Japanese-born Hiroyuki Nakamura is a painter of displaced imagery. His paintings are constructs of old-meets-new at the ironic seam where east-meets-west. Although visually, these constructs are voices of the artist’s imagination, he’s managed to capture something very tangible about life in the western desert – a lifestyle where one makes do, where routine is determined by the landscape, and where one makes a life by piecing together the randomness of what one finds, which are often the leftovers of passersby.
Izziyana Suhaimi blends pared down drawings with ornate embroidery in her seductive illustrations. Using craft based techniques, she is attracted to the evidence of the hand and its time-consuming aspect, which runs counter to the instant gratification and mass-production centered age of today. (via)
The Boston Globe has been posting a great collection of photographs from the disasterous BP oil spill. While these images are beautifully taken they are constant reminders of our greedy need for more oil and our relentless desire to make a profit with disregard to how our actions will effect our future. More images after the jump.
When the artist Adam Brown paints a portrait, he sprinkles cremated human remains into his palette, hoping to memorialize the dead in a way that celebrates their individualism and vitality; each image, most commissioned by the loved one of a recent decedent, serves as an alternative to the traditional urn.
After Brown’s clients submit a sampling of sandy ashes, the artist dons a pair of gloves and mixes them with paint to create personalized renditions and imaginings of the dead that span from straight black and white portraiture to dreamy colored abstractions. He carefully preserves any and all unused ashes, ultimately returning them to his client.
The project, titled Ashes to Art, poignantly aims to reconstruct the deconstructed body, fixing delicate cremains with glue and paint; in this way, his paintings work to incapsulate the entirety of the human body and lifetime into one sly smile, one glint of the eye, or one splash of color.
Brown’s ambitious body of work subverts morbid thoughts on human remains, adopting the medium to create shockingly cheerful faces, heavily textured hands, and vividly yellow flames. The idea of permanence figures prominently into the work; not unlike the popular ritualistic scattering of ashes over the sea, his landscape paintings elegantly incorporate the corporeal into the seemingly eternal earth, everlasting sky, or immovable mountains.
With each work, the artist ensures the respectful remembrance of human life with a simple inscription; lest a piece get lost or auctioned and taken for an average painting, he writes a disclaimer on its backing: this work of art contains human remains. (via Daily Mail and Oddity Central)
Somber black and white photographs by designer Greg Ponchak.
Zanele Muholi, a South African activist and visual artist, explores and re-imagines the intimate portrayal of the lives of black lesbian women in South Africa.
Moreover, Being, the title of this collection, according to Muholi, aims to question the construction of sexuality “and then [the] deconstruct of ourselves […] in order to see the parts that make up [the] whole.”
Black women and sexuality, in conjunction, have always been topics of heated conversation, as it not only refers to sexuality, but also a matter of colonialism and white patriarchy.
The artist is concerned with her sexual identity coming off as ‘un-African’ – perhaps a product of years of stigmatization on behalf of white colonialist and patriarchal societies, deeming the black female sexual identity as one that is hyper-sexualized and strictly heterosexual- or even then, the image of a black female to “reproduce” heterosexuality and white patriarchy.
Artist James Nizam calls photographs documents of ‘light sculptures’. For the series he captures the sun and manipulates it into various ‘structures’. Using precise cuts into the exterior of the house, small mirrors mounted on ball joints, and studying the movement of the summer sun Nazam was able to capture these images. A synthetic fog emphasizes the concentrated beams of light, making them almost palpable like floating fluorescent light bulbs. See photos of Nizam preparing the house after the jump.
During his graduate studies in microbiology, artist Zachary Copfer invented a new type of photography, one grown entirely of living bacteria. By exposing sections of microscopic organisms to radiation, he accelerates their growth, allowing them to multiply and compose vivid photographic portraits. Copfer’s subjects include both artists and scientists who inspire him; famous images Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso are replicated in Serratia marcescens, a human pathogen often associated with infections of the urinary tract and respiratory systems. The portrait of Stephen Fry is made of bacteria found in the actor’s own body.
Copfer’s portraits closely resemble the art of Roy Lichtenstein; his faces bear the same comic book-style polka dots made famous by the legendary pop artist. Also like Lichtenstein’s paintings and prints, they are duplicates of mass-produced, iconic public domain images. But quite unlike the work of Lichenstein and his colleagues, Copfer’s images are imbued with an undeniably unique and human tenor. These bacterial cells, some drawn from the bodies of the subjects they portray, are corporeal and therefore inevitably personal. In contrast the ink used by the pop artists, these cells will someday die. Though iconic, these portraits are ultimately of mortal men, and the fact that they are rendered here in disease-causing bacteria only underscores that fact.
In addition to portraiture, Copfer experiments with photographs of celestial bodies. Here, in glowing green E. coli genetically modified with GFP, the vast cosmos are paradoxically formed from the microscopic, reminding us that in the end, all matter great and small is profoundly interconnected. Take a look. (via Jezebel)