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Sven Sachsalber Literally Looks For A Needle In A Haystack As Part Of 24 Hour Performance

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While, to most, the phrase “looking for a needle in a haystack” is merely a humdrum idiom, to performance artist Sven Sachsalber, it’s a challenge. That is why Sachsalber opted to devote 24 hours to handpicking his way through a pile of hay set in the Palais de Tokyo. The entire performance was documented as a video on a live feed, and–spoiler alert!–18 hours passed before the artist finally found the elusive bodkin.

While, as in the case of Looking for a Needle in the Haystack, Sachsalber tends to gravitate toward performance art, he also shows an inclination toward sculpture, film, and photography–a fact that is worth noting when considering this recent project.  By placing an enormous haystack within the context of an art museum and filming himself interacting with it, the artist inadvertently transforms the mound into a piece that transcends traditional artistic description.

Galerie Rianne Groen describes his ourvre as “often funny, often serious and sometimes both,” and emphasizes that “his works have a universal poetic element that does not need much explanation.” And, with this literal, almost tongue-in-cheek interpretation of such a tried and true figure of speech, this statement undoubtedly holds true. (Via Hypebeast)

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Mi-Zo

mi-zo kintaro1Graphic Artist Minori Murakami and Photographer Zoren Gold are a powerful team, but you can call them Mi-Zo.  They have a wonderfully bizarre body of work.  Mi-Zo has worked for many important clients and editorials, while constantly maintaing their unique style and sensibility.

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Claudia Rogge’s Performative Photography Of The Masses

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Claudia Rogge

Claudia Rogge

German artist Claudia Rogge digitally transforms her photography to create patterned and rapturous images of masses of people. Often the subject matter of her work appears bleak or apocalyptic, but ultimately portrays the vulnerable beauty of these deliberately arranged human figures. Even in the photographs that are a bit more chaotic, you can sense Rogge’s careful attention to the patterns she creates, and the order contained within them. Her meticulously composed photographs evoke both a sense of euphoria and foreboding while demonstrating the fractal-like beauty of people en masse. One of Rogge’s biggest challenges in her work is creating a scene that looks genuine and believable with digital effects.

Of her work, Cluadia Rogge says, “The fascination the theme “mass” exerts on me lies both in the content as well as in the formal and aesthetic aspect. As regards content, it is indeed exciting to live in a time that on the one hand trains people for absolute individuality, but an individuality that is defined by mass media, mass consumption, mass tourism etc. Aesthetically, the patterns and rhythms developed from masses are unique. You can find them in shoals and flocking birds as well as in major gatherings like military parades, processions, concerts etc. Regarding this, I do not resort to already existing masses in my works, but simulate my own.” 

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Intimate Photographs Of Young Women Capture Private Beauty Routines

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In Rituals, the photographer Noorann Matties catalogs the strange, mystical moments between woman and mirror, capturing young ladies in private moments of self-preparation and styling. As her subjects stand barefaced before public and private mirrors, work in eyebrow pencil, lipgloss, and mascara, seemingly memorized by and in poignant discovery of their own features.

Shooting many of the women from behind so as to capture the self in dialogue her reflection, Matties seemingly preserves the innocence of the experience, allowing the girls to engage with themselves undisturbed and unaware of onlookers. These sacred rituals, haloed in early morning sunlight and fluorescent lightbulbs, celebrate the quiet moments before the start of the day. In the instant before her subjects present their faces to the public, Matties stops the clock, preserving the beautiful self-absorption afforded by secrecy.

The inconsistent, accidental lighting serves only to heighten the sensuality of individual skin and hair tones, textures, and shapes; a towel hangs, left over from the night before, and reflections distort serendipitously in still-wet shower doors, affording the photographs deeper psychological meanings.

The repetition of these rituals is expressed through careful self-examination and knowledge; these women have seemingly memorized the curves of their brows, the textures of their skin, the movement of hair moved effortlessly and invisibly into a bun. The poignancy of these photographs, then, lies in part in the efficiency of the grooming activities; to the voyeuristic viewer, these intimate seconds are precious; to the girls, they’re routine, automatic, forgotten until the next morning. Take a look at the series, originally published in Inconnu Magazine, below. (via BUST and Inconnu)

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Mark Powell Uses Old Documents And Magazines As His Drawing Surface

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Old magazines and documents are given new life in Mark Powell’s work. Instead of using a blank piece of paper he incorporates a used surface with one of his drawings. This adds a bit of nostalgia and makes his sketches unique. He created a series of animal portraits on the covers of 1940’s National Geographic magazines. These were done in Powell’s ultra realistic style, where he used a common bic ballpoint pen to create dramatic renderings. In this instance, the wild animals offer the viewer a striking view of not only Powell’s expertise as a draftsman but a certain comfort level in seeing a familiar title.

A series of map drawings by the artist cleverly uses historical and literary figures. Mostly portraying old men, Powell fuses the lines on their faces perfectly with the map borders adding an interesting element. The idea itself preserves a time and place.  Birds, insects and chimpanzees create another body of work that incorporates more reappropriation. The intricately drawn specimens appear on anatomy text book pages, old letter envelopes and historical editions. These are rendered with scientific precision similar to botanical studies. Their placement on the used surface opens up a collage sensibility.

Powell uses a tool that also holds historical significance. Before the bic biro pen was invented only cumbersome fountain pens were used. These were messy and inconvenient. A newspaper editor named Lazlo Biro noticed that newspaper inks dried quicker and with his brother Gyorgy, a chemist, created the first ballpoint writing pen. Because of the moving ball at the pen’s end the inks were allowed to dry making it easier to use. (via faithistorment)

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Jan Fabre’s Massive Marble Brain Sculptures Explore A Fusion Of Spirituality And Post-Mortem Anatomy

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Jan Fabre is an innovative visual artist whose works explore the realms of psychology, anatomy, and metamorphosis. Throughout his career, Fabre has been particularly fascinated by the human brain—the seat of cognition, and arguably, the spirit—and the way neurobiology intersects with the heart. He studied the brain for over ten years, working in dialogue with neurobiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti. Wondering about the brain’s role in the experience of emotion and empathy, Fabre asks himself and his viewers, “Do we feel with our brains and think with our heart?”

Featured here is a series of Fabre’s Carrara marble brain sculptures, each one bearing surprising elements; insects crawl across the veined surfaces, and scissors and corkscrews protrude in a macabre flare of the surgeon’s table. Fabre experienced being in a coma twice in his life, which caused him to explore the brain as an eerie, post-mortem state (Source). As a result, death is present throughout these works; the brains stand as white monuments not only to our mortality, but to our statuses as both individuals and interconnected human beings. Following this theme, Fabre has also sculpted marble bodies resting on tombs, similarly adorned with insects, which represent the transmutation of the physical and spiritual, life and decay.

Fabre’s work will be exhibited at the Deweer Gallery in Otegem, Belgium, from November 4th–December 20th, 2015. Titled 30 Years / 7 Rooms, the show features Fabre’s decades-long collaboration with Mark Deweer. (Via Hi-Fructose)

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Giant Forests Made Out Of Paper

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Brooklyn based artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen have been collaborating since 2005.  Together they create expansive installations that fill gallery spaces.  The installations’ size forces visitors to interact with it.  Made from natural materials such as wood and paper, their work carries an organic atmosphere.    The installations often resemble trees or entire forests, mangled, twisting and growing.  The paper seems to be giving a nod to its origin as an almost ironic choice of material.

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Olivia Locher

OliviaLocher1Olivia Locher is 19 year old photographer living in New York City.  Her work is full of dreamy and youthful fantasies.  Check out her website and after the jump for more.

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