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Jean-Francois Fourtou’s Giant people for a tiny world

Jean-Francois Fourtou’s photographs go back and forth between miniature worlds for giant people and tiny people living in giant worlds.

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Joana Choumali Photographs The Last Generation Of Scarified African People

Mrs. Sinou: “I refuse to do it to my children. This will stay on my face only.”

Mrs. Sinou: “I refuse to do it to my children. This will stay on my face only.”

Mr. Boudo: “It is not easy to hit on girls with that. Especially, the Ivorians. I think it is not very attractive.”

Mr. Boudo: “It is not easy to hit on girls with that. Especially, the Ivorians. I think it is not very attractive.”

Mr. Konabé: “Our parents did this not to get lost in life. When you went somewhere, you could not get lost.”

Mr. Konabé: “Our parents did this not to get lost in life. When you went somewhere, you could not get lost.”

In the large Ivory Coast city of Abidjan it was once common to see Hââbré, the ancient custom of scarification. Today only the older people wear scarifications and when Joana Choumali decided to photograph them for her series “Haabre, The Last Generation 2013-2014” she had a hard time finding people to pose for her.

“Scarification is the practice of performing a superficial incision in the human skin. This practice is disappearing due to the pressure of religious and state authorities, urban practices and the introduction of clothing in tribes.”

Choumali photographed the participants against a neutral backdrop in the attempt to remove any stigma or judgment from the images. On her website she pairs two images for each portrait—one from behind and one from the front or side, showing the scars. This is an interesting choice which seems to reinforce the idea that the scarification serves as an identity card of sorts. Where people are interchangeable from the back, they are marked and classified and unmistakable from the front. The images are also accompanied by quotes.

“Opinions (sometimes conflicting) of our witnesses illustrate the complexity of African identity today in a contemporary Africa torn between its past and its future. This “last generation” of people bearing the imprint of the past on their faces, went from being the norm and having a high social value to being somewhat ‘excluded.’”

It’s intriguing to note that while Hââbré is becoming extinct in Africa, it is gaining popularity as “body modification” in other areas of the world. According to National Geographicover the last seven or eight years scarification has become remarkably widespread in the U.S. and Australia and across Europe, from London to Prague.” Is it cultural appropriation or appreciation? Will these scars start as emblems of individuality and end up, as in Africa, visual reminders of regret? (via feature shoot)

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The Sketchbooks of Nicholas Stevenson

The pages of Nicholas Stevenson‘s sketchbooks feel more complete than most. Rather than distract, the thoughtful use of bright colors and intricate patterns help pull the scenes together. Each spread portrays a private moment in which viewers may pass unnoticed and draw their own conclusions. (via)

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3D Drawings Come To Life In Eric van Straaten’s Hyperrealistic Sculptures

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Eric van Straaten - 3D printed sculptures

Holland based Eric van Straaten is one of the most technical and talented 3-D sculptors in the world. According to trendwatchers, 3D-printing is the next big thing: in the near future, every household will own a printer that is capable of printing digital three-dimensional objects into a physical object. In the process that is best known under the name ‘Additive Manufacturing’, a 3D-printer builds up a model layer by layer by selectively hardening liquid or powder.

If this powder is a plaster-like material, a model can be directly printed in full color. The 3D-printing of delicate and colored models is far from being just pushing a button, but requires great technical skills. Therefore only a few specialize in this technique and there is no artist who pushes the boundaries of colorized 3D-prints as far as Eric van Straaten.

There is no technique that is capable of achieving such a great degree of hyper(sur)realism as 3D-modeling. At the same time, 3D printing is the only technique with which virtual models can be made actually physically touchable. Physical expressiveness in form and content is the biggest strength of the work of Eric van Straaten: while the sculptures remain to have a certain digital feel to them, the pieces contain a weirdly eroticized corporeality. Balancing on the edge of kitsch, the marzipan-like quality of the material resonates beautifully with the apparent innocence of the scenery. –Prof. Dr. Arnold Ratsberger

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Dirty Beach TV

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If you’ve ever been to London and meandered along the Thames, chances are you’ve witnessed the Dirty Beach crew in action. But you don’t have to leave your seat to partake in the fun, nor to see what these purveyors of grainy sculptures are up to; just visit Dirty Beach tv… what more can I say… enjoy!

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The Surrealist Childlike Narratives Of Amandine Urruty Will Make You Smile

amandine urruty drawing

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Imagine a world of fantasy where all your favorite icons are grouped together in old painting motifs and you have a pretty good idea of what French artist Amandine Urruty does. With knifelike precision she draws odd characters from popular culture and places them in dreamlike landscapes that recall Hieronymous Bosch and Leonardo DaVinci. Using satirical nuances Urruty comments on love, learning and family. Her method pokes fun at society and the different masks we wear each day to get through it. Her material of choice is graphite and with it she wields pictures which show great skill. It almost seems the artist could draw anything she wanted which is why it’s even more interesting to see the content which sparks her imagination.

From a formal standpoint hints of surrealism surface as we witness the subconscious mind take over in many of Urruty’s sections. But to draw at her skill level you need to be totally present and the two play off each other nicely. The dominant presence of kiddy characters definitely speaks to the inner child in all of us. Plus from an aesthetic point of view they’re just cute to look at.

Aside from drawings, Urruty has painted colorful murals all over France. The subject matter for those were mostly hybrid animals which recall Maurice Sendak. Her work is currently on view at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York as part of the group Exhibit, “Oh, The Places We’ve Been.” Urruty is based in Paris and holds a Master’s Degree in The Philosophy of Art.      (via faithistorment)

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The Masterful Multiplicity Of Christopher Taggart’s Collages

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Multi-disciplinary artist Christopher Taggart‘s work elegantly investigates ordering systems, photographic dissection and dissemination. Most compelling are his large, meticulously woven collages of carefully selected imagery—a combination of playing cards, personal photos and government archives. Taggart presents these works in such a way that the viewer’s attention is simultaneously swallowed by the physical scale of each piece and lost in the smallness of the individual cuts.

The overwhelming nature of the work does not seem to be accidental, as he plays with the viewer’s sense of curiosity in each bite-sized fragment of imagery. While trying to look for themes or recurrences within the work, at times the subject matter reveals itself and sets a different tone. For example, Taggart’s digital photographic collage Colony combines and restructures aerial photographs of 21 California state prisons—something that casts a darkness over the colorful shards of imagery almost immediately. His latest solo effort, Cuts And Splits, is on view at Eli Ridgway Gallery through May 4.

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Glen Baldridge

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Living and working from Brooklyn, Glen Baldridge is a witty artist who enjoys working on satirical concepts through the use of a variety of mediums that include printmaking and sculpture.

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