veterans” on the scene, including Said Mourad, the voice of the first Intifada.
The book’s press release describes it as:
A dive into the heart of the Palestinian hip hop scene, Intifada Rap bears witness to the incredible strength of the musical movement, from the suburbs of Tel Aviv through to Ramallah. Pierre Mérimée and Jacques Denis’ work shines a glaring light on the reality of Palestinian rap while offering an unprecedented view into the daily lives of a generation confronted with misery, violence and rejection, fighting back against it all to escape their imposed fates. Far from the shocking image of television news and the continual discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two journalists have documented the day to day lives of youth facing a dark future, for whom hip hope is more than just an escape. Armed only with their words, these men and women on the cusp of their twenties express their need for freedom, hope and equality through lucid texts and heavy beats.
Mike Frederiqo is a 23-year-old Dutch illustrator with a healthy dose of talent and humor. You may have seen his other works circulating the internet, including his combinations of BAPE’s fashion logo with Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, or his images of Sponge Bob as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Terry Richardson, and more. In his more recent series, he has taken his illustrative interpretations of the fashion world a bit further, utilizing the bodies and faces of high fashion icons and their collaborators to recreate famous logos. Among the images you’ll see Lagerfeld and choice model Cara Delevingne completing exaggerated backbends with elongated arms and legs to form Coco Chanel’s interlocking Cs; elsewhere, editor-in-chief Anna Wintour twists into the name “Vogue” (while holding what appears to be a Starbucks coffee). In an interview with Life and Times, Frederiqo explained his inspiration for the series:
“You see so many illustrators taking those famous logos and making fun of them — almost in a negative way. So, I wanted to do something in a positive way with the logos that were recognizable. And what is more recognizable than the Coco Chanel logo?” (Source)
Based in good humor and playfulness, Frederiqo’s stylish logo recreations have a way of grabbing our attention and making us laugh. Logos are a vital part of a brand’s identity, representing their international, high-ranking status and presence. Frederiqo’s illustrations remind us of the real human beings behind these labels; we recognize the logos (and the significance of their names in the fashion world), but when given faces, they become lighthearted, tangible, and funny. Frederiqo’s works poke fun while also nodding in homage.
Celebrity photographer Blake Little has taken his love of portraiture to new heights. Pouring honey all over his models of different ages, races and genders, he has created a series of dramatic images that look like photos of wax models. While he normally snaps pictures of famous faces like Kevin Spacey, Tom Cruise, Glenn Close, Samuel L. Jackson, Jane Fonda, Gwyneth Paltrow, this time he placed a Craigslist ad asking for some not-so-familiar faces. Seeing over 90 people, all ranging in age from 2 – 85 years, he asked them to take their clothes off and get covered in a thick gooey layer of honey. Little talks about his process:
Preservation began through a process of experimenting with honey. Initially, I started shooting the way it pours and drips on just the face or specific areas of the body. After several sessions, it became clear that completely covering the figure as much as possible and with varying thicknesses created a quality that I had never seen before. The honey has a way of diffusing the personal qualities of the subjects, often making them unrecognizable and democratizing their individual traits into something altogether different and universal. (Source)
The result of the intense studio session is hypnotic. The models look like they have been frozen in amber, or resin, or caught in the volcanic eruption of Pompeii. All of the subjects in his new book Preservation look like they are in a deep slumber, and all have lost any idiosyncrasies they may have had. It seems like Little has compiled a reference of what is it to be human – a kind of catalog of frozen specimens where we can, in the future, look back and compare similarities and differences between us all.
His show accompanying his new monograph opens at Kopeikin Gallery in Culver City, CA from March 7.
Brittany App is a photographer, avid travellist and life catalyst. Although she hails from in and around the central coast of California, Brittany is always on the move whether it be by plane, boat or bicycle. This image maker is full of life and the vibrancy she exudes is reflected directly back into her images via the welcoming faces of the people she photographs, such as the faces shown here from her London series. You can follow Brittany’s latest photo-documentary project as she prepares for her coast-to-coast bicycle tour – scheduled for the fall – in effort to raise money for her favorite charity, Water Aid.
Jamie McCartney is a multi-disciplinary artist who specializes in sculpture. For “The Great Wall of Vagina,” McCartney casted the vaginas of 400 women, ranging in age from 18-76 years. Casts of mothers, daughters, twins, trans men and women, pre- and post-natal women, and a woman’s pre- and post-labiaplasty are all featured in this large piece. “In creating this work, I set out to alleviate the needless anxiety that is driving so many women to contemplate cosmetic genital surgery.” “The Great Wall of Vagina” book is for sale and features testimonies of over 100 women who took part in the piece. The piece even has an entire site dedicated to it, featuring images and videos and other information about the project.
For “The Spice of Life,” McCartney casted the genitals of flaccid and erect penises, vulvas with closed and open legs,and breasts of a variety of people. “4×4″ depicts a panel of 16 erect penises. McCartney claims that many people have engaged with his work in positive ways, noting the variety and lack of “normality” across the spectrum of featured genitals. People often use pornography to gauge normalcy of their genitals, even though these representations are skewed or exaggerated.
McCartney’s pieces, “Old Glory” and “O Limp Pricks,” feature casts of the tip of the artist’s penis. For “Internal Affairs,” McCartney casted the inside of vaginas, transforming the vagina into an external, almost phallic organ.
In all of these pieces, McCartney seeks to satisfy our curiosity and asks us to engage with the relationship we have with our own bodies.
Mouchette: a website created by a pseudonymous author carrying the identity of Mouchette, is an artist, claims to be “nearly thirteen” and living in Holland, but the persona of this person, both real and virtual I cant explain, but is amazing.
If you’re looking for a good reason to not take drugs then watch the video after the jump. I’m not really sure what we’re looking at but It’s either belongs in a museum or in a mental hospital. You be the judge.
I’m really into these TATE Britain Artist “Shots” lately. All under 5 minutes or less, they’re succinct little vignettes that are informative, yet still short and sweet. Here’s a bite of John Squire, an amazing musician and artist (from my hometown in England of Manchester) who was in the Stone Roses talking about Cy Twombly.