Italian charity La Collina dei Conigli ONLUS rescues rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs from labs or mistreatment. The now-adoptable pets were the recent subjects of a photo series by Rachele Totaro that’s inspired by Lewis Carroll’s famous novel Alice in Wonderland. Volunteer Attilia Conti had the idea, and it commemorates the first 10 years of the charity’s operation. So, why Alice in Wonderland? Because the book and organization both started with a white rabbit.
The fantastical photographs feature the animals holding objects, poking out of a teapot, and of course, gazing into the looking glass. “Mice were the most cooperative models, while guinea pigs were the laziest (they stayed still only with food present),” Totaro writes. “Rats were the most attractive, and rabbits… were the most disapproving.” You can see that with some of the critters, there was no coercing them into any sort of cutesy pose.
The charity’s rescue center is located in Monza, near Milan, and many of the animals are still looking for new homes. If you’re local to the city, you can adopt one. (Via Bored Panda)
Everybody likes a dash of mystery. We got a submission from a German illustrator named Amrei. Her body of work is called Vertico’s Puppets. She also seems to go by the name Sosima. Which one is her true identity? You be the judge! Either way, her illustrations are cute yet deadly like a pink bunny rabbit with a switchblade. Enjoy the amazingness!
At just 24 years old, Ontario-born and Brooklyn-based artist Joey L. boasts an impressive portfolio. Renowned for his diverse collection of portraits ranging from well-known celebrities to tribes encountered during his travels in Ethiopia, his work demonstrates “proof of an artist equally comfortable with the familiar and the exotic.” In his annual “Halloween in Brooklyn” series, Joey L. documents the familiar—locals in Bushwick, Brooklyn—as they don their halloween costumes and transform into a different kind of exotic.
Capturing masquerading adults and trick-or-treating children alike, Joey began this series as a way to “view this local annual tradition through the eyes of a foreigner.” Having heavily traveled and, thus, experienced the unfamiliarity of other cultures’ festivals and celebrations, Joey sought to engage with Halloween in a unique way. Shooting each image in dreamy black and white and setting most of his subjects against a solid, black background, the eerie photographs are simultaneously dripping with drama and laced with playfulness—achieving the photograph’s objective to get “lost in a childish sugar rush of both home-made and store-bought pop-culture costumes of the year.”
Mark Todd is an illustrator based out of Los Angeles who’s revered as a mystical figure in the world of zines. His booths are always the most presentable and his work has this well-balanced dichotomy of childlike proportions and lucid clarity, which makes for a fun finished product. When he draws people, like he did in his book BAD ASSES, they not only look like perfect personifications of their originals, but also give off this nostalgic vibe as well. It’s like he’s able to channel the innocent energy of the kid in grade school who was the best artist in the class, while also being able to back it up with a vicious stealth attack. I mean, you try drawing someone random like Geraldo Rivera, getting a stranger to recognize it without giving them any hints, and then repeating it with others — so now the strangers not only recognize your subjects, but also your own style as an artist as well. Mark is a busy guy and when he isn’t influencing the crap out of young minds at Art Center or working on a commercial project, he and his wife, Esther Pearl Watson, run the publishing company Fun Chicken.
John Pham is most well known for his Graphic Novel Anthology Sublife as well as his work on Cartoon Network’s Problem Solverz. His personal work consists of vibrant gouache paintings that simultaneously reference modern design ethics and vintage computer imagery. Pham’s Tron –like environments exist as streamlined versions of Atari 2600 graphics.
As we wave goodbye to Halloween, let’s take a minute to mediate on the innately striking work of Diane Arbus and her unbiased approach to documenting not just the spookier side of humanity, but even more so, the masks or costumes we present to the world as a species, as human beings, as ourselves . . . year-round.
Now, when I use the word “unbiased” here I am not suggesting Arbus’s eye is roaming and invisible. Quite the contrary. Her eye is always distinctly there: focused, from one frame to the next. This “unbiased” quality has more to do with her indiscriminate examination of each subject in the same oddly intimate and unflinching way– regardless of class, age, gender, sexual preference, or race. In other words, a child with a toy hand grenade in the park looks equally as strange as the a woman lounging next to a toy poodle or a handful of residents dressed up on Halloween at a home for the mentally retarded. No one person, group, or act is more privileged. No one is all the more beautiful. We are all playing dress-up as far as identity and image is concerned.
By seeking out each individual’s innate desire to present him or herself and critically or creatively twisting that into her own perception of costume in each person’s presentation, Arbus became not just a photographer, but an alchemist, shifting our ideas of self, reality, and personal intention. Whether you are a part of celebrity culture or a more marginalized society spread out along the fringe, Arbus’s certain way of looking did not glorify one way of living over the other.
Michael Kontopoulos, a grad student at UCLA Design|Media Arts has created a system of sculptures that are constantly on the brink of collapse. His intention was to capture and sustain the exact moment of impending catastrophe and endlessly repeat it. This documentation gives me the chills, makes me sweat, and I almost scream when each machine comes close to collapse. Good job Michael.
Syrian artist Khaled Takreti is the spotlight of a new exhibition at the prestigious Ayyam Gallery in Dubai, debuting today and running through November 29. Although known for vibrant, saturated canvases, which seem to conjure the ghosts of Modigliani, Matisse and Warhol, his new exhibition presents a softer, more subdued approach; Takreti toning back his pigment-happy habits with a muted palette of earth tones and the occasional dramatic splashes of color in order to present a more realistic view of life. It is, in fact, Takreti’s own view of life in his homeland of Syria–the interpretation of which, with Takreti’s dramatic vacant spaces and quiet colors, is left entirely up to us.