Enchanting and provocative, the dreamy work of Los Angeles-based sculptor and photographer Amanda Charchian leads a life of duplicity. Simultaneously spiritual and political, her art finds a balance between a transcendent admiration of nature and an intrinsic fascination with the female body.
Ranging from hypnotic crystal installations that give window planes life to sensual and beautiful photographs of female nudes interacting with wild nature, Charchian’s work hosts a wide variety of inspiration: Louise Bourgeois’ feminist sculptures, ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, spiritual meditation, and the mysterious occult all play a part in the artist’s oeuvre, comprised of tremendously unique and stunningly cohesive works.
While, with her cast of all-female photography subjects and her emulation of Ms. Bourgeois, feminist undertones are highly evident in her projects, it is her interest in alchemy and enchantment that most aptly summarizes her body of work. She explains:
“Employing 2D and 3D mediums to transmit mystical experience into matter, my art practice is a means of communicating the subconscious sphere into objects; creating possible portals to ascend beyond known reality.” (Facebook)
Whether photographic or sculptural, her captivating pieces evoke a sense of otherworldliness, uniting the natural with the supernatural and, ultimately, bringing the transcendent down to earth. (Via Ssense)
"(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?
Whether it’s hand painted, collaged, and/or sewn together, Jenny Toth imaginatively entwines colorful drawings of the animal kingdom to meditate on a sometimes humorous, and always surreal study of the female condition.
Of her work, Toth states, “For many years I have been intrigued by the way women artists choose to depict themselves. Like many other artists, my view dramatically differs from a historical approach to the female model. I choose to include elements not traditionally viewed as beautiful—for example, a deformed toe, hairy legs, unkempt hair. However I have no interest in shocking the viewer, but seek to share my honest, uncensored observations. I have always been allergic to pretense and slickness.”
“The majority of apes and monkeys I photographed were privately cared for, contributing to the diversity of relationships, environments, and personal possessions in the photographs.
I incorporated elements from paintings, illustrations and my fantasy images into the photographs and tried to show each primate had a unique personality. I usually photographed within three feet of each primate, with a 35mm lens, never through bars or plexi-glass cages. I made friends with the primates and made subsequent visits. Developing a relationship was essential to capture the intensity of eye contact, which shows a consciousness of me.
I sought moments and edited for photographs that do not represent the everyday world of monkeys and apes in captivity, but my dream world of primates. Meeting the vast variety of primates and encountering the generosity of the owners, anthropologists and keepers was the experience of a lifetime.”
Waiting For Hockney is the story of what hard work, a bit of misguidedness, and a giant dash of dillusion can do for an aspiring artist. If you’re an artist you need to watch this film. Rent it on Netflix or oder it on the documentaries website. Read the the official synopsis below and watch the film trailer after the jump.
Waiting For Hockney is a comic and poignant tale of a man and the people who believe in him as they collude and collide for an entire decade in the service of a grand idea. The film explores the sometimes precarious line between dreams and delusion as it looks at the risks, payoffs and consequences when one man single-mindedly pursues his vision. Billy Pappas is a true American original. An art school graduate from a working class background living in rural Maryland, Billy has decided that his mission in life is to reinvent realism. He spends eight years on a single drawing of Marilyn Monroe working to show a microscopic level of detail he hopes will reveal something deeper than photography. Literally, he hopes to create a new art form. Aided, one might even say enabled, by an eccentric cast of characters including a clergyman, a professor and an architect calling himself “Dr. Lifestyle,” Billy finally completes the portrait and then begins a quest to show it to renowned contemporary artist David Hockney, the one person he thinks can validate everything for which Billy has been striving.
Fabienne Verdier paints with unconventionally large tools. She creates her own brushes, made from substances like sheep hair, duck down, or horse hair, sometimes reaching 6 feet long and over 150 pounds. The brushes are suspended with rope, and then handled physically, or with the help of a pair of bicycle handlebars. Trained under a Chinese painting tradition, Verdier frequently uses black to create her paintings, but will often transgress this tradition by using bright, earthy colors. Preparing ascetically before each piece and practicing the art of spontaneous expression form the basis of her work.
Tobias Hutzler, a photographer / director based in New York City, creates photographs that showcase sculpture-like forms outlined by live human bodies. The unusual portraits, (because I have no idea of what else to call them) feature men and women in skin toned underwear, posing on top, near, and next to each other in strange, and involved poses.
It is interesting to note that Hutzler instructs his subjects to pose in intricate positions with in each other on top of a stand (one that would usually hold a sculpture in a museum/gallery space). This detail further assures the viewer that he/she is indeed witnessing a sculpture of some sort. Hutzler is also interested in portraying ‘different shades of color’, meaning that he includes people of varied skin tonalities, and I assume, different nationalities as well.
Hutzler creates these large-scale photographs by using a unique technical approach, resulting in images that are printed as they are shot, without manipulation. Photographing with small-scale digital sensors, Hutzler achieves a distinctive digital noise quality, allowing for the characteristics of raw digital technique to have a powerful effect on the final photograph.
“This photographic approach builds tension between the large-scale scenes and the digital noise and fragments, resulting in an aesthetic beauty of its own, contrary to aiming for higher resolutions and dynamic range. My photography is searching for a truth between the aesthetic of the medium and the subject matter of the image.”
Hutzler creates his large-scale photographs with a unique technical approach, resulting in images that are printed as they are shot, without manipulation or compositing. Photographing with small-scale digital sensors, Hutzler achieves a distinctive digital noise quality, allowing for the characteristics of raw digital technique to have a powerful effect on the final photograph. “This photographic approach builds tension between the large-scale scenes and the digital noise and fragments, resulting in an aesthetic beauty of its own, contrary to aiming for higher resolutions and dynamic ranges,” says Hutzler. “My photography is searching for a truth between the aesthetic of the medium and the subject matter of the image.” (via art daily)
Polish photographer Pola Esther takes us behind the scenes of the concert film of the K-Pop world’s hottest band, Big Bang. Although the South Korean band’s five infamous members star in this film, Esther has turned an eye onto the bad girls that steal the show. The unforgettable women in the film include Gia Genevieve, Stephanie Shiu, TK, and Briana Michelle, and cameo appearance of James Goldstein. The photographer gives us a glimpse behind the scenes us of the powerhouse characters on set.
The creators of the film, Dikayl Rimmasch and Ed Burke, have had their hand in cinematic music videos before. They also collaborated on Jay-Z and Beyonce’s film “Bang Bang” featured during “On the Run” tour which has a similar film noir feel as the Big Bang’s film. The film’s unmistakable style pulls inspiration from American mythology. This incredibly dramatic film portrays the group in high-speed car chases, like that of the Fast and the Furious, and Tarantino-like scenes similar to Reservoir Dogs that are full of high tension. Esther, now based in New York City, has a photographic style that fits together perfectly with the seductive qualities of the film directors’ approach. Her work takes us one step deeper, showing us a little of whom these bad girls are in the film. Each photograph holds a sense of classic mystery, with the flair of old Hollywood. Make sure to check out more of Esther’s captivating and sensual photographs on her website.