James Chong touches some of my favorite things like Star Wars, flannel, and dinosaurs with chest hair. He creates colorful and sometimes chaotic illustrations full of hidden gems. The longer you look the better they get.
Check out the Los Angeles illustrator at his website and hit the jump for more goodies.
In a series titled Light Rorschach, photographer Nicolas Rivals paints with light in dark spaces. Using a torch light and a camera with a long exposure, the artist draws and contours an arresting image. When I look at these photographs, I instantly see a face. But, Rorschach can refer to a couple of things. There is the Rorschach inkblot test, which is a psychological test. Additionally, a character, the anti-hero in the graphic novel Watchman has the same name. Knowing this and studying Rival’s work, his interpretation seems to be a combination of the two influences.
According to his website, Rival wants us to question the reality of the photographs. Could these things possibly exist? And, if they do, what are they? Rival insinuates that the beings in in Light Rorschach exist, referring to subjects as masks, meaning that they have some sort of identity. And, they observing us as we look at them. He writes:
…turns observer and observed through the eyes of spirited but ultimately see some of your own personality and therefore yourself. Cross between the work and the viewer as an introspection looks these masks seem to shout.
“Tell me what you see and I’ll tell you who you are.”
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the soul of these light masks are serious and demand your attention. The lines of the painted light frame the neon blue, red, and green discs.They definitely aren’t human, and seem like they belong in a sci-fi story.
There is a place between here and there that exists, but doesn’t prefer being pointed to on a map; that is where Birgit Dieker exists. Each piece talks about humans and their well-being, while telling us that none of this is real. The world is falling apart, and, because of Dieker’s work, we understand the value of the crumbs and sheddings.
Freelance photographer Guillaume Megevand’s Blood & Firecrackers series Blood & Firecrackers is a truly beautiful and gruesome series of images. Here is what this self taught and world traveling documentary photographer has to say about this body of work.
‘This series of photos was taken during the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, Thailand. Over nine days local residents of Chinese ancestry strictly observe a vegetarian diet for the purpose of spiritual cleansing and merit-making. Sacred rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples. The festival involves various processions, temple offerings and culminates with walking on hot coals, climbing knife-blade ladders, self-piercing the skin and so on.
Their special 9-day diet seems to allow the participants of the festival to be inhabited by the gods since they apparently feel no physical pain. This seems difficult to believe, but they really appear to be possessed and also to be beyond being hurt or feeling pain despite what they go through.
The most amazing moment for me was the last evening of the festival when thousands of citizens came out of their homes to throw firecrackers on the participants of the final procession. During these few hours, Phuket was more like a war zone rather than the quiet tourist town we all know. Luckily for everyone involved, this war zone is one of joy and faith and the culmination of nine incredible days.” (via feature shoot)
Rebecca Jewell spent a year in New Guinea in 1982 and became inspired by feather artifacts and birds. She saw how important they were to the people there and was amazed by the beautiful feather headdresses people made. She went on to study anthropology at Cambridge University in 1985 and then gained a PhD from London’s Royal College of Art in Natural History Illustration. During that time she would work mainly in watercolor, drawing bird skins at the National History Museum and ethnographic artifacts made out of feathers at the British Museum.
All of these experiences came to influence the body of work she began to create using “ethically sourced” feathers to print on. Her work is based on careful observational drawing as a way of seeing, recording, investigating and analyzing. Through a process involving a photo-plate, ink, an etching press and feathers, Jewell creates beautiful and delicate works on feathers depicting birds. Of the pieces she says: “Over the past years I have drawn and painted feathers and birds, and explored how they have been used to enhance and decorate humans. I am also aware of the plight and precarious status of many species, which I wanted to represent in the delicacy of the image on the feather.”
An artist in residence at the British Museum, Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, Jewell creates work that explores the shared histories between people that create certain artifacts, the explorers, anthropologists and travelers who obtain them, and the museums that house them.
Simon Beck’s geometric landscape artwork doesn’t require much more than a good snowfall, careful planning, and a lot of patience. To produce his works, the artist treks through miles of snow, patterning his walk carefully to create large scale designs. The results of his efforts can best be viewed aerially, as they cross acres of land. Conveniently, he’s installed some of his work under ski lifts and across valleys, where they can dazzle passersby.
Beck’s work is reminiscent of a Tibetan Sand Mandala, which too requires hours of work (his snow patterns take 8 to 10 hours to complete), has ritualistic movements, and whose existence is fleeting. Both will eventually be destroyed, as it is inherent and built into the ritual. But, while the breakdown of a mandala is ritualistic, Beck’s snow murals are at the whim of mother nature. (Via Huffington Post)
Perhaps taking some influence from the Hindu god Shiva, Korean artist Ahn Sun Mi creates self portraits depicting herself as some type of all seeing entity. In a surreal sense the photographs Mi creates depict the many emotions and feelings one experiences throughout the day. It conveys the complexity of human behavior by showing multiple eyes or arms. These represent the many things we see and do throughout the course of our lives. The numerous changes we undergo each day become in Mi’s work another mark in our psyche which is visually or literally depicted in her work.
While studying in Paris Mi became interested in the concept of metamorphosis which resulted from her being away from home in a strange land. Some of her photographs resemble a moth about to turn into a butterfly. Others have her struggling out of a cocoon like a covering made out of her arms. It helped her deal with all the emotions which stemmed from her new surroundings and mirrored how growth is good even though somewhat painful. By using herself in the photos we not only experience the ideas she’s trying to communicate but also get to see the biographical side in a literal visual sense. Historically Mi’s work finds reference to artists such as Yayoi Kusama and Rene Magritte. (Via faithistorment)
The brilliant aspect about instructional illustrations is that they speak for themselves (don’t miss the story in its ordered entirety by clicking on Read More below). But if you’re further wondering what this little beauty was intended for, it comes to us thanks to Packard Jennings and the Centennial Society who describes this as a “small, sixteen-page pamphlet… produced to put inside the postage-paid, business-reply envelopes that come with junk mail offers. Every envelope collected is stuffed with the pamphlet and mailed back to its original company.” Feel like participating in some subtle revolts of your own? I would recommend checking out their participate link!