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Nádia Maria’s Hauntingly Beautiful Melancholic Photographs

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Brazilian photographer Nádia Maria creates melancholic, visceral and nostalgic photography that resonates with her private life struggles and universal themes that are familiar to all, amongst them- anxiety, depression, confusion, and so on. The dark aesthetic of these photographs are not to be taken lightly. Contemplating about these will bring discomfort and unwanted past painful memories…it happened to me. However, Maria’s work is so hauntingly beautiful that can just can’t look away.

“It’s all about experiments, games and involvement with the camera, with the image, the feelings, with ourselves.”

‘Vacuum’ and ‘Perfume’ are the names of the two series of photographs that are shown here. Maria’s series ‘Vacuum’ was inspired by constant wars insides herself (and humanity in general). She brilliantly captures the essence of deep nostalgia and sadness, and eternal yearning for something more, or something different. Its darkness is not to be confused with complete destruction and agony, as her subtle feminine, delicate characteristics take on and leave us feeling hopeful. Similarly, ‘Perfume’ visualizes Maria’s mental state (post-partum depression) after having her first son. “It was a phase of deconstruction and transformation”, she says. (via IGNANT)

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Devin Troy Strother’s Color Bonanza!

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I recently came across these great collage paintings of Devin Troy Strothe (thanks for the link Mr.Redwood) and was blown away by the recent Art Center grads color explosion and the humorous content. The work is playful but dabbles with social/political issues which is always a nice mix as too often political work = boring and predictable. Visit his site and make sure to read the titles as they are fantastic.

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Russell Leng

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Russell Leng’s paintings have an immense depth to them; his latest series, “Nature Systems,” features floating geometric shapes that look like faceted crystals. On his site Leng says he wants to “explore the relationship between constructed and natural terrains,” (which might explain why the organic yet jagged shapes suggest both a harmony and a dissonance.) If his paintings make you think he’s too calm and cool, check out his website to see him shovel cake into his face in his short film, “Let Them Eat Cake”.

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Photographer Mike Spears Explores Desire And Eroticism In Diverse And Unexpected Ways

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Mike Spears is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose colorful and playful imagery is infused with a provoking — and sometimes subtle — eroticism. To some, this may seem like a dubious statement, for while several of his photographs depict women in various states of undress, others are seemingly innocent landscapes and still life pictures of flowers and fruit. However, there is something enticing about hands cradling a sliced papaya with its glistening, elliptic interior, or two spindly cacti curving around each other in an awkward embrace. Spears eroticizes such objects and scenery by framing them in a focused and particular manner that harnesses our attention and curiosity.

As Spears’ photography explores, eroticism is an unpredictable flow that is not always equated with naked bodies and/or sexuality. It can arise as feelings of alertness, attraction, or even revulsion; the tentacles lolling out of a raised hand, for example, generate both aversion and the suggestive, tactile sensation of wet flesh on flesh. His work follows a line of thinking that views desire as something that influences everything we create and perceive; as Gustav Klimt famously stated, “all art is erotic,” whether it was created with that intention, or whether we unconsciously inscribe our own desiring energy into it. When I asked Spears about the suggestiveness of his work, he expressed that he wants his “provocative photos to be more fun, thought-provoking, mysterious, [and] clever,” and not just “erotic” in the conventional sense (referring to nudes, for example). For him, a good photographer is someone who can skillfully capture an array of subjects while investing them all with a personal, artistic energy. In this way, eroticism is a byproduct of Spears’ work, arousing us via his diverse talent, humor, and attention to curious details.

Whether you read eroticism into it or not, Spears’ work is exciting and immersive. When he’s not shooting photographs in his local haunt of Brooklyn, he features Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Check out his website, Tumblr, and Instagram for more examples of his varied work. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Stuart Semple

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After dying and coming back to life, Stuart Semple decided to become an artist. After years of hard work (and a controversy beginning with one of his sculptures, and ending with his smuggling his work into Charles Saatchi’s gallery), Semple has been able to get his name out. I love his quirky sensibility and use of color. (You might remember his happy pink clouds which he floated above the streets of London last year.)

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Best of 2011: Warwick Saint’s Tattooed Sex

I can’t look at Warwick Saint’s portfolio without blushing. His Ink series is dripping with bad girl sex appeal that will have you clicking the next button over and over to see all 85 images from the series. If that’s not enough reason to check out his work he also is an accomplished portrait, music, and celebrity photographer.

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Alexis Anne Mackenzie’s Type Collages

Collage typeography illustration from Alexis Anne Mackenzie has an air of playfulness without being overly girly, or illustrated. She shows a beautiful balance between image and letter, with I’m sure a lot of painstaking thought put into each piece. Nicely done!

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B/D Best of 2010 – Emma Hack

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Painter and sculptor Emma Hack‘s collection, “Wallpaper,” is a series of meticulously painted models made to blend in with the designs behind them – true wallflowers! Hack must have been incredibly patient when working on canvases that move and breathe; her work is so precise, if you blur your vision, the models effortlessly become part of the wallpaper.

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