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Altered Realities Bad for Human Health?

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I came across an article on Reuters the other day detailing the French government’s proposal of a law that would require all digitally modified images  to come with a warning stamp/disclaimer stating: “Photograph retouched to modify the physical appearance of a person.” Valerie Boyer, French parliamentarian, alongside some 50 other politicians, proposed the law to fight what they see as a warped image of women’s bodies in the media & popular culture. Boyer stated, “These images can make people believe in a reality that often does not exist.” They believe that these “false realities” could lead to various kinds of psychological disorders, most prominently eating disorders within young women.

What’s interesting is that this law would apply not only to the glossy spreads of fashion mags, but all press photographs, political campaigns, images on packaging, advertising, even art photographs. More before/after digital photoshopping after the jump. I wonder in the Renaissance if people were upset that fair duchesses and dukes were painted with a smokey-sfumato to hide their big noses….at any rate, this holds some strange implications as far as how we view photography as some sort of implement of “truth”– seems to me gone are the days the photograph will be considered as any sort of factual record…

What do you guys think? Regulating altered realities good, or detrimental to creative expression….? (Also, is it me or is there something strangely visually satisfying about these photos…)

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Meghan Forsyth

Meghan Forsyth

Fresh out of Pratt Institute designer Meghan Forsyth. Check out her blog too.

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Melissa Steckbauer

Photography and collage collide in the works of  Melissa Steckbauer.

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The Post-Apocalyptic Weapons of Lucien Shapiro

Lucien Shapiro‘s sculptures are a bit frightening.  These baseball bats-turned-weapons seem to be pulled out of a post-apocalyptic neo-dark ages.  In fact, these sculptures are part of the larger Urban Obsessions series.  Like the title implies, the weapons suggest a sort of violent desperation, an urban restlessness taken to its hyperbolic end.  Also, the sculptures of Urban Obsessions are nearly ritualistic like implements of a a post-modern tribal religion.

Shapiro’s Bats will join the work of nine other artists in Group Show Vol. 3 at Denver’s Gildar Gallery.  The group exhibit opens Saturday January 12th and runs through February 1st.

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Gehard Demetz

geharddemetz_2Gehard Demetz was born in 1972, in Bolzano, Italy. Currently he lives and works in Val Gardena on these amazing woodcarvings. His vision is on point, and his work is nothing short than breathtaking. Check it out.

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Shan Hur’s Excavated Sculptures

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Shan Hur‘s sculptures interact with the gallery space in a unique way.  He embeds his sculptural work inside walls and pillars throughout the space.  Each piece almost seems if it is in the middle of being excavated right out of the gallery wall.  In this way the sculpture brings the entire gallery into the work of art, and by extenstion its visitors.  Interestingly, Hur says of his work:

“One of the issues I have focused on is how to reduce the burden of the volume of sculpture.  I then connect this mass to its surroundings, but not just as part of the whole.  I think sculpture should communicate with its circumstances.”

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Vilde Rolfsen’s Stunning, Etherial Landscapes With Plastic Bags Challenges Societies Perception Of Everyday Objects

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With an interest in merging consumer culture and fine art practices, Norwegian photographer Vilde Rolfsen takes the most ubiquitous piece of global consumerism, a plastic grocery bag, and creates a series of photographs that, with the assistance of modified lighting and colored cardboard, showcase a an ephemeral landscape, reminiscent of snowscapes or dancing oceans. The plastic bags used for this project were all sourced from the street; this is a very minor but important fact that underlines Rolfsen’s ultimate mission:

My findings have showed me that people take everyday objects for granted, for example a plastic bag or a Brillo pad. You use them for a couple of things, carry your groceries or scrub your dishes. By removing the objects from their original function, I am forcing the viewer to look at the object as an aesthetic thing rather than a useful thing. I challenge society’s perceptions of everyday objects, because these objects are of such normality they become surreal in a photograph.

(via Anothermag)

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Markus Oehlen Is Radioactive

Markus Oehlen’s saturated paintings go back and forth between figuration and abstraction to show us a view into an apocalyptic,black light lit, radioactive future.

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