In his series Hierophanies, Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based artist Bear Kirkpatrick photographs people naked in wild locations. Kirkpatrick travels hours to bring his subjects to remote wilderness and shoots as many images as possible in 15 minutes “quickly to prevent self-reflection or conscious posing” ultimately in an effort to bring out their “liminal states.”
Kirkpatrick adds of the series title: “Hierophanies was taken from the writings of Mircea Eliade; a hierophany was a word he coined to describe in primitive religious mythology a tear in the fabric of the profane world—the world of nature, life and death, rebirth, growth, time—through which it is possible to witness the sacred world—the timeless and eternal.”
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.
Photographer Antonia Basler‘s series Content Aware makes use of a Photoshop tool of the same name. The content aware tool is used to erase objects from images and replace the space with content the program judges to be appropriate. Basler’s series begins with old family photos. She’s highlighted the faces of the photo’s subjects and applied the tool, then highlighted the inverse and applied the tool for a second image. The resulting images are a cyber sort of surreal, like a creepy reality glitch. [via]
Gabrielle Bakker is hands-down one of the most skilled painters working today. Formally trained at Yale University, Bakker has the ability to not just reference the great masters of the 19th and 20th Centuries, but also reinterpret their visions through her own unique filter of execution — all while hiding subliminal messages and symbols into each and every painting she creates. You don’t have to look closely at Gabrielle’s paintings, but you’ll want to, since Gabrielle is herself a master of not only skill, but subtext.
Artist Motoi Yamamoto is known for his sprawling installations entirely composed of carefully poured salt. His newest installation Charlotte, North Carolina’s Mint Museum is titled Floating Garden. Existing for slightly under a month, the community was invited to ‘dismantle’ the installation. A huge swirling pattern, one familiar from nature, covers the floor. Upon closer inspection, the hurricane-like shape is a tight network of neat lines of salt. Salt is replete with symbolism in Western culture but has special meaning in Japanese culture. The museum explains:
“Salt, a traditional symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture, is used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches. It is frequently placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. Motoi forged a connection to the substance while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of twenty-four, from brain cancer, and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her.” [via]
Here’s another artist, from across the pond, for your Thursday. Mihail Mihaylov is a graphic designer from Sophia, Bulgaria. His style is minimal and draws inspiration from the aesthetics of Modernism. Mihail is featured in the B/D Creative Flickr Pool. You can also check out his Flickr account.
The short, but sweet set featured songs from his debut LP including “The One Eyed King”, “Chameleon”, “The Ballad of Little Jean”, and my personal favorite, “Clear The Air”. The show echoed the album’s fuzzy, but highly psychedelic feel that had the crowd swaying from the very first beat. I’ll be looking forward to hearing what he has up his sleeve for the next record, but in the meantime NPR just released a video for his newest single, “The End Of August” that you can watch here.
Jacco is currently on tour with the Allah-Las and you can catch both bands at The Chapel in San Francisco tomorrow night, Saturday October 5th. Enjoy the video for his song, “Clear The Air” and check out dates for the rest of his US tour as well as his jaunt across Europe that will last through the end of the year.