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Kostis Fokas’ Sexually-Charged And Inventive Photographs (NSFW)

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Kostis Fokas is a rare photographer who possesses the innate ability to both create and capture personifications of the provocative in our human form. Challenging and sexually-charged, the work is visually reminiscent of fashion photography, but pulls inspiration equally from painterly compositions by using the body as a metaphor for sexuality, potency, and humanity. In a conversation with Beautiful/Decay, the London-based, Greek photographer explains, “Through my photos I wish to present a new take on the human body and explore its infinite capabilities. The use of quirky, and sometimes hidden faces communicates exactly that. Unlike photography that seeks to reveal the feelings of the objects portrayed through the use of faces and expressions, I shift my focus on the complete freedom pertained to the image of a human body. Stripped from its clothes, I leave it fully exposed and completely surrendered.”

With faces hidden and bodies often stripped bare, the human form becomes a landscape of tension, fully exploring the paradox of submission. A balding man running a brush over his head becomes a metaphor for self-conscious impotence and existential awareness, while a naked woman hovering over a cactus represents a more immediate (and less philosophical) danger. In Fokas’ work we realize that submission is often related to acceptance, mirrored by the artist stating, “Submissiveness often conveys surrender to something greater and more powerful than us.”  This duality becomes both a metaphor for the nature of photographic direction, as well as for life, as the human experience is compressed into simultaneously simple and complicated gestures arranged by the photographer with willing participants, and captured on film.

When asked if the work’s sometimes daring exploration of sexual themes and sexuality is ever misinterpreted, or even offensive, Kostas diplomatically responds, “My images aspire to touch on some of these issues, among others, and definitely raise many questions but it is ultimately left up to each individual viewer to decide and reach his own conclusions.”

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Newspaper Headlines Replaced With User Comments Reveals Dark Public Opinions

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Twitter user @TechnicallyRon has spent a fair amount of time creating clever and humorous graphics for his very active account. His recent experiments with taking the format from the Daily Mail (a tabloid-format UK gossip paper) and replacing the newspaper headlines with actual user comments might fall more into a category more darkly revealing than humorous.

While some of the comments veer towards inane internet message board chatter (example, “I don’t know which Kardashian this is.”), the results often head to darker opinions that are better left unsaid, hence their prevalence behind the safety of computer screens (such as the misogynistic comments about women over 50, below).

As this story is still developing, @TechnicallyRon has not made any opinions public about these works, or if the series will continue. (via thepoke).

*Edit. This idea did however lead to web and interactive designer Richard Westenra to create a tool which anyone can use to easily add these comments to headlines (the results of which can be seen at the bottom of the post).

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Kim Jae Il’s Uses Negative Space to Create An Imaginary Landscape Of Bubbles

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The artist Kim Jae Il is playing a game, using a make-believe print effect to entice the eyes to get lost into the pattern; voluptuous lines of textured round drops running on the canvas. This is the beautiful visual Kim Jae Il is giving us. If watched from far away  the viewer is mesmerized by the scenery, colored water bubbles creating a spiral, loosing itself within the white background.

The bubbles seen are in fact the opposite of a texture. They are the result of an image incised into a surface, the negative space accentuating the hollow shape. This technique is called intaglio. It’s a print technique where the lines to be printed are cut into the base material. Kim Jae Il is using three dimensional sculptural expressions blended with two dimensional pictorial expressions. The cubic and plane layers are meant to push forward the perspective and fabricate an optical illusion.

Kim Jae Il’s intention is to turn the most ordinary into a dynamic mode. Using the motion as a vanished mirage; leaving a vague trace that can only be remembered. The artist wants to “engrave his own vestige”. He gracefully invites us to dig into his art, not just to admire it from far. Because like this vibrating world that we are living in, there’s more that can be decrypted.

Kim Jae Il is represented by Lilac Gallery in NYC.

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Folded Magazine Margins Used To Create Abstract Sculpture

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Artist Gemis Luciani takes the term ‘marginal’ literally in his art work.  His abstract compositions use regular magazines as a medium and material.  Luciani folds the pages of the magazines in a way to only expose the margins.  The simple method erases all text, layout and images.  He deconstructs the magazine making the marginal central.  Interestingly, the pieces often resemble a mix of minimalism and glitch art. His work walks the line of painting and sculpture.

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Josh Spear Likes Our New Site!

Our friends over at Josh Spear have just written up a sweet review of our new site! Click the image above for real, (virtual) proof & to see it in all its cyber glory. Thanks Josh Spear & co!

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Bogdan Rata’s Grotesque, Mutated Sculptures Explore Body Politics And Self-Identity

Bogdan Rata - Polyester, Synthetic Resin,  Paint, Metal

Bogdan Rata - Polyester, Synthetic Resin,  Paint, Metal

Bogdan Rata - Polyester, Synthetic Resin,  Paint, Metal

Bogdan Rata - Polyester, Synthetic Resin,  Paint, Metal

Romanian artist Bogdan Rata’s highly psychological sculptures contort and mold the human body. Using polyester, synthetic resin, paint, and metal, he forms hybrid realism in his mutated versions of our anatomy. Where skin usually holds a warm glow, his work exhibits a pale, lifeless aura. Limbs sit detached from the body, or even more disturbing, emerge from an unnatural place, like the face. Both unsettling and intriguing, Rata’s sculptures twist and contort, making us feel uncomfortable and suddenly very aware of our own bodies.

The sculptor’s deformed misfits reflect on the imperfection felt about our own bodies and appearances. Our own insecurities are met and reflected in Rata’s psychologically surreal artwork. His work is not only hard to look at due to their grotesque qualities, but the positions many of the sculptures are in appear painful and awkward. Each piece seems to be uncomfortable in its own skin, uncertain of its own body and what to do with it. This is a feeling we can often relate to, as becoming confident in our bodies is often a difficult part of life. Rata hints at the confusion and difficulties brought on by self-identity issues in such works as his bust of a man with no face. His distorted figures are lost, looking for acceptance. Although they at first seem misshapen and horrifying, a strange beauty and compassion can be found in Rata’s fascinating work.

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Shelley Reed’s Black And White History

I adore Shelley Reed‘s paintings. I love that she paints them in black and white, which remind me of the reproductions in old art history books.

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Dorothee Golz’s Classic Paintings Made Today

Dorothee Golz’s mash ups of modern bodies and faces pulled from classic painting will make you take a double take as you go through her site. Mixing everyone Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring to the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, Golz’s photographs will make you re-examine the past and wonder what these historical paintings would look like if they were made today. (via)

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