The Boston Globe has been posting a great collection of photographs from the disasterous BP oil spill. While these images are beautifully taken they are constant reminders of our greedy need for more oil and our relentless desire to make a profit with disregard to how our actions will effect our future. More images after the jump.
In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan causing widespread damage and destruction across the country. The fishing town of Otsuchi along the Sanriku Coast was hit especially hard, with 60-foot tall waves destroying 60% of the town. Argentinian photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg heard about the devastation in Otsuchi from the curator of an exhibit of his work in Tokyo in 2012. Upon visiting Otsuchi, Chaskielberg discovered large mountains of debris and places that were visibly demolished. Because Otsuchi is such a small town, the photographer easily found people whose homes were destroyed, most of them living in small temporary housing units. For his “Otsuchi Future Memory” series, Chaskielberg had some of the town’s inhabitants pose inside their now destroyed homes or work places during the night, taking black and white long exposure photographs of his subjects. He’d then use the color palette of decayed photographs found in an album among the ruins to color the his portraits.
Chaskielberg says, “It’s a reflection on the tragedy as a whole—the losses, the memory—and my way of seeing the world. These historic images are the bridge to the past I create through the use of colors…These photographs speak to the way the Otsuchi inhabitants decided to record their lives. From my viewpoint, I try to build a story about the city and its people.”
This method results in haunting and surreal photographs, ones that almost appear strangely collaged or layered, but are only enhanced with color and lighting. (via slate)
Benjamin Oliver, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art’s Design Interactions program explores the space between our everyday experiences, inventing prototypes that can give participants a way to experience all new senses. I love the approach Benjamin took in framing his experiments – By creating photographs with such rich narrative, the artist leaves behind a series of bizzarre rooms in which these sensory objects supposedly underwent a round of testing.
Untitled or The Boulevard, Bedroom 1 Corner 2, 5.11pm, Friday 1 June 2007
Zander Blom creates photographs derived from constructed paper installed throughout his London studio recalling Modernist abstraction as demonstrated by Mondrian and Schwitters. The crisp and jagged explosions of shape and color cascade along the nooks and crevices of corners and in-between spaces of ceiling and walls, creating disorienting movement and illusion.
Grenoble, France’s Aurelien Arnaud‘s art work is not something you would walk by without looking twice. Arnaud’s designs are sharp, bright, and some, a little risque. Interesting none the less. Not only a very skilled designer, Arnaud founded PNTS studio with Denis Carrier.
In the past years, bee populations have been devastated by something scientists are calling Colony Collapse Disorder, causing a global crisis for humans and other animals. Sam Dreoge, a biologist at U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, catalogs hundreds of bee species in his lab. As the head of the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, Dreoge produces stunning high-resolution images that capture the diversity and spellbinding beauty the fascinating and helpful little creatures.
Dreoge’s photographs, which are used to identify and track bee populations, are often magnified up to five times the actual size of the insect. Focusing on minuscule details normally only visible under a microscope, most of the pieces are composites of numerous images, shot at multiple ranges with a 60 millimeter macro lens. Each image is also carefully edited, scrubbed of specks of dust. In preparation for the photo shoots, each bee specimen undergoes a bath in warm water and dish soap, after which they are carefully blow-dried to showcase their astoundingly beautiful, vibrant hair.
Dreoge’s images of bees read like the technological age’s answer to Leonardo da Vinci, who studied and sometimes killed insect specimens for the dual purpose of art and science. Research like this always raises ethical flags, but that moral question becomes more complicated when we are confronted with environmental crises like CCD. Bee populations are effected by parasites as well as problems caused by humans, like pesticides and climate change; it’s imperative that we find a way to save these miraculous animals, and Dreoge’s work could go a long way. What do you think? (via Smithsonian and Colossal)
Guda Koster photo series turns fashion on its head, using prints and patterns to evoke both whimsy and existentialism. Her models’ faces are somehow always hidden, conveying a feeling of both freedom and suffocation. A bright palette with bold patterns are eye-catching but also an eyeful, a bombardment of the senses.
In an interview with Art Cart, Koster says, “In our everyday lives we communicate our identity and social position primarily by means of our clothing. Clothing can be seen as a visual art form that expresses the way we see ourselves and our relationship with the world around us.”
Some of her photos seem to recall the innocent days of playing dress-up as a child: In one, the model is truncated and swathed in black, topped by a bright red bow and set against a playful polka dot background. Others use fabrics that are reminiscent of corporate carpeting. Koster’s photos seem to be both an expression of self as well as the impact our environments can have on us, showing the ties that bind us well nigh literally.
“The clothed human figure becomes an integral part of a space or environment,” Koster says. “I am inspired by daily life, but I exaggerate it or I give it a humorous twist.”
The photographer Ingrid Berthon Moine is taken with testicles, both figuratively and physiologically; turning to the anatomically accurate statues of Classical Greece for her project Marbles, she focuses her lens on representations of the male sex organ. Isolated from the rest of the statues, the male sex organs take on new meanings, their textured curves wrought in stone with masterly precision.
The careful renderings of the genitalia reveal tender folds of skin; set against the aged and worn marble, the apparent softness is complicated by durability. Testicles, as a cultural symbol, retain these nuances; they are simultaneously representative of sexual vigor and unfaltering power, but they are also framed as a physical weakness, an immensely vulnerable organ. As Berthon Moine explains, the word itself gave rise to aggressive, powerful words like “detest, protest, or contest or […] testify.” But the artist was also inspired by the theory of the neuroscientist John Coates, who posited that the testosterone hormone played a role in the financial recession; these marble testicles hope to express both the powers and dangers that we assign to them.
In a world where artworks depicting naked women outnumber works by women artists in our most renowned art museums, Berthon Moine’s work serves to turn the male gaze in on itself. She explains that until recently, only women were made to feel aware of being watched, judged by their sexual allure. She sees this dynamic shifting to expose both genders to the gaze of others, and this series, uncomfortable to some and amusing to others, is a part of that transition. (via Hyperallergic)