Patrick Gries’ collection of skeletal photographs are part of his book, “Evolution,” that seeks to make the case for evolutionary theory in a way that has not yet been captured so eloquently through the medium of photography. The project spanned 6 months and involved Gries shooting the photographs of over 250 skeletons at The Museum of Natural History in Paris, as well as 4 other locations in France. These monochrome photographs of skeletons were shot with strong directional light and appear almost sculptural in their presentation, asking viewers to consider the boundaries of scientific study and aesthetic event.
In the book, Gries’ photographs are accompanied with text written by scientist, documentarian, and professor emeritus at Paris’ Museum of Natural History, Dr. Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu. This text describes the skeletons, suggesting how to understand them in the context of history and the patterns of evolution. “New forms have evolved from old ones. Stubby amphibian feet have been transformed into hooves, bird wings and whale flippers. Yet many of the bones in those original limbs have not changed their relationship to the rest. They have just been stretched, flattened or reduced to vestigial knobs. Along the paths of evolution, the vertebrate skeleton has been transformed into similar forms many times over — aardvarks in Africa and anteaters in South America.” You can purchase and see more photographs at Éditions Xavier Barral. (via unknown editors, ny times, and the guardian )
In her ongoing series “The City,” photographer Lori Nix creates incredibly detailed scenes by hand in miniature, then photographs them. The result is an amazing collection forecasting scenes of danger and disaster. The pictures share some commonalities with Matthew Christopher’s “Abandoned America,” recently covered on b/d, but instead of finding places that have been left behind, Nix constructs them.
“In my newest body of work ‘The City’ I have imagined a city of our future, where something either natural or as the result of mankind, has emptied the city of it’s human inhabitants. Art museums, Broadway theaters, laundromats and bars no longer function. The walls are deteriorating, the ceilings are falling in, the structures barely stand, yet Mother Nature is slowly taking them over. These spaces are filled with flora, fauna and insects, reclaiming what was theirs before man’s encroachment. I am afraid of what the future holds if we do not change our ways regarding the climate, but at the same time I am fascinated by what a changing world can bring.”
The images are classically composed, with a balance of color and space. Even once the viewer is told that these are dioramas, it’s difficult to believe. The intricate details, realistic lighting, and cohesive scale make them absolutely lifelike.
“My scenes can be as small as 50×60 centimeters and as large as 182 centimeters in diameter. It takes approximately seven months to build and photograph a scene. I build it for one angle of view and never move my camera from that spot. I will change the lighting, the placement of the objects and re-shoot until I’m fully satisfied with the results.”
Nix’s apocalyptic visions are both familiar and fantastic. She presents a world on a tabletop that is beautiful and alarming.
For people who have a soft spot for early animation Jeremy Tinder’s new work pricks the skin like Cupid’s arrow. The strangely solid little people remind me of rock crystals or the thread spools that R. Crumb would draw faces on, something small, secret and precious. If they weren’t painted I would want to put one in my pocket to talk too when I felt down and out. Ok, that was weird, but you see where I was going with that.
Kate MccGwire‘s latest sculptures are exquisitely crafted and detailed. They have this almost mythical aura about them as the feathers are seen spread in many areas of the installation space. Titled, “Sluice”, the work consists of pigeon feathers, felt, glue and polystyrene that are cautiously put together forming many pigeon-like forms.
As the artist states, “I gather, collate, re-use, layer, peel, burn, reveal, locate, question, duplicate, play and photograph”.
Margie Livingston’s work articulates the interaction between the architectural grid and the natural, organic world. Based on three–dimensional models that she builds in the studio, her paintings directly translate the phenomena of space, light, color and gravity upon these hybrid structures into lines and bands of color that hang seemingly suspended in space. Now, letting accident and discovery meet invention and experimentation, Livingston reverses her usual process, using paint to construct objects. Her new paint objects—built entirely from dots, strips, and skins of dried acrylic pigment investigate the properties of paint pushed into three dimensions and offer a compelling view into how the medium of paint can be used sculpturally. The sculpture featured above contains 62 layers of poured color going from dark to light.