Gustaph Meulemans’ use of geomtric shapes and screenprint color quality make his work stand out against todays vibrant and explosive colors.
Everyone loves a Before and After, and Sean Scheidt’s photography series “Burlesque” is a wonderful example of the power of makeup, costume, props, and attitude. Scheidt has captured the transformation of burlesque performers from street clothes to stage wear in his behind-the-scenes images.
“I use basic lighting and a black backdrop. Black is emptiness. You place a person there and they are who they are. The interview process is really as much about getting the person comfortable as it is about getting to know them. As the shoot progresses, they transform into the persona they portray on stage. I do ask them, ‘What defines you on stage’ but otherwise try to stay back and let the narrative develop.” (Source)
Bawdy, provocative, confrontational — burlesque has been enjoying a revival, fronted by pop-culture celebrity Dita Von Teese who began performing in 1992. Though the acts include nudity, it can almost be beside the point. On stage, the larger-than-life personas use their time to make people think.
In his portraits, Scheidt captures the virtually nondescript everyday face of the performers. These are people who, aside from the occasional colored hair, look, well… normal. In Scheidt’s description of the work, he says that they tended to be quite reserved at first, which made the transformation into their characters all the more transfixing.
“Capturing those moments, I believe, helps to humanize these performers. If you were just seeing the “after” shots alone, you might make certain pre-conceived judgments about the person behind the make-up. I hope this series gets people to think about their reactions to these men and women.” (Source)
Not unlike drag, burlesque exaggerates, forcing us to examine society’s standards of beauty, sensuality, gender, and power. Scheidt has unmasked the people behind the performance by presenting them in more clothes, but with less artifice.
I am really enjoying Cuban artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada’s work. Each surface he creates a painting on is at least 150 years old!
Michigan based artist Christina Mrozik’s sculptures and drawings focus on stories of migration, self awareness, shelter, and mating.
The installations of Dominique Pétrin are visually overwhelming. Images, patterns, and designs seem to cover every as much available space as possible. Walls are plastered from floor to ceiling often even covering ground. Her expansive installations overlay the outsides and insides of buildings alike. Pétrin accomplishes her pieces by using large silk screened panels of paper. The imagery recalls an internet of the early 90’s – a time when the overabundance of information and imagery the web had to offer was only beginning to come clear.
Graffiti artist Jesse Hazelip tackles major social issues in his work. Here are some of his pieces from the exhibition Sentimental Journey in which he reflects on WWII and our occupation in North America. For those who are curious, the name Sentimental Journey comes from an actual bomber plane.
Amsterdam artist Chris Berens is an anomaly in the art world, an expert painter who does not use traditional media (he uses inks on photo paper rather than oils on canvas…and no digital or photographic elements whatsoever), but creates some of the most compellingly executed, enigmatic, and emotionally resonant paintings seen in a long time.
His work features a fantastical mélange of exotic creatures and 18th century imagery, floating in buttermilk colored clouds or silvery sea blues. Photo realistic, totem-like animals and distorted childlike people float like dreams through blurry surrealistic European cityscapes or drift on stormy seas on decrepit ships in a soft focus haze, shimmering as if in a fevered dream. It is almost shocking to look at, but in the gentlest of ways. See more of his works after the jump and on his site.
Jon Pyzel has been part of the surfing community for as long as he can remember, growing up surfing from a young age in the historic surfing town of Santa Barbara, CA. After traveling around surfing and competing, Jon realized that he needed to surf better waves in warmer water, making a permanent move to an even bigger surfing location, the North Shore of Oahu. Getting his start fixing surfboards in a factory, Jon quickly learned the ins and outs of the business working his way up from fixing basic dings on boards to working under some of the best shapers and glassers in the industry.
Finally setting off on his own, Pyzel has become one of the most sought after board shapers for weekend warriors as well as pro surfers from around the world. Shaping each board from scratch, Pyzel knows every curve, bend, and turn on the masterfully crafted boards that he builds.
In the age of mass manufacturing Jon Pyzel has had the conscious decision to take things back to the basics with his world class hand-shaped surfboards. The result is master craftsmanship and attention to detail that only decades of experience and a steady hand can provide.
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