In the wake of a horrific incident in which Sasha Fleischman, an 18 year old “agender” youth, was set on fire after falling asleep on a bus in the Bay Area, San Francisco Magazine commissioned photographer Chloe Aftel to capture a series of portraits of young people (including Fleischman) who defy the male/female gender binary.
Aftel’s “Agender” series seeks to raise awareness of an overlooked and misunderstood community of gender fluid people who face oppression and harassment simply for not conforming. Preferring terms like “genderqueer” and “nonbinary” and the pronoun “they” over “he” or “she”, this growing community includes people who identify across the gender identity spectrum, from agender (neither male nor female) to bi-gender (both male and female) to gender-fluid (shifting from male to female).
“They have a real strength of character and complete clarity about who they are,” Aftel told Vocativ. “I found it fascinating that there is this whole group of people galvanizing the debate about what gender is, and to a certain extent, what love is and what self-expression is. It’s about what works for you.” (via feature shoot and policymic)
Cillie Barnes performing at the Troubadour in W. Hollywood, CA on May 7, 2013. Photo by Raymond Lew.
LA based singer Cillie Barnes (aka Vanessa Long) released a video for her very catchy song, “Brainwash” late last month and I’ve been having a hard time getting it out of my head. You’ll definitely be seeing and hearing a lot more from her once her debut record comes out on Loma Vista/Republic Records later this year.
I caught her last week supporting British singer Tom Odell at the Troubadour and was instantly taken by her refreshing voice and relaxed stage presence. Backed by a guitarist and keyboardist she had no problem engaging the sold out crowd and even got us to sing-a-long for her final song.
She’ll be performing again on May 28th at a Red Bull Sound Select concert with DIIV at the Echo in Los Angeles so try and check her out if you’re in the area. Watch the video for “Brainwash” and follow her on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new shows and of course her debut release, “Happy Valley”.
Today we say goodbye to yet another great B/D Book. Our second book in the B/D series is officially sold out! You will now have to search for it in stores and on the almighty eBay to find yourself a copy. To reserve future copies of Beautiful/Decay head over to our subscription page and subscribe today! Each subscription ensures that you get a copy of our book series before it hits stores and comes jam packed with hundreds of artists that will forever change your world view and put you at the edge of creativity.
Lorenzo Durantini uses VHS tapes and the tape within to create large brooding towers and installations. When rolls of video tape cover the floor a dark sea containing hours and hours of video threatens to swallow the room. One installation consists of 2,216 tapes placed in a stack. The resulting structure is both a homage to a dead format and a brooding reflection on how we consume only to eventually disregard. Elswhere he utilizes photographic material to construct new forms. Durantini’s work reminds us that technology is perpetually transforming and what was once cutting edge will always end up a relic.
Sam Green’s portfolio of drawings are full of fluid movement, interesting perspectives, and realistic rendering mixed with just the right amount of abstraction. He’s worked for a wide variety of clients creating images for everything from brochures to animations for a giant Zeotrope
Bea Szenfeld is an outstanding, innovative designer based in Sweden who creates theatrical fashion shows featuring her designs. Her recent collection “Sur la Plage” a continuation off of her earlier work “Paper Dolls,” features 12 hand-made designs that was inspired off of a sea-side folklore of seamen. If you are not familiar with Bea Szenfeld’s work, you may be amazed to know that (just the same as Paper Dolls) this collection is constructed entirely out of paper. Handmade, entirely out of paper, and held together by the process of gluing, sewing, and pleating.
Modeled after the iconic Terracotta Warriors, artist Prune Nourry’s series Terracotta Daughters is an installation featuring eight life-size sculptures modeled after eight Chinese orphan girls. It’s meant to reflect upon gender preference in China through the familiar symbolism of the soldiers, and Nourry created an army of 116 figures using the same clay that was dug up over 2,000 years ago for the original warriors. In this project, the artist also learned the local copyists’ technique based off the ancient practice.
Together, India and China represent ⅓ of the world population and both have a similar gender imbalance. This is because of the preference that parents give to having a son; the number of single men has been increasing since the 1980’s as well as the misuse of ultrasounds to choose the sex of the child. This has detrimental consequences for the women in Asia including kidnappings of children and women, forced marriages, prostitution, and more.
Nourry met the 8 orphan Chinese girls that inspired the artworks through the non-profit organization The Children of Madaifu. She photographed the girls during her visit to their villages in August 2012 and used the portraits as models for the sculptures. Nourry series that go beyond the sculptures and does good, too:
With the idea of continuity in mind, Prune works hand-in-hand with The Children of Madaifu to support the education of the 8 little girls for a minimum of 3 years thanks to the sale of the 8 original sculptures. In addition, each one of the little girls will be invited to the exhibition in Beijing in order to meet their terracotta double. The girls will also receive a 30 cm artist proof of Prune’s Mini Terracotta Daughter.
Thus, each collector who acquires one of the 8 unique original terracotta sculptures supports the project, as well as 3 years of the education of the little girl depicted in the Artwork.
Terracotta Daughters has travelled the world, and now they are in New York City. From September 11 to October 4, you can find them at China Institute.
Torafu Architects has installed an interactive haunted playhouse in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. Paintings move, portrait eyes dart back and forth, and children climb through picture frames installed at the museum. A secret passageway exists within the installation, allowing children to interact with nearly all of the featured art, most of them re-creations of classic works. Museums and galleries are usually places reserved for more serious contemplative reflection, discouraging touching and interaction of any kind. Torafu Architects has transformed this perception, creating a space that encourages engagement and creativity. Be sure to check out our previous post about Torafu’s kid-friendly designer information kiosk here.