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Robert Mapplethorpe’s Early Polaroids, 1970-1975

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Robert Mapplethorpe, the timelesss American photographer most active in the 1980’s, was mainly known for his highly stylized black and white flower series. However, his most iconic and prolific works, various series of photographs dealing with homoeroticism and sadomasochistic BSDM acts between men of diverse cultural backgrounds, fuelled national debate in the NSA over the public funding of controversial artworks.

Some of these photographs, made visible by The Mapplethorpe Foundation, were part of his first solo gallery exhibition, ‘Polaroids’, at the Light Gallery in 1973.

Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. Two years after his Polaroids exhibition, he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine.

Polaroids © The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation (Via Vice and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation)

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Gerry Judah’s Huge Automobile Installations

 

For a while now, Gerry Judah has produced extremely large-scale outdoor installations. And he’s become pretty good at it. Especially notable are his automobile-themed works, which suspend scale-sized model cars high in the air as part of whirling, vertigo-inducing sculpture work. Kinda like Steve Tobin’s work, except with horsepower. (via)

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Niccoló Bonfadini’s Othewordly Photos Of Frozen Forests

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Some people have an innate understanding of nature, and our place in it. Very few have the dedication to capture the most foreboding environments, even though these landscapes often offer the most complete portrait of the diversity and beauty of our planet. Niccoló Bonfadini is one of those few. The photographer (and environmental engineering student) captured these sensational landscape photographs while travelling through the Finnish lapland in the dead of the winter season.

With snow piled high and enveloping even the tallest trees, the Monza, Italy-based photographer offers a panoramic view of the very nature of winter. Taken at sunrise in temperatures reportedly ranging from -40°C to -15°C, Bonfadini’s photos show the plains and trees transformed into a world of towering clouds and endless white, carved with ice and snow. And with the snow covering everything (and all visual stimuli removed), the power of the season, and Life’s ability to persist through even the most brutal of environments, is shown.

Says the photographer and ardent traveller, “From the rugged mountain peaks to the fury of the ocean, from the snowy winter panoramas to the dense forests, the landscape never fails to impress and inspire those who observe it. Landscape photography is one of the most difficult kinds of photography. The artist has to be patient and determined to trasform what is ordinary in something extraordinary. But, above all, the photographer has to feel the beauty and the majesty of Nature.” (via mymodernmet)

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Sam Falconer

Sam Falconer is a freelance illustrator based in the UK, whose portraits of famous figures such as Jack Nicholson and Bette Davis mix textures, patterns and colours in a playful manner. Many of the collage renderings evoke the work of John Baldessari in a quirky play on pop imagery. More after the jump.

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Norihiro Sekintani

Japanese artist Sekintani takes all the dirty thoughts you’ve had whirling in the cesspools of your mind and makes them into these crazy horror-movie collages. He’s definitely gone there and further: melting childrens’ faces, mutated breasts with Murakami-esque googley eyes and a hide-and-seek Pikachu peeking out of female genitalia. Yup, he’s definitely gone there.

This artist was brought to my attention via MAFIA-HUNT.

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Sponsored Video: Foot Locker’s DJ & Mix With Your Feet

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DJs have always set the tone for what happens on the dance for but in Foot Locker’s new project the dancers set the beat. Like something out of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean, the turntable is now a dance floor. Working with one of the world’s leading installation artists Footlocker created a live action mixing deck where dancers can use their feet to create music. Using beats and fx sounds dancers reverse engineer the music with their bodies and their sneakers. The result is an imaginative and fun video that brings together marries motion and music of music with everyone’s favorite clothing item, the sneaker.

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Ritxi Ostáriz

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We don’t often highlight web design, but I thought that this recent work by Ritxi Ostáriz was worth showing. The site uses a very interesting animated background that uses moving image in quite an entrancing and hypnotic way. Check out the website by clicking here.

 

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Fantasy Island: Charles Avery’s Art Tells Us The Story Of An Imaginary Place

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Charles Avery‘s artistic practice is centered around a fictional island. Everything he creates has some connection to either the history of this place, or specimens and relics that are found there. Since 2004 Avery has been building the story of this place through intricately detailed drawings, sculptures, installations, and texts.

The gateway to the Island is the town of Onomatopoeia – once the stepping off point of the pioneers who first came to the place, turned colonial outpost, turned boom town, bustling metropolis, depression ravaged slum, to regenerated city of culture and tourist destination. (Source)

Avery builds on his own personal history as a starting point to this Island. Born on the Isle of Mull off the West Coast of Scotland, it seems as if he is commenting on the influence the British Monarchy has had over his home country, and also on numerous other countries and islands. His oeuvre is concerned with the progress of a nation – from rags to riches, and back again. The retelling of this folklore is a complex one. His work includes samples of the flora and fauna found there (different types of tree branches and birds), the fashions worn (a lot of different headpieces) and also studies of the local’s behavior. He creates a full anthropological study.

His past projects include “The Island” – concerned with the same place, just with the information organized differently. His attention to detail is so great, he even shows us the type of creature that we would encounter in the Island’s pantheon: a strange hybrid of dogs joined at the head, engaged in battle. Judging from these animals and the frenzied activity he depicts in his studies of the town square, this Island is definitely one I am glad to visit theoretically. (Via HiFructose)

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