Porn-Stitching: Leah Emery Turns Erotic Images Into Hardcore Embroidery

Leah Emery - Cross Stitching Leah Emery - Cross Stitching Leah Emery - Cross Stitching

The art of cross-stitching is no longer reserved for floral patterns and butterflies. In a curious combination of erotica and a (usually) conservative medium, Brisbane-based artist Leah Emery has embroidered a series of pornographic images. The project began when Emery discovered explicit pictures that had missed the spam filters on her work computer. Imbued with mischief and a good sense of humor, Emery decided to learn how to cross-stitch while putting the images to use. In the above video, Emery discusses her content and “research”:

“[My porn scenes depict] human beings in the throes of carnality, which isn’t always attractive from the outside — it can sometimes be quite confronting and twisted and sweaty and hairy. And I really enjoy depicting those real moments. And doing the research is sitting on the computer looking through porn files on porn sites, which is a kind of funny career aspiration.”

Some of the images are hard to immediately discern — you might notice the gorgeous stitch work and colors before your eyes adjust to what they actually depict. Among masses of blurry skin and spread legs are a variety of sexual acts, from penetration, to threesomes, to voyeurism, to headstand cunnilingus. Somehow, the pixelated “censorship” makes the images more provocative, giving us a decent idea of what’s going on without the full visual satisfaction of high-definition.

Humor and eroticism aside, Emery’s artistic goal with her cross-stitch porn is to initiate conversation and sex positivity. She concludes the video with the following statement:

“It’s not the intention to shock. I just like the idea of contributing to a healthy sexual debate, which I don’t think we have a lot of in the media these days. I think we could all have a much healthier understanding and approach to topics of a sexual nature if we talk about it a little bit more.”

Visit Emery’s artist page on Sullivan + Strumpf to learn more about her work. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Here And Now: Scott’s Albrecht’s New Show About Inter-Connectivity And Shared Consciousness

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Brooklyn based artist Scott Albrecht has a new show opening this coming Friday July 3rd at Andenken Gallery in Amsterdam. Called Here And Now, it is an exploration of themes central to his work: time, inter-connectivity, perception, and consciousness. Albrecht has a holistic approach to his practice – working out different techniques and approaches to the same subjects. He uses a multitude of materials, but they are all definitely from the same collection, and have the same optimistic message: to appreciate life as it is and to live in the moment. He wants us perhaps, to sharpen our awareness of the moment.

The exhibition includes spiritual mottos inscribed on paper: “That brief moment when we forget where we are” “A moment in time”, “All things change”; psychedelic multi-textured star bursts assembled and collaged from paper, and carefully constructed wooden displays filled with philosophical musings.

Nostalgic and romantic, his work has titles that will pull at your heart strings: The Spark, The Visionary, Leaf Life Span, Adventurer, Easy Goer. They seem like personal tarot cards or affirmations for Albrecht. He explains the symbolism behind the leaves, hands and eyes in his work:

The hands are meant to be representative of personalities or character traits. I like using the hand as a canvas with the idea that you can be defined by your actions, and the hands are symbolic to helping facilitate those actions. The eyes are similar but represent observing individual situations. Here the focus is on the idea of those pivotal moments that we’ve all encountered. It’s also about being slightly more aware in your day to day. (Source)

 

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Tiffanie Turner Challenges Scale And Age In Her Giant Paper Mache Flowers

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Flowers made out of paper mache and Italian crepe create a beautiful aesthetic in the work of Tiffanie Turner. Her technique is presented in various petaled forms some which recall a state of purgatory. These are striking in their faded and withered state somewhere between life and death. They could be her most interesting work because the subjects are not traditionally beautiful and possess character. Through a delicate design they become a metaphor for life and speak about aging beauty.  Besides dying flowers, Turner has created giant umbrella sized replicas of Dahlias, Marigolds and Chrysanthemums. These resemble not only the natural state of the subject itself but also hand hooked rugs. Their narrative takes on a more jovial tone celebrating the beauty of these vibrant buds. In larger pieces one can see the minute detailing and extreme care needed to create such an object.

Turner says her interest in the work stems from a lifelong obsession with floral and botanical drawings. Her process begins with a longing for the repetitive and a challenge to create pieces which explore scale. She is a licensed architect who lives in California with her family.

Marine Coutroutsios Constructs Brilliantly Colorful Abstract Paper Birds Inspired By the Native Australian Species Around Her

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Inspired by the beautiful wildlife around her, artist Marine Coutroutsios cuts and constructs intricate, abstract birds out of colorful paper. Relocating from Paris to Sydney Australia, where she currently lives and works, Coutroutsios’s work is heavily influences by her environment. This series of hers titled Australian Birds contains patterns and colors that are found in the Australia native species she sees in her everyday life. With names like Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo and Pale Headed Rosella, it is no doubt that the artist has named them after the individual bird species that each piece aims to resemble. It is interesting that although these pieces do not resemble the shape of a bird, nor do they possess a beak or even a head, we can still see that they are unmistakably birds. Resembling a target shape, it is almost as if the bird has been flattened into a nearly symmetrical circle.

Throughout childhood, Coutroutsios was always creating something, whether it is through embroidery or origami, which accounts for her incredible skill in paper cutting. Always feeling a connecting with nature, she also creates her own environments with her paper installations full of brilliant colors and shapes. She does not only pull inspiration from nature in the sky, but also nature in the water. Make sure to check out her Ocean Series where she takes her circular shaped method of sculpture and applies it to swirls of cut paper, creating whirlpools of color. (via BOOOOM)

“Through my travels I’ve realized how much I feel connected with my environment. It keeps me grounded and humble regarding our place in this world. With my work I’d like to inspire and engage you to reconsider the value of your surroundings. I think beauty is everywhere and it’s a powerful source of energy.”

– Marine Coutroutsios

Ruud Van Empel’s Modern Surrealistic Digital Collages Awaken The Spirit Of His Flemish Ancestors

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Dutch artist Ruud Van Empel is following in the footsteps of his Flemish ancestors and is creating some pretty confronting portraits. He digitally collages images of innocent, wide eyed children into environments of lush, hyper-colored, tropical forests, ponds and gardens. While his pictures are in no doubt beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, there is definitely something unsettling about them. The children seem a bit out of place – staring a bit too intensely at the camera as if they were possessed or hypnotized. Everything seems a bit too perfect, a bit too beautiful.

Van Empel sometimes spends weeks collating images from multiple sources to build one digital portrait. The reason his portraits seem so weird is because they are pictures of people that don’t really exist. This is a bit of an insight into his process:

First he collects all the features he needs by shooting a variety of young models in his studio and by subsequently wandering through Dutch forests, in search of fine leaves, perfect branches and the right waters. Only to tear it apart and spend weeks reconstructing it all until both the person and the setting match his desired standard of photo-realism. (Source)

It can also not go unnoticed that a majority of the kids in Van Empel’s photography are black. The artist himself grew up in a small Dutch village with a large white population. He speaks more about this influencing his work:

I grew up in a small Catholic town in the south of the Netherlands. There was only one black boy in my primary school class. In the portrait Generation 1 I expressed this situation. It shows a white class with just one black pupil. With World#1 I decided to work with more black children. It set off a whole new series of work. First I thought of portraying a girl in a dirty, old and torn-up dress, as if she were very poor. I suppose this idea popped up in my head because of the image we westerners are often given. I didn’t really like that idea though, and decided to give them the clothes my generation wore when we were kids, especially because those clothes looked very innocent to me. (Source)

Van Empel is currently exhibiting at Wagner + Partner Gallery in Berlin, Germany, until June 13th.

Sanda Anderlon’s Chaotic Panoramic Collages Reveal Intimate Details About Civilizations

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It’s all in the little details for artist Sanda Anderlon. Her illustrated collages and animations use the things that make up our personal, social and public lives to create portraits that tell stories through objects which give clues to the person. Similar to an archeological dig which reveals intimate details about a community or civilization her panoramic illustrations speak through a cluttered and chaotic aesthetic but once you take a closer look they become interesting clues into someone else’s existence.
Through basic titles such as fashionista, neighborhood, party and at the beach we’re given an overload of things which describe life as a human in the 21st century. In fashionista we see the materialistic excess of the fashion conscious. The dozens of shoes, clothes and wigs become an interesting survey into what some deem important. In neighborhood and party Anderlon comprises an exhaustive survey of the people and things which make up both. It takes on historical significance since the artist uses images from various time periods to complete her picture. Adding some depth to her work are animated versions which take on a different perspective. These move through the works as a timeline and offers a documentary style aesthetic.

Lorenzo Castellni’s “Air Collage” Places Iconic Paintings Into Contemporary Settings

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The art of air collage is similar to air guitar. You emulate an original and make it your own. In Lorenzo Castellini’s case that means taking the faces of famous painters and paintings then collaging them onto modern day figures in contemporary settings. The end result is a humorous take on these iconic images and a look at how they would fare in the present day. Even though the project is supposed to be satirical it succeeds in capturing the viewer’s attention by using almost universally well known paintings and placing them in different contexts.
Some of the lighthearted narratives include Van Gogh in various “ear scenarios” and The Venus de milo placed in a shell gasoline logo. The funny stories that emerge by manipulating these images is that art can be brought into the everyday realm and perhaps reach people on a different level. It also uses a childlike technique which plays on perspective and rearranges found images to make comment on the moment. Castellini will take a photo and superimpose the painted image onto that then take another photo of him holding up the collage.
The faces Castellini chooses are from famous paintings which range from Picasso’s les demoiselles d’Avignon to Hieronymous Bosch. These resemble street paintings where the artist pairs faces taken from found images with appropriate photographic gestures which include upper and lower extremities. Material wise it references copying and printing techniques bringing it up to par with today’s standards and practices. (designboom)

Jim Houser Narrates Life Experiences Through Boldly Symbolic Paintings And Installations

Earth Seemed

Earth Seemed

Dosage

Dosage

Blue Dirges (detail)

Blue Dirges (detail)

Andenken/Battalion installation

Andenken/Battalion installation

Jim Houser is an American artist who combines lifestyle, experiences, and visual art into the creation of a personal iconography. Comprised of acrylic paintings on canvas and wood, his works are bold and symbolic: in blood reds and cool blues, images of severed heads and pill cases radiate anxiety, while elsewhere a drummer sits meditatively on the edge of a black pond. By arranging the paintings into installations, Houser narrates an inner dialogue that explores the interrelated joys and challenges of living, speaking to us through his art in poetic and metaphoric ways.

The images featured here are from his current exhibition called HUSH, featured at Andenken/Battalion in Amsterdam starting June 5th. In a recent interview with Hyland Mather, the owner of Andenken/Battalion, Houser explains his personal motivations in the creation of his art, beginning when he was a child:

I like that my art making is therapeutic for me. What is inspiring to me is that it contains a problem that never completely solves itself: me. From childhood on, I’ve used art to escape my reality, to help me define or explain my reality, and to meditate on my reality. […] I sort of lucked into it, making art. I was just as happy drawing as a kid as I was throwing rocks at cars. Anything to get out of my own head for a bit, skateboarding, taking drugs, all that stuff does the same thing to varying degrees of success, but luckily for me I was wired to have art making be the thing that quieted me down the most on the inside. (Source)

Scattered throughout Houser’s eye-catching colors, geometric forms, and clever assemblages are artifacts suggestive of personal means of “escape” — the pill cases and skateboard, for example. The simplicity and fearlessness of these images speaks to Houser’s brilliant distillation of life into one symbolic plane; in a holistic, meditative practice, he has arranged his personal story in a way that is courageously honest. As viewers, Houser’s works inspire us to imagine how we would visually narrate our lives, using pictorial language to explore emotions and unique personal histories.

Check out Houser’s website and Instagram to see more of his works. HUSH is being exhibited from June 5th to 22nd.