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While Visiting Uganda, Photographer Stumbles Upon A Bizarre Set Of Faceless Portraits

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While visiting the town of Gulu in Northern Uganda, Italian photographer Martina Bacigalupo discovered a very unusual set of studio portraits. Despite being perfectly composed, none of them featured a subject’s face as they were all cut out leaving blank rectangles in the photograph. Oddly enough, it appeared to be a common practice in Gulu for taking ID photos.

Bacigalupo visited Uganda searching for ways to document this community, which was suffering from violent conflicts. The first faceless photograph she had stumbled upon lead her to meet Obal Denis, the owner of the oldest photography studio in town, the Gulu Real Art Studio (est. 1973).

“The portraits were well composed, with subjects seated on a chair or on a bench, with a blue, white or red curtain behind them, in various poses and modes of dress. Obal <…> told me the secret behind those pictures: he only had a machine that would make four ID photos at a time, and since most of his clients didn’t need four pictures, he therefore preferred to take an ordinary photograph and cut an ID photo out of it.”

For Bacigalupo, these ‘leftover’ images were the purest form of representation of Gulu’s society. She gathered the unused prints and interviewed clients of Obal’s studio. To most Ugandans, who suffered from more than two decades of war, taking new ID photos marked important changes in their lives: getting a driver’s license, starting a new job or applying for a loan. The value of such events is perfectly conveyed through the subject’s pose, gesture, clothing and other subtle details.

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HunterGatherer

The guys over at HunterGatherer do some pretty cool stuff. Here is a behind the scene look at how Todd St. John and Gary Benzel work their creative magic.

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Momento Mori Watches

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In thinking about time and the passage of it for the upcoming new year, I stumbled upon a really cool blog, Wachismo, that’s dedicated entirely to timekeeping pieces (clocks and the like.) He has a full section for memento moris clocks, a personal fascination of mine. The title translates literally to “Remember you must die,” and remind us of the iminence and swiftness of impending death. Yay! Some beautiful/strange/haunting clocks below.

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Chloe Aftel’s Portraits Of Agender Youth Challenge Male/Female Binary

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In the wake of a horrific incident in which Sasha Fleischman, an 18 year old “agender” youth, was set on fire after falling asleep on a bus in the Bay Area, San Francisco Magazine commissioned photographer Chloe Aftel to capture a series of portraits of young people (including Fleischman) who defy the male/female gender binary.

Aftel’s “Agender” series seeks to raise awareness of an overlooked and misunderstood community of gender fluid people who face oppression and harassment simply for not conforming. Preferring terms like “genderqueer” and “nonbinary” and the pronoun “they” over “he” or “she”, this growing community includes people who identify across the gender identity spectrum, from agender (neither male nor female) to bi-gender (both male and female) to gender-fluid (shifting from male to female).

“They have a real strength of character and complete clarity about who they are,” Aftel told Vocativ. “I found it fascinating that there is this whole group of people galvanizing the debate about what gender is, and to a certain extent, what love is and what self-expression is. It’s about what works for you.” (via feature shoot and policymic)

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JUCO’s Fashion Photography

JUCO  (JUlia Galdo & COdy Cloud) is a photography duo out of Eagle Rock, CA making some stunning photographs. Drawing inspiration from African big timers Seidou Keita and Malick Sibidé, they’re the best blend of fine art and fashion photography since Steven Meisel. Enjoy!( via )

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Eloy Morales’ Masked Self Portraits Are Actually Hyper Realistic Paintings

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It is almost difficult to believe that these self-portraits by Spanish Eloy Morales are oil paintings.  His oil painting are generally executed on large panels such as the one above.  Morales carefully blends colors and layers to flawlessly recreate his portraits.  He nearly seems to consider each painting a separate test of his abilities.  Morales is known to write notes prior to a painting of goals to meet that he felt weren’t met on a previous work.  However, there is more to his work then a simple recreation of a photorgaph.  Morales explains in Poets and Artists Magazine:

“I am interested in working on reality through the use of pictorial codes, previously understanding that it is a false relation and I always keep in mind that painting is an independent expression. Finding a meeting point that truly represents my vision keeps me going on painting.” [via ignant]

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Christian Weber Photography

Christian Weber‘s photography definitely catches your attention. Whether it’s a screaming baboon or just a straight on portrait, his shots are memorable. My favorite is of the one and only Karl Lagerfeld.

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Roya Hamburger

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Stunning work by the artist Roya Hamburger.

More abstract work after the jump.

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