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Esai Ramirez Envisions Crayola Box Sets Inspired By Iconic Works Of Art

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LA based artist and designer, Esai Ramirez, has created an imagined series of art inspired Crayola box sets. With a BFA in advertising, Ramirez has used his eye for marketing along with his talent for design to rebrand classic concepts. Inspired by the Pantone color-coding system, Ramirez has matched specific palettes from iconic works of art and has manufactured them into organized lists of crayon colors. One of the conceived collaborations is with the color theory master himself, Joseph Albers. Here we see an alluring array of orange to match Albers’ Homage to the Square: Glow. The others include palettes influenced by the works of Jen Stark, known for her hypnotic, vibrant paper sculptures, Damien Hurst’s muted, aquatic blues, greens and grays, and, probably most humorously, a full box set of Yves Klein’s signature velvety blue.  He also has created a Crayola/ Pantone collaboration box set in which he imagines hue names such as a vivd red titled “pms 185u.”

Esai Ramirez aims the project to be fun and hopes it “encourages adults to play more with color and art.” His work tends to revolved around the marriage of two concepts, ideally creating a new unified vessel to conceive each one. His states about his work:

“Whether it’s two lovers about to kiss for the first time or two boxers about to slug it out–the things that bring us together as well as pull us apart are what I look for in everything I see.” (via Design Boom)

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Eric Lafforgue Captures The Disappearing Tradition Of Facial Tattoos In Rural Myanmar

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Earlier this week we featured the work of photographer Eric Lafforgue, who documented the scarification practices of the Omo Valley Tribes in Ethiopia. Today, in a series titled Ugly Becomes Beautiful, he takes us far into the hills of northwestern Myanmar, where the tattooed women of the Chin culture live. It is uncertain when the practice began, but as Lafforgue writes, some believe that long ago, “the royalty used to come to the villages to capture young women. The men from the tribe may have tattooed their women to make them ugly, thereby saving them from a life of slavery” (Source). Over time, although it is a declining practice, the tattoos became symbols of culture and beauty.

There are three types of facial tattoo patterns: the spider web, the dotted B pattern, and one where the entire face is inked. They are created using needles made of bamboo or thorns, and the ink is a blend of cow bile, pig fat, soot, and plants. The process—which takes one to three days, depending on the pattern—is painful. Lafforgue relates one woman’s experience:

“I was 10 years old. The day before the tattoo ceremony, I only ate sugarcane and drank tea. It was forbidden to eat meat or peanuts. During the tattoo session, I cried a lot, but I could not move at all. After the session, my face bled for 3 days. It was very painful. My mother put fresh beans leaves on my face to alleviate the pain. I had no choice if I wanted to get married. Men wanted women with tattoos at this time. My mother told me that without a tattoo on my face, I would look like a man.” (Source)

Today, facial tattoos are deemed illegal by the country’s military junta; hence, many of the women were reluctant to have their photos taken. In these immersive images, Lafforgue provides a rare glimpse into a practice that, tested by modernity, transforms notions of “ugliness” into the diverse beauty of tradition and cultural meaning.

Visit Lafforgue’s website to learn more. Click here for our article on scarification in Omo Valley.

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Max Siedentopf Illegally Pimps Your Ride With A Little Help From Some Tape And Cardboard

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Max Siedentopf is a car transformer. He pimps cars which, in his opinion need an upgrade. He sneaks up at dawn in the streets of Amsterdam and with a couple of euros tapes cardboards onto the cars. The add-ons recreate the design of race cars, low budget style.

It’s all thought through. All the major components, rear wings, side pods and front wings, help imitate a fancy expensive supercar. Max Siedentopf cannot get his head around the fact that in a world where personalization and self-expression is craved and sought after, cars are still so poor looking.

Car owners are usually like pet owners, proud and close to the subject they affectionate and take care of daily. They usually end up looking alike. Would this mean ugly looking cars have ugly looking owners? Thanks to Max Siedentopf, and if the owners keep their upgrade on, this will never be brought up anymore. 

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Julia Fox Exposes An Intimate Portrait Of Brutal Love In Her Autobiographical Art Book


Julia Fox, artist and head designer of Franziska Fox, recently released a graphic, autobiographical art book titled Heartburn/Nausea. The book acts as a character sketch, exposing flashes of intimate details that add up to mold a vision of a troubled girl. There is no hesitation between honesty and story telling, as this book is a collection of literal documents from the artist’s life. The book is extremely raw and almost devastatingly personal. She invites us into her own past, for just a moment, allowing us to truly have an experience through her memories.

RH: The book is autobiographical, extremely graphic and exposes probably the most intimate moments of your life. What made you want to share these moments?

JF: I believe that when you share something with someone it is no longer yours. I was tired of carrying it so I gave it away.

RH: Do you feel like the book falls under confession, warning, or exposé? Or perhaps, none of those. Maybe its something entirely different.

JF: I don’t know… It’s just a picture book of artifacts and stuff I have collected over the years. I’m not sure what the message behind it is. I guess since my life is so different now and I’m somewhat successful and happy, the message is that it’s ok to be fucked up. It’s ok to have a past.

And more importantly it’s ok to show your vulnerability and your weaknesses. And if you are fucked up and able to use it to your advantage, you are probably more interesting and insightful than most. So just like don’t be ashamed of yourself.

RH: Does the work aim to address mental illness at all?

JF: I think indirectly it does. I am bipolar. I think being untreated as an adolescent had a huge impact on my life. I’m very impulsive. I do what I want, when I want and when I want something, I want it now. I live in the moment and never take into consideration the consequences. I’m more or less still the same, the only difference is that the things I want have changed.

RH: It seems the book touches upon the borders between love, intimacy and obsession. Can you talk, just briefly, about these relationships at all. Do you believe healthy love, or love in of itself, exists?

JF: I do believe in healthy love. I just think it’s boring. To be completely honest, I have such a good time on my own that for me to want to be with someone else it better be one hell of a ride. I better feel everything and I better feel pain and in turn learn something new. Otherwise I’m ok being with just me. I’m a good time, in my opinion. 

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Paul Rucker’s Provocative Artwork Takes Back America’s History Of Racist Imagery And Symbols

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KKK robes recreated, bullets shot on purpose on white paper, a video pointing out the current incarcerations and lynching images depicted on a throw.  Paul Rucker’s exhibition is comprised of texts, a video, quilts, textiles and installations. All with the aim to tell stories that will shock, question and reflect on America’s police violence. According to Paul Rucker, it’s an ongoing process, hence the title of his exhibition: ‘Rewind’.

The artist’s vision is plural. The exhibition translates a dramatization of how the history of racism is affecting our present lives. The Klan robes are made out of new fabrics to strike and draw curiosity. He is using powerful symbols of racism to lead our current society to communicate and debate. His subjects are intentionally provocative.
When he stitches killing images on throws that are originally suppose to bring warmth and comfort, he is deliberately choosing to oppose two major elements: life and death.
In a ten minute video, he represents the 2.3 million people currently imprisoned on a map. The use of different color make the rendering visually more effective and speaks a greater deal to the eye.

Another series consists of shots on pieces of white paper. They are created with a pistol and are named by the city and date of the event. The artist runs a series of statistics and unveils that a number of unarmed individuals were shot by the police. Once again Paul Rucker wants to make a visual impact. Instead of explaining and narrating a story, the shots on the white papers create tension. It’s an effective summary of a thousand words.

The purpose of this exhibition is to make a clear testimony on what has happened, is happening and will, undoubtedly happen again in the future.
Paul Rucker’s ‘Rewind’ exhibition is displayed at the Baltimore Museum of Art until November 15th 2015. (via huffington post)

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Marcela Bolivar’s Digital Images Conjure Dark, Feminine Spirits In Sinisterly Beautiful Forests

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Marcela Bolivar is a Colombian digital artist who creates haunting images of women embedded in forests of sinister beauty. Encroached by thorny branches and accompanied by snakes and skull-faced birds, each character is possessed by her own dark element. Like spirits resurrected from the leaf bed, their bodies sprout and mutate, driven by ancient and esoteric powers. Using dark hues and gauzy layers, Bolivar does an incredible job blending savagery with ethereal, feminine beauty. Her work is an expression of the mysticism and secrets that lurk in the wooded landscapes of our dreams.

Bolivar is currently on display at Krab Jab Studio in Seattle. Her work is being featured alongside that of Samuel Araya and Bastien Lecouffe Deharme, artists who also compose stunning, fantasy-based visions of terror and beauty. The exhibition, called The Three Imposters, is inspired by Arthur Machen’s 1895 horror novel of the same name. The exhibition runs until November 7th. You can read more about the show on beautiful.bizarre.

Visit Bolivar’s website, Facebook, and Instagram to view more of her work. (Via beautiful.bizarre).

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Laurie Anderson’s Provocative New Collaborative Installation With A Former Guantanamo Bay Prisoner

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An artistic collaboration between a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and a multimedia artist. One sitting in West Africa, the other in New York. The dialogue between Laurie Anderson and Mohammed el Gharani took place two days ago at the The Park Avenue Armory. The installation/performance titled ‘Habeas Corpus’ is a concept demonstrating the possibility of untangling stories and their interpretations though a simple dialogue.

Laurie Anderson imagined the installation to take part in separate stories. In a first room, the entire body of Mohammed el Gharani is live by the process of projection-mapping in a large auditorium. He is projected as four times his size in a statuesque position inspired by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. . In another room, Mohammed el Gharani appears on a large flat screen, in front of benches set up for visitors. This presentation is filmed as a documentary where the former prisoner narrates his experiences. 

The visitors are given prior to the installation a leaflet explaining the circumstances of the making of what they are about to witness. The context of Mohammed el Gharani’s emprisonnement from the age of 14 to 21 and transcriptions of his stories.
The young man is describing his story, what he experienced through those years; but without being too precise about the details. Laurie Anderson, the artist, didn’t want to emphasize that aspect. Her purpose is to tell in her own way, how a testimonial, an interrogatory can be told and retold and how it can loose its dominant meaning. (via The Creators Project). Photos by James Ewing

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Bear Kirkpatrick Captures Evidence Of The Sacred In Stunning, Emotional Portraits

The Thought Of Thinking

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The Dread And Fear Of You

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Bear Kirkpatrick is a New Hampshire-based photographer whose dreamlike visions delve into human emotion, memory, and myth. His work is characterized by allegorical, painterly images that blend baroque-style drama with a modern melancholia and passion. The two series featured here are Hierophanies I and II, which are based off of Mircea Eliade‘s theory of the same name. Kirkpatrick explains the term further in the context of his work:

“This study went afield looking for evidence in the modern world of Mircea Eliade’s evocation of the Hierophany, a tear in the fabric of the profane world that showed a glimpse of the sacred world behind it. All that lives and breathes, dies, is part of a cycle of life and death, is a natural part of the profane world.  The sacred world exists as a memory of a place before death.” (Source)

In search of these tears between worlds, Kirkpatrick hiked miles into the wilderness, enduring swamps, mosquitoes, and ticks to find the perfect locations. Once there, he would capture—guided by intuition—the sacred as it briefly emerged through nude figures and the landscape. In postures of rapture and anguish, bodies struggle and recline against trees, in the grass, and between rocks, their actions solemn but mysterious, invoking an ancient language that transforms emotion and spirit into a visceral physicality. Permeating these two series is a sense of isolation, one that comes from a profound sense of heartbreak; but on the brink of myth and the eternal, each figure embodies healing and rebirth.

Visit Kirkpatrick’s website to view more of his stunning work.

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