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Alexandra Zaharova & Ilya Plotnikov

Alexandra Zaharova & Ilya Plotnikov
Amazing amazing creative direction by Russian artists Alexandra Zaharova & Ilya Plotnikov for Doberman Studio of which they are founders. I can’t enough of it (women in fashion photography involving paper)!

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Meghan Forsyth

Meghan Forsyth

Fresh out of Pratt Institute designer Meghan Forsyth. Check out her blog too.

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Liz Maw Paints Friends And Celebrities As Kitschy Glowing Deities

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Raised a Catholic, and using obvious religious iconography, Liz Maw like to paint other-worldly and sublime beings. By combining the faces of celebrities or people she knows and admires with pseudo-mystical relics she glorifies them. Maw draws on many different periods and styles, mixing contemporary symbols with techniques from the Old Dutch masters, her subjects in poses akin to many Renaissance works. It is this mix of old and new; mundane and divine; hyper-realism and fantasy; sacred and profane that makes her work at once beautiful and comical. As one critic said:

“Her sleek paintwork resembles air brushing in its precision, offering a surrealism somewhere between Salvador Dali and the kind of hot-rod paintings which stretch across panel vans. Liz’s paintings are drenched with a sense of desire, beauty and power.” (source)

Her “Colleen” painting features a beautiful naked woman perched on a cloud surrounded by floating seashells and in a glowing sky illuminated by lightning. Intentionally referring to The Immaculate Conception painting, Maw manages to rework something old and accepted with a kitschy, slightly erotic spin. Talking about what is “distasteful” and what isn’t, Maw likes to challenge people’s standards. She says she doesn’t understand why some people will accept a painting of a figure with one breast covered, and others would think it to be inappropriate.

“I think that female sexuality is a very mystical thing… I don’t think that romance goes seamlessly into sex for women really. Maybe it can, maybe it can’t. A lot of women disconnect romance from sex. I don’t know why that is. “

She wants to paint to encourage more warmth and softness, and less judgement. And I think one painting at a time she will.

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Olga Ziemska’s Natural Wonderlands

 

 

Olga Ziemska’s artistic statement appears as a poem on her website. And one of her lines, “The body is nothing without that which surrounds it” is especially important when it comes to art. The Ohio based sculptor has been refocusing her energy into fully serving it too – seeing as how most of her work in the last couple years has involved outdoor installations, which can incorporate a lot more people encompassing them than the few invited into collector’s homes. However, what I like most about her recent work, other than its ability to be shared, is that it’s made up of mainly organic materials sourced from nature. (via)

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Dead People Propped Up To Look Like They Are Living It Up In The Latest Funeral Trend

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Photo credit: Percy McRay, via Reuters

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Photo credit: Ricardo Arduengo/Associated Press

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Photo credit: Ricardo Arduengo/Associated Press

Contrary to what these photographs might lead you to believe, the people in them are dead; they represent a special kind of funerary service that involves anything but laying down. Instead, the deceased are posed doing things that you’d see them doing while they were alive. Miriam Burbank is seen with a can of Busch beer and menthol cigarette between her fingers, while the body of Christopher Rivera is propped up in a faux boxing ring.

These strange and creepy displays aren’t anything new, although they are unusual. The phenomenon first appeared as early as the 1984 funeral of Willie Stokes Jr., a Chicago gambler known as the Wimp. He sat through his services behind the wheel of a coffin made to look like a Cadillac Seville. And even earlier than that are the post-mortem photographs of the Victorian era, where the recently deceased were captured while sitting in their finest clothing. While it’s not a funeral, they show how throughout time, we’re trying to remember those passed for how they lived.

Elsie Rodríguez, vice president of the funeral home that organized Rivera’s service, explains some of benefits of these situations, telling the New York Times, “This is not a fun or funny event; the family is going through a lot of pain. With these kinds of arrangements, “the family literally suffers less, because they see their loved one in a way that would have made them happy — they see them in a way in which they still look alive.” (Via The New York Times)

 

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Dane Lovett’s Still Life Paintings

Dane Lovett mixes retro and modern electronics with the tried and true classic, floral still life, to create a completely modern take on the idea of “still life”. His work looks into modern relationships with technology and pulls at the strings of technology of days past. Each piece is serene and intriguing, feeling both familiar and new all at once.

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Jon Bocksel

Illustrator and photographer Jon Blocksel makes some cool illustrations. I especially like his “Possibility for a Swear Word” series.  Pretty sure keyboards should start including those symbols.

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Eric Zener – submerged

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The beautiful paintings of Eric Zener explore the great unknown beneath the water’s surface. Some of his underwater images are haunting, while others feel like an endless summer vacation. Either way his art will leave you anything but dry.

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