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Purity Portraits: Young Virgins Promise Their Purity To Their Fathers Until Marriage

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Stockholm-based photographer David Magnusson captures bizarre father-dauther portraits in the U.S. These portraits are inspired by a very disturbing ritual called Purity Balls, a relatively new Christian religious, wedding-like ceremony that inspires American virgin girls (as young as four years of age ) to promise purity to their fathers.

The formal events tends to include ballroom dancing, a keynote speaker, and a lot young girls in white dresses. During the ceremony, the fathers, the so-called “High Priest of the home and family,” make a pledge to protect their daughters’ “purity” during the affair; often times they exchange purity rings.

“You are married to the Lord and your father is your boyfriend.” – A father says to his daughter during a Purity ball.

Intrigued and fascinated  by an article about the topic, Magnusson took the iniciative to investigate these balls, and its participants, further.To create this photographic series, the artist spent five months traveling to and attending purity balls in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. On each occasion, he spent about an hour interviewing and photographing the father-daughter pair. The interactions between father and daughter on camera were up to the subjects themselves and not at all directed by Magnusson.

Many of us would think that the photographs look and feel odd; and not that there is anything weird about hugging and holding your father’s hands, but the way in which these pairs interact…most of us can agree that it is a bit creepy. The artist, however, keeps his judgement out of the picture and he tells his audience that for the most part the fathers are caring and respectful, and the daughter possess their own character and are often very independent. How true this is to each of us personally differs, of course. This very point, the idea of relative truths and opinion, is what Magnusson is most interested in:

“The purpose hasn’t been either to belittle or glorify the ceremonies–the interpretation [of the photographs] is all up to the eye of the viewer.”

The series of photographs are now part of Purity, a book of text and images put together by the artist himself. Purity comes out in August, and you can order it here. If you are interested in learning more about this ceremony you can check out The Virgin Daughters, a documentary that further examines the nature of Purity Balls. (via FastCo Design)

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Snaggs’ Nostalgic Sewn Vinyl Sculptures Of Star Wars And Atari Video Game Cartridges

Snaggs lives and works in Seattle. Inspired by stuffed Nauga Monsters from the 1960′s, she uses vinyl and felt to create pop culture monuments. Her Star Wars heads immortalize a time when action figures dominated and large character cases were made to organize a collection. She also frequently produces large Atari cartridge works that are ripe with nostalgia. In this increasingly digital age we are moving away from the days when packaging meant everything and a physical object was needed to entertain. By increasing the size of these cartridges she allows the viewer to perceive imagery from the 70’s and 80’s in a whole new way.     

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Vesna Bursich Crumpled paper Photo Realist Paintings

 

The beautifully rendered photo realist paintings of Turin based Vesna Bursich depict paper dolls and cut out figures that are crumpled, bent, collaged, and crumpled almost to the point of abstraction. Arranged as props in the artists fictional narrative, these paintings depict a psychological storyline that has no beginning nor end.

Straightforward Greeting Cards For Cancer Patients That Don’t Like To Beat Around The Bush

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Emily McDowell designs greeting cards for family and close friends of cancer patients. The messages are blunt and direct. As a former cancer patient herself now in remission, the designer got irritated when her close circle stop visiting and calling her because they didn’t know what to tell her.

She is making things simple by putting the right words on a sentiment which is most of the time sincere and honest but comes out awkward to the patient. Loneliness and solitude is, according to Emily McDowell the most difficult part of the illness to endure. Despite the loss of hair, fatigue and the heavy medical treatments, loosing friends and family members as a support system because they are having a hard time verbalizing encouragements and empathy is painful.

The illustrations on the cards are handmade by the designer herself. The pastel color scheme softens the message which can appear straightforward and cynical but which speaks truly to the patient. Emily McDowell believes these cards can make a difference in the way we communicate. In a digital world where motivational quotes are spread out through Instagram and Facebook, these make a difference because they are palpable and create a direct connection between the friends, family members and the receiver.

Find Emily McDowell’s ‘Empathy Cards’ on her eshop. (via Slate)

Thousands Of Metal Disks Come Together To Form Valay Shende’s Moving Political Sculpture

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For over 4 years, Indian artist Valay Shende put together his politically-loaded sculpture, now on show as a part of the group exhibition Migrating Histories of Molecular Identities at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai. Transit is a life size truck with 22 people standing on the back of it and has intensity to it, with a very moving back story. The structure is an intricate piece, made up out of thousands of metal disks all soldered together, and printed with the faces of the farmers who committed suicide from the Vidharba region and their families on them. The wing mirrors on either side of the cab have video footage of London, Mumbai and Dubai playing, to give the impression the truck is literally in transit. Shende says:

It gives a feeling that the truck is moving, but the people are actually not going anywhere, just like in real life. (Source)

Aimed at raising awareness of the increase in farmer suicide and starting a conversation about the larger political issues in India, Shende has created a powerful visual statement. This social awareness is the backbone of his practice.

Valay’s works are in subtle ways, his attempts to question the maladies afflicting urban societies and humans today. He is a keen and sensitive observer of his surroundings and is concerned about the common’s mans trials and tribulations of day-to-day life. He feels an artists owes a responsibility to the society and firmly believes an ideal world can be re-created. He wishes the audience to reflect upon the social issues plaguing man today. (Source)

(Via This Is Colossal)

A Street Art Story

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Street artist Mobstr produced this piece, The Story.  Each painted-over line of the story allows the next to proceed.  Much of Mobstr’s street art works on assumption that his work will soon be painted over – it relies on its inevitable destruction.  Like his story states, his distinct approach to street art makes use this “strange harmony”.

Julia Dault’s Transient sculptures

Brooklyn-based artist Julia Dault manipulates tangible materials, such as plexiglass and formica, to form site-specific sculptures shaped into giant cylinders and held by rope.  Although she has also created a series of oil paintings, her sculptures are particularly captivating for their transient quality, as they seem to be almost collapsing in both time and space; this element of time is key to her work as each piece is named after the time stamp of its creation. More after the jump.

Pierre Bolide

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From what I can tell, Pierre Bolide likes a few things: Space. Raging vein mutant muscles. And imaginary feuds with Chuck Norris. The only way I can describe these are like fan club illustrations of a long lost Nintendo video game that totally ruled and I played so much I saw the shapes on the back of my eyelids when I went to sleep at night, or some totally awesome TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) spin-off series based on one of  Shredder’s obscure, but totally awesome minions. Found on B/D’s very own Creative Pic Pool!