Beautifully designed costumes sets the stage for artist/photographer Uldus Bakhtiozina’s pictorial essay “Russ Land”. Shot in a rural setting, Baktiozina, recreates a narrative based on Russian folklore. Through magic and her own designs she sets forth in capturing a time when the earth was occupied by knights, fair maidens and the forest. She features characters called Baba Yaga (the old woman with knowledge) and Mikulishna (the beautiful), who are familiar figures in fairytales known throughout the world.
The photographer’s hand made costumes are elaborate variations on a theme, most notably in the head dress which the artist emphasizes with great detail in this series. The intricate construction embraces the forest itself, ranging from crowns made of nest like sticks to black and white spider webbed veils. She works with a generation of young Russian artists, who she claims is the inspiration for her pictures and continues to challenge stereotypes in “Russ Land” by showing women as knights and a fair maiden as lothario(a).
Bakhtiozina was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia from a mixed religious background. She received her education from the University of the Arts London and is credited as the first Russian speaker at TED. She frequently features herself in her work first gaining recognition for a project called “Desperate Romantics”, a series of ironic self portraits. Instead of a digital camera, Bakhtiozina prefers using analog stating ‘it’s better suited at capturing the nature of an object’. She currently runs a studio dedicated to the visual arts in her native Russia. (via demilked)
A ton of work must have gone into this awesome graffiti animation. BLU painstakingly shared his point of view about evolution by painting and shooting frame by frame on buildings, walls, and pipes in an urban setting. Whole apartments become sites of cosmological development, water pipes carry creatures from sea to land, and water towers launch nuclear WMDs.
The first question Maurizio Savini is asked about his work is one he hates to hear: does he chew every piece of gum he uses to make his sculptures? He admits this question is very annoying, but if everybody is still genuinely interested, then no – no he doesn’t chew the gum. Instead he has two full time assistants unwrapping each stick of gum and melting the pink sticky stuff into layers of usable material. Savini begins his lengthy process by layering the sheets of gum around plaster molds which give his sculptures stability and shape.
Working with the gum for over a decade, he has created some amazing pieces. One sculpture – ‘La Lupa‘ (the figure who nursed the founders of Savini’s birthplace of Rome back to health) is made from 14 kg of chewing gum. He has animals bearing different flags, business men clutching pillows, chandeliers and women’s shoes among many other things. His work is usually loaded with some sort of socially and/or politically focused message.
He says chewing gum has a unique cultural context. It is connected to art history, industry and world history, and is a loaded symbol for Savini. He says after being introduced to Europe when WW2 was ending, the material became a symbol (along with Coca Cola and nylon stockings) of a new era.
When Savini began making his chewing gum sculptures, he has the misfortune of several pieces disintegrating. He now combines the gum with formaldehyde and anti-biotics to preserve it, so the high sugar content doesn’t destroy the pieces. You can see some of his new pieces at the upcoming Art-Southampton, July 9-13, 2015, or find out more about how he makes his creations in the video above.
Toronto based photographer Wynne Neilly‘s self-portrait project, “Female to ‘Male'” documents the artist’s exploration into his gender identity. Neilly documented his journey from female to “male” with weekly photographs, vocal audio recordings, and other objects that represent a particular part or moment of the transition. As a trans identified queer artist who has photographed all types of people within the queer community, Neilly never had intimate access to another person’s physical transition. Once he knew he was going to start taking hormones, he decided to fully document the experience using a cheap instant camera.
With regard to the quotations used around “male”, Neilly maintains that his trans identity is a continual evolution: “I very strongly identify with being trans. My trans identity is not binary in the ways that society probably expects it to be. When heteronormative or mainstream society imagines a female born body transiting to a body that is perceived as masculine, there is an automatic reading of that person being “female to male” or FTM. This FTM experience might be very relatable and true for many trans people, but it is also completely wrong for others. I don’t identify as being male at all. Putting it in quotations challenges what it means to be a trans masculine individual. Having “male” in the title acts to eliminate some of the stigma behind thinking there is only one way to transition, and there is only one type of trans experience.” (via huffington post)
Fred Tomaselli is best known for his highly detailed paintings on wood panels, combining an array of unorthodox materials suspended in a thick layer of clear, epoxy resin. He sees his paintings and their compendium of data as windows into a surreal, hallucinatory universe. “It is my ultimate aim”, he says, “to seduce and transport the viewer in to space of these pictures while simultaneously revealing the mechanics of that seduction.”
In Andy Kennedy‘s Accumulonimbus, natural and man-made objects on a spin cycle accumulate, disintegrate, and multiply. Created by stop motion animating clay on glass, the film is a meditation on motion and the life cycle of matter… Awesome! Check out the making of post here.
New to B/D, visual artist Mike Calway-Fagen presents a new mixed media installation piece titled we will never really know. Mike’s work is inspired by action and activism and looks to inspire a “culture of complacency.“
H BOX, a roaming collapsable video art screening room, is making its United States premiere at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, CA. Designed by Portuguese artist and architect Didier Fiuza Faustino, this traveling video gallery has been all over the world showcasing commissioned work by emerging artists. H BOX’s first premiere ever was in Paris, France at the Pompidou Centre and since then it has shown artists’ work in Spain, Luxembourg, London, and Yokohama, Japan.