The Birth of Venus, Inspired by: Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus – 1486
The Dream, Inspired by: Henri Rousseau, The Dream – 1910
Golconda, Inspired by: René Magritte, Golconda – 1953
Death of General Wolfe, Inspired by: Benjamin West, Death of General Wolfe – 1770
Ed Wheeler, a photographer, superimposes himself on famous paintings while dressed in a Santa costume.These hysterical renditions are inspired by Ed’s long time traditions of dressing as Santa for holiday cards he created for fun. For years, Wheeler would send out photographs of himself as Santa doing strange and comical things to clients around the holiday.
Inspiration stuck with him, and, according to Wheeler’s website, in 2011 Wheeler stood in front of Emanuel Leutze’s famous painting of George Washington at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was then that it occurred to him: Santa needed to invade canonical works of art!
That is just what he did.
As you can see in these photos, Santa (Wheeler) has made appearances in many famous paintings. He appeared in his long underwear as Venus de Milo in Botticelli’s most iconic painting, and has also posed as a pensive, and a very spirited Santa, over Claude Monet’s Water Lillies. Through Wheeler, Santa has ridden Napoleon’s horse, sipped a cup of coffee in a 1940s diner, played poker with dogs, and floated in a flock of businessmen into the stratosphere in these humorous interpretations of some of art’s most iconic works.
These have become a hit; the Philadelphia Museum of Art is now selling Wheeler’s Santa Classics in their official gift shop for $12.95 a set. You can get them here. (Via Fast CoDesign)
In Phillip Toledano’s new book, A New Kind of Beauty, you will find photographs of those whom have gone through extreme cosmetic surgery. The images are quite shocking, but there is also something quite unusual about them; you can see, through the sitters’ victorious stances, that they actually feel quite powerful and actually beautiful.
‘A New Kind of Beauty’ possesses an interesting aesthetic. The photographer decides to portray his subjects, not under a glamorous light, but instead in way which exudes an air of strength and power. Although the artist says that he is referencing 16th century artist Hans Holbein (which he is) I say that he is also reflecting an aesthetic that very clearly references that of Greek and Roman sculpture. I find it compelling that Toledano’s juxtaposes something so contemporary as cosmetic surgery, to something so dated. But, his line of thought makes sense.
We all know that the Greek and Romans were obsessed with beauty, perfection and youth. They found beauty in perfect young bodies, hence the many grand sculptures of young naked bodies (usually men). Their stance, for the most part, was stoic; emotion made the beauty fade away…their stance was always upright, a symbol of power and honor. Similarly, the photographer renders his sitters in poses that clearly show off their wannabe young bodies and faces (some are covered by draped robes and veils, yet another detail that references this particular stylistic period). They stand tall and emotionless, even if their highly transformed faces say otherwise. Their ‘beauty’ is fake, but it is theirs, and they are owning it.
In a way, Toledano is documenting contemporary human beauty as well as ‘admiring beauty’ in the same way the Greeks and Roman did in their time.
“We will be able to redefine what it means to look human, and I think these people are the vanguard of that type of evolution.”
However, it differs in that this kind of beauty is manufactured and maybe not so beautiful after all. The photographer wants to make sure we realize that this is our society’s standards of beauty. Whether it is actually beautiful or not, real or not, well that’s not something to fret about. It is an obvious fact that the public is eager for perfection, youth, and hypersexualized physical attributes, so here’s the outcome of the pressures to be just that.
“I wanted to make beautiful and distinguished portraits of these people. … I wanted to represent a particular part of beauty from our time. It will be very interesting to see in a few years time how I compare physically to these projected images.”
Roseline de Thélin, a Spanish artist, creates stunning, larger-than-life holographic light sculptures and installations. Her projects feature what she calls, “Homos Luminosos,” or luminous beings. Using scientific properties of light such as reflection, conduction, refraction and transparency, Roseline creates these transparent, mystical bodies that look like they are hovering in mid-air. These fantastical works are inspired by astronomy, quantum physics, definitions of perception, and other-worldly-creatures.
Thélin uses a wide range of materials including mirrors, wires, chains, fiber optics and quartz crystals in her work. She combines the use of digital technology and exhibition space, as she works on producing these mystical beings by creating illusion and deception effects withing specific sites. The empty spaces between the light points serve to create a loose definition of what real space is. Are we looking at something that truly exists? Or is it just as illusion? Furthermore, is the visibility of the illusion a justification for its existence in the tangible world?
Her latest holographic sculptures, presented in FREQUENCY 2011, the Lincoln Festival of Digital Culture at the Saint Swithin Church in Lincoln, England, are a reflection on life, illusion and the evolution of mankind. This series features a series of these ‘light beings’ that exist in a parallel, timeless dimension.
I have a deep respect for anyone who is willing to put their face on a bus stop bench knowing what people do to them. I thought it would be fun to do my own take on our local realtor advertisements.
We are all very familiar with the ridiculous realtor portraits on the bus benches, right? Well, freelance designer and creative director Phil Jones gives them an even more ridiculous spin.
As you can see on the images, Jones is eager to channel his inner realtor as he inserts himself into these local realtors’ advertisements. He goes deep into character by imitating the realtors’ poses, clothing choices, and even their hair and make-up! It is obvious that Jones wants to look as fake as possible; I think that this is part of the plan. There is no way that someone could pass by and not notice the wigs, the weird poses, and the overall awkwardness…or is there?
Although there isn’t much similarity between the mock and the real thing, it is still possible that many of the onlookers didn’t even notice the difference. Jones looks as ridiculous as the realtors do in the original, so it might of just passed as normal.
It all goes to make us question if these absurd ads make any impact at all. Do we expect these ads to always be this bizarre and comedic?
Now, I’m not even sure which one is funnier. (via)
“Takeesha was working one of the streets in an empty industrial area. She called me over and said, ‘Hey, take my picture,'” Arnade recalls. “I was relatively cautious initially because I didn’t want to be insulting, but she opened up and started telling me her life story.”
A former Citigroup financier of 20 years, Chris Arnade, became disillusioned by the narrow-mindedness and greediness of the corporate world. As a way to escape his unhappiness in Wall Street, he started taking long walks with camera in hand. He strolled through Hunts Point in the Bronx, one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. It was there, while on a walk around town, where he met a very friendly and honest prostitute named Takeesha.
She opened up, he photographed her. Astonished by her honesty, Chris insisted in creating a positive and honest image of her friend Takeesha.
From then on his life changed for the better. He traded his job for his new-found hobby: Taking honest and vibrant photographs of prostitutes, homeless people, and drug addicts in the South Bronx. He would not only take photographs of them, but he would also get acquainted and makes friends with these ‘rejects of society.’
“Hunts Point is a dark cloud with a silver lining. It’s people who are seemingly in the lowest of the low positions who are still somehow resilient. Those moments of resilience can be very optimistic.”
Although there are many whom are against his work (some calling it ‘exploitative’), Arnade stands by his images and his daily walks with pride. In a way, this is Arnade’s way to give back. See, Aranade grew up with the Catholic Church, a doctrine which taught him to do good in order to make up for the sins he’s committed in the past. Although always a very honest man, Arnade’s past with Wall Street haunts him daily, and his new found love of the camera and new friends make up for the piled guilt he felt for many years.
I want to make conventional portraits for unconventional people.
His images are simple, yet quite powerful. He captures these reject’s livelihood in a very honest and nonchalant way. The background is their native space and not a studio. Their clothes is not borrowed, but its theirs. Arnade’s images are crammed with damaged, but optimistic outlooks- he does not what to portray anything different; vulnerability is key. (via PolicyMic)
Brian Moss, opened a gym in 1982. Better Bodies Gym, located in the heart of NYC, attracted bodybuilders from all over,and ever since 1997, Moss has casually photographed the leading competitors in the bodybuilding and fitness world.
The photographs are part of an on going series, a personal project, that gives insights to the bodybuilder’s life. Moss’ black and white portraits and action shots go beyond the bodybuilders’ physical appearance, and instead accentuates the human side of this ‘superficial’ business.
My images are unguarded, honest and voyeuristic. Whether they capture backstage scenes at the Mr. Olympia or private moments in a hotel room hours before the competitor steps out on stage, these images are imbued with an intimacy that had never been seen before.
Moss’ photographs have become very iconic, and they have influenced the way bodybuilders are currently portrayed in advertisements and mass media in general.
These disturbing sculptures, created by Jessica Harrison, seem to be made out of real, fleshy skin and hair. For your relief, that is not the case; they are actually made out of the casts of the palms and back of the artist’s hands. The artist chooses to photograph these sculptures against real skin, her hands, to trick her viewers into thinking that the actual sculpture might in fact be an extension of her body. Blurring these boundaries and limits of the body, Harrison provokes questions about perceptions and bodily shapes in relation to the two of the five sense, touch and sight.
Her research considers the relationship between interior and exterior spaces of the body, but looks neither inwards towards a hidden core, nor outwards from the subconscious, instead looking orthogonally across the skin to the movement of the body itself, using the surface of the body as a mode of both looking and thinking.
Photographer Vincent Dixon and the Mimi Foundation ( a non-profit that helps cancer patients to deal with their condition), join forces to produce ‘If only for a Second’, a poignant book-project that includes the portraits of 20 cancer patients under a positive light.
The participating men and women were asked to keep their eyes closed during their makeover, a step that they weren’t really aware of; they thought it was just procedure for the photo-shoot. They were not expecting to see what they saw later.
The last step of the process entailed the 20 cancer patients and a mirror (a two-way mirror which was hiding photographer Vincent Dixon behind it).
They were asked to open their eyes to see themselves. The surprise they got from the hilarious makeovers clearly shows on their faces- Dixon, behind the mirror, took photographs of their first reaction- a moment of joy, amusement and surprise.