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Harry Whittier Frees Was Photographing Cute Animals In Weird Costumes Long Before We Were

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Before the insanely popular Lil Bub or the hilarious Doge memes of today was the photography of Harry Whittier Frees, a man who was capturing dogs and cats in odd-yet-amusing situations long before you and I were around. He fashioned a career from these adorable pictures and used them in postcards, calendars, and children’s books. The positive reception (and the fact that it made him wealthy) further proves that our obsession with cuteness is timeless. Some things really do remain the same.

These strange images show cats and dogs in dresses and bonnets, performing household chores like hanging clothes to dry or watering the plants. While it’s hard to deny the cute factor, you can’t help but feel a little uncomfortable by the unnatural positions these actors are posed in. It’s reminiscent to the work of Walter Potter, whom we recently shared here. Although there is a certain similarity to the stiff adorableness, you can feel better knowing that Frees’ animals stayed alive for their photo shoots.

Photographing these tiny creatures was no simple feat and Frees would only photograph three months out of the year. He writes about his experiences in his book Animal Land on the Air:

Rabbits are the easiest to photograph in costume, but incapable of taking many ”human“ parts. Puppies are tractable when rightly understood, but the kitten is the most versatile animal actor, and possesses the greatest variety of appeal. The pig is the most difficult to deal with, but effective on occasion. The best period of young animal models is a short one, being when they are from six to ten weeks of age. An interesting fact is that a kitten’s attention is best held through the sense of sight, while that of a puppy is most influenced by sound, and equally readily distracted by it. The native reasoning powers of young animals moreover, quite as pronounced as those of the human species, and relatively far surer. (Via Co.Design)

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Zoonzin’s Little Lost Project Gives Items A Second Life

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I remember when my mom first told me that the dryer ate socks.  I immediately ran and took all of my socks out of the hamper because I wanted to save them.  Playing with this idea that inanimate objects have a life of their own graphic designer Yoonjin Lee started the “Little Lost Project.”  Lamenting when we lose our iphone, or our wallet, Yoonjin, who calls herself Zoonzin, wondered about the smaller things that go missing.  What happens to that lighter that seemingly just walked out of our pocket?  Does it miss us?  Do we miss it?  Does it belong to someone else now?

Giving these small objects a voice and a personality Zoonzin picks up lost objects she discovers on the streets of New York City.  She takes them home and makes them little signs.  Some forsaken objects are sad, others angry that their owners could be so careless with them, but each has a distinct personality.  Zoonzin then takes them back out onto the streets and arranges them; a unique kind of street art.  Holding their signs as if they were protesters, or homeless, Zoonzin’s little lost and found objects draw attention and a smile from passersby.  Giving a story and another life to those small things we might not even notice we lost, Zoonzin’s Little Lost Project is funny, but also engaging in its commentary about our culture, what we value and how we treat our possessions.  You can follow the ongoing project on her facebook or tumblr.

Peter Schafer’s Pixelated Screen Captures of Partially Downloaded Porn

 

Brookyln based photographer Peter Schafer sent over a few images of a series he’s been working on. Schafer says:

Specifically, it’s a series of screen captures of partially downloaded bit torrent files of webcam porn videos – young women undressing and masturbating, basically. When the files are partially downloaded, impatiently viewed prior to the video file being complete, some strangely beautiful images appear. Capturing the image degradation of video compression and finding beauty in it is a lot like my photography in that you have to catch an image at just the right time, with often the best stuff being unintentional and flawed.

He’s captured some sublime expressions with these. It’s almost as though the girls are posing only for him. The increased pixelation on the images due to their partially downloaded state blurs and distorts the girls to the point where an entirely new context is revealed; one you might create on your own.

Animals Killed In The Name Of Art

In 2004 TINKEBELL. made a purse out of her dearest cat Pinkeltje. Pinkeltje was a ‘depressed cat’ who couldnt be left at home alone. By killing her and making her into a purse, TINKEBELL. could carry her always with her.

The extensive attention to her project ‘My dearest cat Pinkeltje’ received from activists and the media demonstrates that this approach certainly meets with its share of resistance. In this project, she killed her cat with own hands and then had it stuffed and made into a hand bag as a product for consumption, thereby directly bridging the gap between house pet and animal for consumption/production and thus painfully bringing the matter to light. A collection of the threats generated by this and other projects was later published in the book ‘Dearest TINKEBELL

As a life long vegan and animal lover I have been struggling with whether I should post the work of TINKEBELL. Not only do I find the work in terrible taste but I generally don’t like to promote work that involves killing of any kind. However I think this work brings up some interesting questions about what can be considered art and how we define animal cruelty as well as our distinctions between animals that are killed everyday for food, clothing, accessories, and even art (leather) and what animals we wouldn’t dare touch because we have grown to live with them as pets and companions. How do we justify slaughtering millions of cows for Louis Vuitton purses yet get bent out of shape when someone turns a cat into a purse. If I had it my way neither would ever happen but I find it hard to justify one without the other. So what do you think? Is this art and how do we draw distinctions between one animal over the other?

Aliza Razell’s Mythological and Emotional Watercolored Photography

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Aliza Razell

Aliza Razell

Massachusetts-based visual artist Aliza Razell combines photography and watercolor painting in her series of self-portraits that feature splashes and spills of color. Razell uses watercolors to enhance the vitality of her photographs by evoking mythological and psychological themes.  One series, “Anesidora,” represents the Pandora’s jar narrative (the myth features a jar, not a box, as commonly believed) and another series, ikävä, is the Finnish word for missing or longing after something. Razell’s photography-watercolor combination perfectly captures the humanity and surreality of mythological events and the poetic evocations of a fleeting feeling. (via fubiz)

Street Artists That Make Our World a More Exciting Place

10-graffiti-artists-that-make-our-world-a-better-place-title-7It’s safe to say that the art of graffiti, the once loathed medium that was reserved uniquely to the outlaws and high-art mavericks (see: Basquiat), has changed pretty much entirely. With no need to sneak around trash cans and lurk in fog-filled passageways (well – mostly), most graffeteros these days are highly regarded contemporary artists, while the occasional fling with the other side of the law has turned into a charming postmodern adrenaline hunt.

CanvasDiscount.com invites you to a street art gallery where paintings can emerge on a gritty channel side, and every street corner can be instantly changed into a genuine exhibit space!

Tim Groen

Tim Groen is one of those creative types that can do just about anything from photography to design but my favorite work by him are these surreal collages made from vintage advertisements and paintings.