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Madeline Maser’s Cast Of Characters

Madeline Maser’s portfolio of photography has some great portraits.

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Paco Peregrin

Paco Peregrin
Madrid based photographer and art director Paco Peregrin’s frighteningly beautiful fashion editorials. The women all sort of look like Klaus Nomi.

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Dark voids

Some nice abstract paintings at Jason Karolak’s portfolio site. I like how geometric yet loose the paint handling is in his work. They almost look like hip versions of Brice Marden paintings.

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Classical Figures In Tucked And Pinched Foam

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These headless figures resemble ancient Venus statuettes.  However, the sculptures’ construction betray their modern origin.  Artist Etienne Gros pulls, tucks, and pins foam to resemble the classic nude.  The full curves and folds of the foam mimic human flesh in strangely similar manner.  Gros contrasts the age-old form with modern industrial material to highlight concerns that have never disappeared – the body, sensuality and sex.  Gros is familiar with the human figure beyond this unique medium. He’s explored themes of the classical figure in paint and even smoke.

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Sculptures of Dreams

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Ilan Lieberman creates sculptures and artwork based on visions he sees in his dreams. I’m fascinated by the other realm that lays just beyond our own eyelids, and how Ilan transports objects and ideas from this dimension into ours…it’s like peeking into someone else’s mind. Ilan recently opened his exhibition this last weekend at Steve Turner Contemporary, so if you are in the area be sure to check it out.

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Filippo Romano’s Portraits of A Nairobi Slum’s Door-To-Door Salesmen

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In photographer Filippo Romano’s fascinating series titled Nomadic Sellers, he documents the roaming salespeople of Africa. The images are mostly focused in eastern Nairobi and specifically in the slum of Mathare, which has a population of 600,000 people within 3 square miles. Each portrait features the peddler and their wares against the washed-out backdrop of the city streets.

We see the men with shoes and bras tied around their necks and arms full of music and wooden utensils. Their earnings are meager, and the goods they sell make a tenth of what pesticide peddlers yield. Those salespeople have most lucrative product and stand to make between 1,000 to 2,000 shellini (10 to 20 euros) in profit.

Romano notes that selling on the streets and going door-to-door is one of the most common trades in the African world. A seller who travels with goods on their back has most likely created their job through the necessity to fend for themselves. They are entrepreneurs.

Nomadic Sellers points to the infectious nature of global consumerism, and how even the far parts of the world want to own a pair of Nikes. At its very core, the series is an intriguing look at the innate human desire to own stuff, no matter how necessary or frivolous it may seem. (Via Feature Shoot)

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Sam Green Fills In The Void

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

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Zhe Chen Documents Her Own Self-Harm

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Zhe Chen‘s confessional photographic series “The Bearable” has spanned a few years (2007 – 2010) and is a deeply personal journey of her own experiences with self harm. Her frank photos are very confrontational as she forces us to examine our own comfortability with such a terse subject. The close ups of bruised and battered skin, weeping nipples, bloodied and soiled sheets are not easily digestible images. In fact they are so hard to ignore, and are so powerful, that they immediately break down the taboos of any open discussion surrounding this subject. She says this about her work:

‘I hope my photographs inquire upon society’s prejudice and preconception towards this community, and not become illustrations or pictorial evidence for the topic at hand: every subject is an individual, not just ‘one of them’ – his or her life cannot be predicted or dictated by any constructed social code or notion. Depression plants the seed of introspection. I hope a first glance of my work conveys the idea of secrecy and sentiments, under which lies information awaiting exposure and recognition: like an index page pointing towards all the unanswered questions.’ (Source)

The L.A. based, Chinese artist teamed “The Bearable” series of her own self-mutilation with another, titled “The Bees“. Approaching the same subject from a different angle, she features a marginalized group of people in China who are so downtrodden and alienated that they feel the need to express their emotional oppression outwardly on their own bodies. Understanding the need for self-harm is such a complex story that most people tiptoe around, Chen wants to put it directly in front of us and see how we react.(Via Feature Shoot)

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