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Ashley Comer’s Poignant Series Documents Meeting Her Estranged Birth Mother For The First Time

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After being apart from her own birth mother for more than 22 years, photographer Ashley Comer decided to meet the woman missing from her life and document the very personal and intense journey. While living in Georgia, Ashley decided to contact the adoption agency that facilitated her very own adoption and found that her birth mother Sheila was living in Florida, a mere 4 hour drive away from her at the time.

Using the excuse of the photographic project, Ashley contacted her birth mother and over several weekends and took some intimate and touching photographs. She managed to capture beautiful scenes of the two of them getting to know one another again, and the similarities in their physical appearance. They not only feature in the photographs together, the images are actually a collaboration between the pair.

It is easy to see the natural bond between the two women in Ashley’s snaps. And even though Ashley has now returned to Massachusetts, meaning they are unable to spend weekends together, she doesn’t doubt that they will keep the newly formed relationship going.

You can see the full collection of photographs from Ashley’s project Meeting Sheila here. (Via Feature Shoot)

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Provocative Photographs Address Systemic And Institutional Child Abuse

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Erik Ravelo‘s photo series Los Intocables, or The Untouchables, captures children pinned up crucifixion style against the backs of adult authority figures. “The Right to Childhood Should Be Protected” subheads the title of this provocative series that addresses the responsibility of adult figures with regard to the harming of children in various contexts. Ravelo places the children at the forefront of issues such as military occupation, tourism, healthcare, religion, and school violence, asking viewers to consider the potential for abuse within these issues and institutions. More photos and a short video after the jump.

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Anastasia Mastrakouli’s Alphabet Made Out Of Naked Bodies

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You’ve likely already noticed: this isn’t your typical font.  Instead of using pixels or vectors, photographer Anastasia Mastrakouli uses her own body to create a steamy alphabet (pardon the pun).  Mastrakoukli positions herself behind wet glass partly hidden as if in a shower.  She emphasizes certain parts of her body, and in turn certain parts of letters, by placing herself closer to the glass.  The result is an eye-catching font – one in which the medium may grab more attention the the message it spells.  Check out her website to see the rest of the alphabet.

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Here’s a quirky personal project from the mind of Jorge López Navarrete – “two different people each time -always unknown for me- perform exactly the same conversation.” Can someone explain to me the significance of the 3-D glasses?

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Unbelievably Realistic ‘Painted’ Fish By Keng Lye

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It may surprise you to know that these are not real animals – they’re probably most accurately called paintings.  Artist Keng Lye brings these aquatic creatures to life by creating layers of resin and alternating them with acrylic paint.  Coupled with his expert play of perspective, the fish (and other creatures) seem ultra realistic.  Keng Lye has since added three dimensional portions to his ‘paintings’ as can be seen in these first four images, making them seem even more unbelievably alive and real.   [via]

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Travis Rice Creates Installations Of Rainbow-Like Waves Made From Thousands Of Pieces Of Shredded Paper

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Travis Rice - Shredded Paper

Travis Rice - Shredded Paper

The installations of artist Travis Rice crush you with their intense, waves of color. Made from thousands of pieces of shredded paper, his installations resemble cascading rainbows as they explode from the ceiling and swallow up their surroundings. Each installation of his is a 3-dimensional painting, using colored paper as paint.  Rice uses these tiny paper strips and applies them like paint suspended in the air, adding an element of motion to his work. Being interested in mark-making, this artist uses a balance of order and chaos to form such complex installations. The color-strips are grouped together in his work to create a larger body of color, using the chaotic and unpredictable part to construct the larger whole.

Rice’s installations roll like waves of water from the ceiling to the floor in beams of color. It is as if they possess a life of their own, becoming living organisms that seem to expand and consume everything in their path. Many of his pieces form hills and ripples, resembling landscapes and bodies of water. The thousands of pieces of paper imply a constant motion, even though the installation itself is static.  Travis Rice further explains his artistic process and what inspires him to use such a tedious, yet dynamic method in his work.

I am interested in the most fundamental element of the graphic arts, the mark. I am currently exploring the idea of marks as objects and modules that repeat and evolve into larger forms. My installations explore marks as modules that accumulate to create ordered masses. The approach is similar to that of the impressionist painter but the brush stroke has been replaced by individual thin strips of paper that are the resultant product of a mechanical shredder.

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Intricate Sculpture Carved Into an Olive Pit Almost 300 Years Ago

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Talk about impressive craftsmanship. In a stunning feat of virtuosity, the Chinese artist Ch’en Tsu-chang carved an astoundingly complex scene into a single olive pit in the year 1737. The tiny sculpture is complete with eight exquisite human figures enjoying a serene ride in the furnished interior of a boat with movable windows. To construct the piece, the artist, hailing from Kwangtung and having entered into the Imperial Bureau of Manufacture during the reign of emperor Yung-cheng, allowed his eye and hand to be guided by the natural shape of the olive pit.

Measuring 1.34 inches in length and .63 inches in height, the work was inspired by a poem titled “Latter Ode on the Red Cliff,” written by Su Tung-p’o some six hundred and fifty years before; it depicts the poet and his seven companions on one of his two journeys to Red Nose Cliff, the site of an epic battle that proceeded the poet-official by eight hundred years. On the helm of the boat, the artist meticulously engraved 300 characters from the beloved poem, whose moving lines served as an artistic theme well into the Qing Dynasty. Somehow, the delicate and intricate composition elevates the epic subject matter, making it all the more precious and highlighting its worth as a narrative worth careful representation. What better way to honor a poem about a natural landscape than by rendering its speaker in an organic substance?

The creation is now preserved and exhibited in Taipei City, Taiwan at the National Palace Museum of China. (via Lost at E Minor and Twisted Sifter)

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This Unbelievable Glass Table Is Modeled After The Ocean Depths

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For his latest project, titled the Abyss Table, designer Christopher Duff of Duffy London constructs a detailed cross section of the sea bed from sheets of glass and wood. Inspired by mythology, he designed the piece of furniture to look like one belonging to an ancient deity, capable of pulling up chunks of the earth for his own decorative use. From above, the table resembles a topographical map laid flat, but when viewed from the side, it becomes a multilayered and multidimensional model of a three-dimensional mass forged over millennia.

The brilliance of the Abyss Table lies in part in the conflicting nature of its form and function. By its very definition, the table is not an abyss but the exact opposite: a protruding surface capable of supporting objects. Here, the liquid surface of the ocean is transmuted into an imperturbable solid, and fluid space becomes sturdy and unbroken.

On the website of Duffy London, the preliminary image of the table, which will be released this fall, is accompanied with a line from Friedrich Nietzche’s “Beyond Food and Evil:” “And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” This oft-quoted passage, almost always meant metaphorically, finds a very literal manifestation here. Contained in this table, the dark, unknowable emptiness that consumes the human mind moves poetically into the home, merging its mysteries with the normal routines of domesticity. Each image shown here is a digital model from which the actual table will be built. Take a look. (via Colossal)

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