Artist Socrates Mitsios‘ series Postcards from Vegas document in snapshots his journey through Las Vegas and the surrounding desert with his subject, and often collaborator, Actually Huizenga. The photographer’s lively, suedo-glamorous style gives new life to the seduction of the kitschy, Americana that is Las Vegas. In this series, the scantily clad model poses provocatively, and sometimes humorously, in typical Vegas settings such as in a hotel room, in front of a casino, or on top of a slot machine. Each snapshot resembling a postcard, as the model looks somewhat like a tourist in these classic and reminiscent settings. This concept is the result of inspiration taken from the book of postcards starring Cicciolina, the Italian porn star ex-wife of Jeff Koons.
Mitsios model in this series, Huizenga, combined with Vegas’ cheesy glamour, creates a rough, strung out portrayal that is at the same time attractive and desirable. However glamourous, fake castles and costumes surround Huizenga. Her environment is an illusion of luxury that so many desire. These alluring images embody a “live fast, die young” feeling of a young generation looking for adventure and excitement. Full of costumes and props, casinos and lingerie, this series represents a lifestyle of dreaming, a journey through the spirit of Las Vegas.
‘Framed by the fantasyland of Las Vegas, these images are a cross between cheesecake postcards and Americana tongue-in-cheek idealism. Amidst the flurry of cheap promos and raunchy advertisements that litter the Vegas streets, Mitsios’s perceptive camera captures Huizenga’s genuine desire to inhabit a world of erotic ivory-tower make believe.’ –Ryan Linkof, V Magazine
For the last three years, urban explorer and photographer Matt Emmett has taken pictures of hidden locations across Northern Europe. He finds it thrilling to enter a previously-forgotten world and discover its new idiosyncrasies firsthand. Emmett is particularly fascinated in industrial remnants and ex-military sites, and he’s documented it in a series titled Forgotten Heritage.
“Having a camera with me allows me to prolong that thrill long after the building is gone,” Emmett writes on his website.“It’s an often quoted cliché but there really is a strong sense of palpable history present in abandoned buildings, the items left behind like paperwork in a drawer or plaques or signs in an industrial plant, allow you a glimpse into the past. I consider experiencing these places to be a great privilege.”
The landscape images feature hulking machines now obsolete. Rust, dirt, and grime covers control panels and infrastructure as the earth reclaims the land. Emmett is interested in capturing the aesthetics, character, and history of the buildings. He describes this process:
From the point of view of a photographer there is a total lack of distraction in the stillness of a derelict building; the sound and movement associated with people or workers has been removed, for me this makes them far more sensory than when they are occupied. Your mind can easily focus on what is around you and takes in so much more. The building’s voice is clear and a character and visual aesthetic emerges that was much harder to define than if it was a busy, populated environment. (Via designboom)
Berlin based photographer Bagrad Badalian uses the technique of long-exposure photography to bend and manipulate light in his energetic and magnetic photography. The motion in his photography combined with a long exposure elongates his subjects and drags colored lights across the composition. Badalian, mainly focusing on the human form as his subject, allows the figure to be taken over by hypnotic, multicolored light sources that bounce and bend across the figures. This element along with his carefully cropped compositions render many of the subjects unrecognizable, shifting the focus onto the many waves of light. Each color seems to be exploding from the bodies with an energetic force, creating a vibrant pulse felt by the viewer. As you look at each figure in motion, you can feel the pulsating rhythm that encompasses each photograph.
“The photographic technique interests me for the many possibilities it offers not only to scientists but also artists. Long exposure photography is on of those techniques that fascinate me since I have started practicing photography. It allows me to decompose the movement of time and control the aesthetic and imaginative potential of chance.”
Each figure’s identity is skewed as their features are distorted and manipulated by the long exposure. This creates a beautiful, but sometimes nightmarish, effect. The colored lights dance across the figure’s faces due to the movement in the photograph, which also causes the face to shift. It becomes disfigured as the movement t manipulates the face and body like a ball of clay. Although causing a face-altering effect, Badalian’s technique is overall unique, holding a strong and powerful force.
The iconic pizza pie gets a fun twist in this series titled Pizza Is the New Black by the Paris design studio called Black Pizza. It features 10 different iterations of the dish, all set in a different color and that use some food as well as inanimate objects. Designers had the help of Chef Julie Bassett with support from Erwan Fichou, and together the team came up with “pizzas” that included pacifiers, ping pong balls, iPhone cases, and more on them. The dough was even dyed to match the color scheme. It all results in these visually appetizing images that are beautiful if not slightly repulsive.
Black Pizza describes the project, saying, “In a riotous culinary color scheme, Black Pizza pays tribute to the pizza, the symbol of sharing and pop culture.” The entire project only took a couple of days. (Via Miss Asphixia and UFunk)
Photographer Jefta Hoekendijk’s series Aura features shimmering bodies in motion and dazzling colors. The feel of these images is electric as nude models are coated from head to toe with a metallic covering. Bright greens, purples, teals, and more radiate from their every movement.
The eye-catching effect was done without the use of post-production enhancements. “This is metal body paint and lighting effects directly made [from] shooting,” Hoekendijk writes. Any sort of movement will cause these trails of jewel-toned light. The result is a series of seductive and alluring photos where you’re focused on the invisible now made visible.
Hoekendijk experiments with painting, photography, sculpture, and video that’s centered around movement and the human body. Above all, his work is interested in the body as a vessel for expressing his varied artistic voice.
Spanish photographer Eugenio Recuenco has taken the timeless and iconic work of the notorious artist Pablo Picasso and translated it into contemporary photography. He models each photograph in this series after a single Picasso painting, recreating it as a seductive, contemporary photograph. Each painterly photograph is taken in such a way that even these real life women seem to be painted onto a canvas. Having had his hand in commercial and fashion photography, the influence from modern high fashion can be seen. Because Picasso’s work contains such vivid colors and a strongly recognized cubist style, the model’s make-up and clothing are a vital part of what allows the photograph to imitate Picasso’s paintings.
Cubism, the artist’s most famous stylistic period, is achieved by dissecting parts of the subject in the painting, and breaking them down into geometric forms. In this case, the subjects in the photos are women covered in geometric patterns imitating Picasso’s paintings. Recuenco brilliantly achieves this reference to Cubism not only by the women’s clothing, but also by the perfectly placed photo fragments. Several of the photos in this series are altered so that there is an abrupt crop in the image, with extra limbs on the other side. This cleverly recreates Picasso’s ever-popular figures with extra legs, arms, or eyes. Some may say that there are just some things you can do in a painting that you cannot do in a photo. Recuenco proves this wrong with his incredible and imaginative use of make-up to mirror Picasso’s fractured portraits and misplaced facial features. In one photo, an entirely new eye is created, while in another, a sharp, black line dissects a woman’s face. Intelligent and original creativity is of no shortage in this photographer’s unbelievably beautiful series paying homage to a fellow Spanish artist.
Make sure to check out Eugenio Recuenco’s new project, a short film titled “A Second Defeat.”
When searching for photos of popular tourist destinations, chances are many of these images look the same. Thanks to the now-ubiquitous camera phone, anyone can snap a photo anywhere. So, of course, it’s no surprise that there’s an endless amount of dull images of places like Los Angeles’ “Hollywood” sign or Rome’s Colosseum. Artist Corinne Vionnet recognized this fact years ago and crafted artworks born from banal vacation photos. Her series is titled Photo Opportunities, and it uses at least 100 found photos layered digitally to comprise one cohesive image.
In 2005, Vionnet began searching online for pictures of tourist landmarks around the world, and she observed that most snapshots were of the existing, “stereotypical” imagery of that locale. Vantage points, lighting, visual symmetry – it all looks the same.
Photo Opportunities was recently on view at the Danziger Gallery in New York. They describe Vionnet’s pieces, writing:
Working with multiple images of different monuments, she collates around a hundred appropriated photographs for each of her layered, ethereal compositions. Underneath these beautiful ghost visions is a serious concern with how the persistence of formally repeated photographic compositions affects our cultural and historical awareness.
The Impressionist-quality of these images comment on how we experience and reflect on our environment. Even though the photo feels unique to the picture taker, it is all-too-similar and later lost in the digital ether. (Via Gawker)
Photographer Eolo Perfido’s series Clownville is a place where nightmares are real. In this series, Perfido photographs a hodgepodge group of bloody, cackling, and all together demented-looking clowns. What makes this set of clowns so horrifying is the incredible attention to detail the photographer has taken into account when developing such a dark, desolate atmosphere. We are able to see each crusty hair on the clown’s body, every white, chalky flake of skin. They have become just as grotesque as they are unwanted. The clown, who can be thought about in a cheery, amusing way, is often a subject that many people fear. Among all of the classic, cult horror films lies the infamous and terrifying clown. It has been appropriated to suit every child’s nightmare. Still, there is something incredibly sad about the clown, even in some of the characters in Clownville. Although frightening, many of Perfido’s clown seem worn out and used, as if they are just misunderstood and unfortunate. This sense of hopelessness can be seen in the photograph exhibiting a fairly large-sized clown smoking on a couch. Another representation of this is found in the face of the big, teary-eyed clown staring straight into the viewer, with no smile. The entertainers are perhaps tired of entertaining us.
Eolo Perfido’s heavily stylized approach to photography is very apparent in his series Clownville. Many of his photos have a very staged look, almost like a play, while at the same time feeling genuine. Others have an old, classic flavor due to their grainy quality and black and white tones. There is something different that can be found in each clown as their creative make up and poses reveal bits of their character. As unnerving as this series may be, we cannot look away from these unforgettable, chilling faces.