Mickael Jou Combines Photography And Dance To Defy Laws Of Gravity And Levitate Through The Air

Mickael Jou - Photography

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Mickael Jou - Photography

Mickael Jou - Photography

The intensity and electricity in Mickael Jou’s photography can only be matched by his equally immaculate dancing skills. In his series Air Through my Ashes, Jou captures the precise positions of his dance through the lens of a camera. Each movement, leap, and bend is shown being done not on a stage, but through city streets, in breathtaking nature, and even in a grocery store. Jou, now living in Berlin, was trained as a dancer, and started out dancing through the streets of Paris. He got the idea to photograph himself after so many tourists began taking pictures of him as he danced. He then taught himself how to use a camera and turned his dancing into frozen moments in time where he can levitate and defy gravity.

Jou’s dance positions are turned into still statues that pulsate with energy in each photograph. The incredible scenery of the images is almost as breathtaking as Jou’s suspension in mid air. The series has a kind of magic to it that transports the viewer into a world where your feet never need to touch the ground. What makes each composition so dynamic is not only the sheer power felt in the dancer’s stance, but also the addition of a scarf in the dance movements. This scarf that often appears adds color and balance to the rhythm of each photograph as it floats alongside this multi-talented dancer. Jou combines these two art forms harmoniously to create ethereal and graceful photographs. He explains how using these two mediums further his creative vision and expression:

My self-portraits help me express the emotions that I feel while dancing. Dance is a very powerful art form, and I try to translate my emotions into my photography.

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Vintage Photos Highlight The Devastation Of The 1968 D.C. Riots After Martin Luther Kings Death

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The year 1968 was a tumultuous time in America’s history, and Washington, D.C. was often in the middle of controversy. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968, six days of race riots erupted in the Nation’s capital. Dr. Darrell Clayton Crain Jr. captured parts of the event and put them on Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides. Thanks to technology, these were scanned in to the computer and digitized. They’re now featured on the Flickr account Posthumous DCC, along with other pictures throughout the years.

If you aren’t familiar with the riots, they started as news spread about King’s death. Crowds began to gather at 14th street and U. Stokely Carmichael, an activist who had parted ways with King in 1966 and removed as head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1967, lead members of the SNCC to different neighborhoods. At first, they politely demanded that stores close out of respect. Eventually, the crowd became out of control and were breaking windows. Widespread looting started by 11PM (as well as in 30th other cities).

Things got worse in the following days. Anger was still evident and it resulted in violent confrontations with the DC police. Buildings were set on fire. Police unsuccessfully tried to control the crowds with tear gas, and eventually the National Guard was brought in. Marines mounted machine guns on the steps of the Capitol and army troops guarded the White House. It was the largest military occupation of any American city since the Civil War.

These vintage images showcase just how bad some of the destruction was. By the time the city was considered calmed down, 12 were killed (mostly in burning homes), 1,097 were injured, and over 6,100 were arrested. The devastation to property was $27 million (over $175 million today). Some neighborhoods in DC didn’t start to economically recover until the 1990’s.

See more of these powerful images on Flickr.

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Samantha Fortenberry’s Colorful Photos Of People Enjoying A Soak In The Tub

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Photographer Samantha Fortenberry’s colorful images reveal the pleasure of a good soak in the tub. Her aerial photos are part of an on-going series called Suds and Smiles, and it features people alone in their bathrooms. Naked, they revel in water as the space is peppered with familiar objects, and it reflects their personality. “I have taken my models and either asked them to collect an array of items that mean something to them, or I designed them a set based on an idea of their choosing,” she writes in an email to Beautiful/Decay.

As we gaze at Fortenberry’s subjects, we act as voyeurs to their pleasant time. There’s genuine looks of joy on some of the model’s faces, and when juxtaposed with the bright colors and playful objects, we too derive some pleasure from it.

Suds and Smiles also celebrates the figure. “With this series I also wanted to display the nude human body in a natural and beautiful way,” Fortenberry writes. “I want to collect a wide variety of people in all shapes and sizes to display the various form of beauty each person has.

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15 Examples of How Modern Hip Hop Artists Borrowed Fashion Styles From 16th Century Paintings

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B4 - XVI

B4 - XVI

B4 - XVI

The tumbler B4-XVI berforesixteen has made a hilariously clever and all too accurate comparison between contemporary Hip Hop artists and paintings made before the 16th century, making everyone involved look quite ridiculous. When you first look at the fashion styles of centuries old paintings, you would not think anyone today would ever dream of looking like that, let alone a celebrity. However, if you think about it, what kind of person would wear flashy jewelry and frivolous fur coats? Well, Hip Hop artists! Their extreme amount of “bling” and often baggy clothing somewhat resembles the capes and jewelry of royalty depicted in classic paintings.

What makes the comparisons so on point is not just the uncanny similarities of clothing and accessories, but the position, stance, and even the facial expressions of both parties. I mean, what a lucky coincidence that Kanye West happened to be standing next to a priest for a hilarious comparison between himself and a painting of saints! Not to mention this goes perfectly with his infamous “Yeezus” complex. One aspect of Hip Hop style is missing from the series of 16th century paintings is the notorious “grill.” But don’t worry; there is instead a painting of two men proudly displaying their teeth while “mean-mugg’n” the viewer. This series of entertaining resemblances just goes to show you that every fashion style will make a comeback! (via Fubiz)

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Photos of Hyperrealistic Dolls And Their Mothers Blur The Lines Between Real And Unreal

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Four years ago, photographer Jamie Diamond bought a hyperrealistic doll known as a Reborn baby off eBay, and this purchase lead her to a project spanning nearly two years. Called Mother Love, the series blurs the lines between real and unreal, living and the inanimate.

To make this project possible, Diamond collaborated with an outsider art community called the Reborners. They’re a group of self-taught female artists who hand-make, collect, and interact with these dolls. They hold them, dress them, wash their hair, and take them for walks in the park. “After spending a year investigating and recording their practice,” Diamond writes in an artist statement, “I chose to become a Reborner to gain a better understanding of the community.” Diamond continues:

In Nine Months of Reborning, I reborned dolls and constructed a working nursery in my studio and on eBay, called the Bitten Apple Nursery. Before putting the dolls up for adoption on eBay, I photograph each one using a large format camera, the image becomes the remnant of this exchange.

Creating the dolls was a laborious process. Some required up to 80 individual layers of painting, veining, blushing mottling, and toning, cured with heat. Strands were individually attached to the scalp. The dolls were weighted properly so that they feel like a real baby when held in someone’s arms.

The Amy Project  followed this construction.  “I invited celebrated Artists from the community to individually interpret and idealize the same doll,” Diamond writes. “I then photograph each doll mimicking vernacular school portraits. Each of the dolls are unique to their maker’s hand, but share an uncanny similarity through their common origin.

Diamond no longer calls herself a Reborner, and plans to sell the remaining dolls on eBay (although she might keep one for herself).

Working with the Reborn community has allowed me to explore the grey area between reality and artifice where relationships are constructed with inanimate objects, between human and doll, artist and artwork, uncanny and real. I have been engaged with this community now for four years and while working and learning from these women, I’ve become fascinated by the fiction and performance at the core of their practice and the art making that supports their fantasy. (Via Hyperallergic)

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Jason Lazarus Collects Anonymous Photos Deemed “Too Hard To Keep”

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You probably have at least a photo (or two) that’s just too painful to look at. Whether it depict deceased loved one, a failed relationship, or be a symbol of a time long past, the sight is an unwelcome reminder of something (or someone) that’s gone. Since 2010, photographer Jason Lazarus has archived these images that are “too hard to keep” by their owners. He accepts the anonymous submissions and gives them a new life in the form of art exhibitions and books. Although their ownership has changed hands, their past isn’t forgotten.

These are a selection of photos that Lazarus has received over the years. With some of the images, you can immediately understand why they’re painful. One features dying cat laying on a cold metal table. Another is part of photobooth image of a couple that’s been torn into pieces. It’s also accompanied by a handwritten note.

With other photographs, it’s harder to understand why it was too hard to keep them. A seemingly-innocuous lush green landscape and a smiling snowman are another two submissions that Lazarus received. But, regardless of what they are, they meant something to someone at one time, and that’s the appeal of Lazarus’ project. It’s easy to relate to the feelings of loss, anger, and longing that these photos conjure to their original owners. These submissions are a reminder that we all hurt.

Vice is currently collecting photos that are too hard to keep, and they’ll publish a selection of the images. If you’re interested in participating, find out more here.

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Alícia Rius’ Striking Photos Showcase The Disturbing Beauty Of Sphinx Cats

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Los Angeles-based photographer Alícia Rius captures the beauty of sphynx cats in her dramatic series aptly titled Sphynxes. Placed against a stark black background, the photos highlight the incredible characteristics of the fur-lacking animals. Where their coat would normally cover up folded skin and birth marks, here we see it all. And, we get a sense of just how simultaneously fragile and powerful these small creatures are. If they sit a certain way, it shows every bone in their spine. Muscle definition, prominent cheekbones, and their impressive claws are all visible in ways you wouldn’t see from other breeds of cats.

Sphynxes were developed through selective breeding in the 1960s, and it’s not everyday that you see one. Especially on the Internet, it seems that fluffy cats are shared over and over again. But, through Ruis’ stunning photographs, she proves that these felines have their own type of ominous-yet-regal beauty.

Ruis’ Disturbing Beauty Of Sphynx Cats is an ongoing project. If you have a Sphynx and live in Los Angeles, please contact her at [email protected] and include a photo of your cat to be considered. Find out more on her Facebook and follow along on Instagram.

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David Emitt Adams Creates Photographs Of The Southwest On Tin Cans Found In The Desert

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David Emitt Adams - Wet-Plate Collodion Print on Found Object

David Emitt Adams beautifully captures the landscape of the Southwest on the surface of discarded tin cans along with other debris he finds in the desert. Growing up in Yuma, Arizona, he is no stranger to the desert and the objects inhabiting it. Adams explains that deserts, naturally being so barren, are often used as a dumping site for garbage. This is where he finds all of his materials, with some tin cans being up to four decades old. He combines classic and iconic Southwest imagery with the reality of the state of the land today. Although the present day desert still holds immense and vast beauty, it is not without the remnants of urban sprawl left behind.

Throughout history, the West has long been photographed and documented due to its breathtaking and often unbelievable, natural landscapes. Adams not only pays homage to this tradition, but to its traditional processes as well. Inspired by the history of photography, the process he uses was one of the first methods of photography invented. Adams chosen method of photography is not your everyday digital photograph. He uses a labor intensive process invented in the mid-19th century called “wet-plate collodion.” This complicated process not only takes time, but an impressive amount of skill. Adams’ technical talents are only matched by the creativity of his body of work. Each tin can’s rich, red patina is still intact as they bend and twist around their lids, which hold the delicate image of the desert. This series, Conversations with History, is just one of several series in which Adams uses this traditional method of photography to express his artistic vision.

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