Time to once again danse macabre by way of self-taught artist Wayne Martin Belger. Belger uses unusual materials (human skulls, HIV-positive blood, bullet shells) to build functional cameras that lend their composition to the work itself.
Wayne Martin Belger is one of the rare two-part artists that create works relying on each other through the synonymity of the repeated aesthetic. That is to say, when you look at his cameras, sculptures that represent something painfully graphic and simultaneously beautiful, you relate to the photographs in a different way. I find it fascinating that his installations show the cameras first, then you see the completed ancient photograph — it was made with this thing?
Nicole Peterson and Adam Ramirez work together and separately to create gothic fairytale-esque photos. The pair, who are based in Chicago, use interesting fashion items like updated plague masks and pea coats, which allow them to transform a camping site covered in snow into what looks like a still from the sequel to The Hunger Games. And their eye for the perfect moment doesn’t just apply to people, since they even have a whole series of photos from various zoos that make it seem like they’re travelling all over the world. Nicole, also has an ETSY shop where she sells buttons that fit within her artistic aesthetic and say things like “Adopt A Dire Wolf” and “What Would Dobby Do.”
Nick Farrell is a photographer with the ability to capture the essence of sex. And while he primarily shoots naked or next-to-naked girls for his personal projects, he has a diversity and range that has allowed him to work on everything from editorials with Mickey Avalon, short films for fashion brands like Han Cholo, to even the occasional shower shot of pornstar Jessie Andrews. But his real skillset is in his ability to make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable while they’re on set. That’s why there’s still this genuine quality to his nudes and his models look naturally flirtatious, rather than aggressive and overly posed. WARNING: This post contains images that are NSFW.
At this point there’s no use denying the ridiculous amount of time most of us spend on a computer each day, and artist Bea Fremderman is among a growing number of contemporary artists that use this reliance as a tool in their practice. Much of (arguably all of) the imagery we see on a computer is an illusion. A digital fabrication or manipulation meant to simulate or document reality. But as our physical and digital worlds continue to fold in on one another – who decides what is real? We must become our own authorities on reality, and Fremderman seems keenly aware of this.
Fremderman may be young, but the elegance with which she blurs lines is anything but amateur. A range of objects and textures shift contexts as they face-off with their own physical and virtual counterparts. The end result of which is an aesthetically and conceptually dynamic body of work. Her practice is multifaceted, but focused. Fremderman chooses her media/mediums based on what will most effectively convey the ideas in her work, and I am eager to see what she comes up with next.
Brooklyn Brown’s “A Machine Frame of Mind” is a project that investigates the evolving relationship between machines and humans. In a near-distant future (and really in our current present), machines and humans will hold conversations, relationships, and (of course) look at each other. As just one part of her extensive series of projects centered around computer vision, Brown created “Do You Want To Be Recognized”, a series of portraits that explore a potential for the development of trends that include accessories and make up that allow us to be tracked and recognized better by machines.
Photographer Alison Scarpulla understands the strange power and intriguing beauty of decay. She transforms her already beautiful photographs into even more striking images not by Photoshop, but by her own unorthodox sorcery. In order to achieve a desired effect, Scarpulla sometimes uses expired film, while at other times she smears her lens with dirt. Additionally, she has been known to blow smoke on or drip everything from water to acid on negatives. Her unusual experiments make for excitingly unique and especially beautiful images of all things odd and occult.
In the fall of 2009 artist Michael Anthony Simon left Chicago behind, and moved to the countryside of Korea. He wanted to experience a new place and culture that would hopefully inform a fresh body of work that could exist beyond the constraints of the western art world. In the spring of 2011, contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei was arrested on falsified charges of tax evasion by a notoriously conservative Chinese government. The claims were suspect to say the least, and many silent protests were organized throughout the world by major museums and institutions calling for his release. These silent protests became a louder gesture than anything anyone could have audibly said. This act of defiant solidarity became a source of motivation for Simon in the year to come. Realizing that by attempting to silence something you make it’s presence that much more apparent he commenced on a series entitled “The Silence Paintings”. Analyzing the design and significance of the word ‘silence’ in different languages lead him to the creation of an intuitive process that would allow for compositions to develop naturally, but with purpose and intention.
Jörg Brüggemann’s work captures the raw aesthetic behind the fans of heavy metal in order to illustrate the genre’s ability to unite the fans of it’s sound in order to create a unique culture, despite social, economic, or political differences. The photographs have been taken all around the world including Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Switzerland and the USA.