With an interest in merging consumer culture and fine art practices, Norwegian photographer Vilde Rolfsen takes the most ubiquitous piece of global consumerism, a plastic grocery bag, and creates a series of photographs that, with the assistance of modified lighting and colored cardboard, showcase a an ephemeral landscape, reminiscent of snowscapes or dancing oceans. The plastic bags used for this project were all sourced from the street; this is a very minor but important fact that underlines Rolfsen’s ultimate mission:
My findings have showed me that people take everyday objects for granted, for example a plastic bag or a Brillo pad. You use them for a couple of things, carry your groceries or scrub your dishes. By removing the objects from their original function, I am forcing the viewer to look at the object as an aesthetic thing rather than a useful thing. I challenge society’s perceptions of everyday objects, because these objects are of such normality they become surreal in a photograph.
Andrew B. Myers is a photographer and image maker that lives and works in Toronto, Canada. His work is often characterized by its use of color and composition as well as it’s humorous take on pop culture. Not only are his images bold and captivating but his titles are fantastic. The above image is titled “Buyers Remorse.”
Frieke Janssens’ dramatic photographs of kids smoking stopped me dead in my tracks as I was going through various projects on the talented Belgian Photographers website. Here is more on the project in her own words.
“A YouTube video of a chain smoking Indonesian toddler inspired me to create this series, “Smoking Kids”. The video highlighted the cultural differences between the east and west, and questioned notions of smoking being a mainly adult activity. Adult smokers are the societal norm, so I wanted to isolate the viewer’s focus upon the issue of smoking itself. I felt that children smoking would have a surreal impact upon the viewer and compel them to truly see the acts of smoking rather than making assumptions about the person doing the act. Coincidentally around the time of the “Smoking Kids” gallery opening, a law was passed, and smoking has been banned from Belgian bars. There was an outcry from the public about government intervention, feelings that freedom was being oppressed, and that adults were being treated like children. With health reasons driving many cities to ban smoking, the culture around smoking has a retro feel, like the time period of “Mad Men,” when smoking on a plane or in a restaurant was not unusual. The aesthetics of smoke and the particular way smokers gesticulate with their hands and posture cannot be denied, but among the different tribes of “Smoking Kids,” – Glamour, Jazz, and The Marginal – there is a nod to less attractive aspects, on the line between the beauty and ugliness of smoking.To assure you of the safety of the children, there were no real cigarettes on set. Instead, chalk and sticks of cheese were the prop stand ins, while candles and incense provided the wisps of smoke.”
Watch a video of the photo shoot after the jump and let us know what you think about this series.
2009 has been a challenging year for all of us at Beautiful/Decay. We’ve switched formats, weathered the global financial meltdown, and moved to a new office (we’re almost unpacked!). Even with all these changes and challenges we have a lot to be thankful for. I wanted to take a second a our loyal and dedicated readers (that’s you!) for the constant feedback, participation, and support over the last year.
We have lots of exciting projects and ideas up our sleeves for the coming years and can’t wait to share them with all of you. Have a great thanksgiving everyone!
ps. My mom cooks the meanest Tofurky ever. Thanks Mom!
It seems Los Angeles has finally decided to warm up to us and the heat is slowly but surely attacking our foggy lovable city. I was trying to find something to post here that would welcome the heat wave back in LA after months of rain and freezing cold nights. Although this commercial is obviously targeting the concept of using natural gas in “winter”, I feel like if I could describe the heat in LA right now, would be a wool covered house.
The commercial is made by Lovo Films, a company that operates in Europe. They are known for making great commercials for companies like Belgacom, Coca-Cola, Telenet, Yamaha, TDK, Mio, McDonald’s, Gordon Beer, Center Parcs, Renault and Seat. They also have a “making of video” of this awesome commercial.
Now get ready to welcome the heat of Los Angeles with open arms~! HA!
Travis LeRoy Southworth‘s spit wad ceiling installation The Growing Metaphysical Void at the Center of My Bedroom Ceiling immediately transports me to a simpler time when throwing things at the ceiling and watching them stick was king and snapping girls bra’s was the ultimate form of flirting.
Casey Grossblatt is now officially part of the elite Beautiful/Decay intern Alumni. Casey goes off into the dark unknown to discover forbidden planets full of groundbreaking art and design. During the Cult initiation process Casey posted many a blog post, drew eons of illustrations, and helped us ship out billions of orders to the mighty cult of decay all over the world. But before going off into the abyss Casey leaves us her fantastic design portfolio full of typographic goodness and hand drawn illustrations. Thanks for the hard work Casey and enjoy the AMAZING adventures that awaits.