Eric Franklin‘s sculpture’s glow with a certain life. Though the series focuses on skulls and skeletons, it isn’t exactly dead. These skulls are carefully made of flameworked glass, or glass melted and shaped with a torch. The hollow skulls are then filled with ionized neon, krypton, and mercury gases. The ionized gases cause the skulls to glow from within complimenting their eery shape. [via]
Photographer Richard Mosse has been capturing life in Eastern Congo for over 3 years. His work is a surreal representation of the beauty and tragedy in war and destruction. Using Kodak Aerochrome, a 16mm infrared film, originally designed for military reconnaissance, he depicts soldiers and landscapes in a sickly, hyper-real candyfloss pink.
The film registers chlorophyll in live vegetation and depicts the lush Congolese landscape in vibrant hues invisible to the human eye. His photographs are bizarre images of soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms in different shades of magenta, holding babies or guns.
His latest film project “The Enclave” is an attempt to make visible the invisible. Since 1998, over 5 million people have been killed from war-related causes in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Tackling an issue that is relatively unheard of, Mosse says in a recent interview with the British Journal of Photography:
“I wanted to export this technology to a harder situation, to up-end the generic conventions of calcified mass-media narratives and challenge the way we’re allowed to represent this forgotten conflict… I wanted to confront this military reconnaissance technology, to use it reflexively in order to question the ways in which war photography is constructed.”
The idea of The Impossible Image is central to his work. Both relating to capturing something usually unseen, and also working in an area of the world usually inaccessible to, and not documented by artists – that of war journalism.
By using this rare filming technique, Mosse challenges our very perception of war and violence. He is able to pick out a whole different side of military life, encouraging curiosity, and definitely empathy.
Blinking City is an ongoing project from Instant Hutong that challenges the traditional concepts involved in map making by re-imagining and creating new context around maps of downtown Beijing. Above (and after the jump), are a few images of a stencil piece created in conjunction with Blinking City. Bright colors bleed slightly into one another but maintain their own strength in an orbicular representation of a Beijing neighborhood. The project is awesome and full of good intentions. From the site: “The urban analysis provides the framework for a deeper and street related urban approach involving inhabitants and their lifestyle, in which experience, time, paths, observations, encounters and ideas become eventually as important as the built environment.” The Blinking City webpage, which has details on tons more Blinking City related stuff and other Instant Hutong projects, is really worth a click. (via)
Dutch sculptor Gerhard Lentink’s elaborate pieces carved out of wood look like complex puzzles that once solved give you the answers to the worlds problems.
I’m digging these psychedelic, surreal collages by Emir Šehanović. Check out his face-melting constructions after the jump. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information out there about the artist, but perhaps we can entice him to drop by Beautiful/Decay to share a bit of his story?
Cuneyt Akeroglu’s Red Room series is a polished exploration of love and sex through the lens of fashion. Akeroglu enlisted top models like Lara Stone, Anja Rubik, Natasha Polly, and many more to enact scenes meant to convey the many facets of love through nude portraiture. The photographs are each stunning in their own right. Nude women (except for one male model) with ideal figures set in front of a striking red backdrops with sometimes extremely suggestive props, like Natasha Polly’s red rose spilling white liquid – read semen – down her leg, or Lily McMenamy entangled in a snake.
I’m particularly drawn to the photo of Anja Rubik where she squats on top of a mirror looking down at herself with curiosity/rapture, and holds her breast while covering the portion of the mirror that would (presumably) reflect her vagina. Akeroglu captures a moment of discovery for Rubik’s character in the photo, as well as demonstrates the complexities of being able to reach out and touch someone or oneself, and the confusion and excitement that comes from the attempt.
The only problem I have with the series is Akeroglu’s approach to the male portrait. I acknowledge right off the bat that the precedent for the subjects of nude portraiture in both fashion and art history is predominantly female, and so it’s entirely expected that his subjects would be a majority of women. What I find strange is that every woman is on full display with her entire body in the frame, where the male model, Arthur Grosse, is taken only from the shoulders up, not even baring a nipple. It’s barely a nude portrait, and only addresses the themes of sex and love using tiny beads of sweat that could indicate physical activity of a sexual nature. Although I enjoy the subtle tones of the photo in contrast to the overt sexuality of some of the female portraits, I question the decision to include a male portrait where the subject is treated with such hesitation.
San Francisco-based photographer has a few different ongoing projects, but the one I like the best is the tentatively named “The Inhabited West.” The series consists of aerial photographs parts of the American landscape: “pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, geology, and various aspects of the sublime.” Some interesting points on how we’ve constructed our world around nature, and how the two interact.
Irena Zablotska is a Ukrainian artistborrows inspiration from Eastern European folk art and super saturated cartoons to make drawings that are mythic, cute, and psychedelic. Like Stacey Rozich, she makes creatures that are combinations of animals, people, plants, and patterns. Her world is one where life hasn’t splintered into different forms but exists in one animistic force, or maybe it’s a world where we’ve evolved to such a degree that we can collage lifeforms onto one another to make new inter-special selves. As graphic as they are colorful, they’re a real visual treat.