Suellen Parker builds each character from unforgettable moments of strangers or friends. First, she starts with sculpting the shape from plastiline clay before photographing it with a blank backdrop. Then, simultaneously, she scavengers for props, walls, or environments that might suit a certain character well and shoots those too. All of these images are finally loaded into a computer, where the art of merging and manipulation occurs. Skin tones are “digitally painted” and human faces technologically blend with clay while backgrounds stitch together to create a new imaginative world.
Of Letting Go, her most recent series collected here, Parker strives to twist not only mediums, but also gender roles. She suggests her characters concretely and conceptually have a fine blend of both, and states, they “are attempting to find a sacred space, a place of vulnerability, a place where they allow themselves to be really seen. By quieting one’s life, even momentarily, an opportunity is presented to learn truths about oneself. By engaging in private play, one is able to let go of expectations and rules. The result is a private and truthful moment that may be enjoyed without fear of judgment or consequence.”
The photographs of Matthew Monteith‘s series Guardare turn the subject back on to the viewer. His images depict people explaining, gazing at, and otherwise admiring art. When I first heard about the series I was prepared to be annoyed with the pedantic gestures and expressions of people acting smarter than thou. However, the photographs are surprisingly endearing. People are visibly moved, sincerely engaged with the work often just out of frame. Guardare perhaps suggests that the art in a gallery doesn’t happen with the work but between two viewers discussing it.
Grooming is essential to the care of any dog. These images taken by pet photographer Ren Netherland are from a dog grooming competition that take the necessity to a strange place. The fur of these dogs are cut and colored so as to resemble pop-culture characters, scenes, and recognizable images. Given, the creativity that goes into grooming these canines is surprising (but perhaps better redirected). What do you think – is this extreme grooming just silly or inhumane?
From burning Birkin bags to Barbies in Bondage or a clad Lindsay Lohan playing with guns, Tyler Shields’ subjects are as Hollywood as the photographer himself. Even his Tate Modern acquisition was documented on Mrs. Eastwood And Company, an E! reality television show.
Like Andy Warhol, Shields’ famous connections and brazen use of them, make his work ripe for the picking, for better or worse.
His most captivating imagery, to us, however, has less obvious celebrity shock value, depicting instead more theatrical situations where subjects are posed, mid-action, falling from rooftops or engaged in colorful night fights.
Light painting or light illustration has been a trending technique of late. Darren Pearson‘s skeletal pieces, though, are much more complex than most of the work we often seem to come across. While the camera shutter is open Pearson moves a light much like a brush which leaves its trail on the resulting photograph. The image appears to take up physical space and leave a haunting glow on its surroundings. Each piece also interacts with the surrounding scene, the California landscape which figures largely in much of Pearson’s work. [via]
Alberto Seveso’s high speed photographs of ink mixing with water are hypnotic and fascinating. Each shot depicts pushes of color twisting and bending with an emotive cadence, lulling itself into an ephemeral sculpture, detailed with sharp visceral attention.
Although such imagery is not new, per se, this specific collection feels intrinsically magnetic due to the captive nature of submerged color naturally bonding or relating before diluting. It’s more about documenting the ease of abstraction than pushing a forced abstract agenda.
The work of photographer Stefano Bellamoli seems at once terrestrial and alien, ancient and futuristic. These images were captured in the dark marble mines of Verona, Italy. Bellamoli needed to make use of a long exposure time in order to work in the black surroundings. With a handheld light and the long exposures added ‘light sculptures’ to the eerie landscapes. Spheres of light seem to float over the stone, the single light sources in the tunnels.
The series Genetic Portraits almost works as a casual study. Quebec based photographer Ulric Collette seamlessly blends the faces of two relatives to create one portrait that is hard to look away from. The resulting photographs highlight the differences an emphasize the similarities between siblings, children, parents, and cousins. It is nearly as if the images are a visualization of the genetic traits traveling between generations. Genetic Portraits is also an absorbing record of time’s effect on physical appearance. Eye s, for example, appear to be near exact copies between father and son, separated only by the wear of thirty years.