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Simon Schubert’s Eery Elegance

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Simon Schubert creates an austere brand of hauntingly elegant forms that remind me of the creepy twin scenes from The Shining, minus the oceans of blood-bath (though somehow, is simltaneously implied.) They straddle the realms of design, human and esoteric form, at home either in some avant-garde London hotel for millionaires or some strange fun house carnival.

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Teri Haven’s Intimate Photographs Expose The Lives Of The Squatter Community In Slab City

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Texas born artist, Teri Haven, documents a collective of outsiders in her series, The Last Free Place. Her photographs seem to capture moments from another era, or perhaps, where time in of itself has ceased to exist. Haven spent three years, 2006 – 2008, living part-time in a squatters community in southern California known as Slab City. Beautifully cinematic, her images draw parallels to Harmony Korine’s Gummo, acting as the aesthetic truth behind his fiction. The carnival-reminiscent, dream land of Slab City is a barren landscape located in between the Salton Sea (a man-made lake accidentally created in 1905) and an active bombing site. Beginning shortly after World War II, Slab City became a safe haven for “drifters, dropouts, artists, outlaws and other cultural dissidents who settle alongside the addicted and the elderly.” During her time spent amongst the Slab City dwellers, Haven set out to document the struggle that exists between the boundaries of freedom and isolation. Each portrait reflects its own unique identity, as the inhabitants of Slab City seem to have created personal selfhood through means alien to societal norms. She states:

“Slab City is a collection of fiercely independent, utterly original individuals. Cast out of, or just drifting away from, the “American Dream,” they come here seeking freedom from rules, rent, and the assaults of a society often unsympathetic to the underclass. Some are victims of poverty, of bad choices and bad luck. Others have renounced the “material world,” refusing to trade their time for money; many simply yearn for the sense of freedom that comes from vast open spaces. And though desert life can be extremely harsh, and in truth there is little freedom in poverty, here they find love and strength within a community that accepts and nurtures the individuality of its members.”

 

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Ridley Howard

The subjects of Ridley Howard’s paintings dwell within a dreamy, still world that seems frozen in time. His figures are executed in simple but believable form; rounded at the edges and in soft focus, they are flawless characters suggestive of stylized CGI on the precipice of the uncanny valley. The scale of his paintings range dramatically, but regardless of size, his work feels intimate and yet enveloping. Abstract nooks of color takes form in between background corners – a crevice painted powder blue behind a man’s neck, a patch of yellow between two lover’s embracing. These details might initially go unnoticed, but the mood they provoke resounds.

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How did this cat blow a bubble?

Here are some uber-polished cat photos from Helmi Flick. Worth checking out if you are into studio photography or if you’re my crazy aunt…

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Design Month: Chen Chen

Chen Chen’s products are at once beautiful and repulsive, which is what I love about them. Imagine serving your guests a frosty beverage on his “Cold Cuts” coasters or arranging your Lilies of the Valley in his “Swell” vase.

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The Many Personified Personas of Bradford Lynn

Bradford Lynn is an artist and illustrator fairly new to the Los Angeles art community.  He is a recent graduate of Art Center College of Design with a degree in illustration.  Bradford’s work really struck a cord with me when I first saw his website.  He has pretty apparent raw talent in not only his technical skills, but I really enjoy how he portrays people.  His portraits are highly rendered, and feel very fresh to me.  He illustrates youth, and positivity through airy and fantastical environments.  His online portfolio demonstrates that he can work super large, and isn’t afraid to be experiment.  You also can’t beat the hyper-realized portrait of Reggie Watts above.  Bradford is also involved in the newly founded Los Angeles based artist collective Space Camp.

View more of Bradford’s work after the jump. 

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Aerial Photographs Show How Humans Alter Natural Landscapes

s03_00000025 “Circular layouts of homes near I-75, southwest of Fort Myers, Florida. Map. (© Google)”s19_00000002
“Canals and homes in Charlotte Park, south of Port Charlotte, Florida. MapStreet View.(© Google)s01_00000022“A section of a partially built residential project with only two houses in place, near Fort Myers, Florida. Map. (© Google)”s07_00000027“A densely built gated community in Bonita Springs, Florida. MapStreet View. (© Google)”

In reaction to a story by NPR’s Planet Money team about the financial collapse and its effect on Southwest Florida housing market, the The Big Picture photography column at Boston.com spent some time scouring Google Earth to document exactly how man-made structures and development planning has altered the land, coast and the way we cover that natural beauty we desire so much.

The resulting pictures show, in stunning simplicity, just how alien the natural landscape of Florida (or most of the Earth for that matter) has become. Ranging from densely-packed communities to barely finishing plotting, the photographs show the natural beauty of the land being lost, and mostly replaced by poorly-planned, short-term solution living situations. They also simultaneously insinuate humanity conquering nature like a plague of locusts, as well as demonstrate our efforts being over-run by nature, like every civilization of the past. (via boston.com)

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Robots

Robots is a new London-based artist collective specializing in site specific public art. Their gigantic sculptures are composed of really just trash. Reclaimed and recycled wood, old furniture people throw away – really taking the phrase, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to heart. The New York Times even wrote an article about them. If you would like to learn more about Robot, check out their short documentary where the film follow this group during their build at the 2010 Secret Garden Party Festival.

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