Pavel Maria Smejkal lives and works in Slovakia. From 2009 to 2011 he created a series entitled Fatescapes in which the main subjects are removed from famous photographs and iconic images. What remains is the often eerie landscape in which the event unfolded. From Raising The Flag on Iwo Jima to Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston, these strange images are inherently important and memorable even though the central focus has shifted. In his own words: “In Fatescapes, I remove (using a classic tool of digital work today Adobe Photoshop) the central motifs from historical documentary photographs and the main subject of these motifs, human bodies. I use images that have become our cultural heritage, constitute the memory of nations, serve as symbols or tools of propaganda, and exemplify a specific approach to photography as a document of the historical moment. I explore their purpose and function, and I ask about the future of this magic medium, and about human existence. Aware that their authenticity is not unquestionable, I return to these key images after they have been reinterpreted numerous times from various perspectives, and by manipulating their content I explore their purpose, function, and future.” (via)
Final mourning of the end of summer. Aerial photos of beaches and beach people from California-based photographer Gray Malin. These are part of a series entitled À La Plage, À La Piscine. Malin shot the pictures from the open door of a helicopter flying over beaches and pools from the U.S. to Brazil, to Australia. Reducing us to our tiniest, the photographs reveal patterns that would’ve been otherwise undiscovered. (via)
Yoshimasa Tsuchiya’s beautifully delicate creatures are painstakingly carved out of wood and hand painted. Check out the Making page on his site to see the process.
For your consideration: a $500,000 ring mounted with a tanned sliver of hairy human skin. The piece, titled the Forget Me Knot ring, is the creation of boundary-pushing Icelandic fashion and jewelry designer Sruli Recht. For these one-of-a-kind works of art, Recht had a 110 by 10 millimeter a strip of his skin surgically removed from his abdomen; the artist then salted it, tanned it, and embedded it on a gold ring.
The work, though grisly, carries with it a raw sexual potency. Its title refers, of course, to marriage, or “tying the knot;” in this way, the piece is unabashedly intimate, tying literal bodily fleshiness with the idea of love and intimacy. The ring’s beauty lies in its refusal to be pretty; its hairy, gray, and it’s gruesome physicality operates as a strangely comforting promise that two people might become “one flesh.”
The medicinal and scientific references of the rings strangely reinforce this idea of devotion. Complicating the relationship between jeweler and client, the ring comes with a certificate of authenticity, providing DNA validation that the slash is in fact the artist’s, and a DVD graphically documenting the making of the ring, including the surgical removal of flesh. With these items, Recht creates a personal catalog of both his molecular and artistic existence, offering himself to a potential wearer in uncomfortable yet touching ways.
Recht’s other rings, composed of rare black diamonds and other precious stones, remain authentic to his gritty, viscerally demanding aesthetic. Take a look, and let us know what you think! (via Oddity Central)
Jörg Brüggemann’s work captures the raw aesthetic behind the fans of heavy metal in order to illustrate the genre’s ability to unite the fans of it’s sound in order to create a unique culture, despite social, economic, or political differences. The photographs have been taken all around the world including Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Switzerland and the USA.
So these guys at Resn kill it, and say it best themselves…. “Resn believes in creating pretty things from absolutely nothing… is that possible? To drive hard without brakes and crash in a fiery ball of flaming metal as brakes are for losers. Holding your head close to the speakers stack at Concert of Life all you hear is the bass, which makes you go deaf. So don’t be silly, stand at the back with us where all the hot chicks dance. Away from all the sweaty people.” They have a point. Make sure to check out more of these crazy New Zealand Kiwis.
MRI technologist Andy Ellison spends his days scanning human brains, searching for abnormalities. He began scanning fruit on a whim, using an orange in a test of the machine’s settings; the results were so stunningly beautiful and transfixing that he began bringing produce to work, scanning our favorite fruits and veggies on his time off, and posting animated sequences of cross-section images onto his blog, Inside Insides.
The high-resolution black and white sequences apply the imaging tool to the arts, highlighting the geometrical perfection of organic objects. The slow motion animations are imbued with a sense of life and vitality; like pumping ventricles, the matrices of a pineapple seem to gape open and shut. A tomato resembles a microscopic cell, seemingly splitting and reproducing with astonishing speed, and a head of garlic seems to emerge, its cloves flawlessly woven together, from nothingness.
Ellison’s slow motion animation allows mesmerized viewers to be seduced by the rhythmic revelations, and the everyday is elevated to cosmic levels; an scanned eggplant seems to explode into a complex network of stars. These food products, these mundane miracles, get a moment to shine in the imaging machine’s dense whites and pure, weightless blacks. The uniqueness of each fruit takes center stage (can you find the bruised onion?), and together, they paint a rich portrait of the natural world. These elegant plant structures, viewed in this way, don’t seem so different from our very own organs. So the next time you stroll down the produce aisle, take a moment to consider the miraculous visions that lurk beneath the surface. (via Salon and Offbeat)
Ryan Trecartin has done it again in his spread for W magazine (released last month), responding with the complete mastery over emblems of consumer culture and social networking. The traditional fashion spread has become unrecognizable in its form yet perfectly familiar in its content and heavy use of symbols and signs. For the online conception fashion magazine DIS, titled Web 1.0, the artist has made his creative and production process visible: a shot list with a myriad of influences described and called out to the last detail. The dizzying list definitely qualifies as an art piece.