Fluid, pliable, and sleek—Guido Argentini’s models are not only painted silver, they look to be made of the molten metal. In his series “Argentum,” Argentini has gathered over 100 of his images of women covered in shiny silver makeup, which he began shooting in 1995. The collection is printed in his book, also called Argentum, published by teNeues.
Evoking the luminous polished planes of the work of Brancusi and the verve of Degas’ ballet sketches, these photographs endow the human body with both the solidity of sculpture and the vivid energy of dance.
Using geometrical props Guido Argentini created a contrast between the human body and the archetypal forms of geometry: triangles, circles and squares.
The metallic full-body paint is reminiscent of Pussy Galore’s iconic murder scene in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, as well as more recent images such as Kim Kardashian’s photo spreads in W. In Argentini’s feminine images the silver paint is used as an effect toward an artistic goal, not as the point of the photo, which is why they’re successful and memorable. “The skin, covered with silver paint, becomes an even, shiny surface and the human figure becomes more abstract,” Argentini writes. Without the distraction of skin tone and pores and body hair, the eye is captured by the models’ elegance and athleticism, their strong, contorted bodies juxtaposed against simple forms. The metallic sheen also heightens the contrast between highlights and darkness; we’re captivated by their agility and the sensuality of light and shadow moving across their bodies. (Via Scene 360’s Illusion)
A young photographer named Mahdi Ehsaei has published a book of photographs depicting a little known minority in the Middle East. Afro-Iranians are a group of people descendent from slaves and traders who were brought over from Africa in the 8th century. These illicit transactions were conducted through slave markets in the region continuing through the 19th century. The demographic Ehsaei photographs is interesting because it represents a group mainly unknown in the Arab world.
In his new book Afro-IranEhsaei photographs beautiful children who in their smiles hold a link to their history but most likely are unfamiliar with how their ancestors initially arrived in the region they call home. Using youthful energy he creates a narrative focusing on the future set against a backdrop of the past since many are photographed close to the ocean which is how their ancestors first arrived. In others we see women dressed in traditional African garments, a sign mentioned in Ehsaei’s statement as a way to keep their African heritage alive. This is also true of the segment’s strong culture which is rich in music, dance, oral tradition and ritual.
Ehsaei is of German-Iranian descent and has completed photo essays on boxing, Iran and the nature of photography. He currently resides in Berlin.
Cape Farewell founder David Buckland involves artists to help bring attention to the usually scientific conversation about global warming. Hoping to appeal to the public on a more emotional level regarding the topic U-n-f-o-l-d, a travelling exhibition, presents the work of twenty-five artists who participated in Cape Farewell expeditions from 2007-2009. Capturing and creating images responding to what they saw and felt while venturing to places like the High Arctic and the Andes, the artists created innovative, independent and collective responses to explore the physical, emotional and political dimensions of our changing environment. Working side by side with scientists on the expeditions artists, writers and musicians, such as Rachel Whiteread, Ian McEwan, Gretel Ehrlich, Vicky Long and Heather Ackroyd sought to find ways to discuss the topic of global warming from an artistically minded point of view.
As Buckland says of the subject: “Climate change is a reality. Caused by us all, it is a cultural, social and economic problem and must move beyond scientific debate. Cape Farewell is committed to the notion that artists can engage the public in this issue, through creative insight and vision. The Arctic is an extraordinary place to visit. It is a place in which to be inspired, a place which urges us to face up to what it is we stand to lose.” -David Buckland, 2007 (from capefarewell.com)
Watch the video here, and read more bout the project here.
Childrens’ Pop Culture icons and S&M…who wouldn’t want to see that twisted combination come to life?
Playing with this juicy idea, Richard Ankrom juxtaposes the familiar and the innocent with the unlikely and devilish by creating the figurines you see here. From a masked Tinkerbell and Cinderella, to a naughty bust of Gone in the Wind’s leads, Ankrom captures conflicting, yet hysterical imagery by combining iconic visuals of our childhood idols and S&M gadgetry.
These sculptures were exhibited at the Aqua Art Miami this year, and while we missed it on our trip to Miami, we gathered a couple of sentences from the artist’s statement on this work:
‘The contempt for effusive sentimental goods, that pander to nostalgic consumers led me to take these objects and disable them. In this process mass produced figurines become individual and surreal. These ideas are in conjunction with Duchamp’s ready-mades, Rauschenberg’s erased de Kooning, Paul McCarthy and Jeff Koons.’
Ankrom also explains that the ‘objects are selected by their character, cleaned, masked, dipped or poured several times with synthetic rubber. Zippers are tucked in with dental tools and sealed with rubber, and some zippers are painted gold.’
Brion Nuda Rosch creates what I can best describe as collage-interventions that complicate the “reading” of every day photographs, paint, found objects and magazine spreads. Through the simplest of gestures, Rosch construes new layers and meanings within the context of his images. Above, an elegant blue dot over the face of a dog renders the portrait surreal and anonymous, the blob of paint simultaneously transforming to some kind of bizarre mask or humorous joke-shop clown nose. Rosch currently has some works in the Baer Ridgway exhibition “Hot & Cold” which is up for few more days if you happen to be in SF.
Just like a modern day Wallace and Gromit, Stefano Colferai‘s clay creations are cute, light-hearted and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. He spends many hours with his cutting board, modeling knife and colored clay. Carving out hamburgers, candies, tacos, chicken nibbles, sneakers, boobs and self portraits (all with big googly eyes), Colferai is no stranger to having a laugh to himself and indulging his own sense of humor.
These behind the scenes videos show us a candid insight to his process and creative practice. Creating different campaigns, posters and images for many clients, Colferai approaches them all in the same way. If he’s not enjoying himself, then the viewer won’t be either. About his Boob poster creation, he says:
As a big fan of boobs, I have tried to study their shapes, reproducing some of them in plasticine. I decided to play with the consistency, trying to emphasize the materiality. (Source)
Personifying objects and giving them some sense of life is Colferai’s specialty. Like all good animators he can convincingly tell us a narrative through an unexpected image. Like his ‘Shit Selfie’ – a humorous look at a modern day phenomena. His fresh take on different ideas is what makes him an exciting talent to watch. See more behind the scenes footage after the jump.
Just came across some really inspiring work by California’s own Mike Kershnar. Not only does this guy create some of the most original skateboard graphics around, he is also seriously committed to doing good in the community through the organization Elemental Awareness that he helped co-found. The non-profit’s mission is to “educate and inspire young people to develop self-esteem, social and environmental awareness and the tools to lead successful lives. Elemental Awareness is founded upon the belief that a person can positively impact their world through an active involvement in their passions.”