In the last year, we’ve featured a variety of artists who are using embroidery in unique ways, such as Leah Emery’s erotic stitches and Juana Gomez’s anatomy portraits. Featured today is the work of Lisa Smirnova, who embroiders images that ripple with impressionistic life. Her subjects range from animals, to pensive tattooed men, to creative portraits of icons such as Frida Kahlo. Body parts are also recurring throughout work—such as a heart in a bouquet, and a pelvis on a white shirt—lending the otherwise “unassuming” medium of embroidery a flavor of surrealism and the macabre.
Smirnova’s artworks require time and patience, some taking months to complete. This is not surprising, considering the way she masterfully stitches threads into the likeness of skin, fur, and bone. The colors blend together seamlessly, capturing the reflection of light on skin and the red-blue tones of the heart. Texture and emotion arrive together as the threads interlock, each character appearing to vibrate with an inner life.
In lieu of kitschy turkey paintings I decided it would be fun to collect a few vintage images of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The earliest of these was taken in 1931, and the newest in 1975.
The tradition started in 1924, tying in for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States along with America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a staple of New York life since the late 20’s; the popularity grew as the parade started to get televised in the 1950’s. Till’ this day, there’s nothing more iconic than the giant balloons that stroll across the city during this time of the year.
Until 1980-90’s the balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade came in two varieties. The first and oldest is the novelty balloon class, which fit on the heads of the performers. The second, and most famous, is the full-size balloon class, primarily consisting of licensed pop-culture characters.
On behalf of the B/D team, we want to wish you all a very happy thanksgiving. May you spend this day with your loved ones, and yummy food!
In these provocative photographs by Rankin, you will find naked celebrities and fashion models getting cozy with some slimy fish carcasses, straddling shiny scales and smearing inky octopuses over their bare breasts. As part of the Fishlove campaign, this shocking imagery hopes to draw attention to a crucial environmental and political issue: if we continue to use today’s fishing methods, marine life across the globe will collapse within a single generation, causing irreversible damage to countless ecosystems and human life.
Fishlove, a non-profit organization founded by the actress Greta Scacchi and Japanese restaurant MOSHIMO co-founder Nicholas Röhl in 1992. The community interest company recruits photographers, models, and entertainers to join the effort towards sustainable fishing. The marine life pictured here is commercially bought and sold; many of these species are heavily threatened by over-fishing. Fishlove treads an ethical gray area by using these fish as models, but not one was killed for the purpose of the shoot. To avoid waste, the organization makes efforts to consume the fish after they are photographed.
It’s said that sex sells, and Fishlove relies upon this hope. In their unusual nude portraits, models and entertainers appear like strange mermaids or selkies, washed ashore with their marine lovers. Sir Ben Kingsley cradles a fallen octopus who settles into his palm, and a model arches her back, mirroring the fins of the creature she rides. Though startling, the work serves to remind us of our interconnectedness with underwater creatures and our reliance upon the planet’s oceans. If we continue down the path we’re on, all of these beautiful creatures will cease to exist. To get involved, visit Fishlove. (via Agonistica)
Scott Everingham is an artist who is based in Toronto. As a painter, Scott particularly enjoys the various forms of experiences created through the vast language of paint. He creates abstract, gorgeously fictional environments where you could almost make out tangible imagery. An experience I would relate to observing an illusion out of the corner of your eye. Though Scott’s paintings appear almost completely spontaneous, you would be surprised to know that along with the process of impulsive mark making, there are extensive preparations through drawing.
Currently, Scott Everingham is exhibiting his paintings in Amsterdam and Rotterdam at the Le Secet Museum. If this blog post has sparked your interest in Scott Everingham, you can view his work up close at his solo exhibition at Galarie Trois Points in Montreal in January 2011.
In Mongolia, where the weight of tradition and Soviet rule still hang heavy, it is considered dangerously taboo to be a homosexual. Gays, lesbians, and transsexuals must keep their identities secret, often secluding themselves or participating in prostitution, in an attempt to safeguard their lives against violence and discrimination. In 2011, photographer Álvaro Laiz decided to capture the secret lives of these Mongolians in his series “Transmongolian.” Laiz initially traveled to Mongolia because he was interested in how the country’s newly opened borders affected the population, with the tradition of Mongolian culture meeting with Western influences from the outside. His research led him to connections with transgender individuals whose stories he decided to document with his photography.
Laiz captures these ostracized Monogolians conducting their day-today lives alongside images of them in traditional Mongolian queen costumes. Laiz’s Mongolian series is the first of a larger project exploring transgender people in societies across the world. (via huffington post)
As glossy, digital, full color perfection becomes the norm on brochures and other printed matter, the photocopier has become more of an artistic medium than a simple reproduction system. Jakob Johnsen’s collages and image manipulations are sublimely composed and pull on dark, thought-provoking subject matter.
What do you get when you combine thousands of toothpicks, glue, and ingenious craftsmanship? You get the work of artist Scott Weaver, who has created a model of San Francisco out of these materials after thirty-five years of creative determination. Nothing more than these two simple materials, toothpicks and glue, forms the intricate layers of this concrete jungle. Scott Weaver began this structure, titled Rolling Through the Bay, in 1974, but has been building sculptures out of toothpicks since he was eight years old. His early work began as abstracts formation, much smaller than his San Francisco masterpiece.
As if constructing such a complex, detailed, city replica out of miniature objects was not impressive enough, Weaver’s piece Rolling Through the Bay is interactive! The structure is kinetic, as it navigates ping pongs balls like tourists through the many infamous sites and neighborhoods that make up San Francisco’s lifeblood. You can see city attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown in his mass of toothpicks, but much more is to be seen. The delicate intricacy of this astonishing sculpture speaks volumes to Scott Weaver’s skill and patience. It is not surprising to know that the artist is a San Francisco native, as is many generations of his family before him. The love and pride of San Francisco can be seen in the time and care that Rolling Through the Bay took to create.
(via Colossal) All Photography by The Tinkering Studio
Lynda Benglis emerged decades ago as an artist breaking barriers and shifting paradigms. Pouring neon paints in exhibition spaces served not only as an action on the figure of the artist, but while these pieces created installations, the poured paint was also viewed and handled by Benglis as an object, and preserved as such. Years later her poured paint artworks are preserved and installed in their original format- which presents a transformative dynamic that the artist established.
Paint has historically been used to create imagery on a foundation- canvas, wood, paper, etc. In this common format the paint becomes an object of art only after joined with a substrate. Benglis was a forerunner in breaking away from this. Today there are a number of artists pushing forward on this notion, and breaking away further in the development of their bodies of work. Artists Linda Besemer, Margie Livingston, Ryan Peter Miller, Laura Moriarty, David Allan Peters and Leah Rosenberg all create works that demonstrate the vast spectrum with which paint as a medium has been torn from the substrate and presented conceptually and physically as a substance that can be molded.
Margie Livingston recently presented a new body of work in her solo exhibit “Objectified”at Luis De Jesus Gallery in Culver City. Having spent years casting and sculpting paint, Livingston’s portfolio demonstrates an evolved investigation into forms and space, substance and the function of the object. In her newest work she casts and sculpts acrylic paint alone into slabs that appear as wood planks, the patterning of hues reminiscent of wood grain. The wood-like planks, sheets and stumps are then used in the formation of minimalist sculpture.