While the professional portfolio of photographer Claudia Gonzalez is comprised of portraiture spanning classic high-fashion shots and intimate boudoir photos, her personal work presents a much more touching focus. In her series, Reassign, Gonzalez teamed up with CENESEX, Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education, to offer a glimpse into the country’s transgender community through before-and-after portraits of individuals undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
Comprised of two photos—one depicting the individual as they appear pre-procedure, and the other presenting the “after”—each piece in Reassign speaks to the complexities and astonishing results of this life-changing resolution. Since the differences between the photos that comprise the pairs are remarkable, it may surprise you that each was taken on the same day; most of the before-and-after sets are merely representative of these individuals’ journeys, and do not document the literal, typically years-long process.
Clearly, the changes in clothing, addition of make up, and styling of hair indicate an obvious change in gender identity. However, it is the individuals’ expressions—often somber and aloof in the “before” shots and self-assured and radiant in those that follow—that truly demonstrate an undeniable shift in confidence, elevated happiness, and, poignantly, an uplifted sense of self. (Via Feature Shoot)
Uta Barth uses photography to capture her own personal dreamy moments with light, and in doing so, exposes its environmental power over our solitude and romance . . . or romance with solitude.
As a viewer, I find myself drawn to the window, the curtain, and the wall in each piece, not only because it’s illuminated accordingly with sharp visceral attention, but also because I’m intrigued with how the mundane awakens. It feels childlike, reminiscient of a world without technology and other busy distractions. Ironically, or maybe not so, it also feels wise– close to death. There’s drama in the little details as the hand pulls back the curtain or the camera approaches the glow. It’s not so much about being a voyeur as it is about being here and being still– sharing the space where light opens into mood and reflection.
Of her work, Barth notes, “In most photographs the subject and the content are one and the same thing. My work is first and foremost about perception.”
To say these pieces are only about composition: space or pattern, would be to ignore the aura around the intention of these images, which are all shot inside her home– there’s a depth that resonates with an almost intrinsic documentary feeling. Unlike James Turrell, she does not appear to be mathematically immersing us in the immediate moment of light and awareness; instead, she’s quoting from the lightness in her own life, and we are privy enough to bear witness.
Barcelona-based graphic designer Alex Trochut is one of the most innovative typographic artists we’ve ever seen. In his work, he takes all states of matter–– liquids, solids, gases–– and turns them into eye-catching type. His aesthetic style has been tapped by clients ranging from Nike to The Rolling Stones. For fans of sculpture, check out Alex’s Dalí-inspired collaboration with Xavier Mañosa, Skate Fails.
Get your hands on three different prints by the inimitable Alex Trochut, including Chains, Eggs, and Spaghetti at the newly relaunched B/D Shop. In addition to the posters, his art was featured on the cover of Issue T. The same issue features an interview and more full-color spreads of Alex’s work. In it, he had this to say of his design philosophy:
“I think there’s always to be a balance between your work and the time you are living, something you call ‘yours’ in your design and something that is ‘ours,’ as the work should be a reflection of our present moment, too, the cultures that surround us.” (Source)
To bring you all some holiday cheer we’re having a big holiday sale on all of our posters, books and magazines. Now you can get the work of Alex Trochut and other talented artists for a fraction of the price. Simply use promo code “beautifulposters” during check out and save 15% off everything on our shop!
New York-based artist Roxy Paine’s work fuses organic with mechanical, making life-like replicas of natural structures in man-made materials. His stainless steel trees manage to retain the sense of spontaneity that we expect from organic objects, while being completely machine-made and rigidly planned. Paine’s highly detailed reconstructions of natural phenomena explore the tension between the natural and the built. In his piece Crop he carefully reconstructed a small patch of wild poppies and his piece Weed Choked Garden brings a decaying garden to eye level. By bringing reconstructed natural objects into a gallery setting you’re forced to consider things you might have ignored in its usual setting.
Paine’s work reminds us of the importance of the natural world and how it continues to fight for survival amongst the structures and debris of modernity. With Woolly Pocket you can help plants fight back. Woolly Pocket makes urban gardening easy; let nature reclaim a fence, wall or even an indoor structure.
Kids want to help reclaim spaces for nature too! Woolly pocket helps schools grow gardens so that students can learn the basics of gardening and the satisfaction that comes with growing your own food. Their Woolly School Gardens project that connect schools looking to start a garden with community members looking to support their efforts. Visit Woolly School Garden and find a school near you to sponsor.
I found Finish painter Timo Vaittinen while browsing The Company of People (international community art project based in New York). Mystical centaurs, hot dogs on a grill, and weird people in creatures-of-a-furry nature outfits sound like a lot of fun…it also sounds like my birthday party (happening right now!)
Dutch artists Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and Bas van Oerle make up the duo known as Front 404. While their work varies in medium it is consistent in being humorously subversive. For example, their project Plantmines is a sort of landmine that is constructive rather than destructive. Unaware passersby step on and discharge the plant mine sending colored powder and confetti into the air. More importantly, though, the confetti contains flower seeds that are intended to eventually grow at the site of the “blast”. The duo says of the project:
“You’ve stepped on a Plantmine, and the explosion of flower confetti serves as an instant party to celebrate that you live in a country where you don’t have to worry about stepping on a real landmine. The flower confetti contains flower seeds, to create a permanent happy and colourful spot in the place of the plantmine explosion.”
Check out the video to see a Plantmine or two blow up.
Pieter Hugo’s new series, Permanent Error, depicts Agbogbloshie, a massive dump site for technological waste on the outskirts of Ghana’s capital city, and the locals who burn down the components to extract bits of copper, brass, aluminum and zinc for resale. Tons of outdated and broken computers, computer games, mobile phones and other e-waste are shipped to the area as “donations” from the West, under the guise of providing technology to developing countries. Rather than helping to bridge the digital divide, the equipment is transformed into noxious trash threatening the health of the area’s inhabitants and contaminating the water and soil.
Gray plumes of smoke rise from smoldering piles of disassembled monitors, motherboards and wiring, providing an apocalyptic backdrop for Hugo’s portraits of the workers. The subjects, many of whom are young men sent by their families from impoverished outlying villages, are photographed full-figure and directly engaged with Hugo’s medium-format camera. With each portrait, Hugo draws the viewer into the conditions imposed on this slum community and their effects on individuals. Collectively, the photographs expose consequences of the West’s consumption of ever-new technology and its disposal of outmoded products in poor countries ill-equipped to recycle them. See Pieter Hugo’s Permanent exhibition at Yossi Milo Gallery in NYC from Sept. 8- Oct. 29th.