When photographer Jennifer Loeber’s mother died, Loeber began to photograph her belongs as a way of coping with her grief. She matched her photos with vintage pictures that her father had taken of her mother and posted the pairs on Instagram. The resulting series, “Left Behind,” is a poignant memorial, both deeply personal and universal.
The everyday objects that remain when loved one dies become an instant museum of sorts, freezing that person in time. A favorite pearl ring will never be replaced by a diamond; an unmatched glove will never be matched to its mate. A used lipstick, valueless in itself, becomes a cherished object, chosen and applied by the person so missed. Many times these everyday objects are the most touching and the most difficult to dispose of.
“I found myself deeply overwhelmed by the need to keep even the most mundane of my Mom’s belongings when she died suddenly this past February. Instead of providing comfort and good memories they became a source of deep sadness and anxiety and I knew the only way I would be able to move past that was to focus on a way to interact with them cathartically. I had recently become active on Instagram and realized that utilizing the casual aspects of sharing on the app was a way to diminish my own sentimentality towards the objects my Mom left behind.”
Reframing the objects allowed Loeber to experience them without searing grief. Instead of the items feeling haunted, they became imbued by fond memories of her mother’s life. By matching them with her father’s photos she was able to make a fitting memorial to her mother, one that was less about personal pain than about remembrance.
“My dad refused to hold a traditional funeral service because he and I believe you should celebrate a life, not mourn it. I’m sure this body of work falls in line with that concept.” (Source)
Fable inspired drawings and paintings from LA artist Scott Hassell. Looking at his work puts me in that half-awake-half-asleep, wildly surreal dreamy state of mind that I always enjoy. Reminds me a little of David Jien from B/D Book 1 fame. Scott is also an accomplished printmaker, so be careful if you bring up the subject of oversized etching plates with him.
When I first saw the work of Don Porcella, I found it to be quite humorous, and with a second glance I realized how much detail he puts into each one of his sculptures. Each one is made of pipe cleaners and I find all the different things he chooses to make with them quite creative.
American artist Jenny Fine creates Flat Granny, a life-sized cardboard cut-out of her grandmother. The artist is interested in creating a tangible ‘thing’ that would resemble her dear, and very influential relative. With this cut-out, she attempts to extend a relationship beyond death. Apart from the cutout, Fine goes a bit further and develops a more’ carnal’ approach to the cut-out of her grandmother…
In an interest to reanimate her still image, I turned Flat Granny’s photographic body into a costume.
The bizarre, yet endearing idea is inspired by Victorian traditions of post-mortem photography, as well as the novel concept of a Flat Daddy/Mommy , photographic cut-outs of deployed soldiers for their children/ family while the soldier is away at war.
The photographs you see here feel and look surreal. However, there is no way to escape these vibes when you are looking at an object that in essence represents the absence of someone dearly missed and loved. This project is personal, but it also goes deeper than just a moving gesture from a loving granddaughter. It brings forth the realities of our attachment to the physical world- and the physical body, as well as the lengths we would go to in order to fill that void we feel when we’ve lost someone important in our lives.
Can something like this do the trick? Or would it be just plain weird and inappropriate?
A man of many talents, Craig Redman is a New York based illustrator, typographer, pattern artist, installation artist, sculptor, animator, designer, and art director. A list worthy of comparison would be his equally long list of well-known clients, such as, MTV, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Apple, Vogue, Converse, and The New York Times. And this may be overkill, but Craig not only has exhibited in various parts of the world, but he also exhibited at the Louvre, Paris (every artist’s dream!)
While we have many reasons to envy Craig Redman, we can also take solace in the fact that all of his accomplishments are well deserved. Craig’s diverse talents are immediately visible in his vibrant, smart, and secretly optimistic work.
Marina Abramović is one of the most compelling artists of our time. Seductive, fearless and outrageous, she has been redefining what art is for nearly forty years. Using her own body as a vehicle, pushing herself beyond her physical and mental limits, and at times risking her life in the process, Marina creates performances that challenge, shock and move us. Through her and with her, boundaries are crossed, consciousness expanded — and art as we know it is reborn.
The feature-length documentary film Marina Abramovic The Artist Is Present follows the artist as she prepares for what may be the most challenging performance of her life — a new piece that will be the highlight of a major retrospective of her work, taking place this spring at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
To be given a retrospective at one of the world’s premiere museums is, for any living artist, the most exhilarating sort of milestone. For Marina, it is far more — it is the chance to finally silence the question she has been hearing over and over again for four decades: “But why is this art?” At 63, she has lost patience with being branded “alternative.” That designation, she says, just gives people license to rip her off. What she wants now is for performance art to be legitimated. She is thinking of her legacy — and the MOMA show, as she well knows, can secure it once and for all. “It is,” she says simply, “the most important [show] of my life.””
View some of our favorite videos and interviews with Marina Abramovic after the jump.