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Private Photo Booth Moments

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Charlotte Niel’s series Behind the Curtain captures the moments before, during, and after patrons’ engagements with carnival and fair photo booths. These photographs are light and fun, bright and summery. Photo booths have consistently been a place of discovery and wonder, a place to experience the excitement of pulling a curtain behind you to allow some privacy in the midst of a very public setting. In a culture where so much of our photography experience is digital, and the tangibility of the photograph does not seem to be as privileged or common as it once it was, the photo booth is a place that offers this immediate experience. I particularly enjoy the variety of color in these photographs and Niel’s captures of the bottom halves of the photo booth’s subjects. There’s a sense of mystery and curiosity that these images evoke, and I think that largely has something to do with the merging of these private moments in a public setting captured with a public eye.

Of her series, Niel explains, “How many times have we looked at an old photograph and wondered about the person in the frame? People or family members we never knew, set in places we never visited or that have changed beyond recognition. Photos are often the only means to link us to our past or the past of others. They help us not to forget. They become visual memories. For these reasons, I find it fascinating to watch what happens at photo booths at county fairs. People come with family and friends to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, friendships or just to make an annual visit to the booths. For others, it is just a way to capture who they are or with whom they are at that moment, on their own private stage. The result is a body of work of people who shared with me moments that took place in front of and behind the curtain, documented for unknown viewers. With my camera, it became a transformation of a private moment into a public one.”

Charlotte Niel lives and works in San Francisco.

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Witty And Humorous Conceptual Installations

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The conceptual installations of artist Ole Ukena have a certain subtle humor.  However, the installations don’t seem intentionally funny as much as the surprising innocence of a young insight.  Each installation seems to pose a simple question that isn’t easily answered.  Appropriately, Ukena is also the founder of a foundation that organizes collaborations between artists and youths worldwide.  Ukena says of his process;

“I am not limiting myself to one medium. I simply can’t. It’s a constant adventure, finding new materials in the countries in which I travel, encountering objects or phrases that can be transformed into specific, meaningful pieces. While my work often displays a strong conceptual nature, I am also very drawn to the intuitive.This balancing energy forces me to step out of my mind and just create. These forces are like my left and right hand. My works try to create a map of the human mind, in an attempt to tell a tale about the very nature of it with all its possibilities, limitations, irritations, and hopes.”

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Kohei Nawa’s Cloud Installation Made Entirely Of Bubbles

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Japanese artist Kohei Nawa created an amazing foam installation that took over the entire room of a gallery in Japan. The perfect finishing touch, tiny specks of light like a night’s sky, added a dash of poetry to the ambiance.

Titled Foam, Nawa experimented with various combinations of glycerin, detergent, and water until he had realized the ideal, perfect, pliable foam, one that would not be affected by gravity or lose shape. The installation, which was being altered continuously by eight different pumps in the room, had an eternally shifting presence which made the clouds even more realistic. Looking at it scientifically, he said:

“Small cells bubble up ceaselessly with the slight oscillations of a liquid. The cells gather together, totally covering the liquid as they spontaneously form a foam, an organically structured conglomeration of cells. The risen volumes of foam link together and reach saturation, but continue to swell, occasionally losing vitality and spreading out over the ground.” (Excerpt from Source)

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Zachari Logan Depicts Hybridized Nature In The Exploration Of Masculinity And Queer Identities

Eunuch Tapestry 5 (detail) (2015).

Eunuch Tapestry 5 (detail) (2015).

Leshy 2 (2014).

Leshy 2 (2014).

Fountain 1 (2013).

Fountain 1 (2013).

Root 2 (in progress).

Root 2 (in progress) (2015).

Zachari Logan is a Saskatoon-based artist who creates stunningly detailed drawings, installations, and ceramic works that explore representations of masculinity and queer identities. Proliferating throughout his works are thick amalgams of nature; beards and hair sprout into lush habitats for various animals (see the “Wild-Man” series); ceramic petals cluster together like piles of delicate, bleached bones (“Fountain 1”); and elsewhere, a mythological body composed entirely of flora and fauna melds with the surrounding forest (“Leshy 2”). Interestingly, the plants depicted are of diverse origins, sourced from images collected by Logan in North America and Europe. These beautifully-woven hybrid landscapes represent the liminal spaces inhabited by queer identities — that is, those vital spaces between “here” and “there” that unsettle the restrictive binaries of heteronormative gender and sexuality.

Many of these works are interpretative self-portraits of Logan, created in the exploration of his own body, memories, and sense of place. However, in his more recent works, Logan has portrayed the body more as a “catalyst,” thereby allowing him to “re-wild his body as a queer embodiment of nature” (Source). One of his most spectacular and ongoing works, the Eunuch Tapestry Series, exemplifies this shift from self-portraiture to a more objective exploration of identity, both corporeal and incorporeal. Based on the fourteenth-century Flemish Unicorn Tapestries, the Eunuch Tapestries feature camouflaged bodies (self-representations of Logan) crouching and searching amidst walls of dense, dark foliage. The newest work, “Tapestry 5” (shown above), features a nude, shadowy figure moving quietly through the hybridized forest. Whereas the Unicorn Tapestries represent a search for a mythical creature, Logan’s works metaphorically explore the liminal terrain of queerness, discovering new bodily narratives infused with history, myth, and presence.

Always investigating and expanding the boundaries between the physical and metaphysical, Logan’s ceramic works draw these two realms together. “Fountain 1,” for example, is a time-based installation whose bone-like flowers accumulate every time it is shown, proliferating like a living thing despite its sterile, ceramic composition. The Root Series also represents a philosophical blending of physical body and metaphysical time, place, and memory; detached body parts surrealistically sprout flourishing weeds. In these works, the body is both the adornment and the catalyst, the tangible and intangible vessel through which we derive personal meaning and identity.

Logan is currently attending the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn (ending this month). His “Eunuch Tapestry 5” is on display at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art until Tuesday, June 23rd. He is currently exhibiting at Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto until July 11th, and is also featured this month at Western Project in Los Angeles. Keep an eye out for Logan’s upcoming projects in in Atlanta, Seattle, Regina (Canada), and Verona, and visit his website and Facebook page to see more beautiful and exploratory works.

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Alan Powdrill

SHOOTING_TOURISTS_Vatican_05_POWDRILL Alan Powdrill is a photographer from the UK. His work is nothing less than interesting. His latest series, “Shooting Tourists,” consists of photos of tourists that are, well, taking photos.

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Sam Vanallemeersch Draws For You

Delightfully odd drawings by Belgian artist Sam Vanallemeersch.

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Abu-Bakarr Mansaray’s futuristic Blueprints

Abu-Bakarr Mansaray creates futuristic images using an aesthetic similar to blueprints. Engineering plays a large role in these works that lay out a design for space-like machines and hybrid alien-robot figures. His works are intricately constructed with scientific precision and laboring detail combining image and text. While these futuristic prototypes draft the structure of machines and figures, they also reveal an inner narrative of conflict, war, and turmoil. Blueprints are highly neat and organized, yet Mansaray chose to subvert this aesthetic and portray his vision as chaotic, powerful, and in motion as though they have a life of their own.

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Pascal Pierrou Explores Alternative Feminine Beauty -NSFW

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French photographer Pascal Pierrou takes interest in creating the ultimate ‘modern girl’ photo catalogue. Pierrou, a fashion photographer, is interested in showcasing alternative ‘feminine beauty’, the type that we are not really used to seeing in popular television or mass-produced advertisements. He primarily focuses on girls with short hair/no hair, tattoos, and piercings. While these women’s looks are not uncommon per se, Pierrou is looking to create a fashion-like photoshoot that shows off these women in a way that is uncommon and unexpected. For instance, his way of pairing a naked woman with a sword tells us that he is looking to show off a double-sided profile, one that  shows off a rough edge, and another that features the soft lines of a slender and feminine naked body.

This idea of rough and soft lines is somewhat of a pattern amongst the photos on this series. These characteristics are indicative of what Pierrou thinks about today’s modern girl- often times, a woman that carries a powerful and tough, but ultimately soft appearance and character.

His inspiration for the series was Andy Warhols ‘Factory’ which was popular in the 60s in New York. Pierrou imagined people of a new factory, free women, feminists, artists that would exhibit their skin, hair, tattoos and words without being ashamed.

(via IGNANT)

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