When Brussels, Belgium based street artist Oli-B isn’t busy creating his fluid abstractions on the walls of europe he is working in the studio on a variety of personal and commercial collaborations. Starting as a traditional graffiti artist that dealt with the manipulation of typography, Oli-B has gradually transitioned from lettering to characters and finally to the present where the characters have evolved into amorphous shapes and colors that only hint at the presence of a figure with the occasional eye or mouth. (via)
Dara Scully is a Spanish writer and photographer who captures dark, poetic scenes verging on fairy tale and myth. Nude figures inhabit the faded forests. Esoteric rituals transpire on quiet leaf beds. Death is present in the form of insects, prone bodies, and bleeding wounds, and rebirth occurs as birds escape their abandoned cages. As beautiful and graceful as Scully’s images is her creative biography, which reveals her sylvan, literary essence:
“Forest creature, winter girl. I like birches and aspen leaves. In my other life, I was a white deer, a fox, or a swallow. I’ve never flown. I drink milk tea and my favorite word is chrysalis. My heart belongs to Chopin and my body to the horses, but I’ve never ridden any. I read Jaeggy, Nabokov, Duras, and Müller. I read because it saves me. […] If I have to choose a sound, I’d say: the wind shaking the branches of the trees. Or rain. I always wear dresses and man shoes. I [have] written since I was thirteen. I’m afraid of moths. I have six moles in my pale chest.” (Source)
The power of conceptual photographers like Scully lies in the ability to tell stories in a single frame. Just as she encapsulates an entire sensorial experience in the above paragraph, each photo is a compressed narrative overflowing with hidden meaning and an emotional presence—the innocence of youth, the pain of growing, the sorrow of death. Blending reality with fiction, Scully employs subtly powerful symbols—such as the dead birds—to speak their meaning. Deeply subjective, her ambiguous scenes allow the viewer to instill their own significance.
Portland, Oregan based Marie Koetje’s dark paintings are chaos interrupted. Her subject matter usually deals with natural/ man-made environments out of control. Incredibly noisy with vegetation, trash, and color that are all suddenly silenced by one striking color of fluorescent lighting, neon signs, etc.
Photographers Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida(previously here) found love through photography while attending art school, but they also found a way to combine their interests in gourmet food and miniature worlds by combining them all into playful scenarios. Their most comprehesive series, MINIMIAM, has been an exploration of visual solutions in miniature since 2002. Says Ida, “We’re both food photographer in our daily work, and we’re both quite crazy about cooking, eating and everything about food. So when we started this small people series, naturally we created the stories related to the food.”
The series (a portmanteau from mini and miam, meaning yum! in French), sets miniature figures in whimsical settings, opening up the possibilities of food photography and creating stories from visual puns. The figures are found from model train set kits (usually 1/87 scale), and seen sledding through icing like snow, blowing air into raisins with a handpump to explain the origin of grapes, and recalling Michelangelo by carving away the shell of a peanut to set free the trapped sculpture (peanut) within.
Cari Vander Yacht animates old photographs she found in thrift stores located near her hometown in Portland, Oregon. For the Amsterdam-based art director’s side project, TGIMGIF (Thank God It’s Monday Graphic Interchange Format), she breathes humor and new life into photographs that have been abandoned. Vander Yacht says she stares at the photos until she finds herself giggling over her animation ideas; she then scans and digitally manipulates the images until they become the animation she envisions. Her only rule is that she has to use the elements already in the photograph. Of her acquisition of these old photos, Vander Yacht tells Fast Company, “At a certain point, one must justify their creepy acquisition of other people’s pasts. Either you make up stories about how you’re related to the people in the pictures or you animate them.” Vander Yacht’s website is currently down for maintenance, but you can view more of her work on Tumblr. (via fast company)
It seems that anytime someone finds a strange piece of art out in public the first thing they think is that Banksy was the culprit. This seemed to be the case when three strange and mystical wood carvings popped up in the woods of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, UK. Carved into tree stumps these weren’t amateur carvings by stoned teenagers partying in the woods. With ornate details and precise craftsmanship any wood smith would be proud to call these their own. The Daily Mail caused an uproar stating that the pieces were carved by everyone’s favorite street art mystery man Banksy. However after some investigation by the BBC it was revealed that that the work was done by Tommy Craggs, who was commissioned by the person who owns the land that the sculptures were found on. Not sure why the Daily Mail didn’t start with checking who owned the land before going Bansky crazy but who’s got time to fact check when you could be selling some papers with phony headlines.
Mike Harvey was a taxi driver in Swansea who began ferrying passengers around on the night shift to fund his trips overseas. Since beginning the job in 2010 he shared his car with so many strangers, each one with a story as varied as the distance they were traveling, he decided he would document them with his DSL camera. Harvey would take a snapshot of his customers at their final destination in return for waiving their payment for their trip. He said out of around 130 journeys, only 9 people refused their photograph being taken.
During this type of job, Harvey would have many different types of adventures and experiences. He would find out a lot about his passengers in a very short time, and would discover things they wouldn’t divulge to their friends. He found himself in a very sticky situation one time:
I was driving out of Swansea at about 3AM, and this girl who was full-term pregnant – you know, ready to go – was sat at the side of the road, barefoot, flagging me down. So she got in and… it’s a bit of an impromptu counseling service sometimes, driving a taxi. I said that maybe getting hammered when you’re pregnant isn’t such a good idea, but, you know, we had a nice chat. Then, when I dropped her off, she legged it. I’d usually chase after someone, but she was fully pregnant, you know? She was the one that got away, but I let her get away. (Source)
Harvey has without a doubt managed to capture all walks of life in Swansea, and his images portray all types of people essentially existing in the same way – whether it is getting a ride to or back from a hard day’s work, or on their way to celebrate or commiserate something. Harvey’s photographs are on exhibit now at Monkey Cafe in Swansea. (Via Cultured Vultures)