Damon Casarez is a Los Angeles based photographer raised in suburban Diamond Bar, CA. In his recent series “Sweet Lolita”, Casarez covered the Dollyhouse Runway a “Lolita” based fashion show for Southern California Lolita fashion designers. His images give us a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of this fashion subculture.
Does making trash bags cuter motivate litter-bugs to responsibly chuck their burger wrappers and soda cans into the patiently waiting heads of bags donning the faces of cute little rabbits and Sesame’s Oscar the Grouch? Japanese designers at MAQ Studio have started a whole “movement” around “playing with trash” in order to address and bring attention to the waste problem and how it effects the environment. To really reduce waste though, wouldn’t it have been better to just use recyclable materials to substitute for the dilemma of accumulating all these bags and not being able to do anything with them? I dunno…what do you guys think? Could this be more effective in Japan than it would be here? This sort of reminds me of those Novelty Bras I had posted about before…
At the intersection of fashion, photography, film, stagecraft, and design, artist Marina Fini creates hallucinatory, alternative worlds. Based in California, she collaborates with friends and artists alike in the staging of these otherworldly scenes, using colorful costumes and her own handmade, plexiglass jewelry to turn her photographic subjects into ethereal cyber goddesses. When asked how she builds these characters, Fini remarked, “there’s something about transforming someone into someone they wouldn’t normally be … that is, creating an extension of themselves that I see in them.” All of her characters exude a captivating power, like the whimsical and intangible figures seen through a psychedelic dream. By exploring alternative selves in familiar contexts – a convenience store, or the Californian seaside, for example – Fini explores how subjecthood is fluid, and how such creative “shape-shifting” can alter they way we perceive our immediate reality.
While beautiful, there are also darker and more satirical elements in Fini’s work; in her own words, there’s something compelling about “juxtaposing what we associate as innocent with something horrific or insane.” In her short film Tree Temple, for example, a group of forest sprites — their faces eerily obscured by their colorful hair — dance feverishly around an altar made of Apple computers. Shortly after destroying the altar in their frenzy, they fade into mourning and death. As this film exemplifies, integrated throughout Fini’s scenes are emblems of our contemporary cyber culture — the Apple logo, wifi symbol, hand cursor, and so on. Speaking to this, Fini says that the use of such icons “specifically pokes fun at our internet-obsessed culture,” thereby producing a playful — and sometimes dark — cultural critique of our digitized existences.
In addition to her photographs and videos, Fini is well-known for her aforementioned jewelry, as seen on many of the models in these photos. In pursuit of new projects, she has recently announced that she will be phasing out her jewelry, but her Etsy shop will remain open until mid-January 2015. If you enjoy immersive art and playful reconfigurations of reality, check out the surreal worlds she has created on her website and Tumblr pages.
Norwegian artist Marius Watz uses Processing and other programming languages to explore the effects of different rule-based systems on virtual space. The finished product may be printed, sculpted, or a video.
Madeline Maser’s portfolio of photography has some great portraits.
Work by Philadelphia based artist and graphic designer Dustin Kemper.
Christopher Chiappa has been casting sculptures of eggs in plaster for the past five years and now they have taken on a life of their own. His work,“Livestrong” uses 7,000 eggs in a gallery installation and makes us wonder if we should be worried about an imminent egg invasion or if he’s simply putting egg on our face.
The pieces, which are the outcome of countless drawings and photos, have been painstakingly attached to Kate Werble Gallery (NYC) and look like an infestation climbing down walls, oozing across floors, and dripping from ceilings. But the Gallery provides us several ways to access the significance of the work, not all of which include a perilous plague. Perhaps the eggs are the energy of a large group, a non-threatening crowd, a recommended high-protein “Livestrong” recipe, or a nod to the “this is your brain on drugs” advertising campaign.
In the world of Belgian painter Mazzarella Thomas tiny people are doing bizarre and interesting things.