London based production team Sam&Sam have created a great mini documentary on British illustrator Jake Blanchard that gets into the artists process of printmaking, his anxieties of being a freelance illustrator, and his favorite projects. Watch the full documentary after the jump.
Dara Scully is a Spanish writer and photographer who captures dark, poetic scenes verging on fairy tale and myth. Nude figures inhabit the faded forests. Esoteric rituals transpire on quiet leaf beds. Death is present in the form of insects, prone bodies, and bleeding wounds, and rebirth occurs as birds escape their abandoned cages. As beautiful and graceful as Scully’s images is her creative biography, which reveals her sylvan, literary essence:
“Forest creature, winter girl. I like birches and aspen leaves. In my other life, I was a white deer, a fox, or a swallow. I’ve never flown. I drink milk tea and my favorite word is chrysalis. My heart belongs to Chopin and my body to the horses, but I’ve never ridden any. I read Jaeggy, Nabokov, Duras, and Müller. I read because it saves me. […] If I have to choose a sound, I’d say: the wind shaking the branches of the trees. Or rain. I always wear dresses and man shoes. I [have] written since I was thirteen. I’m afraid of moths. I have six moles in my pale chest.” (Source)
The power of conceptual photographers like Scully lies in the ability to tell stories in a single frame. Just as she encapsulates an entire sensorial experience in the above paragraph, each photo is a compressed narrative overflowing with hidden meaning and an emotional presence—the innocence of youth, the pain of growing, the sorrow of death. Blending reality with fiction, Scully employs subtly powerful symbols—such as the dead birds—to speak their meaning. Deeply subjective, her ambiguous scenes allow the viewer to instill their own significance.
Ella & Pitr are offering the world another version of their art. At a smaller scale, they hand draw and hand make lithographic prints. Always representing their signature characters in the style that defines them. With their ‘Only drawings’ pieces, they add another way to communicate with people, and offer the possibility for their fans to own a piece of their world.
In the video featured below this article, the duo is filmed in the process of making a lithographic print. Lithography is an ancient printing process which uses a stone or a metal plate with a smooth surface to produce paper prints. We watch them drawing together, synchronized and helping each other out. While one is drawing with a paintbrush, the other one is drawing with a nib. The illustration is carefully detailed and it takes the couple five hours to finish it. The characters remain the same approachable, poignant personalities facing life with fear and humour. This drawing called ‘Le Poids De Choses’ meaning the ‘The Weight Of Things’ is developed into a series. Each drawing is personalized, signed and annotated with a serial number; which makes each of them unique and singular.
From giant drawings on rooftops to smaller scaled illustrations, Ella & Pitr are demonstrating that they can appeal to any kind of viewers. They are always careful to go back to street art as it’s their original way to get attention and to create interaction with the public.
Brooklyn artist James Blagden isn’t worried about offending you with racial stereotypes. Or rather the aim is to offend to get the point across. Fusing together a myriad of influences and topics found in African American popular culture, the artist pokes fun at the ideas and images we accept on a regular broadcasted basis. Whatever the common conception, the nerdiness of Asians in mainstream cinema, African Americans and basketball, gold teeth and bling, he’s done it all. Check out an interview Format Mag did on James.
I Must Be Dead (Mckay Jaffe) is a Pheonix-based photographer who challenges conventional representations of identity through experimental portraiture. Rich with narrative and exploding with color, his works are consistently enrapturing and unsettling, in that they collide sensuality with horror, beauty with death. The faces of his bizarre models are intensely expressive, and usually obscured in some way, such as with paint, masks, and/or deep shadows. Breaching the line between fantasy and reality, his works are evocative yet alien, begging the question: “is this real?” Some of Jaffe’s work comes from the Burning Man festival, where he captures subjects befitting to his oeuvre: people actively inhabiting alternative identities and lifestyles.
On the I Must Be Dead Facebook page, Jaffe’s tongue-in-check biography reveals his counter-cultural approach to art and societal expectations. He claims that he has excelled in “unprofessional photography since 1845” and has won “5 Nobel peace prizes,” poking fun at conventional understandings of “success” and thereby marking his work as subversive. “Being human is a program,” Jaffe wrote to me, when I inquired about the social commentary present in his work. “You are designed to act and feel relative to the life you are given.”
For him, the “way out” of repressive structures is to test the possibilities of identity. Life is an evolving, experimental process; as Jaffe writes, “[You must] learn to learn, learn to grow, learn to accept, learn to see things from the other side, learn to laugh, learn to love, learn to live your life.” His photographic ventures into the realms of beauty, intensity, and absurdity are very much part of a learning process — one in which the limits of selfhood are explored in the development of an open self-understanding. (Via Beautiful.Bizarre)
We received an email today with the subject line: “anonymity is knowing everybody that knows of you” and the mysterious URL in the body: banksysucks.com. Followed the link to find the not-so-subtle .gif splash page above with a cheery midi rendition of the Cheers tune. (Presumably for its hook, “where everyone knows your name.”) Someone doesn’t like Bansky, I take it. Whether you love him or loathe him, Banksy has been the closest thing to this decade’s controversial Warholian art star. The site above clearly takes a jab at the fact that the identity of the internationally-famous British street artist is still “unknown.” Is Banksy still anonymous and “street” when the likes of Jude law and Brangelina shell out cool millions on his work? What do you think?
All of Alex Kisilevich’s photos are mysterious, quirky, surreal, and dark which meets all of my requirements for a great image. Alex has so much good work on his site that it’s hard to choose what to post. I went ahead and went with his most recent body of work titled Kalima but i couldn’t resist tossing in a few of my faves from other series towards the end of the post.