Ilona Gaynor is a designer and image maker hailing from the UK. Her latest project, Under Black Carpets, leverages bank heists as a medium of design. Through a series of intensive design and research exercises, Gaynor is using the strategies and vocabularies of robbery as a method for storytelling. Perhaps the most bizarre fact about the project is that is actually a collaborative effort with the NYC FBI Department of Justice and the LAPD archival department. Geoff Manaugh puts it well, stating that the project is an investigation into the “use and misuse of the cityscape where by architecture is considered both the obstacle and the tool to bridge or separate you from what you’re looking for” in both legal and illegal agendas. The project, ongoing, is currently comprised of an obsessive collection of materials that range from photographs of bank entrances to scale-models of get away cars. The project truly feels like the work of an insane person… and I mean that in the best way possible.
Photographer Joanne Leah works in “seduction, ritual, and tension”. Her pieces capture relationships, between two people or art and its viewer, as it alternately relaxes and strains. In the series featured in this post the angle of the light is severe recalling the chiaroscuro of baroque painting. The light, though, is cold, almost lonely, emphasizing the solitary figure in each photograph. Whether, the subject holds teeth in her palm or wields a knife a drama is clearly unfolding.
The photography of David Brandon Geeting is a new kind of still life. His photographs capture everyday objects, found or arranged. The compositions of the pieces almost seem to reference classical art. However, the content reflects an ultra-modern obsession with objects, picture-taking, and boredom. His pieces have a definite fine art aesthetic though they’re populated with banal household items. Geeting’s work reflects a new kind of still life, that in turn reflects a new kind of modernity.
Photographer Thomas Jackson captures every day objects traveling in packs. His series Emergent Behavior features plastic cups, leaves, sticky notes, gathering into swarms. These mundane objects fly through city streets and forests, mostly whimsical but at times menacing. They reference self-organizing systems often found in nature such as herding, swarms, insect mounds, and so on. Regarding this Jackson says:
“The images attempt to tap into the fear and fascination that those phenomena tend to evoke, while creating an uneasy interplay between the natural and the manufactured and the real and the imaginary”. (via)
“The Fat-Fat Club” is a hysterically childish new book by designer Aude Debout, who has a certain knack for combining images to create something ridiculous. This book imagines how the most gluttonous people see the world; people’s heads are hot dogs, buildings turn into overflowing desserts. In addition to the surreal content of this book, Debout definitely has an eye for the grid lines in compositions; knowing exactly where and how to combine these photographs. The layout of the book also shows Debout’s understanding of the medium she’s working with, as two separate, unrelated pages come together to form one cohesive new image.
Swiss/Danish art duo known simply as PUTPUT blurs the lines between photography, design, and conceptual art wonderfully. For their series of photographs titled Undress, PUTPUT isolates a daily dance. On the series, the duo comments:
“ The ‘Undress’ series highlights an everyday choreography undertaken by the majority of people on a daily basis. The garment becomes central and embodies the movement.”
The photographs transform a mundane task into a beautiful flash of time. Undress further presents an especially intimate and unguarded moment with the attention of an abstract artist.
In French photographer Fred Lebain‘s series “Spring in New York”, the artist visited various sites around New York City, photographed them, and then returned to these sites with a large-scale print of his photographs. By lining the landscape and the photo up perfectly, he creates a cheeky illusion which is often given away by a corner of the poster curling up, or the print shifting in the wind. Turning the 3-D world into a 2-D image brings light to the incredible amount of detail in each composition, and to the fact that recreating these scenes perfectly is impossible, especially in a landscape as dynamic as New York City. Lebain also reminds us that our surroundings are temporary and ever-changing, as minute details between his photographs and their surroundings indicate. By the time Lebain has printed his image, the landscape has already changed. Each moment in life is unique and will never happen exactly the same way again. His work is also reminiscent of another urban camoflague master – Liu Bolin, a Bejing artist who paints himself into his surroundings, rendering his body almost completely invisible.
Photographer Jeremy Kost isn’t ashamed of being under the influence of Warhol, a fellow Polaroider. Like Andy Warhol, Kost’s subjects often embody contrasts. His photographs are at once staged and candid, glamorous and gritty, confident and apprehensive. Kost’s photo-collages capture larger scenes by piecing together fragments of it – in a way a metaphor for Kost’s subjects, Warhol’s style, even post-modern identity.