Charlotte Niel’s series Behind the Curtain captures the moments before, during, and after patrons’ engagements with carnival and fair photo booths. These photographs are light and fun, bright and summery. Photo booths have consistently been a place of discovery and wonder, a place to experience the excitement of pulling a curtain behind you to allow some privacy in the midst of a very public setting. In a culture where so much of our photography experience is digital, and the tangibility of the photograph does not seem to be as privileged or common as it once it was, the photo booth is a place that offers this immediate experience. I particularly enjoy the variety of color in these photographs and Niel’s captures of the bottom halves of the photo booth’s subjects. There’s a sense of mystery and curiosity that these images evoke, and I think that largely has something to do with the merging of these private moments in a public setting captured with a public eye.
Of her series, Niel explains, “How many times have we looked at an old photograph and wondered about the person in the frame? People or family members we never knew, set in places we never visited or that have changed beyond recognition. Photos are often the only means to link us to our past or the past of others. They help us not to forget. They become visual memories. For these reasons, I find it fascinating to watch what happens at photo booths at county fairs. People come with family and friends to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, friendships or just to make an annual visit to the booths. For others, it is just a way to capture who they are or with whom they are at that moment, on their own private stage. The result is a body of work of people who shared with me moments that took place in front of and behind the curtain, documented for unknown viewers. With my camera, it became a transformation of a private moment into a public one.”
Back in the 30’s and 40’s a program called the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was an attempt to provide more jobs for people. Those with artistic inclination were commissioned to make a series of public service announcement posters which covered everything from traveling to curing syphillis. Largely stemmed in Bauhaus and modernist traditions they lend themselves to early collage and minimalism. The colors are sparse and the shapes which make up the lettering and images seem cutout from construction paper. Even though these were done solely on a commercial level the artists involved were trained and put their very specific stamp on them. Mainly shown in states such as California, New York, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the artists involved did not sign the work and most of the pieces were discarded after use. Recently, a committee was formed to try and recover some of these posters. The WPA Recovery Program was created in 2001 to try and locate original copies of the 2000 posters made.
Looking back experts have determined that these have become notable pieces of art and a legitimate record of that time. In 2008 a book called Posters for the People was published showing many of the works and identifying artist’s different styles. (via Hyperallergic)
Argentinian collective DOMA (Julian Pablo Manzelli, Mariano Barbieri, Orilo Blandini, Matias Vigliano) have a long track record putting on absurdist installations, performances, “happenings”, etc. They also run Turbo Gallery in Buenos Aires. They design characters and toys, and direct videos as well. Insane. Even with such extraordinary output, DOMA doesn’t seem to have overly serious ideas about their work. Even worksfeaturing severed limbs or raw meat and blood splatters take on an air of fun, creative freedom. Check out some of their previous projects below (furry dudes, robots, futuristic machines- all the good stuff). (via)
Premier website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up again to bring you exclusive artist features. We show you exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create a clean and modern website. But it doesn’t just help artists create a minimal, mobile-responsive website; Made With Color also allows them to do it in only a few minutes without have to know any coding. This week we are featuring the work of New York artist Micah Ganske.
Soft, pale colors mixed with futuristic forms. Micah Ganske’s paintings are the reflection of future habitats and societies, combining the notion of technology degrading population with a hopeful note. Influenced by the ghost-town of Centralia, PA, the artist beautifully depicts abandoned city landscapes.
In his series “My Future Is Always Tomorrow’, technology is taking over. The paintings depict a world overtaken by technology and its effect on human kind. “My new sculptures and drawings express my hope that we will further use technology to improve and evolve our very selves.” Ganske’s vision doesn’t end with just paintings. Along with video and virtual reality experiences he also creates intricate sculptures of spacecrafts using a 3D printer. These are part of his fleet of spacecrafts that are meant to eventually come together to create a larger than life humanoid traveling through space. A symbolic vision to forecast humans embracing technology instead of enduring it.
Ricardo Actus is an illustrator and graphic designer from Brazil. His work uses heavy textures and beautiful typography. Actus’ complex mixed media digital collages explore perspective with a fresh set of eyes.
Some time ago, The Postnational Monitor, a personal blog focused on “a wide variety of topics to include, but not limited to history, population genetics, and sociology” posted dozens of composite photos of varying geological and ethnic populations, creating an average face for each category. While most categories are a simple comparison, some are surprising social findings, such as the average Indian Female and Indian Male, compared to the average Bollywood Stars, pictured above.
While obviously interesting from a ‘population genetics’ (no sarcasm meant – simply clarifying the author’s, and not this writer’s, term) and anthropology standpoints, the pictures are certainly more novelty than profound statement. However, the composites do resemble more serious artworks by other artists, which begs the question: At what point does machine or computer-created photographic manipulation become art?
Photographer Jeffrey Milstein takes his architectural eye thousands of feet up in the air and captures the New York and Los Angeles skylines like you’ve never seen them before. He gives us more than just a bird’s eye view of both familiar and unfamiliar buildings; his photographs are artistic compositions within themselves. Milstein shows the intricate symmetry, lines and details of architecture which are not always visible from the ground, and by doing so allows the structures to become landscapes of their own.
He not only gives us an original visual angle but also a deeper look into the craft of architecture itself, from the repetitive structures of suburban LA homes to the angular beauty of the Empire State, the colors and textures of the building materials are both in harmony and contrasts with the natural elements surrounding them. The trees surrounding the bases of the buildings almost become accessories, they accentuate the craftsmanship and thought of architectural feat, housing and industry.
What Milstein has done here is captured the essence of our times, a combination of nature, artifice and something in between. By doing this, he has also managed to bring architecture to a more accessible level, by elevating the audience above the buildings in a way that makes their intricacy more simple without letting it loose its character and distinct characteristics. Beyond this, Milstein has managed to make a point: there’s only so much we can see for where we stand.
See Jeffrey Milstein’s work in person at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles from July 18th-August 22nd.