Gabriela Herman’s photography portfolio features a wide array of self portraits and photos from various travels.
When Willard Psychiatric Center in New York’s Finger Lakes area closed its doors in 1995, staff member Bev Courtwright made a miraculous discovery. Tucked away in the attic were a collection of over 400 abandoned suitcases containing the possessions of their original owners before they were committed to the institution. Photographer Jon Crispin began documenting the collections of belongings in 2011, offering a poignant look into the lives of the people who entered this place (and often never left).
The patients and their suitcases arrived at the Center between 1910 and 1960. Since many of them were treated for chronic mental illness, it wasn’t uncommon that patients died while in the hospital and were buried in the graveyard across the street. If no family member came to claim their belongings, they were taken and stored in the room where Courtwright eventually found them.
The suitcases and trunks vary in their contents, of course, and some were more robustly-packed than others. This fascinating series that examines the objects we hold sacred and what we’re personally attached to, as strange as they may seem. Crispin’s website sheds light on the individual stories of each patient, and in a way memorializes those who owned them. (Via Let’s Get Lost. H/T Meighan O’Toole)
So hopefully you watch Family Guy (or at least Disney as a child) to understand how amazing this is… the show imagined what it would look like if the characters were all transported into the wonderful world of Disney. The illustrators did an amazing job on this one. Total classic.
Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, famous for his paintings of small children and animals, has a new solo exhibition in Hong Kong called Life is Only One. It recently opened at the Asia Society, and the title of the show comes from Nara’s artwork of the same name. This painting features a child holding a skull and contemplating existence. Conceptually, this isn’t foreign territory for Nara. In an interview with Asia Society, he explains, “When I was a child, the word “life” itself, of course, was a foreign concept. After turning 50, however, and with the deaths of people close to me and with the recent earthquake, I started to think about life more realistically — the limits of life, and the importance of what one can accomplish during that time.”
The children seen in Nara’s works represent what’s inside his head. He describes to Asia Society:
The children were not something I had sought or thought out, but in trying to capture what was in front of my eyes, they appeared as I tried to capture what was formless in my mind. I think, therefore, that my world expands upon my past experiences and memories, and the speaker for my own mind appears as a child. But really, if anything, those children appeared very naturally on the picture plane.
Life is Only One is on view until July 26 of this year. (Via Hi Fructose)
Anouk Mercier’s work centers around the notion of escapism through the fabrication of narrative. Relying on the nostalgia of Romanticism and mythology to depict melancholic worlds and characters, her drawings celebrate both the power of the imagination to escape the quotidian and the mundane, whilst also exploring the mysterious, the abysmal and the uncanny that often lurks behind idylls.
Presented as illustrations of an enigmatic tale, her drawings range from tenebrous Animalia portraits, to haunting landscapes and mysterious ‘mini-worlds’, laced with decorative flora. The artist invites viewers to engage with this fantastical world, whilst yet creating the illusion that it can only be observed through a distancing window. Positioning the viewer in doing so, as an entranced voyeur, enticed into formulating a narrative based on the visual fragments presented.
Adrienne Kammerer’s exquisite graphite drawings depict an ongoing narrative exploring the history of magic set in a fictitious past. Through beautifully rendered figurative portraits and environments, Kammerer intuitively combines historic folklore with documented and imagined instances of magic, mythology and the occult. Drawing influence from the fear and superstitions rooted in childhood, Kammerer’s images conjure memories of the past while offering a subtly dark humor indicative of their present existence.