French artist Didier Massard creates eye-deceiving miniature dioramas depicting surreal, mystical landscapes. From a first glance, these sets remind of extremely detailed, hyper-realistic paintings or digitally rendered images. The striking effect unfolds after closer examination, when the viewer is exposed to careful layering and thoughtful light arrangements.
Massard explains his inspiration comes from real and imagined places. The limits of real life infuses his imagination to create mythological and romantic scenarios, which he then calls “the completion of an inner imaginary journey”. China, India, the cliffs of Normandy and many other locations have been depicted in Didier’s works.
“There were many places in the world where I’d never gone that I wished to photograph. I realized that they would not at all look like the images I had of them. Reality was different from my imagination. So I started building and photographing in a studio what I had in mind.”
Artist spends months constructing his miniature worlds, thus the collection is only slowly growing in size. Massard started his career as a commercial photographer for fashion and cosmetic companies like Chanel, Hermes and others. After his first series of dioramas, titled “Imaginary Journeys”, his work was acknowledged and now Didier works exclusively on his personal projects. His work is currently on display at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles until August 23.
Andy Freeberg‘s “Art Fare” series is currently on view at Kopeikin Gallery in Culver City, CA. The series captures gallery owners and artists, usually hidden behind desks and gallery walls, in plain sight at major art fairs. Simultaneously “real-life” and narrative drama, the photos depict the business of the art world in stark, natural light. The results are humorous, seedy, and honest.
The exhibition is up until October October 27th. See more photos from the show after the jump.
Images courtesy of Andy Freeberg and Kopeikin Gallery.
Mexican photographer Alinka Echeverria’sThe Road to Tepeyac , for which she won the prestigious French prize HSBC Prix pour la Photographie is a typology of the backs of three hundred Mexican pilgrims on their journey to the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico city. This yearly pilgrimage is undertaken by approximately six million devout Catholics on the anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531 to the indigenous man Juan Diego. This journey is a manifestation of the iconic power of the Virgin, whose image was miraculously imposed onto Juan Diego’s cloak. Belief in the apparitions and their evidence, the ‘sacred image of a miracle and a miracle of images’, marks a turning point in the struggle for power of the Spanish conquerors, for whom evangelizing was imperative to the success of the empire. They successfully conquered the imagination using imagery as a tool for acculturation and domination in an already extremely visual indigenous culture.
The pilgrims photographed, carry their own reproduction of the Virgin – paintings, sculptures, posters or cloaks of the icon, taken from home and shouldered on their backs to the place of the apparition. The journey is an arduous one, a physical and spiritual undertaking with each pilgrim bearing their own evidence of devotion whilst enforcing their own personal relationship with the Virgin. Echeverria takes each portrait separately, which is then cut and transposed onto a plain background. This de-contextualisation is intended to raise the subject above the corporal world, making them appear like an isolated icon.
Seen as a series, each portrait creates a dialogue with the others. A narrative of interconnecting personal missions removed from the rest of the elements originally in the image. The sheer number of portraits helps to create a visual maze of similarities and differences. With the surrounding landscape removed we are struck by the contrasting richly colored Virgins and muted tones of the pilgrims.
London based artist Phil Toledano’s provocative “A New Kind Of Beauty” series examines the extreme lengths people go to alter, change, and morph their appearance through plastic surgery and other cosmetic alterations. Balancing on the verge of not looking human these individuals are pushing the limits of identity politics.
“I’m interested in what we define as beauty, when we choose to create it ourselves. Beauty has always been a currency, and now that we finally have the technological means to mint our own, what choices do we make? Is beauty informed by contemporary culture? By history? Or is it defined by the surgeon’s hand? Can we identify physical trends that vary from decade to decade, or is beauty timeless? When we re-make ourselves, are we revealing our true character, or are we stripping away our very identity? Perhaps we are creating a new kind of beauty. An amalgam of surgery, art, and popular culture? And if so, are the results the vanguard of human induced evolution?”
Make sure to catch Kevin Cooley’s gorgeous show at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles up until February 11th of next month. Titled Take Refuge, the exhibition features large scale photographs and videos evoking human struggles in the harsh and unforgiving, yet sublime, natural world. This body of work was created in disparate locations including the Arctic territory of Spitsbergen and the American West as well in more ordinary places such as New York City and Los Angeles. Referencing the Romantic movement in art and literature, the work attests to both the fear and longing nature inspires.
collaborative duo Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick‘s Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea exhibition opens on Saturday, May 21st at Kopeikin Gallery. Kahn & Selesnick work lies at the intersection of historical fact, apocalyptic future and nerdy museology. Melding childlike playfulness with adult obsession, they create faux-historical narratives realized as photography, sculpture, and installation. “Adrift on the Hourglass Sea” is set on the planet Mars where the artists present a dark and powerful visage of a collapsed civilization on the red planet. Using photo-mosaics of the Martian landscape taken by NASA space rovers (they were recipients of a NASA commission to create work about Mars) and combining them with their own photographs of deserts in Nevada and Utah, the artists present their distinctive brand of sci-fi mysticism.
Amir just brought back a beautiful brochure of Simone Lueck’s latest exhibition at Kopeikin Gallery, “The Once and Future Queens.” They’re stunning portraits of incredibly fabulous older ladies posing as some of their favorite Hollywood starlettes, as Mara, in her glamour bath after Brigitte Bardot above, demonstrates. (All subjects were found via an online ad soliciting older ladies to pose as movie stars.) The photos are dripping with fierce divas in chiffon, moss crepe, diamonds, pink satins, and honey, everything else I love! If you’re in LA, the exhibition is up just a few more days, until October 23.