Like floating into a dream, Jason Mitchell’s photography takes you into a new place of existence, stuck between worlds. His series Dream Away displays ghostly bodies in a different state of being, exploring a sense of awakening. Inspired by metamorphosis, his figures are placed in a blank space, not knowing exactly where they are except for in a place of uncertainty. Even still, they seem tranquil and ready for whatever is to come next. Each image contains an ethereal quality, as the figures delicately glide through the air. In this series, we cannot tell if Mitchell’s figures are falling or floating, as there is no sense of direction, like they are underwater. With bright whites and light shadows, the absence of almost all harsh shadows creates an angelic atmosphere around these women.
Hinting at themes of afterlife and a higher state of being, Mitchell’s figures almost do not appear to be human. They are transcending their bodies on a journey of oneself.
“I ask my subjects to explore a loss of control, but a sense that they are being guided, pushed and pulled by another sentient being, as they make their way to a new self. They represent the soul of a magical creature on a journey through the limbo that connects their past understandingto this new unknown.”
– Jason Mitchell
Although all of Mitchell’s work holds a striking beauty, his series Dream Away truly exhibits stunning detail and imagery. Photographs from this majestic series will be on view at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, CA until May 30th.
British artist Chris Agnew Predominantly works with drawing and a self-developed technique of etching into panels with oil painted details. Agnew’s practice is focused upon the cultivation of belief systems through legends, mythologies and actual events. The works take the form of intricate and highly-detailed examinations of specific locations where the origin or destiny of particular events are/will be played out.
Stumbled onto some delightfully curious paintings by Cassandra Simon last night that have the smoothly detailed qualities of a perfectly executed relief print. Robust with color, these images seem to be a mix of mystery and folklore.
Gali Erez is a graphic designer and illustrator from Israel. She is a CalArts graphic design graduate currently living and working in Los Angeles.
I’ve always enjoyed her playful use of proportion, fearless use of color and youthful connection to her content. She loves to mix markers, colored pencils, Micron pens, crayons, chalk, pencil and anything else she can get a hold of to create her work.
So we have all heard or read about the different scandals over celebrity photographs being leaked to people who they shouldn’t be leaked to. Whether they are nude photographs, private images, or untouched magazine cover shoots, we’ve all seen pictures of certain people that we probably shouldn’t have. Well, Spanish artist David Lopera takes this idea and pushes it to the extreme. He uses images of well known people including Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Michelle Keegan, Katy Perry, and Park Shin Hae and changes our perception of them.
With some Photoshop trickery, Lopera adds pounds to the celebrities, creating cartoonish caricatures of themselves. Promoting another type of body image, he ‘fleshes’ the women out, fetishsizing a plumper figure. Originally Lopera modified these celebrity photographs for his own amusement, but after receiving requests from other people for more transformations, he decided to up his output. He writes to Daily Mail:
Men are always writing to me asking if I can make their celebrities crushes look a bit fatter. Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Kardashian are some of the most popular requests I get. These women look much better when they’re overweight. (Source)
Effectively promoting a more positive body image, he taps into our obsession with self image and vanity. He could also be fetishsizing a different type of body, but in an equally unhealthy way, but it seems to be humorous, or at least enjoyable to men and women alike. Lopera’s artist site on Deviant Art has an interesting survey explaining that most people only want to see the morphs of women (77 percent of participants want only women, and 23 percent want both men and women to put on the pounds). Perhaps you could even write to him to request your own favorite celebrity transformation…. (Via Demilked)
Nona Faustine’s powerful imagery looks back to a time of slavery that exposes locations around NYC where humans were once bought and sold in the slave trade. Entitled “White Shoes”, Faustine photographed herself completely nude except for a pair of white shoes in areas where much of this illicit activity took place. On Manhattan island, this includes a busy street on Wall Street and the steps of City Hall. In the photographs, Faustine stood atop a box on the Financial Street, as if she were back in a slave market and then walked up the steps of City Hall built over an African burial ground. Her visuals speak volumes to the viewer as we can only envision someone like her in that detestable situation.
Some of the more powerful shots of “White Shoes” find the artist passed out in the water near rocks on a beach and atop three gravestones in Brooklyn. Her courage to use herself rather than a model is exemplary in that it shows her genuine interest in having a direct connection with the narrative. Along with the photographs, she uses quotes which mimic passages from the Declaration of Independence and other human rights documents. Slave trading was legal in New York for almost 200 years. It began in 1626 with the Dutch West India Company and ended in 1827 with the help of slave advocacy group the New York Manumission Society.
Nona Faustine is a 2013 MFA graduate of Bard college. Her work delves into gender politics, folklore and how the past affects the present and future. (via blackgirllonghair)
Gerald Collings‘ paintings are a perfect mix between Francis Bacon and your local butcher shop. These layered paintings look like they have been to hell and back. With images of skinned faces, torn apart rib cages, and bodies in various states of decay, they have become the ultimate test for how grotesque an image can be while still remaining a rich and seductive work of art.