Joel Tretin Makes Jokes With His Camera

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Joel Tretin calls himself a Photo Humorist and that description seems perfectly apt. His photo series Stranger in Paradox “looks at what’s true and totally screws with it.” At first glance, the pictures seem deceptively straightforward—portraits of the city shot in a somewhat generic ad-agency aesthetic. Hidden in plain sight are the visual jokes: a parking ticket on the windshield on a sports car in a building height ad; a carousel over a revolving door; an elephant walking though the green murkiness of a subway. The Photoshop manipulations are mostly seamless—it really looks like that woman is pushing an eight-seat stroller, and that sporty yellow cab looks real next to its stodgier brother. A stack of cars make the most of a lone parking space.

The subtlest images make you work for them. A lit Wall Street façade, American flags… oh, there. The don’t walk sign is flipping the bird. The traffic sign points to the “Road Most Taken” an apparent play on Robert Frost’s Road Less Taken.

Photo manipulation in art is often used to create surreal imagery. And these pictures are surreal in that they portray things that are unreal and often fantastic, but the photos lack the intention and technique that transform pictures into fine art. Which seems to be just fine with Trentin, who says:

I am a failed stand up comedian, who now tries to make people laugh through photography.

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Teenage Boy Comically Remakes Female Celebrity Fashion Looks

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New Zealand high school student Liam Martin has created quite the buzz with his Instagram account (@waverider_), where he has currently amassed over 1.5 million followers due to his humorous recreation of memes, and more popularly and recently, fashion photographs of female celebrities (and the occasional cartoon). He’s creatively recreated images of Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Tyra Banks, Lorde, Iggy Azalea, and Taylor Swift – it seems he grabs whatever is available around him that resembles celebrity clothing and accessories and constructs his own comically similar versions of high fashion. Much of Martin’s comedy emerges from the facial expressions he gives the camera and the energy he exudes in each photo. Martin says, “I’m very weird and open. I think that’s why I get so many followers, because I’m myself.”

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Incredibly Detailed Drawings Merge Wildlife And Human Worlds

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Graphic design and illustration studio Violaine & Jeremy create stunning graphite pencil drawings of animals and people merging with wildlife and nature. Surreal illustrations feature wild and domestic critters propped with various attributes of human world: spectacles, patterned scarves and even Victorian waistcoats.

Another humorous venture by the creative duo, Violaine Orsoni and Jeremy Schneider, is to attach lush flowery beards onto humans and wild animals. The unexpected combination of a fiercely looking gorilla sporting a Garden of Eden-like facial hair is beyond humorous. The idea seems to resonate with the latest trend of men adorning their beards with colorful blossoming flora.

Each piece of the collection demonstrates incredible attention to detail. Perfect technique of pencil hatching and shading brings Orsoni and Schneider’s intricate drawings very close to photorealism. Their studio collaborates on a variety of projects: from visual identity, to album covers, to design of the France’s leading innovation magazine, Influencia. (via KoiKoiKoi)

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Famous Paintings Overlain with Hip Hop Lyrics Are Remarkably Cohesive

James McNeill Whistler, Whistler’s Mother (1871) / S&M, Rihanna

James McNeill Whistler, Whistler’s Mother (1871) / S&M, Rihanna

Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci (c.1503) / Super Bass, Nicki Minaj

Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci (c.1503) / Super Bass, Nicki Minaj

Nighthawks, Edward Hopper (1942) / Girls Love Beyonce, Drake

Nighthawks, Edward Hopper (1942) / Girls Love Beyonce, Drake

Hell (1450), Dirk Bouts / Drop It Like It’s Hot, Snoop Dogg feat. Pharell Williams

Hell (1450), Dirk Bouts / Drop It Like It’s Hot, Snoop Dogg feat. Pharell Williams

Fly Art is a Tumblr account created by students and artists Gisella Velasco and Toni Potenciano. Since December 2013, the duo have been collaborating on mashups of hip hop lyrics and classic artworks, blending two seemingly disparate cultural artifacts into a surprising and often humorous cohesion. Velasco and Pontenciano pair Nicki Minaj with Mona Lisa, Rihanna with Whistler’s Mother, and Outkast with Matisse. The large text overlaying the classic art is a bit jarring at first, but creates an interesting effect, recontextualizing both the lyrics and the images, each informing a new reading of the other. The project’s Tumblr states that it is “paying homage to the good things in life: fine art and fresh hip hop.” (via artnet)

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Illustrations From 1960s Book Depict People In Absurd Masochistic Situations

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Roland Topor (1938–1997) was a French illustrator, painter, writer, filmmaker, actor and whatnot mostly known for his macabre and surreal cartoons. His illustrated book “Les Masochistes” was first published in 1960 and features a number of absurdly humorous masochistic actions that people perform on themselves.

The grotesque situations depicted in “Les Masochistes” perfectly convey Topor’s artistic style and approach towards the world. He infuses the grim reality of Nazi dictatorship (Topor and his family were Polish refugees of Jewish origin) with humor which was probably the best coping mechanism at that time. As described by Bernard Vehmeyer, a quote from Topor’s novel “The Tenant” perfectly sums up his world view:

He was perfectly conscious of the absurdity of his behavior, but he was incapable of changing it. This absurdity was an essential part of him. It was probably the most basic element of his personality.

Most often, Topor’s illustrations were based on surreal scenarios with deeper allusions to sex, erotica, rotting mankind and such. According to closer friends, artist had repetitive periods of extreme depression where he would balance on the verge of death and it reflects in his work.

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Svetlana Petrova Inserts Her Fat Cat Into Famous Paintings

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I first encountered Russian artist Svetlana Petrova’s renderings of classic paintings, modified to include her very large, fat cat, a couple of years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find the artist is still re-creating paintings, and that her work has recently become a part of a gallery show in Abingdon, England.

Petrova’s mother died in 2008, leaving her cat, Zarathustra, behind. She claims her mother spoiled the cat, contributing to Zarathustra’s large stature. Petrova was very depressed after her mother’s death and wasn’t able to make art until a friend suggested she create an art project using the cat, and thus, Fat Cat Art was born.

Petrova says, “I’m a professional artist, and I was fond of Internet memes, and I thought maybe I can make an Internet meme who would at the same time [be] a work of art. And I did this.” But her confidence in her work was at first met with some hesitation. “I thought that I could hold an exhibition, but gallery owners said: ‘This is not art, this is just cats.’ I asked: ‘Why is a shark in the formaldehyde art, but and a cat in a classic painting is not art?’ Nobody could give me an answer, and these people began to avoid me saying that I am mad.” Eventually, though, her cat art won the hearts of the gallery in the UK.

Petrova has been most recently inserting her cat into movies, and she welcomes suggestions for fat cat placements via her Twitter, or the project’s website, whose disclaimer reads: “We are real. All the artworks at this site are real. Nobody’s opinion about Us, Our art or this site will ever disturb Our suprematism.” (via archie mcphee and huffington post)

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Cari Vander Yacht Turns Vintage Photographs Into Humorous Animated Gifs

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Cari Vander Yacht animates old photographs she found in thrift stores located near her hometown in Portland, Oregon. For the Amsterdam-based art director’s side project, TGIMGIF (Thank God It’s Monday Graphic Interchange Format), she breathes humor and new life into photographs that have been abandoned. Vander Yacht says she stares at the photos until she finds herself giggling over her animation ideas; she then scans and digitally manipulates the images until they become the animation she envisions. Her only rule is that she has to use the elements already in the photograph. Of her acquisition of these old photos, Vander Yacht tells Fast Company, “At a certain point, one must justify their creepy acquisition of other people’s pasts. Either you make up stories about how you’re related to the people in the pictures or you animate them.” Vander Yacht’s website is currently down for maintenance, but you can view more of her work on Tumblr. (via fast company)

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Alaina Varrone Skillfully Embroiders Bawdy And Playful Tableaus

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Alaina Varrone‘s embroidery is bawdy, playful, and especially considering thread is the medium, astonishingly technical. Each piece of Varrone’s tells an absurd, humorous, and/or eroticized story. She draw her inspiration from subcultures such as furries, heavy metal, and BDSM, but she’s also inspired by her own life, sometimes inserting herself directly into her work, producing pieces that are part fantasy, part memory. Though some of her work is deeply personal, Varrone executes it with a sense of humor, transforming the serious into the comic. Of her overtly sexual work, Varrone says,

I’ve been doing this for some years now, and this past year or so I’ve noticed more people doing blatantly sexual work, and I actually roll my eyes! I feel like a jerk for admitting that, but I feel like we’re past doing erotic art for shock value.

 

I still get stupid comments about my work because I’m a woman who does erotic art, I still get men who assume I’m easy or promiscuous because I’m open about this subject, and it doesn’t help that I’m buxom either, so some more ignorant folks just see a big titted woman stitching coitus and get a jolly from it.

 

I’m trying to capture moments, I’m not just stitching a vagina to be “edgy”, and I like to think my technical ability and sense of humour help to garner respect. I just keep doing what I want to do, I just trust my instincts, so far it’s worked out pretty well!

You can find purchase Varrone’s work on Etsy, Flickr, and Tumblr. (via evil tender)

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