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Landscape with a Corpse is a series of images in which Japanese photographer Izima Kaoru merges violence with delicate, feminine beauty. For each spectacle, Kaoru asks his model to reveal their fantasy about a perfect death. He then asks them which designer clothing they imagine wearing when people discover their dead body. Using that information, Kaoru combines the gorgeously styled female models with a morbid final end. However, according to his bio, the images “do not allude to something fatal and irreversible but a kind of elegant and highly aesthetic ceremony.”
First using a long lens, he documents the moment from quite a distance. It’s not always instantly clear what is happening in the scenes, but upon closer inspection, viewers will realize that they are witnessing a disturbing, fictional murder scene. Then gradually, in an additional three or four photographs, Kaoru moves closer to the subject until the final shot is an up-close detailed portrait.
The artist says, “By projecting the viewpoint of the deceased onto the picture, looking down at the beautiful scenery which could be a tragic scene of death in reality, I tried to express my thought: no matter how we die, we will travel up to the world beyond the sky without regretting how we lived.”
Playful Structures Feature Well-Balanced Meals
These playful sculptures are a visual reminder to keep a healthy diet. Each image features the ingredients for a delicious meal, with all of the parts organized into precariously balanced structures. Italian stylist Elena Mora collaborated with photographer Karsten Wegenerto to produce this series, entitled Ricettario: A Balanced Diet.
The two artists have created a wonderfully fresh and modern series of still life images that will have viewers seeing their food in a whole new light. Included in the series are salmon, minestrone, margherita pizza, and apple cake. Each attractive and quite unexpected food presentation is set against a solid colored, complimentary background. The clean lines and harmonious arrangements will have you wondering how things don’t topple over.
Working in collaboration with floral sculptor Elizabeth Parks Kibbey, photographer Amelia Bauer’s Book of Shadows combines the floral still life popularized in the 17th century with the other pervading cultural threat of the time: the looming peril of witchcraft. Using plants historically known for their medicinal and spiritual power, Bauer’s work strips away the malignant connotations. In her own words (viaBOOOOOOOM), the Book of Shadows photos “turn these spells towards the domestic, and present a less threatening, more palatable femininity.”
The Polaroid Years
Prestel‘s new book, The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation, is filled with Polaroid images from artists ranging from Ansel Adams to Andy Warhol, Walker Evans to Robert Mapplethorpe, David Hockney to Lucas Samaras. From its inception in 1947, the Polaroid system inspired artists to experiment. Keep in mind, they didn’t have Tumblr, Instagram, blogs, websites, Facebook, etc., to share and exchange ideas as we do now. The book features essays about Polaroid’s inception as well as the marketing genius of the corporation, and artist statements from Chuck Close, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Miranda Lichtenstein, Catherine Opie, and more, citing how Polaroids have affected them in so many ways.
Two exhibitions have been announced to accompany the book launch. The first is on view now through June 30, 2013 at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York and the second opens September 20 at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
The images Mark Fischer makes for his Aguasonic Acoustics project are visually mesmerizing, like something you might find in a black-light room at the back of a smokeshop.
These images, however, weren’t created to enhance your high. They’re part of an art project where Fischer takes animal sounds — mainly whales, dolphins and birds — and processes them through software he wrote to turn them into pictures.
He calls his images “pictures” or “photos” because he thinks the approach is very similar to photography. Both capture raw data, be it sound or light, and use that data to make a particular visual representation.
“The methodology is definitely photographic,” he says.
Usually animal sounds are represented visually with spectograms, which are graphs of sound waveforms. Fischer’s software uses a mathematical procedure called a wavelet because he thinks it’s a more robust way to visually analyze sound. It’s more robust, he says, because wavelets can simultaneously zoom in on details in the sound while still representing the overall pattern of the data, whereas a spectogram has to choose either detail or big picture and can’t do both.
A beautiful new book from Aperture, Color Rush: American Color Photography from Stieglitz to Sherman, examines the history of color photography from its origins in 1907 and the unveiling of autochrome, the first commercially available color process, through 1981 and that year’s landmark exhibition and bookThe New Color Photography.
During the space of those 74 years, the list of renowned photographers whose careers were marked by their use of color is seemingly endless, including Alfred Stieglitz, Irving Penn, Walker Evans, Stephen Shore, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman, among many others whose work is featured in the book.
Making for a well-rounded depiction of the prevalence of color photography, the pages of Color Rush are also full of film stills, advertisements, newspaper clippings, fashion magazine shoots, spreads from National Geographic, and other mediums providing enough material to make any photography aficionado happy.
Ballroom Luminoso is a series of six chandeliers designed by artists Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock currently installed in San Antonio, Texas. Made from custom made structural steel, custom LEDs and recycled bicycle parts, the lights project colorful silhouettes of sprockets and other pieces onto the otherwise drab cement underpass. From the artist’s statement about the project:
Ballroom Luminoso references the area’s past, present, and future in the design of its intricately detailed medallions. The images in the medallions draw on the community’s agricultural history, strong Hispanic heritage, and burgeoning environmental movement. The medallions are a play on the iconography of La Loteria, which has become a touchstone of Hispanic culture. Utilizing traditional tropes like La Escalera (the Ladder), La Rosa (the Rose), and La Sandía (the Watermelon), the piece alludes to the neighborhood’s farming roots and horticultural achievements. Each character playfully rides a bike acting as a metaphor for the neighborhood’s environmental progress, its concurrent eco-restoration projects, and its developing cycling culture.
Room with a view - Camera obscura by Abelardo Morell
Titled ‘camera obscura’, Cuban-born artist Abelardo Morell has taken a series of long exposure photographs that capture vivid scenes of well known sites from around the world. from times square in New York to the Pantheon in Rome, Morell blackens the windows of site specific rooms by setting up a small pinhole within the different located fenestrations. inverted projected images from the exterior environment floods the inner fabric of the space, wrapping everything with high detail. as a result, accurate compositions emerge from the over-exposed photographs.
’I made my first picture using camera obscura techniques in my darkened living room in 1991,’ says Morell ‘over time, this project has taken me from my living room to all sorts of interiors around the world. one of the satisfactions i get from making this imagery comes from my seeing the weird and yet natural marriage of the inside and outside.’
Portraits of Iraqis Covering Their Faces with a Photo of Saddam Hussein
“Saddam is Here” is a portrait project by Iraqi Kurdish photographer Jamal Penjweny. It features Iraqis in everyday locations, covering their faces with a portrait of the country’s former dictator. The photographs are meant to show the lasting impact the Hussein regime had on Iraqi society.
The memory of the dictator is difficult to wipe from the minds of the people, Penjweny says. Hussein’s face was once ubiquitous in their daily lives, appearing on walls, in classrooms, on money, and even in people’s homes. After the fall of the government, taking a picture with Saddam’s face became a taboo.
After living in Europe for a number of years, Penjweny returned to Iraq after Saddam’s fall and noticed how much the former leader’s presence could be felt in the lives of citizens. “His shadow is still following Iraqi society everywhere,” Penjweny says.
In my own eyes
With social sites like Instagram, we are getting more of a peek into the everyday events of lives all around the world, but Russian photographer Timur Zhansultanov provided a different approach. For the past 2 years he has been snapping shots from his perspective including his arms and feet in the pictures so it really feels like you are him. He has ceased the project because it became a little annoying over time, but he captured a fantastic collection while it lasted.
In case you’ve been wondering what former MTV news correspondent Tabitha Soren has been up to, she’s been taking beautiful, if not somewhat surreal, photos of people running from unseen dangers. We spotted the evocative, cinematic portraits on Faith is Torment. “I want to address the sensitivity of the human condition, causing us to think about our unease in the world,” Soren stated in an interview with the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. “My static landscapes needed people on the verge of something. The most intense way I could think of visualizing that was to ask them to run. I started out shooting friends but eventually was able to also put myself in the uneasy position of shooting strangers.” The narrative photos have a striking air of panic and isolation, and feel especially poignant in the wake of the recent Boston tragedy.
Scientist Creates and Snaps Photographs of Microscopic Crystal Flowers
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences postdoctoral fellow Wim L. Noorduin, along with his colleagues, have discovered an interesting way to make pictures of flowers from microscopic crystals, as seen under an electron microscope.
The process calls for dissolving barium chloride and sodium silicate in a container of water. A chemical reaction then forms barium carbonate crystals (thanks to carbon dioxide in the air). From there, the shape of these crystals can be manipulated with small pH changes to the solution.
One formed, they’re placed under an electron microscope and the final product resembles a field of flowers on a flat surface – which are actually glass plates, razor blades, and even pennies.
Focus-Stacked Macro Photos of Bugs by Photographer Nicolas Reusens
Photographer Nicolas Reusens has always been interested in insects, so when he purchased his first DSLR three years ago, he immediately dove into the art of macro photography. By using the technique known as focus stacking — combining several images taken at different depths of field — he’s generated some truly eye-popping photos of creepy crawlies from all over the world.
When we say all over the world, we’re not exaggerating. Reusens is half Swedish by birth and lives in Spain, but over the past three years, he has travelled to Costa Rica three times, Malaysia twice, South Africa twice, the Peruvian Amazon, Ecuador, Mexico and more to find and photograph his subjects.
His choice to user focus stacking arose from a need to increase his depth of field without stopping down his aperture. Stopping down the aperture requires longer exposure times, and in some cases leads to diffraction and reduced sharpness.
By combining anywhere from 2 to 200 exposures (no, we didn’t add an extra zero, Reusens actually uses that many exposures for some of his more extreme macro shots) using Zerene Stacker, he creates images that he tells us would be “physically impossible with normal imaging equipment”.
Cameron Davidson is an aerial photographer who also shoots location portraits. Based in Washington D.C., Davidson has been enthralled with photography since he took his first pictures as a young boy. Inspired by his great-grandfather, he gained a healthy respect for nature, then learning from his mother, a helicopter pilot, he infused flight into his photography. Having found his calling he has been most recognized for his works photographing Chesapeake Bay and Haiti.