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Nadia Lee Cohen Photographs Nudes And Cultural Motifs In Campy Visualizations Of The 1950s-70s

Nadia Lee Cohen - Photography Nadia Lee Cohen - Photography Nadia Lee Cohen - PhotographyNadia Lee Cohen - Photography

The work of photographer Nadia Lee Cohen is a stimulating, modern take on vintage American and British style. Her diorama-esque compositions — with their nude, cigarette-smoking femme fatales and garish 1950s/60s/70s iconography — explode with color, attitude, and fetishized, retro-suburban life. Scattered throughout are bold insertions of cultural, consumer artifacts, from packs of Marlboro cigarettes, to Coca-Cola bottles, to lip-shaped telephones, which further emphasize the images’ glossy and style-saturated appeal. David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock fans will certainly be able to identify a few crafty allusions; whether it is red curtains, or birds hovering menacingly in the background, Cohen has seamlessly meshed her own cinematic style with that of influential film directors, thereby creating a clever and campy pastiche of Western arts and culture.

When I asked Cohen what drives her work, she expressed that she primarily hopes that people enjoy the aesthetics of her photography, which is a “humorous, tongue-in-cheek” response to the way she views the world. And, aside from creating fascinating portraits of what she identifies as “strong, quirky, dark characters,” Cohen’s exploration of retro aesthetics through a modern lens provides a visible commentary on the way styles and cultural tastes have shifted over the decades — all from an alternative and progressive point of view; her work represents a range of personal styles, as well as a variety of body shapes and sizes. “I hope to convey a wider message of changing our perception of taste in terms of modern beauty ideals in fashion,” she explains, “which is why I tend to look to the interesting people around me rather than casting from agencies.”

Cohen has recently finished her MA in Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion, and judging by her success and the in-depth nature of her style, she will be creating a lot of exciting work in 2015. Be sure to check out her website and Instagram. More adventurous (and amusingly retrospective) images after the jump. (Via Huffington Post)

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Matt Wedel’s Larger Than Life Ceramics Reunite Us With Our Own Innermost Children

Matt Wedel - Ceramics

Matt Wedel - Ceramics
Matt Wedel - Ceramics

Ceramicist Matt Wedel continues to make strong headway in the gallery world while maintaining an impressive creative autonomy in Athens, Ohio, where he builds, glazes, and fires each larger than life sculpture on his own terms . . . by himself . . . without assistants.

“Sheep’s Head,” his most recent exhibit at LA Louver, proves to be a wonderful example of what a little focus, patience, and isolation can create. Each cumbersome piece collects to convey a vibrantly glossy world: renderings of a twisted contemporary animal kingdom and its surrounding vegetation.

Of this particular series, David Pagel notes, “Cookie jars come to mind, as do centerpieces for fancy dinners, elaborate candle holders, ships’ figureheads and decorative figurines. So do works by Picasso, Botero and Baselitz, as well as ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan statuary, Cylcadic sculpture, Olmec totems and carved saints from medieval churches.”

From everyday objects to art history and human artifacts, Wedel’s healthy dose of contemporary dreaming bends the familiar into something imaginatively powerful. On view, we encounter angelic mutants who have been hardened over time, perhaps altered by a sorcerer’s wand or depicted to honor one final futuristic freeze. Likewise, while roaming the floor, we meet flora and fauna which structurally blooms in a childlike manner, but not without a bitter taste of science gone awry with color dripping and drooping.

Piece after piece, a creative storybook of bright possibility or dark youthful mystery unravels, and this is exactly why we strive to look deeper- it’s a hoping to engage not only with the work, but with our own innermost children.

Check out the video after the jump to see the artist at work and meet his 3-year-old inspiration.

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B/D Flickr Pool- Maria Lamar

maria lamar


I found the work of Maria Lamar during my weekly look through of the B/D Flickr Pool. I love how Maria’s drawings are delicate, vague, figurative and abstract all at the same time! Make sure to join the B/D Flickr Pool. You never know who we’re going to post next!


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Curiot (Favio Martinez) At FFDG

birth_of_the_omuktlans 63_8163345900f75238b748bchant_for_pleasureThe work of Mexican artist Curiot is still on display at FFDG in San Francisco. If you find yourself around those parts and have not yet seen the exhibition, then fear not- you still have three days to roll through. Age of Omuktlans closes this Saturday. I would get there before then if I were you. Curiot’s technique is looking pretty solid with this new batch of paintings that allude to Mexican traditions (geometric designs, Day of the Dead styles, myths and legends, and tribal tinges). His characters seem to exist outside of time, and possess so much magnetism that the artist’s compositions maintain a certain vibrancy even in the absence of any background elements. Spring is here, and these works express a lot of the churning, dynamic forces coming into play outdoors right now. Rain or shine, Curiot seems to have a handle on the natural dynamics constantly at play around us. And if you can’t make it to the SF institution’s IRL location, click past the jump to see more images from the show.

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Austin Watts


Austin Watts’ work reminds us of all the finer things the 80’s had to offer, like VCRs and Huey Lewis. It’s that fabulous, American Psycho lifestyle that Bateman personified so well, minus, of course, that nasty business about human mutilation. His unique aesthetic has attracted some big names, including MTV, and we’re excited to see where Watts will go next–as long as it’s not to his remote storage unit where he hides the bodies.

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Fascinating Portraits Of Criminals Covered In Russian Prison Tattoos

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Tattoos, historically, have been on the bodies of sailors and prisoners. It’s only in relatively recent years that they’ve entered mainstream society and lost some of their negative social stigma. Arkady Bronnikov collected photographs of tattooed Russian prisoners between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s. The amount he obtained was massive – 918 images worth –  thanks to his position in the government. As a senior expert in criminalistics at the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs for over 30 years, part of Bronnikov’s duties involved visiting correctional institutions of the Ural and Siberia regions. He interviewed, gathered information, and photographed convicts and their tattoos, which gradually helped him build this comprehensive archive.

The images were later acquired by FUEL, a London-based design group, in 2013. Some of the photographs and official police papers authored by Bronnikov from the Soviet period will be published by FUEL in two volumes, the first of which was just released. Now, they are part of a current exhibition titled FUEL present: Russian Criminal Tattoo Police Files at Grimaldi Gavin in London until November 22 of this year.

When these photos were taken, Bronnikov wasn’t concerned with composition or style. They were meant to act as a record and served a purely practical purpose. The gallery explains, “Their bodies display an unofficial history, told not just through tattoos, but also in scars and missing digits. Closer inspection only confirms our inability to comprehend the unimaginable lives of this previously unacknowledged caste.

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Pleasure In Ink: The Erotic Illustrations Of Apollonia Saintclair

Apollonia Saintclair - Illustration Apollonia Saintclair - Illustration Apollonia Saintclair - Illustration Apollonia Saintclair - Illustration

Apollonia Saintclair explores pleasure, intimacy, and sexual expressivity through erotic illustrations. From tangled hair, to parted lips, to the minute contours of the erogenous body, her masterful line work captures desire in detail. Her illustrations go far beyond titillating us in the conventional sense, however; with writhing tentacles and zippers embedded in flesh, many of her images are simultaneously arousing and unsettling. By conflating eroticism with elements of horror and the grotesque, she reminds us that sex and death are familiar lovers, and that desire so often involves a daring venture across boundaries into darkness and radical difference.

For Saintclair, the artistic process begins in her own erotic imagination. “I work compulsively,” she explains. “I depict stories that I myself find very arousing, and I have a strong need to cast my fantasies in a beautiful frame.” Most of her works emerge from images “ingested once and digested over time”; when they finally manifest themselves on a blank page, she infuses them with her own observations and desires. She strongly values graphic quality, treating each drawing as “one more step in a long apprenticeship” towards technical perfection. Her fastidious control of her medium makes her work intimately precise — and subsequently, highly provocative.

The ability to share and connect with others through her work is very important to Saintclair, and she has garnered an impressive following on Tumblr. “The enthusiastic response from an unexpected, unhoped audience made me suddenly realize that I was maybe doing something important [for] others,” she writes. “I’m very pleased to see that most fans — among them many women — have absolutely no doubts that what I do is an artistic approach of sexuality and not blank pornography.” Her art is an intriguing journey into desire, and all curious readers are encouraged to visit her page and check out the rest of the images after the jump.

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Aphte’s Secret Cavern

Secret Cavern

Secret Cavern, a.k.a. Aphte (who’s secret real name is Daniel Abensour, a Frenchmanguy), has a unique illustrative style. Whimsical and sometimes deceivingly morbid, Secret Cavern applies wonderful details to each work of art.

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