For her frightening and beautiful portraits, the artist and designer Tamara Muller uses her own face, pasting it atop various haunting figures. Within the context of these crudely drawn bodies, her features, seen over and over again, take on an uncanny, trance-like quality, allowing them to collectively span her entire lifetime from girlhood to the present. Within this expressionistic realm, the barriers between childhood’s innocence and the guilt of adulthood are disturbingly blurred to create a narrative where play and fear work in tandem.
Muller’s faces leap dizzyingly through the ages: baby, child, adult, blurring the lines between male and female in the process. A seemingly incomplete rendering of the bodily form appears to the post-Renaissance eye as primitive or childlike, creating a cognitive and visceral tension with the heavily weighted heads, which are given a disproportionate depth and dimensionality. For this reason, the fleshy, flushed faces seem dangerously precarious, as if they were too psychologically burdened to rest comfortably on a naive and doll-like body.
In a realm where child self and grown self live side-by-side, an uncomfortable eroticism emerges, carrying with it the guilt of innocence lost. In one image, a woman bears her naked breasts, her head taxed with the weight of a baby face robbed of her body. In another disturbing piece, a young girl sits on a rabbit, normally a symbol of fertility and sex, baring her disturbingly youthful genitalia. A woman holds a younger version of herself, and the latter’s body wilts, rag doll like. In these powerful images, it’s unclear who is haunting whom; is the grown self plagued by her childhood, or is it the other way around? Take a look. (via HiFructose)
Chicago-based SAIC faculty and grad, Amy Honchell works with textiles to craft whirling installations of otherworldly landscapes. Honchell bends cloth, which protects us and keeps us warm, through a warped process that challenges the medium’s association with benevolence. Hochell’s mountainous compositions remove memories of blanket-swathed crib slumber, and stitch the trappings of journey and struggle in their place.
Italian artist Christian Zanotto makes use of photography and of a variety of software’s in order to build a scene which is completely virtual and three-dimensional, to which he gives body with figures and objects (and inside of which one can travel virtually).
The digital works are materialized on crystal sheets, suitably treated, by means of the technique of transferring the digital image through a process of photographic exposure.
The plastic-sculptural result is of great impact, the great panes of glass, framed, become mirrors and thresholds onto a world which, although omnipresent and alive, rarely shows itself so directly, a deep and veiled universe of the human psyche. The “Iconography” of these works is semi-religious, not from adherence, but from the fact that it moves at its side in order to carry out a philosophic-artistic investigation into the icons created by man for his own beliefs, which in fact are clearly shown to us through these paintings in their nature as machinery, mechanisms which human beings have undertaken to build and develop using for their material their fears, hopes and happiness.
A new campaign in Brazil called, “virtual racism, real consequences” is plastering Facebook comments that are racially derogatory on billboards in the backyards of their authors. The point of the project is not necessarily to call out anyone or expose anyone, instead, the idea is to create a greater understanding of how these comments actually affect reality. It is far too easy to hide behind the screen. By taking these words out of virtual reality and placing them within a physical reality, perhaps those who write comments such as these will be forced to come to terms with the fact that even their internet selves are an aspect of their real selves, and, that words on social media have an equal effect (if not a heavier one as they reach a wider audience) as words in person. One example of the billboards is a post the states “cheguei em casa fendendo a preto,” which translates to “I got home stinking of black people” (“Preto” is an offensive way to refer to black people, as opposed to “negro,” which is unprejudiced). The idea for the project was conceived after Maria Júlia Continho, the first black weather forecaster on Brazilian prime-time television, was the victim of hateful comments referring to her race, after she corrected another newscaster. The project, headed by the Criola group, a nonprofit that works to defend the rights of black women, uses location tags from Facebook photos to determine what neighborhood the person who wrote the post lives in. The group then buys billboard space in their area, and plasters the post, blurring the name and profile photo. (via Yahoo Finance)
Light has always been an essential element in artist Hillary Wiedemann‘s work; her earlier projects exploring the relationship between light and glass, often bending, refracting and shaping light, with regular investigations into the seen, the unseen, the visible, and the nearly visible. Her installations have quickly matured into multi-sensory experiences that seem to evoke a sense of longing for the ability to make light a tangible thing.
Somewhere between sculpture, fashion, and performance art lies the curious work of Daniel Ramosobregón. This Colombian designer’s wearable art takes the form of dismembered components of the human body in a pure white slate. Each piece is created from porcelain casts of the particular body part that it represents. Then, they are attached to gold plated brass metal and appropriately worn almost always directly attached to the body segment it mimics, creating a deeply psychological affect. It is as if each human body section is jumping out of its place into the air only to be confronted by it own body once again. Ramosobregón’s series is titled Outrospection inspired by the philosopher Roman Krznaric, who claims that humans must live towards the outside to truly know themselves. This meaning, experiencing life is how we discover and form our identities. The designer further explains the meaning behind his wearable limbs.
I have appropriated his concept while relating it to out-of-body experiences more commonly known as astral projections, by seeking to represent -in a metaphorical way- the mind being projected inside out of the body as a way of self-expression and representation.
These “out-of-body” experiences are represented in his work as ghostly and unnerving fractions of the body unnaturally detached. The most startling piece is the white, porcelain tongue that is only attached to the subject’s body by part of it being held in his mouth. Ramosobregón’s series Outrospection is a perfectly balanced mix of beautiful craft and amputation. Although the photos of his crisp white and well-designed sculptures appear somewhat unsettling, Ramosobregón’s work is unarguably delicate and stunning.
Jehad Nga’s photographs of Somali and Kenyan café patrons offer a rare and personal look at those ravaged by years of drought and poverty. Using only a single ray of sun beaming through the café doorway, Nga’s photographs highlight the individuals themselves by naturally removing them from their surroundings. The hardened and weathered faces of the old are revealed, in contrast with the fear, but glimmer of hope found in the eyes of the young.