From my understanding, Daniel Balavoine was a french singer popular in the 1980s. Alsa Cherie sent us some street art that was posted in Gap in the High Alps. Poetic lyrics taken from Balavoine’s songs that if translated to English would butcher such a romantic language.
Svetlana Jovanovic is a Netherlands-based photographer who imbues portraiture with a surreal edge. Drawing on her experience studying psychology at Belgrade University, Jovanovic knows how to access the models’ personalities, and by extension, the viewers’ psyches; women—often dressed in white and washed-out pastel hues—confront the camera with an otherworldly presence, embodying both deep alienation and sublime euphoria. Like images from a haze-filled dream, some of them look vaguely threatening, with horns, multiple tongues, and masks accentuating their otherwise calm postures. Model selection, set design, props, and digital image manipulation play an important role in the way the artist composes her scenes.
Also key to Jovanovic’s impressive style is a subtle exploration of gender, sexuality, and media representation—subjects that are important and highly politicized in her field of work. She does not portray femininity in conventional nor overtly sexualized ways; as her artist’s statement eloquently states, “Although slight stylization and eroticism might at first glance suggest analogies with fashion photography, Jovanovic stays well away from it. Instead, her work can be interpreted as the intention to develop a conceptual approach to photography by exploiting some conventions of fashion photography, examining its potential to visually shape an idea or subject matter” (Source). Instead of complacency, the unease and ambiguity that surrounds Jovanovic’s photos encourages the viewer to recognize on their own objectifying practices and expectations of the female body in fashion and photography.
The art of Skinner is full of mullets, monsters and metal heads, not to mention the lurkers, samurai and lil’ devils. The self-proclaimed nerd for life takes inspiration from the world of fantasy, giving life to the dreams (or sometimes nightmares) of Slayer fans and Dungeon masters everywhere. The beautifully detailed works combine the aesthetics of street art, comic book illustrations, and something akin to black velvet paintings on acid. Each work has such an immense sense of epicness, it’s hard to not get caught up in the world created. And while many of the paintings and drawings convey infinitely complex scenes that you could look at for hours, Skinner also makes lighter works that are hard not to love, especially when they’re called things like Eternal Jamnation, and have a dark, glowing monster jamming on a guitar, surrounded by bats. It’s the kind of work that just oozes passion, because no one could make images so far from reality without being totally immersed in the process. It’s like a Metalocolypse Halloween episode 365 days a year. But, despite the awesome appearance of his work, Skinner is extremely introspective and self-critical, constantly challenging himself as an artist and working to create something completely innovative. His determination to return to a more childlike inspiration, a time when “it was just raw freedom, there were no expectations, there were no ideas of good or bad it was just being in the moment and trying [his] best to do something that looks good.”
Here at B/D, we love it when you send us your work! Well this particular submission has the office divided – we can’t decide whether or not we love or hate these vibrant drawings from Kara Rane – I guess that’s what happens when your work is full of horses, little kids, sunsets, and sailboats. What do you think loyal B/D follower? Are you attracted to serene and harmonious imagery like this, or does cliched beauty disgust you…Give us your 2 cents!
Nedda Afsari (aka, Muted Fawn) is a LA-based photographer who infuses fashion photography and portraiture with elements of the eerie, erotic, and strange. Influenced by a combination of music, art horror films, the supernatural, and her own lucid dreams, her images stir the imagination as powerful, semi-surreal visions. Women in strappy, edgy lingerie pose sedately with their faces hidden in washing machines and behind walls; a masked matron symbolically opens an empty birdcage; another sits up on a desert road, her body swathed in plastic wrap. In every image, her figures exude a stunning sense of otherworldly calm, beauty, and confidence.
When I asked Afsari what impressions and feelings she hopes her viewers will take from her images, she expressed the desire to connect and empower:
“[M]y main hope is that the viewer is able to feel an emotion from my photographs and formulate their own meaning. I enjoy photographing women that have a strong feminine presence and love to capture that seductive power and alluring mystique. I tend to be pretty shy, so in a sense I feel like I’m sometimes vicariously living through some of these ladies I photograph and it’s helped me open up a little more personally.”
Afsari explores femininity in a way that crosses the decades of fashion photography, seamlessly blending vintage pin-up-style portraiture with a more contemporary latex-occult fetishism. Feminine power is not rooted in conventional notions of sexuality, exploring women as ethereal and dominant presences. She regularly collaborates with artists who share a similar aestheticism, such as the alternative designers Hopeless Lingerie and Creepyyeha.
As for upcoming projects, Afsari is currently working on collaborations with photographer Kristin Cofer. She is also putting together a gallery show in LA and Miami and aims to create more video projects in the near future. Check out her website, Facebook, and Instagram to follow her inspiring work.
Argentinian artist and architect Tomás Saraceno is internationally known for his visionary and surprising installations accessible to the public and able to modify the perception of architectural spaces. His oeuvre, inspired by the tradition of 20th-century utopian architecture, stems from the desire to create aerial structures that can be inhabited by people, are self-sufficient and have a low environmental impact.
At Hangar Bicocca Saraceno creates On Space Time Foam, an incredible floating structure composed of three levels of clear film that can be accessed by the public, inspired by the cubical configuration of the exhibition space. Functioning as the ultimate moon bounce, Saraceno’s piece floats participants high above the ground creating a surreal (and frightening) experience that gives the feel of weightlessness and flight without the hassle of going off into space. The work, whose development took months of planning and experimentation with a multidisciplinary team of architects and engineers, will then continue as an important project during a residency of the artist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT in Cambridge (MA). (via)
In the midst of all of this, a tumblr page by the name of Pride Propaganda, takes a different and quieter yet effective approach to all the protests. In efforts to adhere to the pro-LGBT agenda, PP transforms vintage Soviet posters into brightly colored displays of men, women and children waiving and wearing rainbow flags. The familiar images of Young Pioneers, working men and loyal mothers (all symbolism for the confining ways of Soviet Russia) take on entirely new meanings when cloaked in the vibrant rainbow flags that we’ve come to associate with the global pride movement.
Participate in the protest by hastagging your tweets #PridePropaganda. (via HuffPost)
Photographer and designer Manon Wethly has been experimenting with a series of photographs that is almost certainly as fun to shoot as it is to look at. Wethly flings beverages of all sorts into the air and photographs the flying liquid. The floating globs of wine, juice, coffee, and milk which are in midair for a moment are instead frozen for a single image. These flying spills resemble abstract glass sculptures. They’re color against the blue sky and swirling shapes make these “accidents” artful. [via]