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Robin Schwartz Magical Photographs Of Her Daughter With Animals Spanning 12 Years

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Robin Schwartz’s photo-series Amelia and the Animals documents her daughter alongside animals as Amelia has grown in the past 12 years of her life. Schwartz’s photographic practice is predominantly of animals, but her daughter is the main focus of these photographs. In each one, Schwartz finds creative ways to have Amelia and the animals interact. You can see the ease with which Amelia interacts with the animals, having been surrounded by them her whole life. It’s incredible to see her nonchalance as well. Both mother and daughter feel a deep connection with the animals. In an interview with Science of Us, Schwartz says the first time she saw a chimpanzee she was in love.  “We’re intensely drawn to primates because – well, because they are us, maybe.”

In the interview, she was also asked about the dangers of photographing her daughter with wild animals.

This is a question that gets asked so often. Most people ask Amelia, “Weren’t you scared?” You just have to be smart about it. We are as careful as possible. It’s a team effort, with Amelia taking directions from the caretaker. Amelia takes instructions well, and at this point, she does have experience.

The animals that hurt us the most are the mosquitos! We were eaten in Florida.

(Via NY Mag)

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The Weird And Wonderful Cover Art Of Mexican Paperbacks

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Pulp Drunk is an exhibition of strange book cover art and a fascinating display of the wildly weird side of pop culture. Designed to attract new readers to read the words inside the books, the covers of post-war American literature were attention grabbing and bizarre at the best of times. But not only was it the American market who was trying out these tactics – illustrators were having a good time in Mexico as well. There, the cover art tended to be even stranger. Still aimed at selling books, but they tended to be less about in-your-face-sex, and instead included violence, crime, mystery, psychedelia and sci-fi details.

They featured characters having hallucinations and apparitions; super-strength robots throwing cars on a destructive rampage; jealous gorillas who are furious they didn’t end up with the girl; a thieving woman stealing a piglet under the cover of nighttime; and circus murder mysteries. These delightfully weird scenarios could be seen to mirror the supernatural side of Mexican culture and their attitudes toward life, death and mysticism. The press release from the exhibition explains further:

These sensationalized images from the sixties and seventies often feature surreal and lurid images of extraterrestrials, robots, dinosaurs, killers, Zorro and many other icons involving suspense, mystery, romance, and the supernatural. The central characters in the narratives tend to be ordinary people facing the common challenges of day-to-day life. They are not gallant martyrs but commoners who have found themselves confronting outlandish and startling predicaments as a result of poor decisions or risky behavior. (Source)

The Pulp Drunk exhibition may be over, but you can see more bizarre covers after the jump.

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“Nature” Violently Overtakes Jess Riva Cooper’s Beautiful Ceramic Busts

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Jess Riva Cooper’s ceramic sculptures are as beautiful as they are disgusting. Her works have the viewer going back and forth between pleasure and revulsion, creating a welcome confusion to be examined. This juxtaposition of attractive and off-putting elements is not a new phenomenon in art – think Jessica Harrison’s ceramic women, and whose work we’ve featured on Beautiful/Decay – and although her artwork is also similarly violent, the aggression is expressed quite differently. Cooper’s busts are overtaken by plants, leaves, and sometimes bugs, which are often gagging or otherwise obstructing the female’s sensory capacities. The plants grow from the women’s heads, the leaves with an almost leech-like gesture extend out with determination.

It’s painful to see the women bound by nature in this way, also because, as a bust, they are without arms or hands to defend themselves. She renders the women with a great deal of skill, their expressions soft and subtle. In her artist statement she speaks about nature reclaiming its place and “a loss of control…as the parasitic entity subsumes the host” as well as her interest in sculpting the figure as a way to illustrate “physical and emotional vulnerability of the individual.” She addresses these themes plainly in her work, which is what makes it so successful and enjoyable.

Spinning Screen Transforms Flat Images Into Light Sculptures

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Transforming the two dimensional into three dimensions has obsessed artists for centuries. Benjamin Muzzin takes an interesting approach to this familiar challenge.  Working in conjunction with the University of Art and Design, Lausanne, Switzerland (ECAL) created the video Full Turn.  The piece seems to begin with a simple LCD screen television.  Soon the screen is spinning quickly and the illuminated design seems to take on a certain depth.  Due to the speed of the spinning screen the light blurs and nearly seems to produce a floating light sculpture.

The television screen embodies the two dimensional image, perhaps similarly to the way paintings had for previous centuries.  Using a digital screen to “carve out” a sculpture of light is a challenge Muzzin was intentionally sought.  He goes on to explain:

“With this project I wanted to explore the notion of the third dimension, with the desire to try to get out of the usual frame of a flat screen. For this, my work mainly consisted in exploring and experimenting a different device for displaying images, trying to give animations volume in space. The resulting machine works with the rotation of two screens placed back to back, creating a three-dimensional animated sequence that can be seen at 360 degrees. Due to the persistence of vision, the shapes that appear on the screen turn into kinetic light sculptures.”

Troels Carlsen’s Vivisection And Torture

Copenhagen based Troels Carlsen has some beautifully brutal work dealing with imagery of death, torture, and vivisection.

Mario Hugo

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New York-based designer/illustrator/art director/what have you Mario Hugo is a talented guy. Working mostly in print, he creates work that utilizes his painting skills in a way that feels very sophisticated and contemporary. Mr. Hugo is also the co-owner of an artist management firm called Hugo & Marie.

Insane Clown Posse’s Miracle…could be a miracle?

Hm, I almost have no words for the demon-clown-spawn’s new video for the song “Miracles” off their latest album. In the vid, the group ponders the simple joys and inexplicable curiosities of life’s treasure trove…lay down their horrorcore antics, and just float through cheesy galactic space, lyrics, and “fucking rainbows.” SNL made their tribute of course, after the jump.

Studio Visit: Joe Bradley and Chris Martin

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Joe Bradley and Chris Martin were putting together a book to accompany their upcoming joint exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash which opens Feb 25th.  That’s Joe in the center, Chris Martin is on the far right.  Jeremy Willis is sitting in the back, he arranged the visit for me.