Japanese artist Fumie Sasabuchi reworks the pages of fashion magazines by deconstructing the original image and the body in the image. She uses the image and idea of death to explore a surface, creating a series of hybrid body images in which promotional aesthetic is fused with material naturalistic anatomical study.
The Underexposed series illuminates outsiders of the world, homeless people of our streets. Aaron Draper has made the deliberate decision to literally put in the spotlight a dozen of men and women living on the streets, giving an authentic representation of what could happen to any of us. Not wanting to fall into the cliche of taking black and white photographs or insisting on the harsh features of his subjects, Aaron Draper is applying a commercial tone to the way he envisions their lives, giving the viewers a more positive imagery of scenes not so pleasant to usually watch.
That’s the reason the series has gone viral, the viewer is not in a position of guilt, he doesn’t need to feel bad. He is invited to share that special connection the photographer encountered when meeting his subjects. Inspired by John Steinbeck’s vision on dispossessed families struggling to carve their way into life, he spent a lot of time and money getting to know the personalities behind the facade of their humble lives. Using a camera strobe and a documentary effect, Aaron Draper wants to turn around the false perception one might have about homeless life. He says if he can only initiate that shift, his work will be successful in his heart.
The video below details the photography process of the Underexposed series and shows a passionate Aaron Draper at work. (via Trenf)
Quite often the saying of fact being stranger than fiction is true, and this story is no exception. Photographer Arthur Drooker has been attending the most unusual conventions around America and compiling the images into a series called Conventional Wisdom. He recently attended a celebration of mermaids and mermen at The Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, North Carolina. Over 300 Merfolk attended Merfest this year, and Drooker was there to capture this wondrous and enchanting subculture.
This year the participants were able to attend workshops on breath-holding, underwater modelling, talk to a professional mermaid, and purchase different mermaid accessories – tails made from fabric and silicon (and ranged in price from $80 – $4000 for a custom made tail).
For many attendees, the desire to be a mermaid was spawned in childhood after seeing a movie, reading a book, going to the beach or an aquarium. A mermaid embodied an idealized self: beautiful, graceful and confident. To emulate a mermaid one developed a mersona, akin to the fursona that a furry at Anthrocon inhabits to model an animal character s/he aspires to be like. (Source)
For most Merfolk the transformation that happens when they either pull on their costume, or the moment they enter the water is something that cannot be compared to in any other way. Christian Obrocki, a merman from Baltimore tells Drooker of his experience:
It’s a rush. What better way to be in touch with your love for the water than to be kind of a part of it. When the tail goes on, the human side goes out the door. (Source)
Drooker’s other series include his visits to Clown conventions, gatherings of Santas, an assembly of Ventriloquists, a meeting of Furries, and a Bronies meet-up. See the other sets here. (Via Cool Hunting)
Since we last posted about him, multi-talented artist Tony Kinglux has been up to an interesting new gif project. Kinglux draws from his collections of various ephemera, from the medical and magical to the religious and ancient, and skillfully incorporates animated images into static and dated images, creating hypnotic new animations. Kinglux’s work is resonant with the mystical and magical, while also capturing a sense of measurable reality. “That’s what I’d like to achieve from these images: to inspire a new generation to take a look into some very old ways of looking at the world. A way of reimagining the universe and our place in it. That the magic still exists, it’s very close to us all the time and that it is waiting for your experimentation.” Kinglux is currently living in Prague where he’s visiting some of the magical haunts of the ancient alchemists.
Video artist Ben Bigelow is curating an event “Jupiter And Beyond The Infinite” video screening/gallery opening tonight at 7pm (with screenings at 9 and 11pm) @ Synchronicity Gallery in LA: Deep-space excursions that reveal the dark matter of pop culture, absurdist mythologies that transcend into tear jerking dramas…all can be found in “Jupiter And Beyond The Infinite.” This forthcoming show at Synchronicity Space opens on July 31st with a video screening including 19 unique artists. 2-D and 3-D artifacts from the videos will accompany the screening and be on display throughout August. Those looking to travel through a black hole and keep your boots on: look no further. Check out more of his work after the jump.
Artist Saint Hoax’s series War Drags You Out imagines prominent world leaders dressed as drag queens. The digital illustrations depict the likes of Obama, George W. Bush, Vladamir Putin, and even Osama Bin Laden getting dolled up. Animated GIFs show the primping process, which includes drawing on eyebrows, contouring the face, and adding fabulous accessories. And of course, like any good drag queen, they have stage names, too, like Putin’s “Vladdy Pushin,” and Bin Laden’s sassy moniker, “Ossie B.” The idea for this work came from Saint Hoax’s first visit to a drag show. They explain:
…I was struck by the richness of this glamour oriented culture.
I took a minute to actually look at the faux queens and deconstruct their main components.
The recipe for an iconic queen:
1- Flamboyant name
2- Fierce persona
3- Defining outfits
4- Personalized hairdo
5- A trademark feature
6- One hell of a PR team
I then realized that it takes that same exact effort to make a leader.
A rush of images containing Hitler’s mustache, Bin laden’s headgear, Obama’s campaigns, Saddam’s narcism crossed through my mind. It got me thinking that behind every “great” man, there’s a queen.
While Saint Hoax’s unique project is over the top, it’s had some serious consequences for the anonymous artist. Before the Osama Bin Laden painting (first in the series), was to be shown, they released a Youtube video announcing where the work would be displayed. Because of the video, Saint Hoax received over 70 death threats, and the painting was destroyed at the airport while in transit to its location. (Via Huffington Post)
Beautiful/Decay recently “wrapped” up our Book 2: What a Mess! Release party at Synchronicity Gallery. The event was super fun, with the Beautiful/Decay team past & present in full force, including appearances by such former B/D intern superstars as Lyndsey Lesh, Greg Ruben and Alexis Kaneshiro! (Am I forgetting anyone?) The B/D team had a booth replete with gift wrap, the debut of Book 2 and more. Check out our Flickr page for images of the bash!