Disturbingly Erotic Paintings Capture Growing Up And Innocence Lost

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For her frightening and beautiful portraits, the artist and designer Tamara Muller uses her own face, pasting it atop various haunting figures. Within the context of these crudely drawn bodies, her features, seen over and over again, take on an uncanny, trance-like quality, allowing them to collectively span her entire lifetime from girlhood to the present. Within this expressionistic realm, the barriers between childhood’s innocence and the guilt of adulthood are disturbingly blurred to create a narrative where play and fear work in tandem.

Muller’s faces leap dizzyingly through the ages: baby, child, adult, blurring the lines between male and female in the process. A seemingly incomplete rendering of the bodily form appears to the post-Renaissance eye as primitive or childlike, creating a cognitive and visceral tension with the heavily weighted heads, which are given a disproportionate depth and dimensionality. For this reason, the fleshy, flushed faces seem dangerously precarious, as if they were too psychologically burdened to rest comfortably on a naive and doll-like body.

In a realm where child self and grown self live side-by-side, an uncomfortable eroticism emerges, carrying with it the guilt of innocence lost. In one image, a woman bears her naked breasts, her head taxed with the weight of a baby face robbed of her body. In another disturbing piece, a young girl sits on a rabbit, normally a symbol of fertility and sex, baring her disturbingly youthful genitalia. A woman holds a younger version of herself, and the latter’s body wilts, rag doll like. In these powerful images, it’s unclear who is haunting whom; is the grown self plagued by her childhood, or is it the other way around? Take a look. (via HiFructose)

James Mollison’s Poignant Photographs Of Children’s Bedrooms Around The World

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English-born photographer James Mollison was asked to come up with an engaging project that was powerful enough to bring awareness to Children’s rights. Given this thought, Mollison was compelled to capture the more private side of children all over the world- he photographed their most personal and private possession, the place in which they sleep.

“It occurred to me that a way to address some of the complex situations and social issues affecting children would be to look at the bedrooms of children in all kinds of different circumstances”

Where Children Sleep, a book in which he published these photos along with an extended caption that tells the story of each child, shows a variety of space and a variety of children – some are living in abject poverty, lacking basic food and sanitation, while others are more fortunate by being born in a country where those things are guaranteed and usually taken for granted.

“From the start, I didn’t want it just to be about ‘needy children’ in the developing world, but rather something more inclusive, about children from all types of situations.”

You can purchase the book here. (via Pulptastic)

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Website Builder Made With Color Presents: The Installations Of Linville And McKenzie

Linville and McKenzie

Linville and McKenzie

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Premiere website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Website builder Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create minimal and mobile/tablet responsive websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code. This week we’re excited to bring you the exciting collaborative work of Linville And McKenzie.

Los Angeles based artists Annelie McKenzie and Tina Linville have been collaborating since 2011 under the name Linville And McKenzie. They work together to create site responsive installations and artworks that blur the distinctions between painting and sculpture. Using a mix of found objects, studio constructions, and contributions from viewers the duo creates order out of chaos with their multimedia works that not only fill the gallery space but transform it into a colorful and at times grotesque world.
 

‘Pataphor (pictured above)
East Gatov Gallery
Where a metaphor is the comparison of two different things to reflect their similarities, a ‘pataphor starts with the similarity in order to open up a new world, something completely its own. This exhibition’s starting point was our own individual art practices. Where our inquiries overlap might also create its own new world, our own collaborative ‘pataphor.

Former Playboy Bunnies Photographed Decades Later In Provocative Portraits

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When the renowned photographer Robyn Twomey visited the Former Playboy Bunny Reunion, she shot simple and engrossing headshots of women who had been Playboy Bunnies decades before, hoping the capture the complex and often contradictory nature of their former field. On one hand the women are mesmerizingly assertive, and yet, traces of vulnerability and self-consciousness mark their wrinkled brows.

Often, the women appear empowered by their sexuality, and their expressions border on the confrontational. Abandoning any show of passive feminine gentleness, a woman spangled in hot pink costume jewelry adopts a laissez-faire posture normally associated with masculinity, pursing her lips into a smirk and tossing her shoulder back with calculated attitude. Another makes an orgasmic facial expression, relaxing her lips around her open mouth, boldly pressing her breasts towards the camera.

Yet within these powerful and stunning individuals lies a poignant anxiety over growing older, one that boarders perhaps on self-doubt, expressed through a turn of the eye, a furrowed brow. A few turn away from the camera, staring into to the corner of Twomey’s tight frame with strained smiles or almost bashful eyes, their features and the passage of time made more noticeable by make-up that glistens under the bright lights.

Each woman is deeply sympathetic and beautiful, but the work calls into question the ethics of societal pressures enforced by brands and magazines like Playboy. When budding sexuality is valued above all, and when young women are both objectified and exalted, where does that leave aging women? The work is far from an indictment of its subjects; instead, it captures the complexities of a controversial industry that toes the line between supposed empowerment and potential degradation. What do you think? (via BUST and Feature Shoot)

Jonpaul Douglass’ Amusing And Surreal Photographs Of “Pizza In The Wild”

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Los Angeles-based photographer Jonpaul Douglass gives us a glimpse into the secret lives of pizzas in his series Pizza in the Wild. These strange and amusing images are just that – perfectly-shaped pies that are alone in this crazy world, draping themselves over street signs, satellite dishes, and even a pony.

These photographs were inspired by a graffitied image of pizza that Douglass saw in his neighborhood. He was tickled by the sight and decided to replicate it using the real deal, but wanted a very specific type of pizza. It had to be the quintessential pie, like the one the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would devour. Douglass found the perfect pizza in the form of Little Caesar’s $5 pepperoni pizzas.

All told, Douglass has gone through 20 pizzas or so in his series. In an interview with Global Yodel, he reveals that some are better kept than others:

Much of time I will pick up two pizzas and then after I run around town photographing them I will put them in my fridge in case I get another opportunity  If you look at the series you can see that some pizzas are fresh and some look to be days old. This works because some situations call for a floppy pizza and some call for a stiff pizza. I also must admit that there has been times where a used pizza gets eaten anyhow, it’s tough to ride around with a freshly baked pizza and not be tempted. (Via Neatorama and Global Yodel)

Ryohei Hase’s Hellish Monsters Capture The Beauty And Terror Of Human Experience

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The subjects of the painter Ryohei Hase’s work are, in his view, sadness and gloom; with his mythical paintings, he builds his own bestiary of wolf-man hybrids and skull-faced monsters, weaving tragic narratives in shimmering grays and black-blues. Like religious triptychs, his paneled images seem to narrate a darkly imaginative story of innocence, violence, love, and redemption.

Hase’s use of baby animals is anything but cute; tiny, effeminate rabbit heads are used to convey a sorrowful isolation that centers around the assumed innocence of the young. In contrast to the animal-headed figures who tear at each other’s throats, a young, downy rabbit head sits atop the body of a young woman as she delicately peers at the ground, her breasts barely poking out of a white brassiere; again, we see her as she lays in her lonesomeness, naked on the ground.

As the narrative progresses, these human beasts fall from innocence into experience, now wolf-headed and like hysterical ancient Greek maenads, women lock bodies with one another in battle, breasts jangling and nipples erect. An antlered man claws at the bloodied head of a wolf; a clan of pig-headed humans gaze at a roasted pig, their cannibalism and cruelty seen in their glistening sweaty brows, their gleaming red eyes. As these animalistic men fall into anarchy, they descend into an evermore hellish landscape.

Through the epic series are notes of love and redemption within a fallen world; a gentle wolf head welcomes a collapsed women into his realm, lovingly bracing her fully-human body. Men die, their skulls ripped from the back of their heads, and yet they keep running, peacefully and determinedly looking into the future. In fallenness, there’s color and seduction; a rainbow-encased lioness wears only a pair of barely-there panties, and a dead fish man drifts to the bottom of the ocean, leaving a magnetic fiery glow in his wake. (via Juxtapoz)

Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada’s Portraits Are So Massive They Can Be Seen From Google Earth

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Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada is known for his culture-jamming renegade advertising disruptions, and even more so for his large-scale charcoal portraits of local residents on the buildings in their neighborhoods (previously featured here). But his newer works have gotten bigger, so large many of them can be seen from Google Earth.

“Working at very large scales becomes a personal challenge but it also allows me to bring attention to important social issues, the size of the piece is intrinsic to the value of its message,” says the Cuban American artist. “Creativity is always applied in order to define an intervention made only with local materials, with no environmental impact, that works in harmony with the location.”

Works like WISH (above) took several years to complete, and involve a time-consuming process which begins by using a plotted grid system and only recently available Topcon GPS technology to map the area. 30,000 wooden stakes were applied as markers to an open area in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s Titanic Quarter shipyards, resulting in a portrait drawn by volunteers using nearly 8 million pounds of sand, rock and soil. The massive scale of the project is balanced by the delicacy of its subject, an anonymous local girl Rodríguez-Gerada met while planning the project (via blog4uuntitled).

The light Is Wiggly In This Shell Game: New Paintings By Melissa Brown

dowsing700h_960nightsurf1_960ShellGameCoverImageMelissa Brown is a printmaker who has turned her attention towards painting and animation.  Her paintings repeat imagery in the way a print might, but also take on the physical quality of paint.  This hybridity allows the paintings to have elements that are both familiar and strange.  Brown’s animation is also a hybrid of print and paint.  The animation you are about to click on is set to a mellow carnivalesque tune.  Melissa has worked with games, in their various forms, to create her art.  She has used the folded paper Fortune Teller we all used in grade school, and all the way up to an all-night performance on how to win the State Lottery in front of a movie screen filled with diagrams.  Brown’s new animation keeps with this interest in games.  It is based on an old street con, the shell game.  You can see that animation in the Dinter Project Room.

When I have spoken to Melissa about her work she always starts by telling me something very technical, like something about the lighting, but we eventually talk about how the patterns and spaces in the work make us feel.  This new work has a sort of physical effect on me, like a great bass line that comes out of nowhere, and, even though you’re in a bad mood, makes you dance with your seat belt on at a red light in your car at an intersection.  Brown is in a group show at a Bright Lyons called Freak Furniture Fan Club with two other great printmakers Leif Golberg and Erin Rosenthal.