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Malika Gaudin-Delrieu’s Touching Photographs Of “A Happy Hermaphrodite Prostitute”

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“Hermaphrodite [sex … is] the sex of the angels,” explains Claudette, an intersex sex worker, to the photographer Malika Gaudin-Delrieu. The pair began their collaboration after meeting in Claudette’s native Switzerland, where Gaudin-Delrieu was documenting the country’s legalized prostitution. With her recent series of photographs, the artist elegantly dispels stigma around complex gender identities; as seen through her lens, Claudette is a woman, a husband, and a father.

Ideas on prostitution, a field often associated with the abuse and exploitation of women, is also complicated by the work. Here, sex work is seen as a means of self-actualization and joy; “Claudette is the opposite of a victim. She controls her life, makes her choices clearly and knowingly. She does more than just live her life, she loves it,” says Gaudin-Deirieu of her subject. A courageous activist for sex workers’ rights, our protagonist stands before a dark auditorium, bathed in spotlight, silently inhaling, poised to speak.

Laced throughout the work are subtle moments of love and intimacy. The series, romantically titled La vie en rose (presumably after the love song by Edith Piaf, a prolific French singer who was cared for by sex workers), focuses in part on Claudette’s 52 year marriage to her wife Andrée. Claudette’s quiet warmth and affections, seen in her and Andrée’s sleepy embrace, permeates throughout the entire visual narrative; with the same profound care, she counts her earnings, dresses in lingerie, rubs her neck.

Claudette describes her work as “[assuming the role of] ultimate femininity […] with happiness and a sense of relief,” and her nuanced relationship with her sensual yearning shines through in the images. We follow her as stops in the street, seduced by a lingerie shop window, as she dresses herself, fingering the textured fabrics as they cling to her body. Claudette’s life, as seen through streaming sunlight and soft darkness, is magnetic, alluring, and unexpectedly soothing, and viewers are left to ponder an indescribably complex global sexual and political landscape. What do you think? (via Feature Shoot and HuffPost)

Writer’s note: Gaudin-Deirieu’s work and this post are in no way meant to be taken as a generalization of the lives of sex workers; instead, they are meant to highlight the life an individual. As the artist explains, there are as many views on prostitution as there are people practicing it. For many, it’s a form of abuse; for Claudette, it is not.

The word “hermaphrodite” is usually considered to be offensive, and in no way is this post meant to condone or encourage the use of the word under most circumstances. Here, it is used only because Claudette herself identifies with the word. 

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Seung Hoon Parks Weaves Fractured Photographic Tapestries

Seung Hoon Parks Seung Hoon Parks Seung Hoon Parks Seung Hoon ParksSeung Hoon Park’s photographic work is created using strips of 8mm or 16mm film that’s woven together to form larger images. For the series Textus, he depicts well-known and iconic landmarks from all over the world. After the “tapestry” is assembled, Park photographs it using an 8×10 camera to creates a more texturally seamless surface. The result creates cognitive dissonance; We expect it to look tactile, while it only appears flat.

The discolored edges of the film provide a vintage feel to the overall work, as they tinge it in yellows, blues, and generally desaturate all of Park’s landscapes. The smaller images that make up Textus fracture the larger photograph in a way that it appears as a victim of some sort of disaster. They’ve been pieced so that’s almost put back together, but there’s still part of it that’s off and will always remain a little off because of it. (Via Feature Shoot)

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L017 See Jesus

Collaborative artist group L017 uses waste materials and discarded objects to create their work. My favorite pieces are these record jesus works.

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Tom Deininger’s Junk Portraits and sculptures

I’m absolutely loving these explosive junk portraits and sculptures by Tom Deininger. Comprised of found objects each piece is created with various plastic and metal debris that the artist finds. The work reminds me a little of Vik Muniz but Tom still gets a pass in my book.

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Pearl C Hsiung


I’ve seen a lot of great paintings by Pearl in the past and was excited to feature her work in Issue: V of Beautiful/Decay. However I hadn’t seen much of her work until I stumbled onto her website today. The videos are hilarious and tie into her paintings nicely. This new discovery does make me wonder whether the video work came first or the paintings?

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Emotional Images On Body Dysmorphia, Weight-Loss Surgery, And Self-Acceptance

weight-loss surgery weight-loss surgery

weight-loss surgery

For the artist Maria Raquel Cochez, her body is both her subject and medium; choosing to undergo and photograph 3 weight-loss surgery procedures, she catalogs a complex relationship with body image. For this series, titled “Life Performance,” and subsequent videos, paintings, and photographs, the artist courageously addresses the difficult ways in which women are expected to conform to physical ideals.

For “Life Performance,” Cochez relinquishes all control, surrendering both her body and her camera, leaving others to cut, transform, and document her as she undergoes a breast reconstruction and implant and gastric bypass. Each photograph poignantly blurs the line between performance and experience, boldly welcoming the public into a profoundly private emotional space.

Four years after “Life Performance,” Cochez presents “Belly,” a gorgeous video capturing the effects of surgery and life on her midsection. Seen floating in a full bathtub, her excess flesh is seen as touchingly soft yet powerful; isolated from the rest of her body, it seems to breathe independently, rising from the water and sinking back again. On the righthand side of the frame, a child plays with the female belly, innocently exploring the space that gave him life. He kneads it like bread, then strokes it carefully.

The work is painfully moving for the artist’s total surrender to her craft and audience; as viewers, we bear witness to her insides, to folds of her naked skin. For this reason, her impressive body of work seem less like an exploitation of the self than a miraculously intimate confessional. Despite their potentially painful content, her creations are strangely warm and generous; for example, in Life Performance No.1, romantic black and white images of her smiling face and her soft backside gently bookend the frighteningly colorful photographs of her surgery.

Ultimately, the work reads as a richly nuanced love letter to the human body, one to which all humans, regardless of experience, can relate. Take a look at Cochez’s paintings, videos, and photographs after the jump, including her uncomfortably, painfully seductive self-portraits of eating binges.

It is important to note that body dysmorphia—along with other mental- and eating-disorders—are much better covered by new healthcare legislature; especially with groundbreaking ACA regulations now taking effect. If you or a loved one are coping with such a disorder, please remember that there are options out there.

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John Millei: Abstraction Master

I haven’t seen a show that has blown me a away in some time so it was amazing to see the current show at Ace Gallery by John Millei. I wasn’t familiar with Millei’s work but apparently he’s been making abstract painting for a while, working in various styles and techniques. I had a few minutes to walk through the show but I can easily say that this is some of the most important abstract painting being done in the last 10 years. My favorite pieces in the show were the black, white, and silver paintings from the Quicksilver, and Maritime series. These are massive paintings that command attention in both their complex compositions and masterly paint handling. The photos just don’t do the work justice as the subtle colors and layering are lost in translation. If you’re in the LA area do yourself a favor and check out this show. I already have plans to make a second and third trip myself.

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Makeup Artist Tal Peleg Transforms Her Eyelids Into Animals, Famous Paintings, And Emotional Messages

Foxy Eye

Foxy Eye

Girl With The Moon

Girl With The Moon

The Little Prince

The Little Prince

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

In a combination of makeup art and illustration, Israeli artist Tal Peleg has turned her eyelids into expressive canvases. Peruse her collection and you will see eyes and brow bones masterfully transformed into emotional landscapes, various animals, and renditions of famous paintings and movie scenes. Each piece is painstakingly achieved using a combination of eye shadows, watercolors, eyeliners, and tiny brushes, taking hours to perfect. The result is a series of artworks—ephemeral in nature—that express identity and creativity in unique ways.

“Makeup is an amazing form of art, and I use it in order to make my eye tell a story,” Peleg wrote on Bored Panda. “Inspiration is all around me, and I give my own unique artistic interpretation using makeup. It can be inspired by emotions, movies, fairytales, animals, food, important social matters, and more.” (Source)

The eye is the proverbial “window to the soul”—the lens through which our inner states become visible to others. It is incredible how the mood of Peleg’s ice-blue iris appears to shift depending on the artwork and narrative that surrounds it. As mentioned above, the topic range of Peleg’s eye-art is vast; some explore scenes of child-like innocence, while others convey important social messages, such as the pain and isolation of bullying, and the spiraling, dark coils of depression. With incredible detail and sensitivity, Peleg has captured these themes and experiences well, with her eye as the deep locus that communicates their significance on intuitive, emotional levels.

Visit Peleg’s Facebook and Instagram to see more. (Via deMilked)

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