Maja Daniels, a Swedish photographer based in London, compiled the series “Monette & Mady”, a photo collection of identical twin sisters, Monette and Mady.
Daniels approached the identical twins in 2010 after years of watching them from afar in the streets of Paris. The photographer was intrigued by their way of being and coexisting with each other. Neither Mady nor Monette have married or had children, they always eat the same kind of food in identical portions, they dress the same, and they move in similar ways. If they ever go out dressed in different outfits, people stop and ask why they argue- there is no room to be different from each other.
With the beauty of the Parisian sidewalks as her backdrop,Daniels shoots photos of the twins’ interactions and eerie resemblance. Some may look at the collection as a classy lookbook, others may find that there is something quite peculiar and surreal about their ways with each other. Many will wonder about the mysterious bonds between twin siblings.
This addition of fiction makes for a dreamy atmosphere, a bit like a mirage that reflects my initial impression of them. The streets of Paris make the perfect backdrop for such ambiguity to be played out, confusing us with its references to fashion, film and art. It makes the documenting of everyday events somewhat surreal.
The group 1,600 of exquisitely crafted papier-mâché panda bears have already travelled to and occupied cities like Paris, Berlin, Rome, and TaiPei; next month, they will overtake ten Hong Kong historical landmarks and tourist sites. As part of the Pandas on Tour project, these cuddly creatures are crafted from recycled materials by the French artist Paulo Grangeon in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, PMQ, and All Rights Reserved. Each sculpture has an important statement to make: there are less than 1,600 pandas living in the wild. Grangeon’s small creatures, with their wide eyes and round bodies, are easily be displayed side-by-side, providing a halting vision of the endangered species.
Human forces have forced the panda bears in a state of emergency; mining, tourism, and global warming have all contributed to the distraction of animal habitat in Chinese forests. Wild panda conservation is crucial, as the animals can rarely be convinced to mate in captivity.
Believe it or not, humans have a biological impetus for wanting to protect the species. Pandas have proven to be the most beloved animal for their resemblance to human babies; they too have wide eyes and their paws contain a “pseudo thumb.” Grangeon’s touching creatures are imbued with the tender hearts we recognize in the animals they represent. With poignantly cartoonish eyes, round ears, and emotive facial expressions, the papier-mâché figures inspire a whole lot of empathy. To learn how you can help the panda bears, visit WWF or the Smithsonian’s Giant Panda Conservation Fund. (via HuffPost, Time, and Design Boom)
The Parisian tattoo artist Gaëtan Le Gargasson, also known as GueT Deep, recently released a seductive and hypnotic slow-motion video of himself tattooing the arm of a woman named Fabrice. Needless to say, the fascinating video immediately went viral, and it has since being posted, it has accrued over 600,000 views. Even today, tattoo art carries a stigma, associated mostly with toughness, roughness, and grit; GueT’s stunning video highlights the more delicate side of the work, documenting the intense precision needed to craft the perfect piece. As the needle pulsates, the artist’s hand effortlessly tames the mechanical beast, breaking it to his will and vision.
Part of what makes this video (and the subsequent gifs, created by Design Boom) so striking is the apparent harmony between the organic body and the mechanical tattoo gun; as the tool ticks and marks the passage of time with unending accuracy, the human flesh bubbles, rises and falls with the ink. Like a heartbeat, each plunge of the needle causes the skin to ripple rhythmically. The piece on which GueT is working figures into these theme effortlessly; it appears to be a design composed of both geometric and natural, organic shapes.
In this slow-motion experience, the tattoo itself matters little; the artwork here is the action of the ink, not the end result. The video is more akin to a dance piece than to a painting. Deeply theatrical and performative, it is simultaneously soothing— mesmerizing, even— and anxiety-inducing. We watch the drama unfold, hoping that the hand does not slip, that everything goes according to plan. Take a look. (via DesignBoom and HuffPost)
French art director and photographer Patrice Letarnec combines his two talents when he devised this cleverly simplistic photoseries. Having his subjects switch their top and bottom clothes, Letarnec then has them stand on their hands, walking about upside down on their daily routes. Thus the title of the series, Head Over Heels, which is taken quite literally.
The results are subjects which look familiar at first, until a general unease sets in to the missing head, arms which are too long, and legs that are far too short. The orangutan-like subjects are more comedic than disconcerting, another win for Letarnec’s eye (who also deserves a bit of credit for finding subjects who can balance on their hands so well while blindfolded).
French street artist and photographer Etienne Lavie‘s photography series, “OMG, Who Stole My Ads?” envisions the city of Paris without advertisements, replaced by stunning classical works. Lavie photographs the street scenes and paintings separately, and combines them later with digital editing. The result is a beautifully effective and realistic utopian city where people aren’t surrounded by images that encourage conspicuous consumption, but are instead living among masterpieces that decorate their chaotic urban world. (via huffington post)
Janol Apin’s “Métropolisson” is a creative project that illustrates the literal translations of the names of various Parisian Metro station stops. The collection of photographs features more than 100 images of Apin’s friends posing in the underground subway stops; from an astronaut in the Champ de Mars station, to a couple dancing tango under the Argentine stop, he leaves nothing out.
With clever puns and creative costumes, Apin makes it possible for this work to be understood by anyone…there’s obviously no need to speak French to capture the essence of this work. Almost every snapshot from this series is comprehensible through the upbeat and universal imagery that the photographer creates. (via Bored Panda)
Even in his commercial work French photographer Laurent Chehere clearly has a creative and curious eye for his surroundings. An avid traveler, Chehere enjoys exploring the cities he visits. This becomes especially evident in his series Flying Houses. The series contains a number of photographs of floating buildings. The buildings seem otherwise ordinary, perhaps tethered by power lines, quietly floating in the sky. Chehere achieved the effect by taking photographs of buildings throughout the suburbs of Paris and digitally manipulating them. A gallery statement (translated from French) from a recent solo exhibit explains Chehere’s inspiration for the series:
“The artist isolates buildings from their urban context and frees them from their stifling environment. Houses fly in the clouds, like kites. Inspired by a poetic vision of old Paris and the famous short film The Red Balloon by Albert Lamorisse, Laurent Chéhère walked the districts of Belleville and Ménilmontant gazing at their typical houses. The images of the artist seize an unexpected levitation: held to the ground by unseen hands, like so many balloons used by the boy, these old buildings floating in the sky, sliding on the surface, they reveal to us their hidden beauty. Some houses are adorned with drying laundry or flower pots, outweigh other brands and shops fleeing the flames of a fire … All seem to find a second life. Uprooted from their hometown, they go to new heights. It’s a true invitation to travel and metaphor for the transience of the world, Flying Houses Laurent Chéhère’s series plunges us into a dreamlike and changing world full of gaiety and humor.”
Bina Baitel is a French product designer whose takes previously distinct pieces of furniture–futons, stools, lamps– and combines them to make some wild looking objects. Like most great product design, they look more like sculptures than they do products. We could all probably use some more melting lamps in our lives. (via)