Like all good contemporary photography, Elena Montemurro‘s Coming Of Age series highlights a particular zeitgeist, or a certain subculture you wouldn’t normally see so clearly. Her study of American teens discovering life is like a Sophie Coppola film – featuring kids full of ennui, walking wistfully through the streets and sitting aimlessly in diners throwing food in their mouths and at each other. She candidly captures a time of innocence and sincerity. Her images show kids doing exactly what they want, authentically expressing how they feel, and being outright bored. Her photos feel like you are following your cousin around an affluent suburb somewhere in America.
Flirting between gaming arcades, car parks, playgrounds at night, pet shops, lonely trains and empty beaches, Montemurro is able to show an accurate view of the disjointedness of modern life. The way we live our daily lives are quite ho-hum and underwhelming and she manages to turn the dreariness of it all into something a bit magical. Just because something is mundane doesn’t mean it can’t be appreciated. Montemurro transforms unexciting routines and the in-between space into something worth having a second look at. The waiting room somehow doesn’t seem like such a boring place after all.
Photographer Elisa Imperi is a poet who uses her camera to record her prose. She has a sensitive eye for light and shadows, and captures moments of serenity and melancholia. Her work usually features long corridors, empty rooms, dark doorways, dirty floors, broken windows and beautiful girls. Like some twisted fairytale, Imperi’s images are a little bit creepy, full of strange happenings and sad characters that seem to be down on their luck.
Shot in ruins and abandoned buildings, Imperi’s pictures look as if the girl down the street has run away from home and found themselves somewhere undesirable. Based in Italy, she also gets the chance to shoot in lavish apartments, even castles. Recently completing a photoshoot for Vogue Italy, her ethereal style compliments the magazine. Beautiful white dresses lie sprawled out over old branches and piles of dust in forgotten mansions.
If you are like are us and are captivated by Imperi’s haunting photos, then be sure to check out more of her work here, here and here.
So we have all heard or read about the different scandals over celebrity photographs being leaked to people who they shouldn’t be leaked to. Whether they are nude photographs, private images, or untouched magazine cover shoots, we’ve all seen pictures of certain people that we probably shouldn’t have. Well, Spanish artist David Lopera takes this idea and pushes it to the extreme. He uses images of well known people including Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Michelle Keegan, Katy Perry, and Park Shin Hae and changes our perception of them.
With some Photoshop trickery, Lopera adds pounds to the celebrities, creating cartoonish caricatures of themselves. Promoting another type of body image, he ‘fleshes’ the women out, fetishsizing a plumper figure. Originally Lopera modified these celebrity photographs for his own amusement, but after receiving requests from other people for more transformations, he decided to up his output. He writes to Daily Mail:
Men are always writing to me asking if I can make their celebrities crushes look a bit fatter. Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Kardashian are some of the most popular requests I get. These women look much better when they’re overweight. (Source)
Effectively promoting a more positive body image, he taps into our obsession with self image and vanity. He could also be fetishsizing a different type of body, but in an equally unhealthy way, but it seems to be humorous, or at least enjoyable to men and women alike. Lopera’s artist site on Deviant Art has an interesting survey explaining that most people only want to see the morphs of women (77 percent of participants want only women, and 23 percent want both men and women to put on the pounds). Perhaps you could even write to him to request your own favorite celebrity transformation…. (Via Demilked)
Imagine Lolita has joined the cast of The Walking Dead and found a meadow to hide in, and you will get Japanese artist Goto Atsuko’s incredible paintings. They are a mixture between something incredibly sweet and innocent, and something deadly poisonous that features only in nightmares. Her work features sullen, melancholic girls with large eyes and awkward features, and an overload of flowers, leaves, bees, butterflies, ribbons and bows. It’s like a cross between a Tim Burton animation, zombie profiling, and a child’s dark fairytale – all top of with a serving of strawberries and cream.
Compiled from cotton, glue, pigments, gum arabic and lapis lazuli, Atsuko uses both mundane and precious materials – again stressing the contrast between good and bad; naughty and nice. Atsuko’s paintings are a beautiful, haunting combination of childhood and adulthood, and how the two can exist together harmoniously. She shows us everything is not as simple as it seems, maybe that we all have a complicated persona – we are troubled one minute, and celebrating life with the animal kingdom the next. To see more profiles of her beautiful heavenly-devil-children-creatures, see her website here. (Via Booooooom)
We all love a good boombox – but probably not as much as Tom Sachs. He has dedicated a whole exhibition to speakers, cables, and different sound system configurations. Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective 1999–2015 is exactly what it sounds like – a display of functional boomboxes made by Sachs and play 60 minute playlist created by the artist, friends and fans created throughout the show (Kanye West being one contributor). A fan of 1980’s street culture combined with his D.I.Y and punk ethos, Sachs has been fashioning different sound systems for a long time – he has even crafted functional ceramic boomboxes in the past.
With his love for raw materials, assemblage and with his homemade aesthetic, Sachs has created many unstated feats of engineering. His past projects include recreating Knoll office furniture out of only telephone books and duct tape, building a whole McDonalds store out of plywood and glue, and making numerous Hello Kitty sculptures out of anything from foam core to bronze. But this show is the first time we see just how many time Scahs can rebuild one theme over and over again.
Louis Grachos from The Contemporary Austin explains how impressed they are with Sach’s work, and how his ideologies and attitude match the city his pieces are shown in:
I have worked with Tom Sachs on several projects in the past, and I am very excited to introduce his work to Austin [Texas]. Like Austin, Tom takes his eccentricities seriously. The maverick spirit of self-reliance and attention to hand-crafted precision that come through in his work will keenly resonate with our audiences in Central Texas and beyond. (Source)
Artist and illustrator Liam Gerrard is a master of trickery – especially when armed with a piece of charcoal in his hand. He draws meticulous combinations of animals (usually dead), pop stars, cultural icons, and beautiful snippets of nature (mostly flowers), that he describes as ‘Semi-Realistic-Gothic-Awesome-Dark-Magic-Black-Tracing’ (Source). Gerrard builds his complicated compositions from different elements to create a surreal hybrid of modern day life. Specializing in portraiture mostly, his work deals with ideas of beauty, life, death and how humankind deals with those complex issues that we are commonly faced with. Leafa Wilson writes about him in her essay:
He apprehends our desire to ‘perve’ at aesthetically beautiful things and people by giving us a few truths we may struggle to look at; ugliness executed with absolute beauty…..He underpins beauty and death through a marriage of Gothic darkness and pop-icon stellar-brightness that totally munts up the readings of his extensive visual vocabulary. Debbie Harry becomes the poster girl for Satan and Frida Kahlo is set aside with her monkeys in a surreal type vignette. (Source)
Gerrard does choose quite gothic material to focus on, but manages to turn it into something that is beautiful and wondrous. He garnered a lot of attention after drawing a 2.5 m charcoal and acrylic painting of convicted murderer Clayton Weatherston. The subject of the controversy had stabbed his 22 year old victim, Sophie Elliott, 216 times and was sentenced to 18 years in jail, without parole. And even with such a gruesome topic that many people would not care to know more about, he somehow managed to create an object of curiosity and interest. And that is enough proof of his immense talent. See more of it after the jump.
Yes, it is as strange as it sounds. Japanese ketchup company Kagome has taken product placement to another level. Unimpressed that most marathon runners rely on bananas as a fuel source, they decided to invent a tomato feeding robot that athletes can wear. Weighing 18 lbs and able to hold 6 tomatoes, the Tomatan is designed to combat fatigue and raise the appeal of tomatoes worldwide. While on your morning jog, all you need to do is to pull the level next to your arm and a ripe juicy tomato will pop into your mouth.
And what’s more, if you decide that the Tomatan is too heavy, there is a smaller, more petite option also. The Petit-Tomatan weighs half the weight of the original design and will be tested at the Tokyo Marathon this Sunday. It has a delivery tube attached to a mini-tomato holster worn on the wearer’s back and even a timer to stop the runner over-indulging.
Designed and completed by company Meiwa Denki, known for it’s off-the-wall devices and musical instruments. The Tomatan is a brilliant example of Japanese humor. I’ll end with something CEO Shigenori Suzuki from Kagome said about how serious the business of tomatoes are.
Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue. (Source)
I think we have all been underestimating the power of tomatoes for too long now. This is their time. (Via Gizmodo)
Just like a modern day Wallace and Gromit, Stefano Colferai‘s clay creations are cute, light-hearted and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. He spends many hours with his cutting board, modeling knife and colored clay. Carving out hamburgers, candies, tacos, chicken nibbles, sneakers, boobs and self portraits (all with big googly eyes), Colferai is no stranger to having a laugh to himself and indulging his own sense of humor.
These behind the scenes videos show us a candid insight to his process and creative practice. Creating different campaigns, posters and images for many clients, Colferai approaches them all in the same way. If he’s not enjoying himself, then the viewer won’t be either. About his Boob poster creation, he says:
As a big fan of boobs, I have tried to study their shapes, reproducing some of them in plasticine. I decided to play with the consistency, trying to emphasize the materiality. (Source)
Personifying objects and giving them some sense of life is Colferai’s specialty. Like all good animators he can convincingly tell us a narrative through an unexpected image. Like his ‘Shit Selfie’ – a humorous look at a modern day phenomena. His fresh take on different ideas is what makes him an exciting talent to watch. See more behind the scenes footage after the jump.