Portraits of Chinese Swimmers Showcase a New Fashion Trend, “Facekinis”

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There’s a new fashion craze that’s happening along Eastern China’s seaside city, Qingdao. Publicly-dubbed “Facekinis,” are protective head masks that are being worn by many beachgoers (mostly women). Photographer Peng Yangjun has documented them in a series of portraits that are set against the backdrop of the beach.

The colorful style is no doubt a strange one, and it’s reminiscent of luchadore and ski masks. This bizarre fashion trend has a more practical purpose, however, and that’s to protect swimmers from the sun, in addition to repelling insects and jellyfish. It’s often paired with long-sleeve bodysuits that help people maintain their natural complexion because bronze skin is often associated with those who perform physical labor in many Asian countries.

We’re often used to seeing swimmers wearing next to nothing or going completely nude. This style takes modesty to the next level, completely covering people up rather than stripping them down. It’s a surreal sight to see someone posed with bare arms and legs but a completely covered face; the photographs showcase an individual style but are devoid of the feeling and emotion we read from the face.  (Via Flavorwire)

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Anna Ladd’s Photographs of Things She’s Said Online But Not Outloud

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Photographer Anna Ladd’s poignant series, Things I Told the Internet, But Didn’t Tell My Mom, examines the way that blogging has impacted her life. The Philadelphia-based artist has been sharing her thoughts and feelings via this medium for the past six years, and it’s changed her conception of privacy. Intimate and revealing admissions are made to seemingly countless anonymous people on the web, but has never been talked about in person.

Ladd’s photos depict landscape scenes of backyards with concrete walls, scalloped awnings, and parked bikes. The everyday places are adorned with cut-out letters attached to strings that spell out a phrase that was directly taken from something that she posted online. Sentences, while obviously out of context, communicate sadness and the pains that come from things like loss of love, growing up, or some greater trauma.

There’s a peculiarity to these images, a cognitive dissonance of sorts. We first see the letters like you would at a party, like they are decoration.  But a phrase like, “I want to puke and sleep for six days” is not something you’d celebrate. It could be a metaphor for the facade we put on towards the outside world, where we seem happier than we actually are. The anonymity of the web knows our true thoughts and feelings.

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Noah Kalina’s ‘Internet/Sex’ Photo Series Of Composite Copulation

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Though he is perhaps most famous for his internet sensation photoseries, Everyday, where he has taken a photo of himself daily since 2000 (and which was then turned into a stop-motion video which went viral), Noah Kalina‘s work actually possesses a very distinctly subtle, and personal feel. In the series Internet/Sex, taken between 2007 and 2009, Kalina pairs empty hotel rooms, illuminated only by computer screens, and composite photography which suggests naked couples having sex. The dynamic of the empty and occupied rooms, when paired together, connect a portrayal of the inherent loneliness and longing of the human condition.

Kalina, who is based in Brooklyn and Lumberland, New York, has not explicitly said what these photos are documenting, it can easily be implied that these intimate moments with open computer screens simulate the connections and separations that both sex and connection through the internet offer. Taking place in various hotel and motel rooms, the series seems to suggest a lonely traveller, using their computer to make a primal, human connection. Surprisingly, the open screens and the desire they represent offers a loneliness more lewd than photographing sex.

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Michał Mozolewski’s Haunting Portraits of Paint-Veiled Subjects

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Combining photography and painting, Polish-based artist Michał Mozolewski creates intriguing portraits of mysterious-looking subjects. Pictures of pictures of people are scanned into the computer and later remixed and using a variety of methods. They are set against dark backgrounds and the black and white base images have gestural strokes painted over top of them. The hues of white, cyan, and red don’t evenly cover the photographs and Mozolewski uses varying pressure that adds a sculptural element to the work by emphasizing certain features of the face or body.

The effect that the artist’s technique has on the mood of the work is dramatic. Diffused and distorted photographs combined with Mozolewski’s erratic marks make for a haunting and grotesque portraits that are dreamlike at the same time. There’s a lot left to the imagination with these works, and they communicate sadness but at the same time are provocative and overall very visceral.

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Celebrity Fad Diets Recreated As Beautiful Still Lifes by Dan Bannino

Beyoncé Knowles - “Master cleanse diet,” lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, salt, and laxative herbal tea

Beyoncé Knowles – “Master cleanse diet,” lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, salt, and laxative herbal tea

Bill Clinton - “Cabbage diet,” cabbage soup, mixed with other vegetables.

Bill Clinton – “Cabbage diet,” cabbage soup, mixed with other vegetables.

Luigi Cornaro - “Sober Life,” fifteenth-century Venetian nobleman, 400ml of solid food or eggs and 500ml wine.

Luigi Cornaro – “Sober Life,” fifteenth-century Venetian nobleman, 400ml of solid food or eggs and 500ml wine.

Lord Byron - “Romantic poet’s diet,” potatoes in vinegar and soda water.

Lord Byron – “Romantic poet’s diet,” potatoes in vinegar and soda water.

Whether you find it oddly comforting or just downright strange, fad diets have existed long before our time. Photographer Dan Bannino documents the temporary eating habits of celebrities as far back as Henry VIII and as recent as Beyonce. He goes beyond simple tablet settings, however, and crafts moody, rich-looking scenes that are luscious in their color and texture. Bannino describes the inspiration for his series entitled Still Diet, writing:

With this series my aim was to capture the beauty that lies in this terrible constriction of diets and deprivation, giving them the importance of an old master’s painting. I wanted to make them significant, like classic works of arts that are becoming more and more weighty as they grow older. My aim was to show how this weirdness hasn’t changed even since the 15th century. (Via Artnet)

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Arnaud Lajeunie Dyes The Color Of Ocean Waves In His Mesmerizing Photographs

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Often in our daily lives, something needs to be taken out of it’s normal context to be seen with renewed appreciation. In Arnaud Lajeunie‘s recent photoseries  Water meets colour, colour meets water, the Paris-based photographer explores new waves of seeing the constant ebb and flow of ocean waves by making them more visible, through the use of biodegradable, sugar-based dyes. Arnaud’s interventions tint the surging water with a plethora of colors, which are captured using an extremely fast shutter speed, which produces photos of violent, colorful takes of traditional landscape photography. Taken out of a normal context, one can see more clearly the natural beauty and fury. Says Arnaud, “Here, colour is seen as a raw material, as are the waves and the rocks. Colour adds density and thickness to transparent water, thus enhancing the flux fixation process.”

As writer Eugenia Lapteva notes in an essay on the series, Colours of Absence, “As the colours bleed into the sea, the texture of the water thickens and the motion of the waves is (re)defined, revealing its hidden course and complex networks. The crashing waves, which are carefully contained within the camera frame, pull the viewer into a vortex of frozen shapes and novel configurations that are otherwise indiscernible to the human eye.”

In his own words, the photographer explains, “I rely on the camera as a device with technical features that can give tangible shapes to ever-moving fluxes, in this case the waves. The high shutter speed transcends the human reflex of persistence of vision: it reveals existing shapes that the ‘mortal eye’ cannot perceive on its own.” (via mymodernmet)

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Spencer Kovats Reveals the Impressive And Extensive Tattoos That We Hide

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Do you know someone who, beneath their clothes, has extensive tattoos? They might look unassuming from the outside, but underneath reveals their impressive collection of body art. That’s the idea behind Vancouver-based photographer Spencer Kovats’ series Uncovered, in which he invites strangers to pose in two photos- one where they appear fully-clothed and the other where we see their ink in all its glory.

The subjects have colorful, full sleeves and backs of intricate designs that showcase the art of tattooing. There is an interesting juxtaposition between the two photos, as someone sheds their skin to who they really are. They look more relaxed and at ease. At the same time, it also challenges us to think about how we judge people and how this changes after we see stripped down.

Kovats is one of 11 photographers participating in the “The Tattoo Project” that began during a long weekend 2010. Hundreds of tattooed people journeyed to shared studio space to pose before the cameras. The photographers captured thousands of portraits that each explored different aspects of body art. (Via Huffington Post)

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Cerise Doucède’s Fantastical Photos Visualize People Lost In Daydreams

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The fantastical works of Cerise Doucède illustrates the daydreams that we all have. In their series entitled Égarements, the French photographer shows people living their everyday lives, but who are frozen in a moment of contemplation. Around them is disarray, or, their fantasy. A child looks up and sees paper cranes above him while a woman peeling apples is similarly surrounded by the same fruit.

Doucède’s series is alluring in the fantastical sense, as we look at these compositions of where things are out of the ordinary. The photographs are formally striking; it’s visually satisfying to see these things levitate and appear to float in midair, as we’re not used to this sight.

Égarements points to the moments of banality in our lives where we turn to daydreams. Our reality might not be very exciting, so these fantasies come as a form of escapism from the monotony of the everyday. A more optimistic way of looking at this series might be that these people are so engaged in what they are doing that they go beyond what is in front of them to entertain grand possibilities. Maybe we’ll go with that. (Via This Isn’t Happiness)

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