Although the clothing and other aesthetic aspects can easily reveal the era the photos were taken, the scenes of Sage Sohier’s series “At Home With Themselves: Same-Sex Couples in 1980’s America” are strikingly honest and ever relevant. Sohier photographed female and male gay couples, sometimes with their family members and sometimes alone, in their homes. It is important to remember the context of these photographs, because of the time they were taken. As Sohier stated in an interview for Slate:
“My ambition was to make pictures that challenged and moved people and that were interesting both visually and psychologically…In the 1980s, many same-sex relationships were still discreet, or a bit hidden. It was a time when many gay men were dying of AIDS, which made a particularly poignant backdrop for the project.”
The general public very harshly rejected the gay community in America. There was a deep stigma attached to the community because of the rampant spread of aids. Sohier’s photographs provide portraits that demonstrate the humanity of the men and women who often felt ostracized or persecuted because of their sexual orientation. In media even today, there is limited representation of gay people. A list of stereotypes might include the overly flamboyant gay man, or the bull dyke. Sohier’s photographs are relevant today because they help to counteract an outsiders limited understanding of the dynamics of a gay household.
Eric Rieger, alias name (HOT TEA) completed this larger than life installation at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts very recently. It is so large in fact that it spans over two floors, and you can actually lie underneath the hanging mass. The installation is titled Letting Go, and the piece is compiled of orange and yellow colored string 84 miles in length meaning to represent the artist’s interpretation of the sun. As a former MCAD student, being right next to the MIA, I so wish I could teleport back to my art school days to see this in person.
Below is an statement directly from Mr. Rieger:
At least once in our lives we have all had to let go of something we truly love. Whether it be a pet, personal object or in some cases, loved ones. This piece is my interpretation of the sun. The sun brings life and also represents happiness, warmth and energy. When letting go of something or someone we truly love, sometimes it is okay to celebrate their lives along with mourning. This piece represents the warmth and love I have received from those I have had to let go of.
Letting Go will be on view through Septmeber 2 at MIA. (via)
Above is an image capture from Alice and Kev, a project from British game design student Robin Burkinshaw. The project, presented as a frequently updated blog, tracks the lives of a homeless father and daughter family Burkinshaw created in the Sims 3. She guides the two characters as little as possible, instead relying on AI and their set personality traits (the father is insane, while the daughter is compassionate). The amount of conflict created by these two characters is on par with pretty much any soap opera – and despite being completely artificial computer game characters, the humanity of them is plainly evident in the entries’ comments, in which readers express sympathy for various characters and contempt for others.
I can not help but find myself indescribably drawn to taxidermy in all shape and forms, especially unconventional artwork as with the case of Les Deux Garcons. They seem to have a surrealist, Gothic freak-show aesthetic all combined into one. There’s something horrific about manipulating the animals’ lifeless, frozen forms into eternal works of art against their will…it reminds of the scene in Chronicle of Narnia where you walk through the White Witch’s front yard, and poor Mr. Tumnus and all the other forest animals have been turned to stone sculptures in various states of fear and despair by her ghastly spell.
Europe-Europe is a series of porcelain figurines created by the collective AES+F – a group made up of the artists Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovitch, Evgeny Svyatsky, and Vladimir Fridkes. A first quick glance they may seem like typical decorative figurines. However, it soon becomes clear that something is terribly/wonderfully wrong. The collection, exhibited together in a case, seems like an orgy – people caught in various sexual situations.
Yet, something else makes this series especially interesting: the characters are often thought of disliking or even hating each other in real life situations. A Neo-Nazi strokes the locks of a Hasidic Jewish boy, sweat shop workers pet their capitalist supervisor, a police officer fondles a rioter. While these can easily be read as a playful and optimistic depiction of global unity, a sinister feeling lingers on these figurines. It seems as likely that these hateful feelings are depicted as a sexual tension. Political power struggles are illustrated as sexual power struggles.
Mr. James Oses is a UK freelance illustrator. He works on location, sitting himself down where he pleases, and, using his steel-nib dip pen and ink, captures the streets of London. I love the active line quality of his illustrations – somehow he embeds a dynamic that makes me believe the image is a still from some animation reel that will, at any second, begin playing.