Photographs That Borrow From History To Critique Sexual Politics

Genevieve Blais - PhotographyGenevieve Blais - PhotographyGenevieve Blais - Photography

Genevieve Blais, a photographer based in Toronto, borrows imagery from classic art history paintings to unpack sexual politics relative to today’s contemporary palate.

Of her intention, Blais states, “The aesthetic/topical dissonance aims to elicit an uneasy response in order to subvert the implicit authority and sanctity of the icon.”

The result confronts and critiques art culture by sitting in an uneasy space between not only imagery, but also mediums– cameras and brushes, forcing us to clearly see the model as the true determinant– a staged powerful variant that has been with us since Caravaggio’s rule, humanizing the myth.

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Soft Silicone Rubber Soul Sculpture

Michelle Carla Handel - Sculpture Michelle Carla Handel - Sculpture Michelle Carla Handel - Sculpture

Iconic and lovely Louise Bourgeois once said, “The feminists took me as a role model, as a mother. It bothers me. I am not interested in being a mother. I am still a girl trying to understand myself.”

Likewise, one might suggest that the soft and silicone rubber sculptures of Michelle Carla Handel, collected here, are conceptually doing something similar, but with a splash of Claes Oldenburg’s wit and color pop.

Each piece feels intriguingly pubescent: exploring the grotesque softness of bodies and gender through seemingly pliable forms that physically confuse or bend out of shape, emotionally heaving with discovery and wear.

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Phoebe Washburn’s Fort Installations And Mixed Media Inventions

Phoebe Washburn - Installation Phoebe Washburn - InstallationPhoebe Washburn - Installation

Phoebe Washburn’s constructions, built from found or discarded objects such as plants, plywood, cardboard, or fish tanks, to name a few, have been gaining critical acclaim and momentum since 2008, when she took part in the coveted Whitney Biennial.

Of her craft and salvage, in W Magazine, Washburn states: “I’m not green; I’m greedy . . . There’s definitely an aspect of hoarding that drives this, absolutely! If I see someone walking down the street with a nice piece of wood, I’m like, Where did they get that?”

Her approach to discussing art is as playful and humble as the structures themselves, or their titles, which range from “Nunderwater Nort Lab” (above, top) to “Baby Brain (Not Safe for Use as Jacuzzi)” (above, below).

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Shadow Puppet Installations Made Out Of Doll Parts

Bohyun Yoon - Installation

Bohyun Yoon - Installation Bohyun Yoon - InstallationBohyun Yoon has lived in Japan, Korea, and The States. He uses these “diverse social experiences” as a point of reference for his work, which circles around societal restraints and progressive concepts of the body: possible extensions and perils with the advancement of technology/war/culture on a personal and holistic level.

His installation work “Unity” (2009), “Structure of Shadow” (2007), and “Shadow” (2004) casts light on miniature wax body parts which physically dangle aimlessly; however, when illuminated by a light source, these fragmentations create shadows or illusions which illustrate figurative wholeness.

Tethered to our bodies and systems of government, our parts and puppetry, is in essence, our humanness or machinery, or as Yoon explains, what makes us “weak and fragile, spiritless animals under certain rule, certain harsh conditions.” His work also resonates with a sense of devastation felt by veterans returning wounded from battle, physically and spiritually.

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Performative Sculpture And Photography Mash-Ups

Trisha Holt - Photography

Charlie White + Katy Grannan

Trisha Holt - Photography

Man Ray + Francesca Woodman

Detroit artist Trisha Holt builds performative sculpture from blown-up photographs twisted, masked, or hugged onto live models in everyday settings, then reshoots for a surrealistic effect. This series, titled Love Child, creatively cross-breeds two iconic & artistic souls with one another. The top image, for example, is the offspring of “Charlie White Katy Grannan“. The second one is of “Man Ray + Francesca Woodman”. Both are titled so accordingly. Can you see the resemblance?

Holt’s work is a stunning collection of mash-ups which humorously and humbly troubles over its own worth in the world, playfully echoing this song by The Supremes: “Love child, love child / Never quite as good / Afraid, ashamed, misunderstood / But I’ll always love you.”

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Matt Martin

The UK’s Matt Martin is a film photographer working out of Brighton. His work gives us a refreshingly intimate look at adventure, a subject that’s typically trampled to death by passionless snapshots, Matt shows us how to do it right. He’s also an extra hardworking and motivated young man, heading up The Photocopy Club, a series of DIY photography exhibitions aimed to take photography off of the screen and back into the hands of the people using one of the most accessible mediums – the photocopy. The next show opens in London on Feb. 3rd.
Much of this series of photos was taken from Matt Martin’s new double-zine Goodnight Neverland / Thank God I’m Forgiven published by No Fun Press.

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Stanzie Tooth

A recent graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Stanzie Tooth paints scenes that evoke a sense of calm. Her works often feature woodland landscapes, sometimes bursting with pastel hues that would make a Fauvist blush.

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A1One’s Street Calligraphy

A1One (aka Tanha) has claimed his influences to be as diverse as Australian Aboriginal art to Mayan narrative hieroglyphics, but what stands out most in his recent works is his strong connection to his Persian heritage and his Iranian homeland. A1One has been gaining recognition lately and rightfully so. His colorful, intricate scrawls on Tehran’s walls and canvases artfully blend Arabic calligraphy with current street culture, as well as address social issues around the globe.

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