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Chad States Explores Ideas Of Masculinity Through Craigslist Encounters

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“I want to show that, despite stereotypes, that gay men can be masculine too.

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“When I wear men’s clothes I feel comfortable and confident in how I look on the outside which now matches the inside.”

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“I have been called a SNAG (sensitive new age guy), a renaissance man, a male in touch with his feminine side, etc….I think that I am masculine in the sense of self reliance.”

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“I am strong emotionally, have always stood up for myself and fear nothing. I happen to be physically strong but that isn’t where I derive my masculinity.”

Philadelphia-based photographer Chad States creates ”Masculinities’,  a series of photographs and text devoted to create real, tangible accounts of men and their thoughts on masculinity in order to expose the complexities and difficulties in trying to define the masculine. States, interested in creating a large sample of men and their accounts, exposes his project on Craigslist and only takes subjects who are interested in participating in this project.

“Growing up as a gay man in the U.S. I have always been aware of how men were supposed to act and I judged myself against these ideas. Masculinity was always something that was attractive to me but when I tried to unpack what made someone masculine I found it hard to define. Masculinity seemed based on relativity and shifted in different circumstances and cultures.”

The series, inspired by State’s own struggles with understanding conceptions of gender at an early age, set out to investigate the matter by photographing these men in their home.  States explains that “the structure of the project created a special circumstance in which those who were still willing to participate had a strong need to have their own masculinity confirmed by the photograph.” The men got to choose the ways in which they were portrayed, they picked what they wanted to wear and they choose to stand by or sit in any position they felt truly comfortable in.

 I used a 4×5 camera only taking about 8-10 shots per sitting, so the poses and choices are very intentional on part of the sitter.” (via Feature Shoot)

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Martin Scott

Absurd and surreal images from German photographer Martin Scott.

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Michael Schouflikir

French artist Michael Schouflikir’s work revolves the daily struggles we have with technology & modern human condition. Basically, the condition of our machines and nature that becomes more and more machine-like. We’re beat out and attacked by overgrown plants, take escalators towards our certain future of decapitation, and develop USB flash drives as bones. But don’t we kind of like it?

 

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Dines

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London based Dines is a graphic, type and interactive mono-named designer. Whether his designs are destined for commercial industry or for more personal musings, his bright, active voice rings loud, yet harmonious, through each project- a stamp of his personal design style. You can catch up with his freshest work and news via his blog.

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Charles Petillon’s Riotously Joyful Photographs Of Balloons

Charles Petillon - Photography

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There is something immediately evocative about seeing balloons in unexpected places, a fact that photographer Charles Petillon takes advantage of in his series “Invasions.” Pure white balloons blossom out of weather-worn storage spaces and wreathe sunlit trees in an idyllic forest. They spill from the open door and windows of an unassuming home, looking for all the world like soap bubbles. Riotous and joyful, they remind us instantly of childhood, yet the name “Invasions” seems to hint at something a bit more insidious.

However, Petillon’s intention seems not to portray a sinister presence in our everyday lives; rather, he seems to want to create a metaphor that can change from scene to scene. The photograph set in a forest is named “Mutation 2,” exploring the way natural and manmade elements interact with each other. Another photograph, this time with balloons draped over a basketball hoop, is called “Play Station 2,” and poses the question of how the pastimes of youth have evolved in modern society.

“Invasions” can be seen at Maison Européene de la Photographie in Paris, France starting on February 20 until March 22, 2015. (via Design Taxi)

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Kenneth Burris’ 21st Century Decadence and Decay

 

Influenced by 21st. century technology like video games, Google earth, Internet, and You-tube, Kenneth Burris drawings become an expression of isolation and sporadic: envisioning apocalyptic tableaux with a future of decadence and decay.

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Christopher Murphy’s Paintings Of Memories

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Artist Christopher Murphy paints memories, using old family photographs as source material. He paints the Hoover Dam, large family gatherings, his younger self, and more. Murphy’s work is technically very good, and the realistic renderings of his paintings to look like photographs. They also depict quiet moments. While a lot of them involve people, there is very little tension among subjects. Colors are desaturated, which ages the look of them. Murphy spoke to New American Paintings about his work. He describes the overarching theme of his paintings, as well as his decision to use old photographs for reference. He says:

Imagination playfully cavorts with authenticity to fabricate the essence of memory. It is at this intersection, between the poles of fiction and truth, that my current paintings and drawings are situated.  Issues of contrast, specifically of finding harmony between dissonant elements, have been a constant theme in my work.  I see my paintings as opportunities to explore the conceptual contrasts of reality versus illusory and permanence versus ephemeral as applied to memory.

I choose old family photographs (largely culled from my own family’s albums, but supplemented with a selection of found photos from estate sales and thrift stores) to serve as the basis for my work, because of their unique qualities of semi-permanence, staged semblance, and ostensible candidness.  In these photos, skies fade to pale yellows, skin tones sink, and details blur and grow fainter with time.  Sometimes, dated technology necessitated blank stares or static poses, caused colors to skew, or impacted the framing of an image. By either exaggerating or minimizing these characteristics, along with re-contextualizing figures and objects or dramatically re-staging the action of a photo, the divisions are obscured between the reality that existed at the moment of the photograph, the memories of that moment, and the possibilities of reality that are presented in my work.

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Mary Ann Heagerty


I found Mary Ann Heagerty on our friend Graham’s blog (Future Shipwreck): she is a sensational sculptor, chic craftswoman, radical rock collector, and also his roommate. Here are some of her work, which includes dentures made out of lollipops and wood chips, hand castings, a giant three-dimensional mirror diamond, hair trapped in wax hexagon, and a series of carefully hollowed-out eggs incubating invitations to a MOCA opening. She also does these awesome video shorts that are uploaded on her Youtube channel about crafts with unlikely materials.

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