Painter and sculptor Emma Hack‘s collection, “Wallpaper,” is a series of meticulously painted models made to blend in with the designs behind them – true wallflowers! Hack must have been incredibly patient when working on canvases that move and breathe; her work is so precise, if you blur your vision, the models effortlessly become part of the wallpaper.
Natalia Evelyn Bencicova is a Slovakian photographer who creates works of surreal beauty and supernatural unease. Characterized by dark, sterile rooms built of tile and cement, her settings are eerily reminiscent of abandoned hospitals and vacant catacombs. The models are washed-out and almost alien in their beauty, contorting as they pose nude, or draped in cloth with additional limbs that reach from underneath. They appear human, but also inhuman — and no better is this obscuration of humanity demonstrated than in the images portraying piles of nude bodies sprawling on the floors, crawling up against the walls, or aligning themselves in fleshly, geometric structures. With their faces obscured by torsos and furniture, they seem engaged (or possessed by) a strange ritual that is more about the multitude than the individual.
Part of what makes Bencicova’s work so powerful and provocative are the environments and quasi-theatrical narratives she creates. The hospital-like settings foster an atmosphere that is unsettling for the psyche; writhing and embracing on cold floors or groping at sterile furniture, the characters resemble ghosts in an abstract, emotional ballet. In some of the images, the bodies look like they have been stowed away and forgotten, and are struggling to survive. But in all of Bencicova’s works, there is a haunting magnificence, a reverence for the strength of the human body, and an “opening up” of beauty that extends into the alien and absurd.
Bencicova’s Tumblr is a stunning journey into her darkly alluring and innovative worlds. You can also see more of her work on Behance, and be sure to follow her on Facebook.
Tom Sanford’s new work touches on politics and our infotainment culture with equal enthusiasm. For your viewing pleasure there is an erotically oily Sarah Palin, the repressed sexuality of Philip Guston, a Jong Il fist-bump, Jail Birds, and love affairs between beautiful nymphets and strangely hairy men. I think that’s something for everyone. All of these paintings have emigrated to Europe. Some for Copenhagen at Gallery Poulsen, and some to Norway, for a show at Galleri S E.
Mixed media artist Travis Bedel, also known as bedelgeuse, seamlessly blends vintage anatomical illustrations with botanical or other biological images to create stunning collages that range anywhere from 5 inches to 6 feet in size. Bedel often uses glue and a razorblade to excise printed vintage illustrations, combining them into beautiful and surreal new iterations. He’ll also scan his images and manipulate them digitally because this technique provides him with more opportunity to play around with sizing, cutting, and pasting the various elements in his collages.
Of his interest in human anatomy, Bedel says, “I find the body beautiful and mysterious. I am amazed and what people can do with their bodies and how if you take care of your own body, the rewards are much greater than imagined. I believe a lot of self-healing takes place mentally and physically when you eat clean and stay active.”
Photojournalist Anthony Karen has a specific and refined talent. Karen’s website mentions that “his passion for photography began in Haiti, where he documented the various Vodou rituals and pilgrimages throughout the country.” Even with this first series Karen displayed a knack for capturing groups of people, specifically those marginalized from larger society. For his latest book White Power, Karen was granted rare access to photograph Ku Klux Klan groups freely. Rather than portray familiar dramatic images of hate, many of the photographs depict mundane daily life, yet are somehow all the more unsettling. Indeed, much of the series’ disconcerting undertones certainly springs from Karen’s ability to capture people with a certain candidness rare in front of a camera lens. [via]
Lernert & Sander embrace the urge for cosmetic overkill in Natural Beauty where they apply 365 layers (1 years worth) of makeup in one day to see how much is needed to go from a natural look to an outrageous one. Makeup artist Ferry van der Nat and his assistant Vanessa Chan helped to execute the vision, slathering a host of Ellis Faas products on Belgian beauty Hannelore Knuts, who was recently named the new face of Swiss fashion house Akris. Lernert & Sander began collaborating in 2006; since then they’ve done everything from melt a chocolate bunny with a hairdryer to repurpose household appliances as sex toys in the name of video art.
Serbian Tumblr gif artist ABVH has created animations based on some of Banksy’s iconic street art. These animations give life to Banksy’s poignant (but static) images by enlivening the experience of humor and absurdity that accompanies much of Banksy’s work. These gifs first began to appear in September of last year. Since then, ABVH has created a few more images, the latest of which was posted just last week. Be sure to follow the artist’s Tumblr page to check out more of these gifs as they appear. Made By ABVH also features other animated gif work, included some rendered in 3D, requiring the use of proper glasses. (via we the urban)
Nicole Dextras takes typography into the final frontier creating three-dimensional words created purled of ice with some letters being as tall as eight feet high! Im a huge Andy Goldsworthy fan so this work immediately caught my eye! My favorite aspect of the project is that the type is continually changing due to weather conditions making the sculptures change as the sun comes up and goes down.