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The Photographic Seduction, Ritual, And Tension of Joanne Leah

Photographer Joanne Leah works in “seduction, ritual, and tension”.  Her pieces capture relationships, between two people or art and its viewer, as it alternately relaxes and strains.  In the series featured in this post the angle of the light is severe recalling the chiaroscuro of baroque painting.  The light, though, is cold, almost lonely, emphasizing the solitary figure in each photograph.  Whether, the subject holds teeth in her palm or wields a knife a drama is clearly unfolding.

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Lotta Mattila’s Animal Sculptures


Lotta Mattila
is a Helsinki-based Finnish sculptor who is currently the artist-in-residence at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Mattila finds meaning in the contradictions between her sculptures’ form and their content (a literal battering ram made of glass), and uses those material contradictions to comment on human nature, often by punning off of Finnish sayings.

Mattila’s Skylab exhibition Gravitation opens Friday (11/30) and runs until December 10th. Gravitation takes the “weight of the world” – its physicality and heaviness when one is depressed – as its central metaphor. More of Mattila’s work can be found after the jump.

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Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising


Last night I finally went to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery Screenings, a true experiential landmark of living in Los Angeles, and saw a collection of Kenneth Anger (satanic moving-picture majesty) films that he worked on from 1954-1979. The most memorable one was Lucifer Rising (1973) not only for its hauntingly beautiful footage (scenes shot in Egypt with amazing amazing costumes, rituals, strange/awesome editing techniques…), but also for its backstory. The amazing psych-fuzz-rock soundtrack was composed in prison by musician and actor Bobby Beausoleil: Charles Manson Family associate and murderer currently serving life…how much more intense could it get?? Check out the video after the jump.

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Thom Kerr

Thom KerrThom Kerr is best known as a fashion photographer, but his work is creatively well mixed. After studying Fine Arts with a Film Degree in Brisbane, Australia, Thom initially began as a writer and director. His diverse background is unique, yet is style is similar to that of Baz Luhrmann. Check out more of his amazing Sci-Fi series after the jump.

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Pieter Hugo Documents South Africa’s Scars Of Colonialism

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Pieter Hugo’s “Kin” is the photographer’s closer look into his motherland and a personal approach to the incredible human diversity surrounding him. Hugo’s photo series from South Africa depicts the issues of race, social status, economical despair, sexuality and his own place in such “fractured, schizophrenic, wounded, and problematic place”.

Despite being complicated in content, Hugo’s photographs carry a distinctly serene, calming style and the sense of connection between the photographer, camera and the subject. Regardless of who’s in frame, an unknown homeless drifter, domestic servant, or his pregnant wife, Hugo captures their essence and tension in a simple static shot.

“[Kin] is an engagement with the failure of the South African colonial experiment and my sense of being ‘colonial driftwood. [South Africa] is a very violent society and the scars of colonialism and apartheid still run very deep. Issues of race and cultural custodianship permeate every aspect of society, and the legacy of forced racial segregation casts a long shadow.”

Based on his photographic approach, Pieter Hugo raises questions to himself and searches for answers through his work. How should one live in this diverse society? Should one accept the historical aftermath for granted or try to change it? How to raise a family in these circumstances?

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Linling Lu

 

The histories of geometric abstraction and quilting collide in these hard edged fabric paintings by Linling Lu.

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Enrico Nagel’s Flower-Headed Models

Enrico Nagel‘s Secret Garden is a series of collage portraits.  High fashion models are contrasted against a plain paperboard background.  Each model’s face is replaced with a garish arrangement of flowers, jewels, and other ephemera.  Nagel juxtaposes what he terms as the “artificial imagery” of the fashion world with the natural imagery of flowers.  Each bloom seems like a nearly violent coup of the subject’s identity, the clothing being the only remnant of the former glossy fashion mag photo.

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The Wilderness Downtown

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Chris Milk has partnered up with Google to create this amazing interactive Arcade Fire “The Wilderness Downtown” music video. You put in the address of a home you grew up in, and through Google Maps, your childhood neighborhood is featured!

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