Grotesque Photos Capture The Pains And Joys Of Womanhood

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In her visceral, raw still lifes, the 21-year-old photographer Madison Carroll captures the grotesque remains of meaningful moments gone by. Used condoms, pregnancy tests, and blood stains grace her compositions, punctuating a narrative that skips dizzyingly from girlhood to womanhood, from innocence to experience. As if plucked from last night’s waste basket, these soiled items emerge; in the context of Carroll’s clean, immaculate technique, they become all the more haunting.

As if part of some unusual crime scene, waste products are left out, forensically archived by Carroll’s lens. Here, rotting fruit and old bandaids mark not a murder but the more gradual, subtle trauma of growing up, of being woman. Like a pool of blood, tea spills from a delicate, shattered china cup; a lemon, once fresh and aromatic, rots. An egg cracks, the yoke spilling out into a satin pair of Victoria’s Secret underwear like a giant, monstrous ovum released during menstruation.

In Carroll’s disturbing yet thrilling realm, the dangers and joys of femaleness collide in a moment of brutal self-reflection. Death and fertility become indistinguishable. In a frilly, feminine doily, a cockroach lies dead, rotting beside a snuffed-out cigarette. A Clear Blue pregnancy test sits on an old rust-stained rag, the urine and tissue in the toilet simply a blurred afterthought.

Like a hoarder of significant items, Carroll’s lens seeks out that which might be thrown away, forgotten by time. A male lover, sprawled on the bed, is captured asleep, in a state of heightened vulnerability, his pale nakedness pressing against the border of the frame. At the artist’s feet, a condom evidences the intimacy that occurred minutes or hours before. (via Feature Shoot and iGNANT)

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Chalkboard Style Narratives Of Teenage Euphoria

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Maximilian Toth’s beautifully composed chalkboard style paintings depict teenage antics as being not so much about rebellion from authority, but more so, as a series of actions radiating acute aliveness. While favoring the color black, Toth’s strong pops of brightness light up the narrative, mid-action, exposing a new playground of discovery. For instance, there is a certain innate enigmatic pleasure in joyriding a shopping cart around town, simply because, for the first time, without parental supervision, it’s possible. Toth’s work happily meditates on this and other pockets of teenage euphoria without an imposed stringent sense of morality.

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Luo Yang and the Allure of Youth

Luo Yang is a photographer from Shenyang, China, now living in Beijing.  Working strictly with film and rarely doctoring her photos, Luo Yang’s work is an exploration of youth: longing, uncertainty, spindly-limbed awkwardness, and, of course, an endlessly enviable sense of cool.   In her shows, highly staged portraits, casual poses, and spontaneous shots all appear alongside on another, blurring the inherent truth of the medium of photography.

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Rokkaku Ayako

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This piece is an exact representation of: discovering (despite a frantic search for at least one orange popsicle) the remaining popsicles in the freezer are all grape. I hate grape. Well, maybe that’s not exactly what artist Rokkaku Ayako had in mind when she created this piece, but she definitely has a knack for capturing the essence of childhood in frenzied acrylics and scraps of cardboard. Ayako’s work bleeds with the immediacy of youth. Like when our mothers would say they’d be back in an hour, and we had absolutely no concept of how much time that really was.

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