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Michael Ray Charles Confronts Evolving Racial Stereotypes In His Paintings

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The paintings by Michael Ray Charles depict controversial imagery regarding racial stereotypes from the past and present commercial culture. In Print Mag, he suggests his usage of such stereotypes are not designed to thrill, throw, or flaunt, but more so to excavate their societal relevance, revulsion, and power– examining how each affects our personal symbolic lexicons.  It’s an ongoing compounding struggle to discern and detach from this branding.

Regarding this, Charles asserts, “I think about so many people whose lives these images have affected. A lot of Black people have died and many are dying under the weight of these images. That’s motivation enough for me to explore, and deal with, these things.”

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Teun Hocks

Dutch photographer Teun Hock’s photographs are clever, eye-catching, and surreal. Consistently using himself to convey a peculiar character, he depicts a middle-aged man who is perpetually trapped in self-depreciating and humorous situations. He is stuck in the middle of an ice floe while his bag, hat, and umbrella are carried away on separate pieces; he hangs from a swinging chandelier; he is blindfolded and wearing a birthday hat while walking on the moon, and using a ladder to measure the night sky.

His process is very labor intensive and his work extends far beyond the traditional boundaries of photography. As explained by the artist:

“…There’s a big backdrop that I paint or build, or whatever’s needed, and I stand in the middle of that. Then I take a picture of myself in black and white and enlarge it. I do it myself in the darkroom with a little bit of help. Then I tone the picture sepia. And later I add oil paint. I color everything, but it’s transparent, so that you can see the picture underneath.”

In addition to his work in photography, he was commissioned to design and paint stained glass windows for the Grote Kerk of Dorecht, a medieval church located in the Netherlands.

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Tamar Levine’s Cinemagraphs

I’m a big fan of Gif animations in general but Tamar Levine has stepped it up with her cinemagraphs series fusing fashion photography with subtle and classy animations. Usually gif animations are going a mile a minute but by slowing down the animation Tamar has created a unique and powerful way of using our favorite photoshop trick.

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Olivier Ratsi’s Presidential Deconstructions

So you’ve endured months of deconstructing every sentence of each presidential candidate’s rhetoric.  It’s only fitting that on the eve of Election Day we also visually deconstruct the president, both past and present.  French artist Olivier Ratsi produced these presidential digital collages – glitch-like reconstructions of the presidential portrait.  Each piece of the series Once Upon a Time the Presidents is made up of various facial features of past American presidents.  For example while a portrait’s eyes may have been snatched from Harry Truman, his mouth may be Barack Obama’s and his hair Teddy Roosevelt’s (or is that that John F. Kennedy’s?)  The clean shaven cheek, toothy smile, and neatly combed hair appear repeatedly and feel eerily ubiquitous.  Ratsi forgoes overt political references in favor of a subtler idea.  Each portrait doesn’t so much portray past presidents as it does the idea of the presidential image.

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Carol Inez Charney’s Colorful Condensation Photographs

Carol Inez Charney is a photographer based in San Francisco. Her newest body of work is a series of images that resemble colorful abstractions. In reality the photographs are close-ups of water on windows as well as the colors that surround them. In her own words: “My current photographic series, Interior Landscape, uses natural distortions present in our everyday world—namely, moisture on windows—to evoke a painterly image that recontextualizes our everyday architectural landscape. While focusing on the minute details of these natural distortions, we enter a space of quiet contemplation, which simultaneously inspires a new kind of internal and external vision. After several years of combining painting and photography with mixed results, one very cold day in Minnesota I looked through a window completely covered in condensation out to the frosty distant landscape. I realized I could use the camera to reinterpret the world around me into a form akin to that of painting.” (via)

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Greg Briggs’ Documents The Nameless Faces That Clean Galleries And Museums

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Australian photographer Greg Briggs‘ new photoseries Melbourne Cleaners highlights the often nameless faces that clean and restore the seemingly untouched galleries, theaters and museums. By focusing on the people who keep these spaces pristine, Briggs not only acknowledges the work of these people, but also takes the viewer behind the scenes to an even more quite, contemplative place, rarely seen by most museum-goers.

Taking place via a virtual tour of important architecture and places throughout Melbourne, Australia, Briggs’ photoseries was captured over six months. Capturing these workers who generally work alone, they are seemingly oblivious to the camera, and are caught in intensely private moments alone with their work. One cannot help but notice how these abandoned, quiet, spaces might be a better way to actually appreciate all the works of art we often walk right by during busy open hours.

Katie Hosmer at My Modern Met writes, “The artist captures what seem like voyeuristic moments as cleaners go about their work in some of the city’s important and iconic buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral and The Queens Hall, Parliament House. Surrounded by classic architecture andfamous artwork, each individual concentrates on the task at hand and seems completely unaware of the camera’s presence. Viewers can almost hear the low hum of polishing machines, the soft whoosh of feathers dusting across the nooks of a picture frame, and the splatter of bottle spraying cleaner along the surface of glass.” (via mymodernmet)

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Kris Knight

Kris Knight, Oil on Canvas

Kris Knight’s portraits are presented in such a settled and graceful manner, yet underneath the surface of the subjects in question, he is able to portray various feelings of awe and mystery. Who are these characters who candidly stare back at the viewer? Such hidden emotions are portrayed through a muted color palette and calculated brushstrokes, giving the viewer plenty to look at, yet with a feeling of wanting to know more.

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