Fueled by his reverence for the natural world, the Northern Utah-based artist and photographer John Poppleton paints fluorescent landscapes onto the backs of nude bodies with temporary pigments. Photographing his models under backlight, he constructs starry nighttime constellations that conform to the curves of the female silhouette. As a commercial photographer with a passion for fantasy, Poppleton incorporates his masterful painting in this “Black Light Bodyscapes” series. Each piece takes a few hours to complete, and many of them are personalized or custom-made for his subject; one painting includes a teepee to honor its model’s Native American heritage, and the mountainscapes that are visible from Poppleton’s own window make numerous appearances.
Poppleton’s mesmerizing work is both current and timeless. While echoing the electrifying aesthetic of techno raves and the like, it also maintains ancient themes. Like mythologies surrounding the figure of the Mother Earth, the “Black Light Bodyscapes” tie the female to the natural world. In a manner reminiscent of the story of the ancient Greek goddess Gaia, the planet seems to spring forth from a fertile well of female power. Here, as with folklore surrounding the deities of Greece, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the silhouetted woman becomes equated with the moon and the lunar calendar; in darkness, she lights the way, delighting the eye with an irresistible shine. Dotted with radiant celestial bodies, backlight painting may be seen as a sort of divination, reminding us of the splendor of nature that we too often forget in this modern age. Take a look. (via My Modern Met)
William Edmonds primarily creates quirky illustrations as one third of the UK based art collective Nous Vous (see previous B/D post here). He has recently begun producing a series of ceramics that mirror his fine art sensibilities. Intuitive use of color and free-forming shapes are prevalent. There is a sense of jubilation that runs throughout his artistic output. In his own words Edmonds is informed by “Mark and timbre, line and verse, form and play.”
Jeremy Dower’s psychedelic paintings are out of this world. Every time I look at them I feel like I”m in a far away land where everything is colored rainbow bright and stuffed animals have come to life and rule the world!
Matthew Scott graduated with a BFA in Photography from the Academy of Art. In landscape and in portraiture, his camera sheds light on the “paradoxical tensions existing just under the surface of everyday life.” He overlaps two Americas–the urban and the rural–as they compete in his photographs. He effortlessly gives the viewer “Yin and Yang, light and dark, compassion and sarcasm”–a struggle of dualities.
While Gareth Pugh’s latest collection for Spring 2010 explores a more “mature” experimentation with diaphonous fabrics and a more subdued tone on tone, I prefer his more outlandish, performative sculptural fashion pieces from past seasons. You can’t beat his futuristic death-metal cube-hesher above, seemingly harbinging the coming of Y2K through Swarovski crystals. Or an entire stole made out of white mink-mice replete with red eyes, fit for some ghastly rodent Ice Queen from a savage Viking town….
Good luck finding this guy on the web. Heres a hint: he’s NOT John Mooney the blues guitarist. Aren’t these oil paintings great though? His shows covered Scotland, Helsinki, London and Poland, Contemporary Art Society, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Scottish Arts Council and Dundee Art Gallery.
Bill Cunningham is arguably the ultimate fashion trend forecaster. For decades he has been photographing not only what the people of NYC are wearing on the street but how. He is loved and celebrated by his coworkers at the New York Times and the entire New York fashion world as being the ultimate source for what’s happening in fashion right now and where the trends are going next. Not caring about class, his subjects range from strangers on the street jumping over rain puddles to high powered Fashion bigwigs such as Vogue‘s Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour. This type of professional clout would surely provide most photographers wealth and access to the powerful but Bill Cunningham will have none of that. Not only does Bill detest money but he refuses to be a slave to it. Having turned opportunities to cash in on his talents he prefers a simpler life of traveling around town on his old crappy bike, wearing a street sweepers jacket, and living in a tiny studio apartment with no bathroom and kitchen. Bill’s level of dedication and high level of ethics is unbelievable and should make all of us press the pause button and question the things we do to get ahead. He is a simple man doing extraordinary work that future generations will look back at for many years to come.
If you’re involved in the fashion world or work in any creative field then this is the movie for you. I rarely see a movie twice but I will be sure to watch Bill Cunningham New York again and again so I can be reminded of why we sometimes have to make great sacrifices for our art. Watch the trailer for the movie after the jump.