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Documentary Watch: Ray: A Life Underwater


A rogue with an eye for salvage – and the ladies – Ray: A Life Underwater is an affectionate portrait of one man’s deep sea diving career, told through his extraordinary collection of marine artefacts. Like a modern-day pirate, 75-year-old Ray Ives has been scouring the seabed for treasure his whole life.The former commercial diver has plundered the deep for over fifty years, bringing to the surface anything that glittered — even gold. In a shipping container near the water, Ray tends his museum of cannon, bottles, bells, swords, portholes and diving gear.  Enter Ray’s underwater life after the jump.

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Walter Potter’s Curious Victorian Taxidermy




In 1850, Walter Potter was 15 years old when he first began experimenting with taxidermy. By the age of 19, Potter had already created his best-known taxidermy tableaux, “The Death and Burial of Cock Robin” which was displayed, along with his other work, at a pub his family owned in Bramber, West Sussex. Potter’s taxidermy dioramas feature anthropomorphized animals acting out Victorian life scenes. During the Victorian era, taxidermy was a popular practice, and in 1880, a dedicated museum building was opened because the tableaux at the pub had created quite a scene. Over time, the interest in taxidermy declined, and the museum was moved before closing down.

Though Potter’s dioramas could be considered morbid, especially by modern standards, there’s something Beatrix Potteresque (no relation) about his work, mostly in its strange and whimsical Victorianism. “Kittens’ Wedding” was Potter’s last tableaux before his death in 1890; this piece was auctioned at Bonham’s (along with most of the collection) in 2003 for £21,150 (around $35,500). Among those present at the auction were artists Peter Blake, David Bailey, and Damien Hirst, who reportedly bid £1 million (almost $1.7) for Potter’s entire collection, but it was rejected by the auctioneers. This caused the owners of the collection to sue Bonham’s because they believed such an offer should have been immediately accepted in order to keep the collection in tact. In 2007, Hirst told The Guardian that “Kittens’ Wedding” was one of his favorites of Potter’s work: “All these kittens dressed up in costumes, even wearing jewellery. The kittens don’t look much like kittens, but that’s not the point.”

The Telegraph notes, “To a modern eye […]these ‘freaks of nature’ appear eerily macabre. Indeed, some Victorian viewers were outraged by the grotesquery and criticised Potter for abuse of animals, despite a museum disclaimer stating that no animals had been deliberately killed for the collection.”  But then they later explain that not all of Potter’s tableaux were sourced ethically. Before neutering was commonplace, freely roaming farm kittens would often be killed off. Potter had an agreement with a local farmer who provided the kittens; this would explain the high number of participants in his tableaux.

The accompanying images are sourced from Dr. Pat Morris and Joanna Ebenstein’s book about Potter and his work, “Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy,” released earlier this year. Ebenstein says that she’s interested in “the context that creates these things, and why certain things come to be seen as bizarre to us, when obviously they weren’t at the time.” (via telegraph)

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Acciona

We get sent viral videos and movies to post all the time but at most commercials can be downright borin. That’s NOT the case with this bad boy. It’s beautifully directed and executed and most of all drives home the environmentally friendly/renewable energy message in a clever way. I even like the erie music that comes along. What do you guys think?

Todd Baxter’s Stylishly Retro Sci-Fi Utopias





Multimedia artist Todd Baxter has created a retro futuristic image series inspired by narratives of science fiction utopia. Long fascinated with the technology and physics of the Space Race era, with “Project Astoria: Test 01,” Baxter tells a story that revolves around the experiences of children growing up in a an Earth-like world that has recently been colonized. Baxter’s wife, Aubrey Videtto, is writing the story that the two created together. They hope to collaborate with other artists for the project, including a graphic novelist and musician, to further execute their concepts and designs.  Of this project, Baxter writes, “With Project Astoria, I wanted to play with that childlike hopefulness — that anticipation of humans finally mastering our existence and our technology. Especially as we were reaching such new and magical realities as landing on the moon, the late 60s was the perfect period, in my mind, to add in this alternate history where we all get together and say, ‘Hey! We could go colonize this other Earth-like place and really do it right this time. It could be perfect. Utopia!’ Of course, it doesn’t go perfectly, which is good. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make for a very fun story.”

Baxter’s process is quite involved, but it starts with him pulling out sketches for ideas he’s had. He then browses the images on his computer for environment and landscape images he’s shot, and begins to weave together these environments with Photoshop. Baxter then plans the next elements based on these general compositions, producing photo shoots of his subjects that he continues to compose and retouch with Videtto until each image is fully realized. The result is a playful narrative with an almost kitschy aesthetic, evocative of the likes of Wes Anderson. (via behance and bleek magazine)

Andreas Kocks

Andreas Kocks’ work might look like boiling tar splattered on gallery walls but it is in fact meticulously cut paper covered with layers of graphite.

The Sad Three-Eyed Boy Sculptures Of Seungchun Lim

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Korean artist Seungchun Lim creates life-size sculptures.  His work is steeped in narrative, each piece a character.  Seungchun’s sculptures are, in fact, part of a complex story.  The three eyed boy above is born with a hump in his back that turns out to be wings.  Eventually his wings are stolen from him.  Independent of their grand tale, Seungchun’s sculptures still exude an air lonliness and sadness.  His characters wordlessly communicate through their powerful but quiet imagery.

Brian Belott and Jesse Greenberg, W.U.W.

Funk upon a time, Brian Belott and Jesse Greenberg teamed up to create a two man show for Gallery Loyal in Sweden.  I was wondering how to explain the work, but in the press release it says that “Not being able to pin down exactly what these objects are referring to is one of their powers,” so it’s better unexplained.  I asked Brian about the power of not knowing and funkiness once, and he explained that working funky meant the difference between drawing inspiration from the sadness of the Blues, or the celebration of George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic.  The work in this show feels like a mash up between the ancient Egyptian religion, which at the time was thought to keep the sun rising, and today’s science fiction; a mythological range from prehistory to the future, it either expands time or contracts it depending on whether you like the Blues or P-Funk.

Hargreaves + Levin Explore The Beauty Of Symmetry With Their Mesmerizing Photos Of Patterns Made With Fruits And Vegetables

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4 April Hargreaves + Levin

Shapes that appear familiar displayed in a symmetrical manner and playing with our imagination. Photographer Henry Hargreaves and food stylist Caitlin Levin have come together once again under Hargreaves + Levin to collaborate on a food project. This time using only fruits and vegetables and grouping them by monthly harvest.

January: endive, radicchio, kale, turnips, leeks
February: papaya, radish, onions, clementine, oregano, passion fruit, chive flowers
March: asparagus, artichoke, broccolini, greens, string beans
April: spring onions, purple potatoes, fingerling potatoes, carrots , herbs
May: carrots, limes, peas, garlic shoots, zucchini
June: fava, chives, apricots, cherries, plums, sugar snaps, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, radish
July:, figs, plums, oregano, ochre , greens, raspberries, onions
Aug:, tomatoes, basil
Sept: corn, garlic, beans, Mexican sour gherkins, ground cherries , sunchoke, dill
October: mushrooms, greens
November: purple cabbage, bok choy, shallots, cauliflower , tangelo, pomegranate seeds, sunchoke
December: pears, potatoes, sage, rosemary, brussel sprouts, persimmons, shallots, nutmeg, mandarins, cranberries

From far, the whole picture looks like a perfectly arranged combination of shapes and harmonized color tones. Some of the shapes seem familiar until we come closer and discern the fruit and veggies one by one. We’re then able to see every curve, nook and cranny in detail. The mirrored images help create a symmetry. This process allows the fruits and veggies to become a design, a pattern within the picture.

The rendering is both astonishing and intriguing. On each small surface of the photograph, with the help of imagination we can envision creatures, insects and creative characters. Acting just like the Rorschach test, the combination of fruits and veggies trigger the mind to explore the picture and come up with a unique vision. The purpose of the project designed by Hargreaves and Levin is to ‘explore symmetry, natural beauty, and the way imperfections and inconsistencies often become the most breathtaking examples of nature’s artistry’.

The photographs above and below this text have been displayed to match the monthly order of the year.