Brooklyn based artist Melissa Zexter combines photography and hand-stich embroidery to create layers of narrative and texture in a unexpected and colorful way. Zexter, an MFA holder in photography, redefines her practice, as she creates a new artistic concoction that provides more context in the already-narrative medium that is photography. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs themselves, a way to overexagerate or emphasizes different aspects of the images.
For me, sewing was another way to build up a surface and to build upon the content of my photographs. I loved the meditative process of sewing – it was in such contrast to the technologically more immediate art of photography. The combination of sewing and photography brought together two very different processes that I love. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs and is a process that aids in the transformation of identity of the person or place being photographed.
Some of the photographs she uses are digital prints and others are gelatin silver prints that she make in a darkroom. The thread, which she uses to compliment the images, primarily acts as a connection between the person/place captured in the photograph and the artist herself.
I always think of the photograph as something from the past and the thread as a reaction to the past and present. The thread makes the photograph more personal to me and allows me to meditate on the image. Combining the two mediums (photography and sewing) allows me to reinvent the photograph; to visually react to a person or a place.
Abu-Bakarr Mansaray creates futuristic images using an aesthetic similar to blueprints. Engineering plays a large role in these works that lay out a design for space-like machines and hybrid alien-robot figures. His works are intricately constructed with scientific precision and laboring detail combining image and text. While these futuristic prototypes draft the structure of machines and figures, they also reveal an inner narrative of conflict, war, and turmoil. Blueprints are highly neat and organized, yet Mansaray chose to subvert this aesthetic and portray his vision as chaotic, powerful, and in motion as though they have a life of their own.
The Oscars were a few weeks back but I couldn’t help myself from posting Melissa Di Pasquale’s hilarious photos from her Oscars costume party. The rules stipulated that everyone must come dressed as one of the following: any character from any film that has ever won an Oscar, Or dressed as any character from any filmfrom the past year that has been nominated for an Oscar. The competition was fierce with prizes and bragging rights at stake. I can see this turning into a nationwide contest. You could throw a party in different cities and compare costumes side to side .Would LA beat Chicago, Would NYC lose to Nebraska? I’m not big on costumes but I’d be happy to host the LA party. I only have one question. Did my favorite film, The Lost Boys win an Oscar?
A memorial to the victims of the worst mass shootings in modern history was recently announced, as the country revealed the selection of a design by Jonas Dahlberg. Almost three years ago on the island of Utøya, Norway, a gunman set off several bombs and killed 77 people. Rather than erecting a building or edifice in remberence, Dahlberg’s submission chose to focus on nature itself, separating the end of the island with a man-made fjord where the shooting took place. Across the channel, the names of the victims will be etched in stone, which will be seen by visitor’s in the viewing area. Separated from them physically, Dahlberg explained, “The concept for the Memorial Sørbråten proposes a wound or a cut within nature itself. It reproduces the physical experience of taking away, reflecting the abrupt and permanent loss of those who died.”
The Swedish designer’s submission was unanimously selected (his project description can be read in full here) Dahlberg explained the presence and loaded feelings upon visiting the future building site, “An emotional observation informs my overall concept. During the initial site visit to Utøya, I noticed how different the feeling was of walking outside in nature, compared to the feeling of walking through the rooms of the main building. The experience of seeing the vacant rooms and the traces of extreme violence brought me — and others around me — to a state of profound sadness. In its current state, the building kept close within it the memory of the terror acts of July 22, 2011. Like an open wound.” (via gizmodo)
Believe it or not, these images by Todd Baxter are not paintings. They are photos, crafted with a painterly touch that clearly demonstrates the photographer’s influence of other fine art media such as painting, drawing, and sculpture. Baxter loads his compositions with exquisite details, and we see hand-made badges, fur scarves, and even exposed entrails that make up his series Owl Scouts. The surreal coloring and controlled lighting makes it easy to forget that what we’re looking at is a well-considered photograph.
Narrative images tell the story of young scouts that trek through the wilderness and encounter a series of adventures. Some are neat, like when they find an owl that’s been burrowed underground. Other times are more gruesome and include a near-drowning and cut, bloody hand.
The formal considerations of the photographs and their subject matter can’t help but make someone think of Wes Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom. Baxter’s work is more surreal and dark, however, where the woods is a character in the tale of these young scouts. (Via Optically Addicted)
I am really enjoying Jane Benson’s work. One series in particular of hers I find to be quite intriguing; The Chronicles of Narcissim. Its narrative takes a closer look at people’s preoccupation with material and identity transformation as well as the tension that exists between both the natural and the artificial form of beauty. Benson was born in Thornbury, England and lives in both London and New York.