Through the lens of Mona Kuhn, images turn into memories that slip through your fingers. Her photography captures fragmented pieces of time, filled with shameless beauty with an ethereal aura. An enigmatic narrative flows through her series Private, as Kuhn offers us delicate and intimate moments filled with breathtaking nudes and spider webs. Kuhn explains that this particular series is a personal journey of hers, exploring beauty and mysticism. The color palette in Private is serene, airy, and embracing all at the same time. Seeing each photograph of Kuhn’s is like uncovering a clue to a past life, like looking inwards through your memories that have slipped through the cracks of time.
In Kuhn’s equally stunning series Acido Dorado, translating to “acid gold”, the nude also appears often. Kuhn’s nudes represent a timeless sense of self, of all humans, and our direction on this earth. The artist often pushes the nude figure to abstraction, creating new context and meaning. There is a mysterious atmosphere that follows Kuhn’s work that is both seductive and mesmerizing. Both series’ are filled with surreal scenes and abstracted imagery that is like a mirage. Large format nude photography being a reoccurring theme in Kuhn’s work, she explains the draw to this raw form of a person or subject.
“I realized I ought to photograph the human in us, without shame, without regret, free and timeless.”
Like floating into a dream, Jason Mitchell’s photography takes you into a new place of existence, stuck between worlds. His series Dream Away displays ghostly bodies in a different state of being, exploring a sense of awakening. Inspired by metamorphosis, his figures are placed in a blank space, not knowing exactly where they are except for in a place of uncertainty. Even still, they seem tranquil and ready for whatever is to come next. Each image contains an ethereal quality, as the figures delicately glide through the air. In this series, we cannot tell if Mitchell’s figures are falling or floating, as there is no sense of direction, like they are underwater. With bright whites and light shadows, the absence of almost all harsh shadows creates an angelic atmosphere around these women.
Hinting at themes of afterlife and a higher state of being, Mitchell’s figures almost do not appear to be human. They are transcending their bodies on a journey of oneself.
“I ask my subjects to explore a loss of control, but a sense that they are being guided, pushed and pulled by another sentient being, as they make their way to a new self. They represent the soul of a magical creature on a journey through the limbo that connects their past understandingto this new unknown.”
- Jason Mitchell
Although all of Mitchell’s work holds a striking beauty, his series Dream Away truly exhibits stunning detail and imagery. Photographs from this majestic series will be on view at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, CA until May 30th.
Mark Twain once noted, “Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to”, indicating more than just a lack of fur separates us from our fellow mammals. Swiss photographer Vicky Althaus is known for taking risks to achieve unique scenes for capture, but her newest series offers something even more primal.
Going beyond setting the human body in a natural environment, Althaus has set her subject in what appears to be the familiar scene of a natural history museum. This combination, rather than simply pairing a model with live or taxidermied animals in a more natural state, calls into question our ideas of conservation, our relationship to animals, as well as our relationship to our own bodies. Offering very little titillation, the model’s nudity mirrors the animals, though the interaction appears off-putting, enhanced by the dimly lit room and drab staging. Perhaps the most interesting observation is that the nude model, merely stopping in and solely as a visitor, appears as unnatural as the stuffed animals that are meant to portray some example of our natural world. (via juxtapoz)
New York artist Bill Durgin’s photographs reflect a fascination with the body as form. The complex figurations, undulating arrangements of flesh, as the body seems to collapse onto it self, image an almost abstracted figure lacking appendages and hair. The physical structure becomes not just a shell, but a moving sculpture of skin, muscle, fat, and bone.
The gesture within each photograph is created through exploring his own physical limitations and collaborative improvisation with dancers and performers. Often Durgin will come up with a pose and demonstrate it and then ask the model to repeat or respond to it. Each pose transmogrifies the figure towards abstraction; exaggerating or diminishing the skeletal structure until it approaches an amorphic form. Durgin wants the bodies to be recognized as bodies, but also to be detached from common perceptions of the figure. Bound within each singular view, the uncanny figures convey the body as both abject and marvelous.
I feel like I’m breaking the rules looking at Ukrainian photographer Alexander Alekseenko’s work in the office. Between the girl-on-girl action and the shirtless marauding men, I can’t help but blush. Alekseenko told Mint Magazine “I love spontaneous shots, stories and mostly all of my works are pretty much spontaneous.” Wait, if this is the kind of stuff that just happens in the Ukraine, I think we’ve found the next spring break hotspot. And it looks a whole lot classier than Cabo.