Mustafah Abdulaziz’ Memory Loss is a series of photographs captured throughout the United States. His photographs vary widely in content from landscapes to individual portraits to candid groups. They each in some way, though, seem to portray a disarmingly frank American identity. Among other photographs in the series, Abdulaziz groups together an image of little girls returning from a princess tea party with a gathering of tribal elders on an Indian reservation. Indeed, his statement explains that his work “explores social identification and how our ideas of self representation create instances of cultural disconnect.” In 2010 Abdulaziz became the Wall Street Journal’s first contract photographer and in 2012 he was named one of PDN’s New and Emerging Artists to Watch.
Northwest artists Lenae Day and Kelly Björk are opening their new show tonight (Nov 1), at the Corridor Gallery in Seattle, with the ultra charming title Space Blanket / Space Cadet. For the show, Day spent a month in Florida studying the lives of astronauts’ wives to create a body of work that combines short stories with re-created photographs, playing every model herself. Björk makes large, energetic pieces that combine her love for contour drawings with still life portraiture and the colorful patterns in the blankets we covet. The show sounds like a ton of fun. If you’re in the Seattle area, you should check it out! The reception will have live readings by Day, but if you can’t make it, the show will be up through the first of December. Here’s the PR:
“Inspired by the people around her and the devices they use to soothe themselves, Kelly Bjork’s drawings depict weightless humans, surrounded by blankets and floating in comfort. When creating these pieces, Bjork had her subjects lounge on her couch for hours, each with their blanket of choice. Color is used to highlight the geometric shapes in the blankets, creating a colorful, abstract cloud in which her subjects lay.
Lenae Day re-stages old images from magazines by playing all of the characters herself and making most of her costumes and props. The images and stories in this show deal with the Mercury Seven Astronaut’s Wives, the Mercury Thirteen (women pilots who went through astronaut testing, but were not allowed to participate in the space program) and herself somewhere in-between. These works are a part of the forthcoming edition of “DAY MAGAZINE,” her third magazine produced in this fashion that will be released with a subsequent West Coast tour in 2013.” ( via )
Tanner Teale’s work uses every day materials to investigate the difference between performance and documentation. With each of his studies, Teale obsessively creates a kind-of “living” still-life that is full of tension and mystery. His most recent piece titled “Hair Dryer Knife Balloon” (pictured above) makes it clear that each of Teale’s portraits are comprised of a series of components that are completely reliant upon each other (like a formula or a recipe) in order to make the portrait as a whole work. Think of it this way: if that fan gets unplugged, the balloon will definitely pop.
Aleksey Kondratyev‘s series Fabricated Adventures is all about adult escapism–making what we want from what we have. Whether you take it as a cynical critique of materialist make-believe, an homage to the capacities of human industry and imagination, portraits of American vacation culture, or none of the above, they’re an interesting series. Here’s what he has to say about them:
“The photographs in this series are of locations which emulate a natural environment for the purpose of recreation. As humans live in their present environments, their experience is determined and limited by their time in history, climate, and physical location.The recreational spaces in this body of work provide a temporary escape from these limitations and from the reality of one’s present physical and geological surroundings.” – Aleksey Kondratyev
We’ve all probably spent too much time watching creamer dissipate into coffee (or at least i did when i bussed tables). The interesting part to me wasn’t how beautiful and otherworldly the plumes looked, but how watching them never seemed to get old. Italian photographer Albert Seveso obviously shares this fascination and expands on it with varicolored inks which he captures with high-speed photography as they unfold underwater. Captured like this, the ink looks incredibly physical, like glass sculptures. Witnessing the transformation of substances feels like watching the cosmos themselves, which we are in a sense, and is why this is a series third graders and thirty year olds alike can get behind.
Los Angeles photographer Daniel Seung Lee teamed up with New York art director Dawn Kim for a stellar little series entitled Crayola Theory. As you might have guessed, the series interprets the objects and environments in Crayola’s crayon names to make still life photographs that are a tons of fun. Not only does the project work in the direction of bringing objects to the names of colors, it inspires the converse as you wander around the city, applying names to the objects around you — voting envelope fuchsia, stereo silver, toilet paper white, suburb beige, tanning booth orange. Thank you Daniel & Dawn for reminding us that we live in a world made of colors.
We posted about Jamie a few years back, but four years have passed since then and she’s only gotten better. Her images about gross, awkward, uncomfortable, and funny moments that would be really easy to make poorly, and a lot of people do. What sets her apart from the herd, though, is her smart, tight framing; focusing us in on exactly what makes this country great–mystery meat, batman, butts, and birthday cake. She even photographs middle America (Jamie’s based out of Kansas City) with the American style that ranges from family to paparazzi photos–bright, garish flash. More Americana after the jump! ( via )
For his series “Normal Town/Normal View” Michael ten Pas composed photographs with the seemingly mundane objects in what we tend to think of as equally mundane towns, but through his juxtapositions and re-framings, he shows us how much there is to look at in what we overlook. It’s easy to forget that we all effectively live in a museum if we choose to see it that way. Michael breaks it down in his series statement:
“Nothing is boring. I find myself perplexed, curious, and amazed when I look at my everyday surroundings – the things that are allegedly normal or status quo. This is what ought to happen because the everyday is not predictable, though it is made out to be. The world reveals irony and absurdity; it contains mystery and humor and is full of ambiguity and illusion.”