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Interview: Special Problems

Special Problems is a multi-disciplinary creative studio composed of Campbell Hooper, Darron Lilley and Joel Kefali. Their work fuses hand drawn, painted, video, animation and illustration–often recontextualized in new and surprising ways. They recently interviewed with Beautiful/Decay to discuss their design collective, their approach, and thought processes behind their videos. 

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Myleen Hollero

Myleen Hollero

Myleen Hollero is a freelance photographer based in San Francisco. Her website boasts a collection of “photographs, mental notes and observations on timing, space, memory, people and some things in between.” Hollero’s photographs portray movement and, just as fluidly and richly, the sounds associated with the particular space; they put your senses to work! Kind of like the link between smell and memory.

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Rafael Gómezbarros’ Giant Ant Installations Shed Light on the Plight Of Migrant Workers

Rafael Gómezbarros
Rafael Gómezbarros
Rafael Gómezbarros
 Rafael Gómezbarros

Casa Tomada is a project of traveling installations started in 2007 by Colombian artist Rafael Gómezbarros in which giant sculptures of ants are fixed in swarms on buildings and structures. Self-described as “urban intervention” by Gómezbarros, the ants have been showcased in locations varying from London to Cuba with a very specific goal in mind: shedding light on immigration, forced displacement, and uprooting through historical points of departure for travelers and immigrants. The 2-foot ants themselves are crafted out of tree branches for legs and two joined skull casts made of fiberglass resin and fabric to make up the torso, making for a particularly morbid, visceral depiction of migrant workers in Latin America who are looked at as nothing more than vermin.

When placed on the facades of government buildings and blank gallery walls alike, the ants give off a chilling sense of foreboding and encroachment. By placing them in swarms, Gómezbarros makes the insects even more strikingly representative of the peasants displaced by war and strife in Gómezbarros’ native Colombia. The giant insects that make up Casa Tomada, which translates to Seized House, are certainly works that are bound to linger with viewers, whether in nightmares or otherwise.

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Mike Stefanini

Classic typography with a twist, slick illustrations, and just the right amount of humor go into all the works in the portfolio of Parisian designer and illustrator Mike Stefanini A.K.A Atomike Studio.

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Doing Chores 20 Feet above the Sidewalk

Artist Angie Hiesl‘s site specific pieces blend installation and performance.  Her X-Times People Chair series elevates senior citizens to traffic-stopping heights.  Hiesl installs a steel chair on the fascades of buildings about ten to twenty feet off the ground.  Performers typically between sixty and seventy years old perch themselves on the chair.  The perching senior citizens perform mundane daily routines such as reading the paper or folding clothes for the duration of the perfomance.

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Adam Martinakis’ Digital Worlds

Polish pixel wizard Adam Martinakis’ digital illustrations are out of this world. I can’t figure out if these started as photographs, elaborate sets, or live completely within the computer but they are impressive nevertheless.(via vectro ave)

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Igor Starkov

Igor Starkov photography

This is a bizarre yet interesting project by Russian photographer Igor Starkov. Here is a description of the project in the photographers own words:

Vladivostok amateur photographers often go to the countryside for photo sessions. Anyone can be a model but in general they are young girls and photographers are men of different ages.

The larger and more expensive the camera and the longer the lens, the bigger the chance to find a girl for a photo session.

I was photographing what they have created. Postures, looks, everything was as it would be on amateur photographs with the only difference that I was using film and medium format and perhaps was composing my frames more professionally.

And photographers are eager to touch young girls with their hands, put down a bretelle and may be get to know her closer. There is even a certain competition between the photographers – who managed to take pictures of more beautiful girls, and whose pictures are sexier. To persuade her to pose naked requires mastery not everyone has.

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Roger Hiorns Uses Chemical Transformations To Create Art

HiornsInstallation HiornsInstallation5 HiornsInstallation4

Roger Hiorns‘ sculptures and installations are concerned with chemical processes and how these processes affect his materials and forms. I first encountered Hiorns’ work a few years ago when his installation, Seizure, was nominated for a Turner prize in 2009. For this installation, Hiorns filled an entire vacant & demolition-ready ex-London council estate flat with a copper sulphate solution. This created an abundance of bright blue crystals that filled every inch of the space. Visitors to the space had no choice but to crush some of the crystals as they walked through the transformed flat, further altering the construction of the space and his work.  Hiorns uses the same copper sulphate solution to transform other objects, but also combines other seemingly disparate materials like ceramic pots with moving foam, metal with fire, steel with perfume, and even glass fiber with brain matter. A crucial component of Hiorns’ work stems from his compulsion to initiate the reaction, but then step back and become an objective viewer of his work as it transforms. Hiorns: “The works are successful if they are self-contained and need nothing else. They exist by their own language.”

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