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Painful Photographs Of Japanese Tsunami Survivors

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In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan causing widespread damage and destruction across the country. The fishing town of Otsuchi along the Sanriku Coast was hit especially hard, with 60-foot tall waves destroying 60% of the town. Argentinian photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg heard about the devastation in Otsuchi from the curator of an exhibit of his work in Tokyo in 2012. Upon visiting Otsuchi, Chaskielberg discovered large mountains of debris and places that were visibly demolished. Because Otsuchi is such a small town, the photographer easily found people whose homes were destroyed, most of them living in small temporary housing units. For his “Otsuchi Future Memory” series, Chaskielberg had some of the town’s inhabitants pose inside their now destroyed homes or work places during the night, taking black and white long exposure photographs of his subjects. He’d then use the color palette of decayed photographs found in an album among the ruins to color the his portraits.

Chaskielberg says, “It’s a reflection on the tragedy as a whole—the losses, the memory—and my way of seeing the world. These historic images are the bridge to the past I create through the use of colors…These photographs speak to the way the Otsuchi inhabitants decided to record their lives. From my viewpoint, I try to build a story about the city and its people.”

This method results in haunting and surreal photographs, ones that almost appear strangely collaged or layered, but are only enhanced with color and lighting. (via slate)

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Sopping Granite

Ben Vickers (who I blogged about a couple months ago) has joined up with Sarah Hartnett to create Sopping Granite. I love the colors and forms, and the manifestation of Vickers’ digital sculptures into the third dimension via shiny stretchy tents. Maybe this is what sopping granite looks like?

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The Clayton Brothers Visit The Same Thrift Shop For Four Years For Their Latest Exhibit




Artist duo Christian and Rob Clayton, who exhibit as The Clayton Brothers, found their muse at Sun Thrift, inspiring their latest show “Open to the Public.” Three to four years in the making, the artists visited the shop almost every other day to browse and people watch. Rob Clayton says:

“There are two aspects to this show: one side of it is the store itself and the employees that run it, and more importantly, the other side is the people that go there to get things they need.” (Source)

A third aspect could be said to be the pieces that the brothers purchased and brought into their studio, and sometimes into their finished works. Drawn to the handmade and personal the artists speculate on the embedded stories the objects can’t tell. They see the store itself as a curated collection of sorts, where the employees determine the exhibition by making connections and creating categories. Christian and Rob, inspired by this method of organization, say it inspired the way they worked for this show.

When creating, the brothers have an interesting method of collaboration. They work simultaneously in the same studio, leaving unfinished pieces out for the other to be inspired by and often to add to.

Rob elaborates, “At the studio we don’t say, ‘This is mine, that’s yours.’ We refer to the drawings that haven’t made it into the process yet as carcasses. If a painting sits around for a while, one of us will usually grab it all of a sudden and change it in some way. It’s a constant give and take.” Christian adds, “When do get into a heated spot with a piece, we know each other well enough to let things stew.” (Source)

Their different approaches and techniques are evident in this collection, and it is particularly apt. The varied stylistic choices — assemblage, drawing, collage—speak to the patchwork merchandise in the store as well as to the diverse shoppers.

“The characters that inhabit Open to the Public are overall a sweet bunch. They might look disjointed and fractured, or some might say disturbing, but our overall intent with these drawings was to gain an honest understanding of ourselves as humans. The objects that are discarded or donated to the thrift store become a direct reflection on us as people. We look at the objects like archaeologists, and there is narration attached to all of it. The stories of peoples lives, creative heartfelt moments, messages left for loved ones, forgotten memories… this is what has been driving our characters.” (Source)

Interview: Raphael Garnier


Raphael Garnier is a digital cosmonaut, equally entranced by the flickering mystery emanating from Kirchner’s 18th century “magic lamps,” primordial symbology, and the dazzle-spaz of gif animations. Garnier finds just as much potential to explore new realms within the internet “as in the seabed.” In his travels, he has constructed a wondrous cabinet of curiosities from the binary and the bombastic, fixated firmly on both the future and the worship of magic from a near distant past.

Contemporary Needlepoint in Home is Where The Needle Marks



Ellen Schinderman curated the first part of her contemporary needlepoint exhibit Home is Where The Needle Marks at (Sub)Urban Home, with a second round of art to follow on Saturday, June 16th at PopTART gallery. After building a network of artists working within the medium via personal interactions and social media sites like Flickr, Ellen assembled a group that is really pushing the boundaries of concept and subject matter. For example, Mark Bieraugel presented several pieces that featured the titles of porno mags he used to keep hidden in his room as a teenager, which were hand sewn onto camouflage patterns – in essence, still keeping them hidden. There was also Robert Marbury who took pictures of graffiti in bathroom stalls and turned them into circular pieces that you’d expect to see in a wonderful little old lady’s house, except for the fact they say things like “I heart boobs” and “I heart dicks for din-din.”

Tim Noble And Sue Webster’s British Rubbish


Tim Noble And Sue Webster make art that directly addresses the waste and aesthetic vulgarity of advanced consumerism and repositions the litter and gaudiness as a powerful visual allegory of human mortality, love and hope. The duo’s recent monograph British Rubbish, showcases their work from 1996 to present day in all its meticulously crafted glory— including the die cut book cover itself revealing the portraits of the artists.

Extravagant, irreverent, and always sharply clever, British Rubbish is both a paean to and sly denunciation of conspicuous consumption.

Harry Whittier Frees Was Photographing Cute Animals In Weird Costumes Long Before We Were

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Before the insanely popular Lil Bub or the hilarious Doge memes of today was the photography of Harry Whittier Frees, a man who was capturing dogs and cats in odd-yet-amusing situations long before you and I were around. He fashioned a career from these adorable pictures and used them in postcards, calendars, and children’s books. The positive reception (and the fact that it made him wealthy) further proves that our obsession with cuteness is timeless. Some things really do remain the same.

These strange images show cats and dogs in dresses and bonnets, performing household chores like hanging clothes to dry or watering the plants. While it’s hard to deny the cute factor, you can’t help but feel a little uncomfortable by the unnatural positions these actors are posed in. It’s reminiscent to the work of Walter Potter, whom we recently shared here. Although there is a certain similarity to the stiff adorableness, you can feel better knowing that Frees’ animals stayed alive for their photo shoots.

Photographing these tiny creatures was no simple feat and Frees would only photograph three months out of the year. He writes about his experiences in his book Animal Land on the Air:

Rabbits are the easiest to photograph in costume, but incapable of taking many ”human“ parts. Puppies are tractable when rightly understood, but the kitten is the most versatile animal actor, and possesses the greatest variety of appeal. The pig is the most difficult to deal with, but effective on occasion. The best period of young animal models is a short one, being when they are from six to ten weeks of age. An interesting fact is that a kitten’s attention is best held through the sense of sight, while that of a puppy is most influenced by sound, and equally readily distracted by it. The native reasoning powers of young animals moreover, quite as pronounced as those of the human species, and relatively far surer. (Via Co.Design)

Steve Cutts Satirical Illustrations Expose What’s Wrong With The World Today

Steve Cutts - Digital IllustrationSteve Cutts - Digital AnimationSteve Cutts - Digital IllustrationSteve Cutts - Digital IllustrationHave you ever been staring at the screen on your phone so long that you feel like a zombie? Well, Steve Cutts illustrates this bizarre technology, zombie-like phenomena as a terrible reality. His vividly colored illustrations and animations cleverly and satirically portray contemporary society as a series of greedy monsters, zombies, and hollow-eyed humans with no trace of humanity. Each scene exposes the sad truth of what is wrong with the world today, with money hungry men and dismal humans being completely controlled by a piece of technology. He uses a graphic novel-like style, full of bold colors, with an intensity that will stay engrained in your mind for years to come. The London-based artist illustrates and animates depictions of familiar characters like Roger and Jessica Rabbit in a somewhat humorous, but undoubtedly dark way.

The abysmal world that is portrayed is one of shallow intentions and hopeless monotony. Steve Cutts’ work leaves us questioning our own society and our role in it. He points a stern finger back at the viewer in his vibrant, unforgettable work. Displaying the ‘rat race’ we all find ourselves in as one with actual rats, it shocks us into contemplation. These rats are not only stuffed into small places, but also caught and killed brutally in a trap. Steve Cutts’ work is insightful, intriguing, and incredibly well done, however, this is not a world that is appealing to the masses. Make sure to check out his full animations on his website. (via Bored Panda)