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Amy Lombard Documents The Bizarre World Of Live Animal Shows

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Amy Lombard - Photography

Photographer Amy Lombard is no stranger to the fringe cultures. Last year, she attended Bronycon in Baltimore (previously featured on B/D here), where she captured some of the festivities. During the year, she also frequented different animal shows and photographed who and what she saw there. The result comprised a series titled, Welcome to the Show.  The types of animals range from cats, dogs, lizards, horses, and bugs. Lombard not only documents the animals, but their owners, and the relationship to one another.

The shows she attended are not the likes of the Westminster Kennel Club. Instead, they appear to be local and amateur. Since we don’t know what the context is of the shows, it makes the photographs all the more alluring. Some seem to double as pet shops (it’s only $5 for a painted hermit crab). Her style is candid, and her subjects not posing for the camera.  Instead, they go about their business of show, looking, buying, and selling.

Welcome to the Show is the documentary of a niche interest. It’s not particularly glamorous, but is interesting and amusing. Lombard’s eye captures subtleties like small, amusing moments. A dog is wearing a skirt (or apron) with a $1 bill tucked in it. There are numerous people that look like their pets, which doesn’t seem surprising at an event like this.

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Edgar Martins

Edgar Martins might be taking photographs but his work is in dialogue with some of my favorite minimalist painters.

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João Ruas Paints Arcane Scenes Of Dark Mythology And Mysterious Symbols

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João Ruas is a Brazilian visual artist who paints esoteric scenes of ghostly bodies and mysterious symbols. Each image appears to be filled with a chiaroscuro-like fog that dissolves form into shadow. Recurring motifs include animal skulls, red tattoos, and medieval weapons that drift amongst hooded figures and undead dogs. There is a sense of arcane mythology mixed with everyday banality, for intermingling with strange and ancient-looking objects are scissors, helmets, and electrical cords.

By unfolding layers of time and myth, Ruas’ paintings emit a deep emotional timbre, unsettling the soul with their dark scenes. A boy with what appears to be animal ears growing down his face evokes something akin to despair and alienation, while a blindfolded woman on the back of a red horse (a reference to Lady Godiva) emanates with vulnerability, fear, and strength. With mystifying combinations of symbols, Ruas’ paintings function like open tomes that can be inscribed with the viewer’s own imagination and spiritual significance.

Visit Ruas’ website, Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook page to learn more. Click here to view a timelapse video of his painting “Escudo” (2014).

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Mary Ellen Mark & Julie de Waroquier: Two Photographers who Capture Twins

Mary Ellen Mark, Heather and Kelsey Dietrick, 7 years old, Kelsey older by 66 minutes

Mary Ellen Mark, Heather and Kelsey Dietrick, 7 years old, Kelsey older by 66 minutes

Mary Ellen Mark, Ned and Fred Mitchell, 50 years old, Ned older by 30 seconds

Mary Ellen Mark, Ned and Fred Mitchell, 50 years old, Ned older by 30 seconds

Julie de Waroquier

Julie de Waroquier

 

Julie de Waroquier

Julie de Waroquier

Twins: an almost illogically impossible phenomenon where two people look exactly, or almost exactly, alike.  Stories of the bonds twins share are equally as fascinating; experiencing the same thoughts and dreams, or switching places to help one another out.  It’s no wonder that both Mary Ellen Mark and Julie de Waroquier were drawn to them as the subject matter for their photographs.

Mary Ellen Mark is a well-known photographer based in New York.  Considering herself both a documentary and a portrait photographer, Mark was drawn to twins as a unique subject of fascination over a long period of time.  She first travelled to the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio in 1998.  Enamored with the idea of making a full body of work on twins, Mark contacted the Festival in 2001 to arrange to do a documentary and portrait project there.  Over two years she captured portraits and interviewed her subjects, ending up with over a thousand pages of transcripts.  The photos themselves, created with the 20×24 poloroid, are stunning black and white images full of narrative and personality.

Julie de Waroquier is a French photographer and philosopher.  Her twin series is titled “Chimeras.”  Of it she wrote:

“twins have always fascinated me, and not only because I have a twin brother: they are almost magic, and yet they are real.  Indeed, the fact that two people look exactly the same whereas they are not the same person is astonishing.  It is like a real dream, or like a miracle.  In some past or present civilizations, twins are even considered as gods…or as monsters.”

Capturing her chimeras in dreamy landscapes, de Waroquier’s images take on a kind of mythical feeling of their own, furthering the sense that the existence of twins is both mysterious and special.

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Eddy Stevens’ Magical Paintings Capture The Bond Between Woman And Horse

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In his soulful, surreal paintings, Eddy Stevens imagines a world dominated by intuition and emotion, abandoning the mundane for an ethereal landscape dominated by female sensual power. In his wondrous vision, the woman, a heroine modeled after his wife Sophie, sheds her clothes, forging a primal connection with the natural world. The horse, in his majestic equine glory, mirrors the innocent nakedness of the woman, his massive muscles rippling parallel to her bosom.

In Stevens’s evocative images, raw, exposed sexuality is a source of spiritual strength rather than shame, fueling miracles like levitation and mysterious candle lights. Here, the domestic space of the house cannot contain the divinity of woman, and its walls crumble at her feet; she, like the horse, is free to roam infinite wildness.

Stevens’s cornerstone motifs, the nude female and the white horse, are reminiscent of the work of surrealist master Salvador Dalí, whose 1946 painting The Temptation of Saint Anthony also imagined the gift of levitation. But Stevens’s impressive body of work differs in its treatment of the nude and the equine creature; where Dalí presents them as perverse and frightful temptations, both symbols of the desires of the flesh, Stevens depicts them tenderly, as embodiments of purity and strength. This vision is perhaps most fully realized in “Birth of a Dream,” a painting depicting a trinity of nudes following a horse as he ascends into the clouds above. In a stunning reversal of Dalí’s imagery, the parade is shown from the back; instead of falling to earth, they climb to the holy heavens. Take a look. (via HiFructose)

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Unique and Quirky Sea Creature Furniture Designed By Porky Hefer

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South African artist Porky Hefer creates quirky sea creatures that walk the line between furniture and sculpture. Crafted from leather, the giant animals are suspended on rope and hang from the ceiling with their mouths open wide. These fun creatures create a sort of inquisitive space for one to insert themselves, and perhaps relax and read a book. Within he series, titled Deliciosa Volume I, Hefer has developed a series of six designs, each of which has it’s very own personality. For example, Fiona Blackfish, an Orca whale who was born in Cape Town, has a furry tongue, loves animals of all kinds, and hates Sea World. Other characters include Crocodylus Eugenie (a crocodile), M. Heloise (a manta ray), and Dora Esca (an angler fish), Pelicanus Iris (a pelican), and a puffer fish. The artist, who has 16 years worth of experience in the advertising industry and has worked with big wigs such as BMW and American Express, wanted to use this project to step away from foreign manufacturing and product concepts, and instead, display and utilize the traditional processes coming out of his homeland, South Africa. He states, “we have such skilled human beings in this country using techniques not found anywhere else in the world.” This series of aqua inspired seats solely employs the traditional methods of weaving, stitching and splicing of leather and cane. Porky Hefer’s series, both a wink to the environment and his local economy, can be found on display at Southern Guild Gallery in Cape Town until February 5th. (via My Modern Met)

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mitsuko nagone’s hidden treasures

Mitsuko Nagone’s photographs use bold colors, humor, and the human form to create bold surreal images full of hidden surprises and surreal narratives.

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Alexander Heaton’s Epic Stories

UK-based artist Alexander Heaton dives into the surreal and profound through a variety of mediums. His strong body of work stems from exploration and cultural awareness within small esoteric stories of myth and folklore of various European backgrounds.   Exotic dishes and their colorful representations give a small glimpse into the madness of the creative mind. More after the jump.

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