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Purity Portraits: Young Virgins Promise Their Purity To Their Fathers Until Marriage

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Stockholm-based photographer David Magnusson captures bizarre father-dauther portraits in the U.S. These portraits are inspired by a very disturbing ritual called Purity Balls, a relatively new Christian religious, wedding-like ceremony that inspires American virgin girls (as young as four years of age ) to promise purity to their fathers.

The formal events tends to include ballroom dancing, a keynote speaker, and a lot young girls in white dresses. During the ceremony, the fathers, the so-called “High Priest of the home and family,” make a pledge to protect their daughters’ “purity” during the affair; often times they exchange purity rings.

“You are married to the Lord and your father is your boyfriend.” – A father says to his daughter during a Purity ball.

Intrigued and fascinated  by an article about the topic, Magnusson took the iniciative to investigate these balls, and its participants, further.To create this photographic series, the artist spent five months traveling to and attending purity balls in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. On each occasion, he spent about an hour interviewing and photographing the father-daughter pair. The interactions between father and daughter on camera were up to the subjects themselves and not at all directed by Magnusson.

Many of us would think that the photographs look and feel odd; and not that there is anything weird about hugging and holding your father’s hands, but the way in which these pairs interact…most of us can agree that it is a bit creepy. The artist, however, keeps his judgement out of the picture and he tells his audience that for the most part the fathers are caring and respectful, and the daughter possess their own character and are often very independent. How true this is to each of us personally differs, of course. This very point, the idea of relative truths and opinion, is what Magnusson is most interested in:

“The purpose hasn’t been either to belittle or glorify the ceremonies–the interpretation [of the photographs] is all up to the eye of the viewer.”

The series of photographs are now part of Purity, a book of text and images put together by the artist himself. Purity comes out in August, and you can order it here. If you are interested in learning more about this ceremony you can check out The Virgin Daughters, a documentary that further examines the nature of Purity Balls. (via FastCo Design)

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Bernard Roig’s Sculptures Capture The Destructive Potential Of Light

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Bernard Roig’s light sculptures capture a particular strain of ennui. While the idea of light tends to evoke a positive or uplifting feeling, Roig recontextualizes this element as a burden to his sculptures’ human subjects. Sometimes light crushes or imprisons this man, or seems to be a goal that will never be reached. The man is usually sculpted in white, brightening the effect of his subjects’ dissolution. Roig’s work addresses the boundary between the connect/disconnect of our culture’s relationship to light. “Today we are living in an atmosphere saturated with images, but the experience that they produce has a low intensity. Now it is ever more difficult to give meaning to an image. We are subjected to light, a light that dissolves the outlines of things, a white light within which everything fluctuates.”

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The Strange World Of A Dwarf Theme Park In China

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After stumbling across a photograph on the internet depicting people posed in a dwarf theme park, Belgian photographer Sanne De Wilde conducted a little research and discovered that the Dwarf Empire, or Kingdom of the Little People, is a real theme park that operates in the Yunnan province of China. In this park, dwarfs provide entertainment – singing, dancing, and various other forms of amusement – for tourists who visit the park. De Wilde eventually contacted the park’s manager and was invited to take photographs of the park and its 77 little people for a project she calls “The Dwarf Empire.” As soon as she arrived, she immediately felt compelled to consider questions regarding the morality of the park’s existence, namely if the workers were happy there, or if they felt more like they were being put on display and exploited. Additionally, “For me, it’s about how this kind of place can exist,” De Wilde says. “What does it tell you about a person who starts this and creates it? What are his intentions?” Founded by a tall, rich man who wanted to “do something good” for the little people, this park is a “Chinese charity dressed in commercial attire.” Much of the park appears run-down, but seems to have a solid foundation.

While she partook in the project of documenting the park, De Wilde, a tall blonde woman, found that she stood out in the park – for the tourists, she became a character in the show created at the park, something she found exhausting. She would even hide with the little people “to be free of the claws of the tourists…they want to touch you and have a part of you.” After she got home, De Wilde spent about a year culling through her images; during this time, she even received letters from some of the people claiming they’re happy and thankful to be working at the park, something that De Wilde viewed as a bit suspect.

From her statement, De Wilde writes,

 

“I embarked on an adventure with a handful of ethical questions about commercializing social care. Every story has two sides but in this place every question and every answer seemed contradictory. My adventure ended up as a modern anti-fairytale, a collection of images of my making, and theirs. My own trick forced upon myself.” (via lens culture and slate)

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Ariel Chiesa

Argentinian creative director Ariel Chiesa blends surreal imagery and geometrical patterns in her collage work.

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Iva Gueorguieva

Iva Gueorguieva, Painting

Iva Gueorguieva, currently a Lux Art Institute resident, is a Bulgarian-born artist that paintings are incredibly filled with energy portrayed with color, composition and expressionist brushstrokes. The dreamlike abstract landscapes are highly energized by the amazing intensity in colors and the layers create such dynamic organic like environments, they can’t help but captivate the viewers attention with the exuberant hues and dizzy brushstrokes.

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Halloween Pumkins Of Death!

More spooktacular jack-o-lanterns for all of you B/D ghouls and ghosts to feast your eyes on!

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Artist Philip Haas Re-Imagines Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Famous Food Face Portraits In Larger Than Life Sculptures

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Artist and filmmaker Philip Haas has taken 16th century paintings and brought them into modern day in the form of larger than life sculptures. Haas has created four busts of the paintings titled The Four Seasons by Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The original paintings portray four busts cleverly formed from fruits, vegetables, and flora that represent each of the four seasons. The piece Autumn appropriately displays lush fruit making up the person’s plump cheeks, while Winter is revealed through bare twigs for hair and lumpy roots for the face. Haas’s sculptures are enormous and spectacular replicas of these paintings, down to every last plant that makes up the face of each character. The paintings as well as the sculptures portray and compare the never-ending cycle of life and unavoidable aging of humans in a beautiful and fascinating way.

What is absolutely amazing about the work being re-imagined and recreated as sculptures is that each of the works are fifteen feet high. Each intricate face completely engulfs the viewer in its interesting details, allowing you to examine every leaf, vegetable, and vine protruding from their facial features. Haas has given us a monumental series of works that shine a new light on the original masterpieces from the 1500’s. Haas’s sculptures have been shown all around the United States in a variety of unique venues including the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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Robin Schwartz Magical Photographs Of Her Daughter With Animals Spanning 12 Years

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Robin Schwartz’s photo-series Amelia and the Animals documents her daughter alongside animals as Amelia has grown in the past 12 years of her life. Schwartz’s photographic practice is predominantly of animals, but her daughter is the main focus of these photographs. In each one, Schwartz finds creative ways to have Amelia and the animals interact. You can see the ease with which Amelia interacts with the animals, having been surrounded by them her whole life. It’s incredible to see her nonchalance as well. Both mother and daughter feel a deep connection with the animals. In an interview with Science of Us, Schwartz says the first time she saw a chimpanzee she was in love.  “We’re intensely drawn to primates because – well, because they are us, maybe.”

In the interview, she was also asked about the dangers of photographing her daughter with wild animals.

This is a question that gets asked so often. Most people ask Amelia, “Weren’t you scared?” You just have to be smart about it. We are as careful as possible. It’s a team effort, with Amelia taking directions from the caretaker. Amelia takes instructions well, and at this point, she does have experience.

The animals that hurt us the most are the mosquitos! We were eaten in Florida.

(Via NY Mag)

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