Kristian Burford’s art installations meditate on the postmortem state of sexual arousal without a partner present. Nestled in a messy realistic setting, each carefully constructed wax figure seems to sigh inward, recollecting him or herself after an erotic whim has been satiated. However, the intention does not stop there: it seethes and penetrates with primal implications. Encountering each diorama, our own interior worlds are challenged and heightened as we find ourselves cast to confront not so much nudity, but even more so, our own erotic inclinations as possible voyeurs.
As a generation in Palestine confronts misery, violence, and rejection, the hip hop scene is an outlet to express themselves. Photographer Pierre Mérimée and journalist Jacques Denis capture the young people involved in this scene in their new book, Intifada Rap. In it, we meet MWR’s Mahmoud Shalabi, the girls of Arapyot, and the “veterans” on the scene, including Said Mourad, the voice of the first Intifada.
The book’s press release describes it as:
A dive into the heart of the Palestinian hip hop scene, Intifada Rap bears witness to the incredible strength of the musical movement, from the suburbs of Tel Aviv through to Ramallah. Pierre Mérimée and Jacques Denis’ work shines a glaring light on the reality of Palestinian rap while offering an unprecedented view into the daily lives of a generation confronted with misery, violence and rejection, fighting back against it all to escape their imposed fates. Far from the shocking image of television news and the continual discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two journalists have documented the day to day lives of youth facing a dark future, for whom hip hope is more than just an escape. Armed only with their words, these men and women on the cusp of their twenties express their need for freedom, hope and equality through lucid texts and heavy beats.
You can purchase Intifada Rap here.
Portland, Maine based artist Sascha Braunig is a portrait painter of sorts. She uses traditional baroque portraiture techniques with a nod to Op art and a wink at Surrealism. Braunig’s figures seem to barely emerge out of a hypnotic (and nearly seizure inducing) patterned background. Her canvases are striped with colors that contrast so much they nearly appear to glow. The effect is hallucinatory and almost a bit haunting. The gallery statement from her current exhibit describe the various concepts at play saying:
” Braunig’s geometric figures have a visual fluidity, as if their delicate skins can barely contain their bodies. Subject and background merge, creating ambiguity and optical tension. An alliance is forced between flat patterned designs and observed, mimetic representation.”
Sascha Braunig is exhibiting her work through December 22 at Manhattan’s Foxy Production.
Ugo Gattoni’s ambitious Ultra Copains drawing is over 32 feet long and 3 feet high. Ugo has managed to create a dense microcosm where buildings, figures, and explosive scenes weave in and out of one another and morph into one. With the scale of the figures being at roughly .32 inches (yes just a bit over a quarter of an inch) this massive illustration should go down in the history books. To see a detailed view of Ugo’s world check out the detail photos after the jump or visit the Ultra Copains site for a to scale interactive experience.
Is it microscopic close-ups of our skin? X-ray images of crop patches from the sky? Processing? Nope, they’re generative drawings by Leonardo Solaas.
The paintings by Michael Ray Charles depict controversial imagery regarding racial stereotypes from the past and present commercial culture. In Print Mag, he suggests his usage of such stereotypes are not designed to thrill, throw, or flaunt, but more so to excavate their societal relevance, revulsion, and power– examining how each affects our personal symbolic lexicons. It’s an ongoing compounding struggle to discern and detach from this branding.
Regarding this, Charles asserts, “I think about so many people whose lives these images have affected. A lot of Black people have died and many are dying under the weight of these images. That’s motivation enough for me to explore, and deal with, these things.”
Photographer Ryan Matthew Smith takes photos of exploding food for his publication Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. Since April 2008 he has amassed over 140,000 photos. Using a high speed camera recording at 6200 frames per second, Smith is able to capture a side of food that we normally can’t witness.
His subjects are anything from sausages to saucepans. He photographs hamburgers bursting apart – mayonnaise caught in the act of falling, tossed salads being frozen in mid-air. Smith explodes his food and accessories with the help of a bullet – fired from a 308 sniper rifle and travels at roughly 2800 feet per second at the point of impact, it creates the perfect environment for his photographs.
Elaborately posed, his objects stand out on his starkly minimal backgrounds – usually matt black. He shows cross sections of woks, elements, flames and pots, creating images reminiscent of modern abstract compositions. Smith says of his technique:
‘I had a pretty good understanding of compositing but given the large amount and complexity of photo illustration I spent many hours on Photoshop trying to find new ways to blend images together smoothly and quickly’.
Smith thrives on imbuing the mundane with life and motion. His photographs are a perfect display of what is it like to be caught in the maelstrom of food preparation, or destruction.