Ferdi Rizkiyanto creates digital art that speaks volumes to the strength of the medium, utilizing high-definition rendering, texture, light and incredibly minute details to create emotionally narrative scenes from the ordinary. By day, the Jakarta-based Rizkiyanto works in advertising and art directing, creating his own works as exercises in visual storytelling to enhance his skills.
In works like Uncharted (above), Riskiyanto takes a basic object and adds motion to create compelling narratives which actually unfold through the small details. Giving a twist to the classic tale of Icharus, where several wax figures try to reach the bright light of the candle they emerge from, skillfully shown to be melting the closer they get to reaching their goal. Meanwhile, several figures at the base of the candle appear to be boosting up the explorers, as well as vainly attempting to hold the whole eroding structure from toppling. Perhaps this is why the artist fully explores the Lilliputian details in his narratives, because the closer a viewer is drawn into the work, the more they investigate and learn the story of the work. (via mymodernmet)
Stockholm-based photographer David Magnusson captures bizarre father-dauther portraits in the U.S. These portraits are inspired by a very disturbing ritual called Purity Balls, a relatively new Christian religious, wedding-like ceremony that inspires American virgin girls (as young as four years of age ) to promise purity to their fathers.
The formal events tends to include ballroom dancing, a keynote speaker, and a lot young girls in white dresses. During the ceremony, the fathers, the so-called “High Priest of the home and family,” make a pledge to protect their daughters’ “purity” during the affair; often times they exchange purity rings.
“You are married to the Lord and your father is your boyfriend.” – A father says to his daughter during a Purity ball.
Intrigued and fascinated by an article about the topic, Magnusson took the iniciative to investigate these balls, and its participants, further.To create this photographic series, the artist spent five months traveling to and attending purity balls in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. On each occasion, he spent about an hour interviewing and photographing the father-daughter pair. The interactions between father and daughter on camera were up to the subjects themselves and not at all directed by Magnusson.
Many of us would think that the photographs look and feel odd; and not that there is anything weird about hugging and holding your father’s hands, but the way in which these pairs interact…most of us can agree that it is a bit creepy. The artist, however, keeps his judgement out of the picture and he tells his audience that for the most part the fathers are caring and respectful, and the daughter possess their own character and are often very independent. How true this is to each of us personally differs, of course. This very point, the idea of relative truths and opinion, is what Magnusson is most interested in:
“The purpose hasn’t been either to belittle or glorify the ceremonies–the interpretation [of the photographs] is all up to the eye of the viewer.”
The series of photographs are now part of Purity, a book of text and images put together by the artist himself. Purity comes out in August, and you can order it here. If you are interested in learning more about this ceremony you can check out The Virgin Daughters, a documentary that further examines the nature of Purity Balls. (via FastCo Design)
Eerie and dark staged photography from Jennifer Hudson. Hudson is a current MFA candidate at the University of New Mexico. She recently finished Medic, a series of photos exploring the breadth of human relationships during illness and recovery. Really dig the compositions with these and the cold sepia tone. The emotional content of each piece comes through really strongly even though her sensibility is slightly on the quiet side. A nice example of affective work that doesn’t need to hit you on the head to fully come across. Hudson says that her conservative, spiritual upbringing in rural Texas led her onto an “imaginitive, curious, and experimental” path. Definitely feeling that.
See images from Medic and Flora, another recent series from the artist, after the jump.
Photographer Antonia Basler‘s series Content Aware makes use of a Photoshop tool of the same name. The content aware tool is used to erase objects from images and replace the space with content the program judges to be appropriate. Basler’s series begins with old family photos. She’s highlighted the faces of the photo’s subjects and applied the tool, then highlighted the inverse and applied the tool for a second image. The resulting images are a cyber sort of surreal, like a creepy reality glitch. [via]
Victoria Williams, Valley State Prison for Women, Chowchilla, California.
Anonymous , Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility, Ionia, Michigan.
James Bowlin, United States Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois.
Anonymous Backdrop Painted in State Correctional Facility, Otisiville, New York.
Photographer Alyse Emdur offers a fascinating look into the world of prisoner portraiture in her ongoing project Prison Landscapes. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, visitation rooms of penitentiaries have backdrops where friends and family can get pictures taken of/with the inmate to commemorate the time they spent together. Often, these backgrounds are idyllic landscapes that offer the inmate a moment to emotionally escape their sentence. Emdur’s series is two-fold; It features inmates posing in front of these faux scenes, as well as the rooms that the giant paintings inhabit.
There’s a stark and ironic contrast between the prisoner-painted backdrops and the rest of their interiors. “Prison visiting room portraits are constructed to intentionally leave out the reality of prison. The aim of my project is not to be an authority on that which is left out, but to rather make the artifice visible. Although the paintings on the backdrops represent freedom, they are vehicles to control the representation of prisons and prisoners.” Emdur explains to Featureshoot.
To obtain the some of the portraits seen here, Emdur spent years corresponding with inmates. “My role was to document a system that I did not have physical access to. I did this by asking those with access, to send me their own photographs,” she says. The limitation of her available sources adds to the institutional critique of prisons that are inherent within the scope of this project. (Via Featureshoot)
I just got back from checking out the undergrad show at UCLA Design Media Arts, and I was impressed with a lot of the work, but there was one young artist that really stood out to me: Canon Call. Call’s work is largely comprised of illustration on found materials, and the sincerely charming thing about these little disruptive doodles is their ability to build upon the image they are layered on top of in order to develop a dialogue around pop-culture and society at large. The best part of the work is the hidden irony behind the naming of each piece’s source file… each JPEG on his site is titled “dontsteal.jpg” or “dontcopythis.jpg – and various other alterations of that phrase. Genius. The work itself feels like a weird mashup of pop art and a surrealist exquisite corpse of sorts. I am very much looking forward to watching Call’s work develop.
The Wu-Tang Clan, one of rap’s biggest and most influential acts, recently announced that they plan to release a single, hyper-expensive copy of an unreleased, secretly recorded record, to bring about debates about the current value of music. To heighten the value of their project, the owner will not only own the thirty songs on the album, but also the casing, which Forbes Magazine’s Zack O’Malley Greenburg describes as,“The lustrous container was handcrafted over the course of three months by British-Moroccan artist Yahya, whose works have been commissioned by royal families and business leaders around the world. Soon, it will contain a different sort of art piece: the Wu-Tang Clan’s double-album The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, recorded in secret over the past few years.”
Says the de facto leader of the boundary pushing hip-hop group, Robert ‘RZA’ Diggs, “We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before. “We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music. We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.”
On a site titled ezclziv scluzay (“exclusive-ly”), the RZA explains the concept behind the album, “History demonstrates that great musicians such as Beethoven, Mozart and Bach are held in the same high esteem as figures like Picasso, Michelangelo and Van Gogh. However, the creative output of today’s artists such as The RZA, Kanye West or Dr. Dre, is not valued equally to that of artists like Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst or Jean-Michel Basquiat…Is exclusivity versus mass replication really the 50 million dollar difference between a microphone and a paintbrush? Is contemporary art overvalued in an exclusive market, or are musicians undervalued in a profoundly saturated market?”
Plans have already begun to “tour” the listening party, as well as the one-of-a-kind album itself, at major museums across the world, before it becomes available for purchase. Will this gesture be enough to bring music sharing back to its pre-Napster value? As stated at the end of the site’s Edictum “This album is a piece of contemporary art. The debate starts here…” (via Forbes)