Mike Spears is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose colorful and playful imagery is infused with a provoking — and sometimes subtle — eroticism. To some, this may seem like a dubious statement, for while several of his photographs depict women in various states of undress, others are seemingly innocent landscapes and still life pictures of flowers and fruit. However, there is something enticing about hands cradling a sliced papaya with its glistening, elliptic interior, or two spindly cacti curving around each other in an awkward embrace. Spears eroticizes such objects and scenery by framing them in a focused and particular manner that harnesses our attention and curiosity.
As Spears’ photography explores, eroticism is an unpredictable flow that is not always equated with naked bodies and/or sexuality. It can arise as feelings of alertness, attraction, or even revulsion; the tentacles lolling out of a raised hand, for example, generate both aversion and the suggestive, tactile sensation of wet flesh on flesh. His work follows a line of thinking that views desire as something that influences everything we create and perceive; as Gustav Klimt famously stated, “all art is erotic,” whether it was created with that intention, or whether we unconsciously inscribe our own desiring energy into it. When I asked Spears about the suggestiveness of his work, he expressed that he wants his “provocative photos to be more fun, thought-provoking, mysterious, [and] clever,” and not just “erotic” in the conventional sense (referring to nudes, for example). For him, a good photographer is someone who can skillfully capture an array of subjects while investing them all with a personal, artistic energy. In this way, eroticism is a byproduct of Spears’ work, arousing us via his diverse talent, humor, and attention to curious details.
Whether you read eroticism into it or not, Spears’ work is exciting and immersive. When he’s not shooting photographs in his local haunt of Brooklyn, he features Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Check out his website, Tumblr, and Instagram for more examples of his varied work. (Via Juxtapoz)
Neil Krug produces images that make you wonder if you’re looking at photos that have been lost for years. Psychedelic imagery mixed with soft light tones make his work seem from a different era, but lovely imagery nonetheless. His work is very inspiring. Love his work? Krug has a book out named PULP Art and has directed a video for Ladytron.
Our friends over at Lost At E Minor have just launched their sleek new site. We at B/D know all the hard work that goes into a site re-design and we’re loving LAEM’s new look. When you cover visual content it’s important to let the images shine and that’s just what LAEM’s redesign does. You can read about their redesign process here and go check out their new site.
Given his eclectic background in computing, painting, drawing, and sculpture, the work of French artist and scientist Patrick Tresset is anything but traditional.
With scientific experience and a narrowed focus on robotics, Tresset “investigates human artistic activity, computational creativity, and our relation to machines.” Although his artistic experience dates back to his childhood, Tresset unfortunately lost his ability to paint and draw in 2003. Unable to produce works by hand and forced to adapt to such a major lifestyle change, Tresset sought a new way to create.
That’s where Paul comes in.
Created in 2011, this seemingly artistically-inclined robot used a motorized eye and a mechanical arm to sketch what Tresset could not. While Paul proved to be a successful portrait artist and an effective prototype of the artist’s vision of a “computational system capable of autonomously producing artifacts that stand as artworks,” Tresset has since made improvements to his creation, resulting in Paul-IX, his newest automated bot.
Unlike portraitist Paul, Paul-IX dabbles in still life. Furthermore, in contrast to Paul,Paul-IX was not imagined merely as a helpful assistant. Instead, the newer model was created as an autonomous entity with an ability to decipher its surroundings through art.
While Paul-IX’s drawings are accurately rendered and undeniably evocative, Tresset emphatically notes that “the aim is not to invent systems that are capable of drawing precisely like a human, but for the drawing to have a certain aesthetic effect on the observer”—and, given the robot’s exciting appearance in Creative Machines, an exhibition at Goldsmiths University that “explores the twilight world of human/machine creativity in contemporary art” now through November 14, Paul-IX has made quite the impression. (Via The Creators Project)
Brooklyn artist John Breiner never seems to pin himself down to one medium. Whether he’s using watercolor or ink, he always brings a lot of humanity to the table without sacrificing any aesthetic value. Breiner creates work that is really full- both in composition and technique. He’s also pretty heavily involved with music as well. Seems like he’s got too much going on creatively to really be pinned down in any one place. Definitely not something for us to complain about.
With continuing scientific investigation, perception and consciousness increasingly seem to be much simpler than they truly are. Its no surprise a great deal of contemporary art address issues of perception, and many artists are skeptical of assumptions about it. This is where photographer Isabel M. Martinez picks up the topic with her series Quantum Blink. She explains the series by saying:
“According to quantum mechanics we have forty conscious moments per second, and our brains connect this sequence of nows to create the illusion of the flow of time. So, what would things look like if that intermittence was made visible? This body of work explores that hiccup, that blink, that ubiquitous fissure in the falling-into-place of things.”
Martinez modified her camera to allow her to capture two exposures in an alternating stripe pattern to create one image. The two exposures are timed only a moment apart and in a way mimic the model of perception she describes above. Perhaps, what is most powerful about the images, though, is what they don’t capture: the moment in between the two. Her series appears to mischievously encourage a curiosity and suspicion about our perception of the world around us and the amount assumption involved. How much creativity is involved in simple observation? This series is in line with Martinez’ larger art practice.