Justin Bartlett is self proclaimed black ink warlock from the grim and frostbitten ravenrealm of Southern California who enjoys thee grimm riffs, vberkvlt metals, and other dark musick, times of solitude, skulls, and scotch. He’s done work for indie (and I mean indie) bands and record labels. Pretty awesome. Here’s a quote he leaves you with: “EMBRACE VISUAL HELL!!!”
The paintings by Michael Ray Charles depict controversial imagery regarding racial stereotypes from the past and present commercial culture. In Print Mag, he suggests his usage of such stereotypes are not designed to thrill, throw, or flaunt, but more so to excavate their societal relevance, revulsion, and power– examining how each affects our personal symbolic lexicons. It’s an ongoing compounding struggle to discern and detach from this branding.
Regarding this, Charles asserts, “I think about so many people whose lives these images have affected. A lot of Black people have died and many are dying under the weight of these images. That’s motivation enough for me to explore, and deal with, these things.”
Shay Aaron creates delicious looking, incredibly small, and extremely photo realistic sculptures of all your favorite food items from a delicious stack of cupcakes to the most tasty BBQ favorites. The only shortcoming of the work is that I’d have to eat at least 100,000 pieces by her to justify it even as an afternoon snack.(via gaks)
Raphael Garnier is a digital cosmonaut, equally entranced by the flickering mystery emanating from Kirchner’s 18th century “magic lamps,” primordial symbology, and the dazzle-spaz of gif animations. Garnier finds just as much potential to explore new realms within the internet “as in the seabed.” In his travels, he has constructed a wondrous cabinet of curiosities from the binary and the bombastic, fixated firmly on both the future and the worship of magic from a near distant past.
Aldis Ozolins is a maker of zines, posters, and experimental illustrations that represent memories from the place he was born: Riga, Latvia. While Aldis’ current professional direction and focus is on graphic design and interactive experiences (both of which he is damn good at), we chose to feature his illustrative work and side-projects due to the strong emotional qualities embedded so clearly within each of the pieces. It’s easy to get lost in the figures and environments his images bring to life… enjoy a selection after the jump.
Adam Voorhes, a photographer residing in Texas, has released an amazing book documenting 100 extremely rare, damaged, and malformed human brains. This book, called Malformed: Forgotten Brains of the Texas State Mental Hospital, was released this November through PowerHouse books. As Voorhes’ work shows, there is an aesthetic beauty to the contours and shape of a brain that only add to the intrinsic mystery surrounding them. Through a twist of fate, Voorhes gained access to a medical niche and has built a body of work that will prove to be historically priceless. His project created a detailed photographic archive of the brains that has led to a new, revitalized interest from the medical community. Scientific journals have voiced intrigue and the researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are now producing MRI’s of these brains, which will be displayed in their new medical school.
Voorhes explains how he came into this subject:
“I had been sent to the University of Texas’ Animal Resources Center to borrow a brain to photograph for a magazine article. I was shown through a laboratory into a storage closet filled with human brains stacked in jars from floor to ceiling, two rows deep. All told, there were more than 100 rare specimens extracted from former patients at Texas’ state mental hospital in Austin, and all displayed distinct abnormalities. Each jar had been labeled with a date, an observation in archaic Latin and a case number.
I took the brain I’d been assigned and returned to my studio to work, but I quickly became preoccupied with the vision of this decaying collection. I wanted to know more about the donors, their quality of life and experiences. The gravity of what I’d seen haunted me. The thought of cataloguing the collection and preserving it with my camera became an obsession.
Eventually, my photography team and I were granted access to the lab. Uninterrupted and unsupervised, we donned respirators and heavy gloves. Over the course of two days in the locked research facility, we documented the collection. The history of these brains remained unknown, however. Although the descriptive text on some of the jar labels had faded or worn away, most had corresponding case numbers. Those case numbers referenced medical records, and those records became my secondary obsession.
In over my head, I collaborated with journalist Alex Hannaford to track down the story behind the brains. As he pored through archaic documents and tracked every available lead, he uncovered not only the history of the collection, but also the unfortunate loss of nearly half the original specimens. Our hope for this project is to help preserve the remaining portion and foster greater interest in its beauty, historical importance and medical value.” (via Slate)
The mysterious photographer who simply goes by the name Arber and describes where he’s from as “the North” creates vaguely surreal, bleakly erotic, darkly off-kilter images, pulling back a curtain to reveal a parallel world full of mystery, unsettling sexual blankness and enigmatic women. We sure wish we could get a last name and a real city from him but his work is so captivating that we gave him a pass.