Based in Berlin, Peter Kaaden is a photographer who brings a raw, playful, and oft-erotic edge into the world of alt-fashion photography. The images shown here — the majority of which were shot for VICE and Oyster magazines — feature models provocatively bedecked in latex and bizarre headpieces. Whether within the studio or outside at night, Kaaden’s work is sharp, candid, and unapologetic, buzzing with an attitude and youthful “grit” that deviates from the conventional standards of commercial fashion photography. Instead of acting as passive recipients of the camera’s gaze, Kaaden’s subjects engage with it in a rough-yet-refined manner, expressing confidence and sensuality in imaginative ways.
If you visit Kaaden’s Tumblr, you will notice that his work extends beyond just fashion photography (in the traditional sense); there are images of nudes, erotic and/or strange still lifes, people engaged in amusingly raunchy night-time activities, and more. In an interview with Neon Black Fashion Magazine, Kaaden described his work as “a rough and honest documental view of my life and a view on today’s wasted lovely youth” (Source). Indeed, many of his images have an air of spontaneity and honesty — a style that is carried into his editorial work. In an industry that is often accused of quelling personal creativity for the sake of commercial interests, Kaaden has done a great job infusing the conventions of fashion photography with mischief and his perspectives on youth culture.
Kazuki Guzmán‘s unique heritage (he has a Chilean father and a Japanese mother) informs the playful and fluid approach to his work. Guzmán’s creations range from toothpaste (!), nutshell, pencil, and gum sculptures to embroidered bananas and meat. For Guzmán, the essence of play is fundamental to the outcome of his work. “I equally enjoy allowing my materials to define the context of my artwork, and conversely, the challenge of letting the context of my work dictate the material execution. Most of my inspirations arise from mundane events… Most importantly, I strive for intricacy and exquisite craftsmanship in my work, while focusing on not losing my very whimsical sense of humor and play.” Guzmán lives in Chicago.
In this day and age of digital and high tech art, painter Matt R. Martin looks to redefine the traditional nude. An honorable task since the human figure has been painted in hundreds maybe thousands of positions. For Martin it means looking for new ways to paint an age old subject matter using oil with the expertise of a skilled draftsman. His marks produce mysterious settings which depict dual bodies tangled upside down on a torn leather recliner or snuggled up to a large window. The faces are partially covered lending more intrigue to the stark atmosphere. In one painting a dozen or so male clones are in the ocean with their backs toward the viewer. The figures are standing up to the waist in water and soon starts taking on various metaphysical nuances. A purgatory narrative eventually emerges making you wonder if the souls are half saved or half damned.
Technically the paintings are exquisitely made. They take influence in sheer luminosity from the great Andrew Wyeth. Like him Martin is able to paint skin where you can almost see the blood pumping through veins which is pretty remarkable. There’s definitely something to be said for pure technical skill and Martin should be noticed for his ability. The artist claims in his statement that he has been influenced by film, Surrealism and representational art. (via artfucksme)
While many of us as tourists may walk looking up at the tops of buildings, artist Thomas Lamadieu is looking at the sky. Lamadieu uses negative space to create playful drawings and illustrations. Utilizing photographs of a sky squeezed between rooftops, he illustrates within the patches of blue. The pieces of sky cut out by the buildings are a point of inspiration for Lamadieu culling stories from the shapes he’s dealt. Rather than being a limit, they become a point of departure.
Ossian Brown is an English artist and musician whose book “Haunted Air” gives us a rare glimpse at the vintage celebration of Halloween in America, c. 1875-1955. Anonymous photographs collected from family albums depict the traditional macabre costumes from ages past.
“I find their haunting melancholy completely absorbing; all of these photographs <…> now torn out, disembodied and forgotten <…> they’ve now become fully and utterly the masks and phantoms they dragged up as, all those years ago.”
Compared to today’s flashy, pop-culture inspired Halloween costumes, these get ups of are capable of giving viewer the chills. Black and white photographs feature children and adults dressed with strange DIY masks and robes. Popular motifs contain disguising as devils, witches or animals.
According to Brown, he was fascinated by the wild imagination of these people who at the time were living in great poverty but still managed to create “these incredible and phantasmagorical apparitions”. From whatever inanimate objects, they would construct truly haunting costumes and kept with the essence of tradition which is overlooked nowadays.
To give the book even more mystery, the foreword was written by David Lynch. A short excerpt presented here:
“All the clocks had stopped. A void out of time. And here they are – looking out and holding themselves still – holding still at that point where two worlds join – the familiar – ant the other.”
Llobet & Pons installations and site interventions include a basketball hoop too small to fit a basket, creating a collective sculpture by collecting a single strand of hair from gallery goers, and creating geometric shapes out of broomsticks and floormats.
Dutch artist Ronald van der Meijs’ “Play it one more time for me La Ville Fumée” is a sound-art installation that works on hand made cigars and refers to the history of Eindhoven city, when it was one of the largest cigar-producing cities of Europe. At that time the city was also called ‘La Ville Fumée’. The installation is in many ways about nature versus culture. The technique used here has an almost machine like character, that is controlled and monitored by a natural and traditional item: the hand made cigar. Because each cigar has its own strength by the natural and traditional way of making, they all have their own fire rate. It is precisely this fact that the installation is not working in a predictable way but rather relates to a more or less natural rhythm. The installation has 4 tuners each control a recorder by means of pistons containing the hand-rolled cigars. There are 4 different recorders: a bass flute, alto, tenor, and a soprano. The pistons with the cigars and the recorders are both controlled by 2 abstract lungs. This sound-art burning cigar installation can be seen as a tribute to the former tobacco industry of Eindhoven city and its thousands of workers and craftsmen. The sound composition is a requiem for the former cigar production industry of Eindhoven. (via)