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Idyllic-Looking Landscapes Are Actually Underwater Aquascaping

Aquascaping

After the Rain in Mountain, Katsuki Tanaka

Aquascaping

Whisper of the Pines, Serkan Cetinkol

Aquascaping

Wild West, Stjepan Erdeljić

Aquascaping

Forest Scent, Pavel Bautin

Looking at these landscapes, you’d never believe that they were underwater. The incredible fishtanks are entries from the obscure Japanese-based  International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest, the largest of its kind. Tiny worlds are meticulously assembled over the course of months or even years. This is not a cheap hobby; fragile aquascaping layouts like these are expensive to grow and maintain.

Considering how grandiose these tanks are, it’s no surprise to learn that the fish are not the primary concern. They aren’t included in many aquariums, although you can spot some of them in these photographs.

Competitors need to be skilled in more than just aqua construction to do well. They need to be experts in areas including biology, design, and photography. The best fishtanks are a combination of complex landscape arrangements and healthy yet unusual-looking greens. These aquatic layouts are escapist, in a way. For a moment, we forget what we’re looking at and that it’s underwater. Instead, its unusual miniature features make us feel like we’re an omnipotent giant that could destroy these worlds at any time. (Via 22 Words)

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Brad Wilson’s Soul-Bearing Portraits Of Rare Animals

Brad Wilson - Photograph

Brad Wilson - Photograph

Brad Wilson - Photograph

Brad Wilson - Photograph

Often there is a thick line that separates the fact of human and animal conscience. Brad Wilson’s portraits demonstrate the profound character each of his animal subjects possess. Wilson is a commercial photographer used to working with human subjects. His lens creates a bridge between humanity and the animal kingdom, allowing us to contemplate the gap that is likely much narrower than we believe between ourselves and other living creatures. His photographs allow us to recognize ourselves within the animals, in some way, their humanity (although of course, not literally).

His experience in taking the photographs is extremely enlightening. Below are excerpts from a Bored Panda article. 

“The animals engender an amazing sense of relationship that is primal in its roots and profound in the moment. I learned that they are what we, as humans, used to be: completely present in the moment and curious about the immediate enviroment around them, and living primarily through instinct and intuition.”

Tigers have quite a presence in the studio. There were some rather awe-inspiring, fear-inducing moments when you realized just how physically powerful they were. Overall though, with a camera in front of my face, I felt strangely removed from the environment around me. I was simply unaware of any intimidation or danger. Of course, this was a complete illusion, but it served me well.”

“I’m after something very specific – a moment where mood, composition, and stillness come together to reveal something uncommon and unexpected. I’m looking for unique connection to my subject that shows something deeper and more intimate to the viewer and treats the animals as equals, affording them all the respect and dignity I would offer any person in front of my camera. Hopefully this makes my series different from most other animal photography, but that’s ultimately up to each individual seeing the work to decide.”

(Via Fubiz)

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Ruben Ireland

In his dream-like art and illustrations, London-based graphic artist and illustrator  Ruben Ireland mixes traditional techniques — ink and acrylic — with non-traditional techniques — dirty water, food and weathered paper — and modern techniques — Photoshop and a wacom tablet. Women are fused with natural elements and despite the soft textures appear stronger and more beautiful for it. 

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Angela Boatwright Documents The East Los Angeles Backyard Punk Scene

Angela Boatwright

Angela Boatwright

Angela Boatwright

Angela Boatwright Angela Boatwright

Documentary filmmaker and photographer Angela Boatwright spent about six months recording the punk-rock scene in East Los Angeles. The series, titled East Los, takes an in-depth look those who are active in it. This not only includes shows, but delves deeper to showcase the individual lives outside of the mosh pits. We see this facet of the Latino community in their homes, with grandparents, and their unique personal styles.

This project uses still images as well as video footage from various events. East Los gives us a glimpse into a probably unfamiliar “backyard” music scene; It champions and explores youth, catharses, and the idea of family. We see love, friendships, injuries, and ice cream. It’s not just something that these people do on the weekends, but is a lifestyle that is a framework for how to view the world. (Via Feature Shoot)

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Cristin Richard Explores Race And Identity With Dresses That Resemble Skin

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Cristin Richard

Cristin Richard

Cristin Richard is in the movement of artists whose work is related to the body and identity. Her work examines the human condition and the fact that the body is physically and mentally determined in this condition. It is thus the window of our relation to the world. She transcribes her own personal story through impulses to existential questions.

In this particular work, The Political Aesthetics of the Skin, Richard plays with fashion, sculpture, performance and social commentary in order to bring forth these beautifully made gowns that resemble the look and feel of human skin.

Here, Richard is interested in examining the body, personal identity, as well as sculptural objects in a subtle but powerful way. She explores these themes by creating sculptural dresses that resemble skin color and skin textures made out of animal intestines. Richard’s usage of organic material, is what gives her looks the means to exist as throughly manipulated pieces, an obvious detail that makes her fashion garments have more of a sculptural feel than just regular fashion pieces. After creating the dresses, the Detroit based artist puts together an elegant performance that include women of several skin shades; she purposely finds models that perfectly match the dresses’ skin color tones. Although her pieces are wearable and highly fashionable, here, the dresses go beyond trends.

With the idea of fashion as sculpture, Cristin Richard blurs the line between fine art and fashion. She believes that fashion allows one to create a second skin. It provides an escape that is rooted in the truth to one’s own identity. One can transform themselves into whatever makes them feel good, allowing them to approach society in their own unique way. Through these observations, the artist develops and analyzes the subject of the appearance of one’s self, and also that of one another.

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Victor Castillo’s Eerie Parable-Like Paintings Of Children In Masks

Victor Castillo painting8

Victor Castillo painting5

Victor Castillo painting4

The paintings of Victor Castillo have a unique eerie style.  He began drawing from a young age inspired by cartoons, comics, and album covers.  Castillo finally attended art school but found himself disillusioned with his time there.  After leaving school he spent some time working with an experimental art collective in his native country of Chile.  Next Castillo relocated to Barcelona, Spain.  It is in Barcelona that his signature style solidified.

His painted world are most noticeably populated by children wearing clown-like masks: a red nose protrudes from a white face and any eyes are conspicuously absent.  Though the masks smile, there is something disturbingly insincere about the expressions.  Castillo carefully sets up each scene of his paintings almost as a sort of visual parable.  A small narrative unfolds hinting at a larger message.  Political themes such as greed or abuse of power begin to emerge within the symbolism of each piece.  Castillo makes use of narrative tools often found not only in painting, but also comics.  A statement from a past solo exhibit at the Jonathan Levine Gallery further explains the symbolism behind his paintings:

“In this exhibition, Castillo’s allegorical visions of the current socio-economic world crisis come in the form of spooky children’s tales. Through acrylic works on canvas and drawings on paper, his cast of masked, hollow-eyed children serve as a vehicle to convey ominous narratives of survival, greed and indoctrination. Inspired by vintage animation, his paintings are like theatrical sketches of tragicomic situations. With cartoon-like figures in the foreground and lush, classical landscapes in the background, Castillo’s dramatic baroque lighting completes the effect of exposing corrupted innocence.”

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Music Spotlight- Reggie Watts

Crazy one man band beat box music machine Reggie Watts

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