Screenshot from #EmbraceYourself: Kitty Von-Sometime
Photo: Birta Rán
Kitty Von-Sometime is an Iceland-based (England-born) filmmaker who creates beautifully strange and empowering performance art videos celebrating women of diverse backgrounds, ages, and body types. Titled The Weird Girls Project, Kitty’s art pieces are visual experiments aimed at releasing the participants from inhibitions and insecurities by exploring fun and unconventional forms of identity.
As a child born of the digital world, I have a compulsive hunger to record what I do. My inspiration comes from childhood dreams, from synchronicity, from public participation, in freeing those from their constraints, and a personal obsession with spandex.
In each episode, a group of women — many of whom have never met — are assembled and briefed on the secretly planned video shoot that Kitty has carefully planned. The results are inspiring: in “Secret Garden,” for example (shown below), women walk among the trees, unveiling both body and soul under the moonlight. In “Castle of the Apocalypse,” filmed in an abandoned fake Disneyland theme park in China, a shadowy crew dances amidst the ruins of greed and corruption. Taking a turn towards the humorously absurd, “Bunny Revolution” features a cast of rabbit-masked ladies who violently battle before throwing down their weapons and humping vigorously. In each of the videos, we see women improvising, playing, and morphing into expressive extensions of themselves, exploring their individual strengths and beauties while also working together as a supportive group. I had the opportunity to speak with Kitty about her project.
Two brilliant artists, Amanda Charchian and Jose Romussi, have collaborated and created and incredibly dreamy, breathtaking series. LA based artist Charchian has a very unique style of photography that emphasizes the human body in creative, innovative ways. This combined with Chilean artist Romussi’s technique of embroidery on photograph, brings an entirely new focus on the figure. In their collaboration series, the scene is set in a dramatic black and white, bringing an unearthly white glow to the subjects. A mysterious aura can be seen in each surreal image, with both figures embodying a ghostly feel. One aspect of this series that is so intriguing is the choice in wardrobe and makeup. The subjects both sport little to no clothing, but what little they do have on is somewhat theatrical and reminiscent to a different era. The makeup is equally dramatic, with each figure having stark white or jet-black eyebrows, with black, heart shaped lips. Each scene mystifies the viewer while intriguing them into the next situation.
Both artists’ indistinguishable style shows through in this captivating, collaborative series. Charchian’s interesting use of aesthetically pleasing positions of the body still ring true, while Romussi’s embroidery adds a whole new element that skews your way of seeing. This hazy, ethereal series often displays a duality of bodies that is reminiscent to the internal and external self. Prints of this stunning series are available for purchase on her website. Make sure to follow her Instagram for more amazing photography.
Lunakhods is an art collective comprising two Toronto-based photographers. Drenched in color and filled with a luminescent haze, their images resemble daydreams experienced beneath the heat of a midday sun. With a touch of surrealism, otherwise familiar landscapes are made unearthly: glowing wells appear in deserts at twilight, and eerie fogs cloud out distant views of mountains and trees. There is a competing sense drowsiness and vitality, transcending consciousness and materializing an alternative reality.
Lunakhod’s photography conveys an emotional and almost cinematic experience of the world. Human behavior is turned into a bizarre and deeply metaphorical reflection of itself; like muses of our solitary, dream-wandering selves, masked figures haunt dark roadsides and rooftops. Elsewhere, someone holds aloft a garden flamingo in an act of both absurdity and reverie. Time is suspended; past and present collide in images aged with dust. In the world of dreams that Lunakhods creates, temporality and concrete meaning become irrelevant — instead, their images explore the spirit, eternity, and subjectivity of a semi-lucid moment.
You’ve heard of “Where are they now?” stories about child stars, but what about the Garbage Pail Kids? Art director Jake Houvenagle and photographer Brandon Voges have combined their creative talents to construct a fictional photo series portraying specific Garbage Pail Kids characters as real human beings, thirty years later. This lovably crass band of misfits from your childhood has come to life, thanks to these two artists. Not only are we able to see what each kid has grown up and become, Houvenagle and Voges has also provided us with a complete back-story, making the situation even more comical.
This hilarious series features such bizarre characters as Armpit Brit, who still has her dreads of armpit hair, and Barfin’ Barbara, who’s name speaks for herself. The artists cleverly match each Garbage Pail Kid with a suitable occupation that matches their unfortunate, gross personality trait. For example, the unholy Bony Tony, who has the ability zip off his skin, is now, thirty years later, a stripper! The finished photo features Bony Tony on stage as a full adult, stripping his skin off in his underwear while dollar bills are thrown at him. This series is both nostalgic and well done, with an amazing sense of humor. Houvenagle and Voges have created a throwback masterpiece with this wonderfully entertaining series.
Have you ever loved a color so much that you wish you could paint everything in it? Well, artist Benedetto Demaio has immersed his entire photography in a color that he so deeply enjoys. The brilliant artwork of Italian artist Benedetto Demaio completely engulfs you in a world of specific color. Photographing simple subjects like deflated balloons and crayon shards, he transforms the ordinary into a perfectly constructed photo, complete with a curated palette. Although his images include a wide variety of subjects, they all hold a certain, cool blue that ties them all together in a way that is unmistakably intentional by Demaio. This hue is the artist’s signature. It is amazing how many different ways a color can be expressed, in so many different textures. Demaio’s blue is shown in soft, puffy material, in torn paper, and in places that are true to nature, like an ocean wave.
Each photograph, carefully constructed and thought out, contains beautiful compositions of an inviting, cohesive color palette. The artist’s sense of playfulness is apparent in his experimental use of color, as he often applies his favorite color in places that it may not normally be found, like in color swatches on the beach. Still, you cannot help to be charmed by the repetitiveness of the blue hue. There is a fun, triumphant spirit of creativity in Demaio’s work that is such an irresistible breath of fresh air. (via Honestly WTF)
Kirk Weddle known for his underwater photography is probably best known for his cover shot of Nirvana’s groundbreaking second LP Nevermind. Weddle’s cover shot of the naked baby swimming after a dollar bill is synonymous with an album that changed the face of music forever. Now over twenty years later out takes from the infamous shoot has surfaced and it’s interesting to hear the back story behind this one professional moment in the band’s early career and also see the trio captured on the brink of both superstardom and tragedy.
Perhaps the most prevalent thing apparent in these photos is the exhaustion and frustration of a touring band having to do the mandatory marketing tactics put forth by their record label to sell the next album. It’s unclear who decided that the best selling point for the album’s photos would be underwater shots but that was the call for the day and to see Kurt and the guys in these ridiculous shots is both endearing and bittersweet.
According to Weddle the band even though exhausted from touring was good natured and didn’t pull any rock star moves. They look tired but in good spirits for most of the photos. Nevermind was released in September 1991 and would become one of the most successful alternative rock albums of all time. To date it has sold 30 million copies worldwide. (via Juxtapoz)
Flicking through Colin Crane‘s photography is like playing a game of hide and seek. It’s joyful, light-hearted, flirty, a bit adventurous, and will make you smile. Crane has the knack for capturing the happiness in his subjects and images. It may sound so simple, but the effect is not to be underestimated. His photographs are like a celebration of many different aspects of life, but mostly about curiosity, enjoyment, wonder and inhibition (or lack of).
Crane’s series Dreaming In Color is a collection of intimate, dreamy moments caught on camera. Coquettish girls lie basking in a meadow, zoned out in a blissful state. A grown adult is engrossed in a pair of binoculars as if they were discovering them for the very first time. We see a figure mysteriously emerging from colored lights placed in a forest – and can only dream about what they are up to – where they have come from and why. Adventurous faces are captured, ready to create another memorable experience that they will no doubt tell around the next campfire. Friends are profiled in surreal light, flares, and orbs, sharing something magical with each other.
Crane has a naivety to his work – but most certainly not in a negative way. It’s almost as if he is experiencing the world for the first time, with virgin eyes, and we get to share in his astonishment. His work has titles like Life Is Elsewhere, A Dream That Could Come True, and Nicaraguan Afternoon – and it certainly feels like we have entered a fictional, surreal reality when we enter the world of this young talented photographer.
Michael Pietrocarlo is a photographer whose solemn photos of abandoned buildings capture the beauty of ruin and the renewing power of decay. Three series are featured here: Rust Belt, Forlorn Faith, and Unmanned Posts. Rust Belt explores the communities of Buffalo, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, which struggled during the economic turbulence of the 1980s; Forlorn Faith shows us vast spaces of spiritual worship left in decline; and Unmanned Posts guides us through the dust and stillness of the Bethlemhem Steel Admin Building, which closed in 1982. In his images, Pietrocarlo both shocks and stirs the imagination by revealing what happens when places once invested with love, energy, and hope are neglected; windows break, ceilings crack, paints peels. They become breathless ghost spaces, engraved with memory and mystery, breaking down and moldering in silence.
As these photos show us, however, there is beauty in deterioration; skeletons of industry and worship become tangible links to the past, signifiers of a passion and a hope that has preceded us. Decay becomes the passage to renewal, both personal and shared. As Pietrocarlo explains further:
I am drawn to the mystery of spaces where longevity has defied significance: forlorn constructs ravaged by nature, time, and the boundaries of ruin. I discover and appropriate these “found places” in my photographs to expose the brutal beauty of their (inevitable) decay, exploring contrasting themes of transience/permanence, deterioration/renewal, and abandonment/reclamation.
[…] Above all, these acts of discovery and documentation help me confront my own struggles with mortality in an attempt to illustrate artistry in dereliction, hope in obsolescence, intimacy in emptiness. (Source)