For Ruined Polaroids, William Miller uses a broken polaroid SX-70 that he stumbled upon at a yard sale; quickly discovering that its decades-old gears mangled the film and transformed the exposure, the artist submitted the the whims of the photographic relic, allowing it to form blurred and unpredictably patterned abstractions from his shots.
Within the “ruined” images, we find a surprising emotionality, with the faulty chemical process producing expressionistic renderings of a less literal kind of photographic memory. Cataloging the accidentally lovely results of mechanical happenstance, each shot enters a richly moody realm evocative of the work of mid-century abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko. As the spastic movements of gears, chemicals, and fingers become the subject of the work, the artistic process overrides a predetermined result. Rather than serving as a record of a particular instant, Ruined Polaroids poignantly archives the accidental deterioration of a camera past its time.
Ultimately, the conceptual work also serves to refute contemporary understanding of the photograph. In her seminal work On Photography, published in 1977 at the height of polaroid popularity, Susan Sontag discusses the illusion of a photographic truth, theorizing that the photographer, unlike all other artists, is capable of disguising subjectivity for objective fact. Miller’s work expertly challenges this assumed power of the photographic medium, acutely presenting each image as evidence of its failures. The immediacy of the polaroid image only accelerates this process; printed instantly and held against some imagined reality, the bleeding lights and darks veer jarringly from what we expect from the camera. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor and This Is Paper)
Tom Schmelzer, an artist from Germany, has created this amazing headpiece which acts as a direct opposite to the late Alexander McQueen’s butterfly hat (shown below) for Spring 2008. This wearable sculpture was created with using wood, brass, felt, steel, rubber, viscose, and 140 scarabaeus sacers… also known as, 140 dung beetles! What Tom intended to symbolize by creating an antipode to McQueen’s butterfly headpiece, is to communicate the end of the noughties with its “neocons and megalomanians, its butterfly paintings and art market-bubbles.”
McQueen’s butterfly hat instantly resembles a vibrant flower in full bloom, while Tom’s headpiece orchestrates the exact opposite: a dead flower appearing rigid and brittle with time. When you compare the two, noticing the stark difference, we are reminded of the constant cycle of booming and withering of which we are surrounded by.
Jennifer Ziliotto is a Los Angeles based photographer (and happens to be a good friend and bandmate of mine!) One of my favorite shots is the David Lynch-ian inspired portrait, above, of Zachary James. I love its flickering, dramatic spot- lighting, its textural qualities; the soft focus, played against the cool, hard steel of the sword, the interplay of velvet on velvet, and its stunning jewel-tone palette – a beauty! Could almost be an out take of a surreal performance from Mulholland Drive or an unexpected hallway in Twin Peak’s black lodge. If her stunning, surreal photography that fuses psychedelia with glamour isn’t enough, she’s also an amazing make-up artist, having worked with the likes of Kat von D and Full Metal Jackie of Indie 103.1 fame.
Copenhagen based artist Peter Land works in a wide variety of media from painting to video to sculpture but my favorite works of his are these amazing large scale sculptures that remind me of childhood stories gone wrong.
We’ve been posting alot of amazing illustrators from the UK, and Jon Owen is yet another within this category. You can difinitely detect a common stylistic thread from piece to piece, yet, Jon also has a strength for mixing things up and keeping his work fresh. I’m personally fond of his limited color splashes & muted palette, which only increases my curiosity to explore the details of these narratives.
Søren Løkke Juul aka Indians released his debut album, Somewhere Else on 4AD this past January and I was lucky enough to catch him perform earlier this month at New York’s Mercury Lounge.
With the help of two additional musicians, Heather Woods Broderick and Laurel Simmons, the songs sounded extra lush. The added harmonies and a slowly grooving crowd were just what I needed to get lost in his hypnotic voice and electronic soundscapes. Check out the video for I Am Haunted and see why the Village Voice calls him, “Denmark’s Bon Iver“.
Gary Clark, or, preferably Graphic Nothing, takes the word “graphic” very literally. His works consist of lines, curves colors organized in a well thought out fashion. It’s like those color theory books you pick up in the computer section of the bookstore, but on crack. Or something similar. Either way, they’re mesmorizing to stare at, just don’t do it for too long or your face will stay that way.