Jan Dunning manages to transform the rudimentary device of the pinhole camera and create strange and wondrous scenes with them. I love the idea of these expansive macrocosmos unfolding from the microcosm of a single point of light…kind of baffling! I remember using a pinhole in one of my first beginning photography classes and the most I got from the lens-less, shutter-less coffee can cam was blurry black and white blobs at best.
Clean, beautiful, and informative packaging design by Audree rethinks those nutritional figures we always take for granted. If everything we ate had this sort of packaging, would we still be eating it? Is ignorance bliss??
In her series Reno, a component of her larger project, Wandering In Place, Jennifer Garza-Cuen captures a hidden America. Through images of abandoned theaters, plastic covered casinos, dust collecting disco balls, women bound to decks of cards, and quiet, empty, almost pallid landscapes, she is able to inherently provoke an aura of nostalgia. She describes the work as a “metaphorical memoir,” pulling at the strings of what “the American dream” truly means and looks like. In a country formulated through vast histories, how does a cultural identity extensively exist? What does it mean to be an American? Her work captures a more subtle, yet convoluted portrait of identity, proving that the American identity is innately faceless and multifaceted.
Her photographs confuse cultural memory, bringing us back in time, despite depicting the present. In what she refers to as a “constructed-documentary style,” she dances around the idea of documentation versus constructed narrative, blurring the line between fact and fiction. She brings us into a dreamland where it seems time has stopped. Her photographs capture moments of silent contemplation. They are almost cinematic period pieces. Perhaps, stills of the scene directly following a climax. Her photographs are not clear portrayals of darkness nor light; they provoke the viewer to search for an almost Lynchian meaning. She displays moments of what may be misfortune, missed opportunity, or confusion. She allows a sense of yearning and misunderstanding, getting at the very ethos of Reno. She states:
“Reno is a place that embodies ideas of Western idealism, the frontier spirit, of transience and the gambler’s impulse to risk everything for the chance at a better life. It was founded as a toll, a passage across the Truckee River, and on silver from the Comstock Lode. In Reno I attempt to come to terms with the defining force of place while returning to my own experience of being a wanderer, a state that obscures identity and embodies what it means to exist outside the codified order of the defined.”
In a series titled Future Fatigue, photographer Bryn DC explores feminine power and the battle against gender inequality. Collaborating with a group of female filmmakers, writers, artists, and activists, he portrays “girl gangs” in post-apocalyptic, war-torn environments. Each one is garbed in ways that challenge conventional notions of femininity; wearing ragged clothes, armed with deadly weapons, and their faces streaked with dirt, they manifest and critique a world polarized by violence and identity binaries.
Bryn’s images are color-drenched and cinematic. Blending composition and costume together in story-filled images, he elucidates his themes in ways that are visceral and metaphorical. A lot of his work derives from personal anxieties about the destructive power of hyper-masculinity, in the way it is portrayed in contemporary culture; as he explains in a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he fears a world “where violence and blind progress are seen as necessary, and are often celebrated.” In the fictional apocalypse of Future Fatigue, gender binaries are opened to public discourse while the feminine is empowered as its own mode of influence.
Visit Bryn’s website to view more of his works, which often breach on his fascination with the pulls between mythology and reality, life and death. His Instagram profile is also a good resource to learn more about his projects.
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Kent Rogowski’s Love = Love series of puzzle collages are created by taking out the flowers and skies of over 60 store bought puzzles and combining them to form a series of spectacular landscapes. Although puzzle pieces are unique and can only fit into one place within a puzzle they are interchangeable within a brand.
Graphic designer/art director Julien Vallée makes graphic design and typography tangible by pulling it out of the computer and constructing his art out of actual physical materials, creating an effect that is quite explosive. He excels in creating both still and moving imagery, often for magazines, (including the New York Times Magazine), and other high-profile clients like MTV.