For Epitaph, British photographer Rankin teams up with Beaty Editor Andrew Gallimore to create spellbinding death masks inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead and Roman Catholic All Souls Day. Like the sugar skulls, or calavera, used to celebrate the holiday, these elegant masks put a vital and lively spin on death. Decked out in intricate beading and filigree, their models look luxurious and festive.
Calavera, normally colored in vibrant greens, reds, yellows, and blues are often eaten after the holiday; adorned in glittering stars and blooming daisies, these living skulls look like sweet confections. The female faces, painted in black, become a youthful template for imaginative explorations of an afterlife that awaits us after old age. As if from another world, their gray-green eyes stand starkly against coal-toned flesh. Rankin and Gallimore infuse the editorial with a hefty dose of high-fashion edge, introducing elements like metal spikes and and chains. These harder elements blend seamlessly with the iconography of the Day of the Dead; in one mask, a red clown nose made of punk-rock studs puts a contemporary spin on the timeless tradition.
Rankin is not new to the theme of death. In the wake of his parents’ deaths, he was compelled to break cultural taboo surrounding the dead, to face head-on his fears of dying. For last year’s photo series ALIVE: In the Face of Death, published by Hunger Magazine, he photographed those effected most by death, giving voice to grieving family members and to resilient individuals living with terminal diseases. Here, his enthusiastic lens provides solace from the fear of the unknown, inviting us to celebrate those we’ve lost as we mourn them. (via Trend Land)
In these provocative photographs by Rankin, you will find naked celebrities and fashion models getting cozy with some slimy fish carcasses, straddling shiny scales and smearing inky octopuses over their bare breasts. As part of the Fishlove campaign, this shocking imagery hopes to draw attention to a crucial environmental and political issue: if we continue to use today’s fishing methods, marine life across the globe will collapse within a single generation, causing irreversible damage to countless ecosystems and human life.
Fishlove, a non-profit organization founded by the actress Greta Scacchi and Japanese restaurant MOSHIMO co-founder Nicholas Röhl in 1992. The community interest company recruits photographers, models, and entertainers to join the effort towards sustainable fishing. The marine life pictured here is commercially bought and sold; many of these species are heavily threatened by over-fishing. Fishlove treads an ethical gray area by using these fish as models, but not one was killed for the purpose of the shoot. To avoid waste, the organization makes efforts to consume the fish after they are photographed.
It’s said that sex sells, and Fishlove relies upon this hope. In their unusual nude portraits, models and entertainers appear like strange mermaids or selkies, washed ashore with their marine lovers. Sir Ben Kingsley cradles a fallen octopus who settles into his palm, and a model arches her back, mirroring the fins of the creature she rides. Though startling, the work serves to remind us of our interconnectedness with underwater creatures and our reliance upon the planet’s oceans. If we continue down the path we’re on, all of these beautiful creatures will cease to exist. To get involved, visit Fishlove. (via Agonistica)