I’m back with another fantastic documentary from my netflix archives. I give you The Nomi Song!
Looks like an alien, sings like a diva – Klaus Nomi was one of the 1980s’ most profoundly bizarre characters. He was a cult figure in the New Wave underground scene, a genuine counter tenor who sang pop music like opera and brought opera to club audiences and made them like it. He was a performer with a “look” so strong, that his first audiences went wild before he even opened his mouth. Klaus presented himself as “the perfect video star” yet his star burned out just before the mass explosion of MTV. On the verge of international fame as a singer, he became instead one of the first gay artists to die of AIDS. In the end, his recorded output consists of re-reissues, in various forms, of only two LP’s and a live album. For those who do know him, the reaction he provoked was so strong, that he is still unforgettable, even 20 years after his death. Even now, Klaus is somehow still winning new fans among those too young to have known him when he was alive. And a quick check of the Internet reveals that all his records are still being sold.
The installations of Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen are surreally familiar. Her work seems to take the familiar domestic scene of clothes drying on the line to its wonderfully illogical end. It’s easy to get lost day dreaming about the many people that once filled the second-hand clothing. For Kaikkonen, this exercise and her work are intensely personal – her father died in front of her when she was young and the installation became a way of processing her emotions. Indeed, the clothing acts as a kind of physical manifestation of memories for Kaikkonen – sort of the only vestige of a body that otherwise only exists in the mind.
Like many people, Greg Krehel loves cacti and succulents. But, living in Jacksonville, FL was not conducive to keeping these plants happy and healthy. The desert-loving flora would drown in the sogginess of Jacksonville. That was until he randomly selected a cactus from a local garden store. Instead of dying, it thrived, and produced beautiful, large blooms in a mixture of colors. It turns out that Krehel selected a echinopsis, which is a genus of cactus from South America that loves humidity. And, better yet, there were hundreds of other varieties out there. Krehel photographs them with an iPhone 5 or a Cannon 6d camera and post them to his Instagram, under the username @echinopsisfreak.
Once his first cactus thrived, Krehel bought more. Many more..“My single echinopsis acquired by accident was soon joined by 5… 25… 50… and now I’m at 100 other echinopsis species and hybrids, ” he told the Instagram blog.
Krehel is passionate about imaging the echinopsis, which blooms in a day and peak for only an hour or two. “Their brief existence pushes you to photograph the heck out of them,” he says. This led him to using time-lapse photography to capture their beauty in short, mesmerizing videos. The echinopsis’ gently-opening blooms are easy to watch in hypnotic fashion. You’ll probably find yourself click the “play” button over and over again.
"(Bounce Room 2), 2009". Digital video projection, watercolor on canvas
Took me a while to figure out what was going on in this image (well actually, they’re almost all videos) but it’s an awesome visual trick. The rest of Michael Guidetti’s work is along the same vein. Kind of 2D into 3D…so 2.5D?
New York City based Ofer Wolberger’s ongoing series Life With Maggie resembles a photographic travel diary that follows a mysterious girl simply known as Maggie as she travels across the land and documents her journey through the bizarre, the historic, and the sometimes mundane.
Sebastian Wickeroth lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. He constructs and partially destroys large imposing sculptures. Some of his installations look as if the structures are buckling under the pressure of an entire room while others look like monoliths that have fallen from the sky. Utilizing color and intriguing geometric shapes Wickeroth commands space with dilapidated forms that explore beauty in decay and comment on man-made structures that are built and inevitably destroyed.
Through a series of provocative self-portraits rendered as paintings, photographs, and film, Andrea Mary Marshall examines the intersection of identity, female sexuality, and consumer culture in the context of the “ideal woman.”
“A Woman is a beast. She is as lovely as she is repulsive. She is one part demon and one part goddess…one part slave, one part muse…one part child and one part mother…these contradictions are what make a woman so intoxicating.” – Andrea Mary Marshall
Toxic Women is a narrative collection of work that looks at the implications of trying to live up to the cultural figment of the “ideal woman”. Through identity play that borders on performance, Marshall reinvents herself as highly developed characters meticulously crafted through the art of fashion, makeup, wigs, and props. For her series of “Vague Covers”, Marshall depicts the “toxic woman” as a dichotomy, born out of a pursuit of the ideal, simultaneously adored and rejected by society. There is the addict, the temptress, the woman with no boundaries, the self-saboteur, the perfectionist and the fame whore—archetypical toxic women Marshall has both encountered and embodied. Beginning with the “Vague Covers”, and carried out through the entire collection, the work explores the space where feelings for this toxic woman turn from infatuation to disgust, from attraction to repulsion. “We all have our demons. We can’t move into the light unless we’re willing to look at our darkness.” – Andrea Mary Marshall