Clever Photos Make Fun Of Celebrity Selfies

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For “Phonies,” the UK photographer Dan Rubin turns celebrity selfies into works of fine art. In his unusual street photographs, the smartphone itself stands in for the face of passersby,  projecting the grins of social media-savvy stars like Kim Kardashian, James Franco, and Harry Styles. Rubin’s series is equal parts playful and scathing, capturing the narcissism of celebrity in the 21st century in such a way that highlights the anonymity of the digital age.

Within the medium of street photography, normally characterized by raw and gritty from-the-hip shots, Rubin replaces candid captures with shiny screens projecting perfectly made-up celebrity faces. In these clever doubles, these photographs of photographs, notions of identity are complicated. Our faces, especially in photographs, have the power to betray our innermost selves and to define our perceptions of that self; here, the subject’s visage is shown only to be a reflection of the media we consume. As we are continuously bombarded with social media, how do we shape our egos in relation to the rich and famous?

From images, we derive meaning. Flawlessly inserting the HTC One mini 2 phone into his compositions, the artist creates a hybrid human that is simultaneously a celebrity and just another face in the crowd. As we become more vain and the innocent selfie borders on arrogant self-indulgence, do we stifle our individuality? Here, the realm of social media is ambiguously seen, a powerful force that is both fun and disconcerting. Take a look.
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Celebrity Nipple Slips Turned Into Probing Works Of Art

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The now-infamous Playboy image later re-appropriated by Shinji

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For his project “Nipple,” the multimedia artist Shinji Murakami approaches female eroticism in an unexpected way, creating 8-bit images from photographs of Janet Jackson’s Superbowl “nip-slip,” Paris Hilton’s breast-baring bikini, and Kim Kardashian’s Playboy images. In constructing the pixilated images, the artist focuses solely on a tiny square area of each celebrity’s nipple.

In bringing the erogenous zone into the digital age, Shinji paradoxically desexualizes this part of the female body; while the original images are intended to be or considered to arousing, the blown-up nipple’s abstract, geometric pixel patterns inspire no erotic response. In this way, the work might be seen as a brutal reminder that, try as it might, digital media cannot stand in for true sexual intimacy.

Or perhaps “Nipple” is an unsettling prophecy: as we rely more upon technology, this series represents a more modern “sexy.” Erotic images of women’s bodies are becoming more accessible and more mass-produced; the video game industry, whose advanced technology serves as Shinji’s inspiration, has been criticized for its objectification of women. “Nipple” is that idea taken to the extreme; in these works, these female subjects are reduced to a single body part, and in turn, that body part is pixelated and transformed into an utterly dehumanized abstraction.

That is not to say that the images don’t contain beauty; in fact, the simplicity of their geometric form spotlights lovely hues. Each woman’s flesh becomes a digital tapestry of unexpected color variances. Like a modern take on the work of French Impressionists, “Nipple” precisely examines and deconstructs its subjects into tiny sections; here, in the place of a heavy brushstroke, is a pixel. What do you think of this conceptual take on the cultural connotations of the female body? Is it offensive or refreshing?

Take a look at more of Shinji’s brilliant and fun pixilated, video game-inspired work below! (via Spoon & TamagoShinji Murakami, and Game Scenes)
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What Marilyn Monroe And Other Celebrities Would Look Like If They Were Covered In Tattoos

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Ever wonder how your favorite celebrity/fictional characters would look like if they were covered in tattoos? Maybe your overly pretentious, inked hipster friends would be a little bit more accepting of your unhealthy obsession with the royal family…

In that case, thank your friends at Shopped Tattoos, a Tumblr based online gallery created by Cheyenne Randall that curates images of celebrities that were photoshopped to look like heavily tattooed, ordinary people.

ShoppedTattoos carefully selects/creates images that not only look timeless, but that feature celebrities that are relevant, and usually known for their refined, clean look. Some make more sense than others (for instance, Edward Norton in American History X, or Jonny Cash fit the tattoo profile), but for the most part, it is a bit shocking to see the royal family, or the Kennedys for that matter, covered in tattoos.

Although silly, I think that this project brings forth a series of questions that deal with the future of celebrity/fictional characters and their public appearance. Would our future celebrities be heavily tattooed? Are tattoos becoming mainstream, and plain ordinary (not part of a counter-culture)? Those are things we’ll have to observe in the distant and near future.

In the meantime, you can check up on more images on here.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Final Portrait Is One Of A Breathtaking Series Of Celebrity Photographs

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Since his tragic death, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s image has fluttered on and off of our computer screens more times than we can count. When we lose celebrities who’ve influenced us, we might search for solace in a single work of art that captures an intimate expression of some larger cultural current; we elevate the photographic likeness of stars to the status of a late relative, bookmarked online rather than carried in a wallet.

A few short weeks ago, Hoffman and fellow actors sat for the photographer Victoria Will at the Sundance film festival, and her photographs serve as a testament to the worshipful and nurturing ways in which we consider celebrity. The series is unusual for Will’s choice to use tintype, a photographic process popular in the mid-1800s. As the artist positions her sitters behind a reverent lens, the prolific subjects themselves becomes elevated by the sheer amount of work needed to produce their image. In this way, the work harkens back to an era when people treasured the photograph of a loved one and maybe only sat for one shot throughout a lifetime.

Will refers to the process as “finicky” and “honest;” the images recall the work of Moyra Davey, a photographer who wrote on the power of accidents in the medium. With the remarkably delicate crinkling of emulsion and subtle and unintentional chemical happenings, each subject becomes marked and qualified by the artist’s accidental movements and sporadic perceptions. With each astounding frame, our idols beg the question, “Will this be the image by which you remember me?” (via 22 Words and Esquire)

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Celebrity Mashups: Do celebrities Get More Identical With The Passing Decades?

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George Chamoun, a Swedish jewelry design student at the Konstfack University of the Arts, creates Iconatomy, a project that critically looks at celebrities, fashion icons, political, religious, and other personalities that influenced the confines of beauty today. The artist perfectly arranges the new and the old fragments of celebrity faces, so that upon a quick glance, viewers might think they are looking at just one subject. Each compilation features two faces representing the past and the present of glamour and fame.

Chamoun’s collection of mash-ups are striking in that we barely find differences between these timeless icons. I think this makes up for a strange, but obvious conclusion: we still look for perfect, youthful faces… standards of beauty have remained the same throughout all of these years. In fact, it has stayed so much the same that celebrities now resemble the ones before their time.

Apart from making this statement, I think we can’t deny that there is also an eagerness to resemble times in which beauty was a bit more natural than what it is today. Celebrities, stylist, hair dresser, etc have the urgency to emulate classic beauty. However, they are trying so hard that they all back on unnatural ways to make that happen.

Similarly, Marc Ghali, Canada-based photographer, also works within this framework.

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Danny Evans Gives Celebrities A ‘Make-Under’

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New York artist Danny Evans, photoshops photos of celebrities to make them look like the average joe, precisely, to show what the super famous would eventually look like without the best make-up artists and stylists that money can buy.

“It was a reaction to the over-Photoshopped images of celebrities that we see everyday. I thought it would be interesting to take it in the opposite direction.”

The project has been active since 2006, when Danny started ‘making-under’ the highly popular photographs of socialite Paris Hilton. Evans was fascinated by how quickly Paris’ pictures created instant buzz, and how much power she really had over a mass public just by being rich and ‘attractive’. Needless to say, the collection of Paris’ ‘make-unders’ grew from there;  Evans created a Facebook page named Planet Hiltron which turned into a huge success; from there, he started to work with other celebrities.

“Basically just stripping away their cool personas I always find it interesting to see what’s left after the Hollywood has been scrubbed off. My intention wasn’t necessarily to age them, but to strip them of their ‘Hollywood’ facade. That has more or less been my general goal with this series all along.”

(Via I Acknowledge that Beauty Exists)

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The Theatrical Photography Of Tyler Shields

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From burning Birkin bags to Barbies in Bondage or a clad Lindsay Lohan playing with guns, Tyler Shields’ subjects are as Hollywood as the photographer himself. Even his Tate Modern acquisition was documented on Mrs. Eastwood And Company, an E! reality television show.

Like Andy Warhol, Shields’ famous connections and brazen use of them, make his work ripe for the picking, for better or worse.

His most captivating imagery, to us, however, has less obvious celebrity shock value, depicting instead more theatrical situations where subjects are posed, mid-action, falling from rooftops or engaged in colorful night fights.

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Conceptual Graphic Design and Politically-Oriented Installation from British Artist Scott King

 Scott King is bringing some interesting ideas to the table concerning celebrity culture, social revolution, and Globalism. He often includes humorous elements in his work, which is hardly ever a bad thing. King has produced conceptual graphic design, print design, and installation work (large and small) with equal skill and insight. From a piece depicting Ulrike Meinhof as the Mona Lisa, to punk flyers, sculpture, and altered magazine covers, King is doing it. And he’s doing it well. Read More >

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