SpY Installs 150 Security Cameras On One Building. You Won’t Believe What They Catch On Camera!

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SpY, an urban/graffiti artist, installed 150 fake security cameras on a building façade in Madrid, Spain. The piece, titled CAMERAS, has no intention of watching over anything, the cameras are simply on the wall for show, rather, to make a statement about excessive surveillance in today’s world. As his website states, “SpY’s s work involves the appropriation urban elements through transformation or replication, commentary on urban reality, and the interference in its communicative codes.”

The repetitiveness, and overwhelming saturation of the cameras, imposes critical questions about cameras of any sort in our lives. Whether that might be security cameras, to a personal camera, to the camera on your phone or computer, we are surrounded by them in our urban landscape and personal space,they questions is: what are they really filming?

Cameras signify the documentation of something important, a bad or good event, but definitely not something mundane. If we are surrounded by cameras, we are also surrounded by the expectations of something grand, something bad or good always happening. This is too much of a burden.

SpY’s pieces want to be a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urban dweller. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. Filled with equal parts of irony and positive humor, they appear to raise a smile, incite reflection, and to favor an enlightened conscience.

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Richard Ankrom’s Kinky Juxtapositions Of S&M Wear And Cute Ceramic Figurines

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Childrens’ Pop Culture icons and S&M…who wouldn’t want to see that twisted combination come to life?

Playing with this juicy idea, Richard Ankrom juxtaposes the familiar and the innocent with the unlikely and devilish by creating the figurines you see here. From a masked Tinkerbell and Cinderella, to a naughty bust of Gone in the Wind’s leads, Ankrom captures conflicting, yet hysterical imagery by combining iconic visuals of our childhood idols and S&M gadgetry.

These sculptures were exhibited at the Aqua Art Miami this year, and while we missed it on our trip to Miami, we gathered a couple of sentences from the artist’s statement on this work:

‘The contempt for effusive sentimental goods, that pander to nostalgic consumers led me to take these objects and disable them. In this process mass produced figurines become individual and surreal.  These ideas are in conjunction with Duchamp’s ready-mades, Rauschenberg’s erased de Kooning, Paul McCarthy and Jeff Koons.’

Ankrom also explains that the ‘objects are selected by their character, cleaned, masked, dipped or poured several times with synthetic rubber. Zippers are tucked in with dental tools and sealed with rubber, and some zippers are painted gold.’

(via Lost At E Minor)

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Frank Marshal’s Journey Into The Heavy Metal Subculture Of Sub-Saharan Africa

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Renegades, a photographic series by Frank Marshal, captures the Heavy Metal subculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As we know, Heavy Metal audiences have traditionally been Caucasian and Eurocentric. All of these things, however, are not an obvious description of Sub-Saharan Africa. Marshall’s portraits offer a vision of an unlikely Heavy Metal subculture in Botswana, his subjects are an anomaly, a reaction to a strictly occidental genre. Marshall aptly labels his subjects as renegades, as he renders portraits of rebellious individuals who form part of “an ulterior, emergent rootedness where traditional identities and political histories in Botswana are subverted”. Furthermore, Marshal’s portraits break down established archetypes of ethnicity, cultural identity, and ideology. These individuals are on the fringe of a society that is already situated within the ‘geographical and ideological’ space of the Other, meaning that they are already viewed as exotic by the Occident.

The peculiar thing here is, that we see the ‘Other’ under an completely unpredictable light.

Tribe-like, Heavy Metal possesses an unconscious sense of brotherhood that transcends race and nationality in the context of Renegades. So too, Marshall’s renegades unpack popular stereotypes, transcending traditions, blurring the boundaries between liberty and fraternity, helping to delineate the power structures inherent to Heavy Metal, which may be misinterpreted as a trace of an oppressive past. This is in keeping with the extremism of Heavy Metal ideology, embracing anything that popular culture finds unacceptable.

(via Rooke Gallery)

Kar­ley Feaver’s Stuffed Birds With Bizarre Haircuts

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New Zealand-based artist Kar­ley Feaver creates assemblages that involve a mix­ture of stuffed birds and various costume-like adornment ( human hair, gold plated metal, wood, and more). The artist claims that the animals she uses are ethically sourced and have died of natural causes.

Through her grotesque yet beautiful sculptures, the artist explores the idea of trans­for­ma­tion and adorn­ment, as her cur­rent inter­ests rest in nature’s abil­ity to sur­vive in dif­fer­ent forms by adapt­ing, adjust­ing, and mutat­ing into an increas­ingly man-made environment.

She intends to make these birds look other-worldly. Interestingly enough, she is successful at doing this by using materials that we are very familiar with (human hair, gold, and wood). She makes an interesting juxtaposition between the natural and the unnatural, the familiar and the unfamiliar- specifically to make a point about the unnatural efforts animals (in general) have to make in order to survive in a man-made environment.

Through the ages peo­ple have made beau­ti­ful things for them­selves and oth­ers by using mate­ri­als from their nearby envi­ron­ment. Birds are known to do the same, espe­cially when seek­ing to attract a mate. Feaver’s new works bring the image of beauty almost to the edge of absur­dity, their appear­ance is both bizarre and extra­or­di­nary, unlike any other crea­ture on earth.

(via Brown Paper Bag)

Tobias Hutzler’s Creates Sculptural ‘Objects’ With Live Human Bodies

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Tobias Hutzler, a photographer / director based in New York City, creates photographs that showcase sculpture-like forms outlined by live human bodies. The unusual portraits, (because I have no idea of what else to call them) feature men and women in skin toned underwear, posing on top, near, and next to each other in strange, and involved poses.

It is interesting to note that Hutzler instructs his subjects to pose in intricate positions with in each other on top of a stand (one that would usually hold a sculpture in a museum/gallery space). This detail further assures the viewer that he/she is indeed witnessing a sculpture of some sort. Hutzler is also interested in portraying ‘different shades of color’, meaning that he includes people of varied skin tonalities, and I assume, different nationalities as well.

Hutzler creates these large-scale photographs by using a unique technical approach, resulting in images that are printed as they are shot, without manipulation. Photographing with small-scale digital sensors, Hutzler achieves a distinctive digital noise quality, allowing for the characteristics of raw digital technique to have a powerful effect on the final photograph.

“This photographic approach builds tension between the large-scale scenes and the digital noise and fragments, resulting in an aesthetic beauty of its own, contrary to aiming for higher resolutions and dynamic range. My photography is searching for a truth between the aesthetic of the medium and the subject matter of the image.”

(via Inhale Mag)

Hutzler creates his large-scale photographs with a unique technical approach, resulting in images that are printed as they are shot, without manipulation or compositing. Photographing with small-scale digital sensors, Hutzler achieves a distinctive digital noise quality, allowing for the characteristics of raw digital technique to have a powerful effect on the final photograph. “This photographic approach builds tension between the large-scale scenes and the digital noise and fragments, resulting in an aesthetic beauty of its own, contrary to aiming for higher resolutions and dynamic ranges,” says Hutzler. “My photography is searching for a truth between the aesthetic of the medium and the subject matter of the image.” (via art daily)

Andrew Lyman’s photographs Of Ghostlike Figures Captures The Transcendence Of Memory

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Andrew Lyman, an artist and photographer living and working in Savannah, Georgia, creates “Fleeted Happenings”, a series in which the artist explores “the transcendence of memory through time in relation to space.”

These photographs envision the ephemerality of the body. Especially the reality of it being able to be in a state of being and becoming, of transcendence and disappearing. The photos feature ghostlike silhouettes that appear in scenic landscapes and surroundings that evoke feelings of nostalgia, but also of the sublime. The vast, endless, and empty spaces, not only seem beautiful because of its brilliant hues, but they also evoke fear, and anxiety, as these still remain unknown. Similarly, the transparent silhouettes suggest more of the same feelings. We are enthralled by their beauty and mysteriousness, yet, as we look at them, we acknowledge the possibility our body existing as a non-tangible, transparent form. Consequently, this brings forth questions of life after death, life before existence, and the reality of past memory an non-tangible ‘object’. As we look at these transparent, other-worldly, yet familiar forms, we have no other choice but to think about how one re-imagines memory; specifically how we envision a memory and its existence in a certain space at a given time in the past. (Via Feather of Me)

Celebrity Mashups: Do celebrities Get More Identical With The Passing Decades?

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George Chamoun, a Swedish jewelry design student at the Konstfack University of the Arts, creates Iconatomy, a project that critically looks at celebrities, fashion icons, political, religious, and other personalities that influenced the confines of beauty today. The artist perfectly arranges the new and the old fragments of celebrity faces, so that upon a quick glance, viewers might think they are looking at just one subject. Each compilation features two faces representing the past and the present of glamour and fame.

Chamoun’s collection of mash-ups are striking in that we barely find differences between these timeless icons. I think this makes up for a strange, but obvious conclusion: we still look for perfect, youthful faces… standards of beauty have remained the same throughout all of these years. In fact, it has stayed so much the same that celebrities now resemble the ones before their time.

Apart from making this statement, I think we can’t deny that there is also an eagerness to resemble times in which beauty was a bit more natural than what it is today. Celebrities, stylist, hair dresser, etc have the urgency to emulate classic beauty. However, they are trying so hard that they all back on unnatural ways to make that happen.

Similarly, Marc Ghali, Canada-based photographer, also works within this framework.

Nathan Vincent’s Six Foot Crocheted Doily Warns ‘Be Good For Goodness Sake’

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Santa is not the only one you telling you to be good for goodness sakes. In today’s word, that is, in today’s virtual, and real life panopticon, you have no other choice but to be good for the sake or yourself, your life, your job, etc. Your success as a human being depends on your good (or bad?) pubic, and well documented, behavior. Everyone is watching, everyone is judging.

“Be Good for Goodness Sake”,a three-person show featuring works by Nathan Vincent, Iviva Olenick, and Kathy Halper at the Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York, explores ideas of surveillance and public performance in the age of the virtual panopticon (intagram, facebook, etc).

Taking its name from Vincent’s large-scale work installed in the gallery,  “Be Good for Goodness Sake” pushes audiences to question their stance on surveillance and privacy in the age of social media.

Nathan Vincent’s six-foot crocheted doily acts as Big Brother and it invites the spectators to to sit on a bench flanked by security cameras, while Kathy Halper and Iviva Olenick create embroideries that question the psychosocial impacts of intimate over-sharing via social media. Inspired by her own Facebook feed, Olenick uses embroidery and watercolor to render her own “selfies” and portraits of others. Halper’s work similarly questions the disappearing space between public and private online through embroidered drawings of found images from teens’ Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The exhibition, “Be Good for Goodness Sake” will be on view at the Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York until January 19th, 2014.