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6.9 | Amrita Chandradas
Singapore has progressed from third to first world, developing to developed, obscure to world-renowned all within the last 40 years. It has the second freest economy, a AAA credit rating, 2% unemployment.
Art is an expression of what’s on the inside and now we can see what it was that gave Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent Van Gogh their signature styles. In an ad campaign for MASP Art School in Sao Paolo, Brazilian advertising agency DDB puts famous artists on the dissecting board to show how their insides are different from ours. Each artist’s internal organs are presented as he might have painted them. My imagination is running rampant with all of the possibilities for a continuation of this series. See more campaigns by DDB on their website.
Someone once described Peter Lindbergh’s work as a collection of love letters to women he considers beautiful. Because Lindbergh always felt like an outsider in both the fashion and photography worlds, he felt free of the mediums’ conceptions. He channeled the influence of cinema: his deeply saturated black and white photographs work together narratively, going beyond the purpose of simple advertisement.
New York City-based artist Logan Hicks says he’s a “painter with a photographer’s spirit.” “Without photography my paintings wouldn’t exist,” Hicks adds. “It’s the pinnacle from which everything revolves.” His work is a combination of street art, stencil paintings and photography. For the PMM Art Projects pop-up exhibit “Love Never Saved Anything” Hicks will be displaying new, nautical-themed paintings that began as photographs. “The photos are 80 percent of the painting in terms of creative process,” Hicks explains. “For me, I like my paintings to be perceived as an alternative reality, so having realistic figures, lighting, renderings is important.” After photographing models underwater using a Canon 7D with a 10-22mm lens and an Ikelite underwater housing, Hicks deconstructed the images into multiple layers that were then cut out to make a stencil. The paintings were created by placing the stencils on canvas and using spray paint to fill in the empty spaces.
The pop-up exhibition, which opens tomorrow, March 7, at 6:30 pm, will be on display for two weeks at 154 Stanton Street, Lower East Side, New York City. It consists of paintings as well as photographic works by Hicks, including his “urban exploration” photos in which he captures subway tunnels and dilapidated buildings. In the photo gallery above, we’ve included some of Hicks’s new paintings, the process shots that they are based on and photographs from his urban exploration series.
Glenna Gordon is not a wedding crasher, at least not most of the time. More often than not, she has some connection to the wedding she is photographing for her project Nigeria Ever After. “Every now and then, not that often, I full-on crash weddings,” she says. On a slow weekend, she’ll peruse the streets of Lagos in search of well dressed ladies clearly headed to a nuptial celebration. Frequently, they will enthusiastically invite her to come along. At the wedding, she always introduces herself to the bride and groom and, even more importantly, to their parents. Gordon explains who she is and what she is doing but, more often than not, they are too busy to pay attention to her.
Photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager employs hundreds of extras, elaborate costumes and Hollywood sets to create cinematic crowd scenes that occupy a style similar to Alfred Hitchcock or David Lynch. The photos are filled with a palpable anxiety and confusion inspired by her own stress when addressing large groups of people.
“I’ve been wanting to shoot crowds for years,” Prager says, “But the anxiety about speaking in front of crowds was getting worse, so I think subconsciously that was one of the key reasons why. To realize that my interest in crowds was greater than my fear of them.”
The series is filled with mesmerizing images depicting brightly costumed characters milling around, each telling a self-contained story. The photos, and an accompanying film starring actress Elizabeth Banks, comprise Prager’s first solo museum show Face in the Crowd.
Irish-born photographer Kevin Griffin captures the life and character of a man he serendipitously met while driving through the local Irish countryside in the series Omey Island “Last Man Standing.” Spotting a hitchhiker on the side of the road, Griffin offered a lift to Pascal Whelan, a former world-renowned stuntman and contemporary hermit. Their brief journey resulted in a burgeoning friendship and Griffin began visiting Whelan at his home of solitude on the tiny Omey Island just off the Galway coast in Connemara. Measuring approximately one-square mile, Griffin says that during the mid-19th century there were almost 400 people living on the island—today the population stands at one—Whelan himself.
“I am not a Catholic. I was raised a Methodist and can’t say that I am very religious. My grandfather was a Methodist minister and died before I could remember, when I was 1 year old. My only memories of him are everyone telling me what a great man he was. My grandmother was a religious person before his death but her faith was shaken when he died. She would often ask rhetorically, ‘Why would God take someone like that away?’ Although people would try to console her with ‘God has his own reasons,’ it remained something that she simply could not come to terms with even until her own death many years later. It is because I was witness to my grandmother’s deep struggle with her own faith that I believe I am fascinated with the visible display of faith on Ash Wednesday.”