“Working with multifaceted, multiplied imagery, Rashid Rana splits the visible universe apart in order to remake it anew. In sculpture, video and photographic prints, Rana transforms snapshots of shop signs in Lahore into abstracted cityscapes or renders reproductions of Old Master paintings as digital fields of colour. Utilising the grid structure, the artist has recently begun to rearrange famous paintings such as The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus (1618) byPeter Paul Rubens and the Oath of the Horatii (1786) by Jacques Louis-David, scrambling these famous compositions into pixelated and codified puzzles.
Rana’s splicing and stitching technique can be carnal and violent, as in this ongoing series of brutally lacerated and reassembled Baroque and Neo-classical paintings, collectively known as the Transliteration Series. For his first solo exhibition in Italy, Rana has also reflected the legacy of the surrounding city in his source material, choosing paintings by artists hailing from Milan, such as Andrea Solari and Cesare da Sesto. While the originals are held in the Louvre in Paris and the National Gallery in London, Rana symbolically returns the images to the source of their creators, albeit visually distorted and temporally displaced in the process. Rana complicates and realigns such divided notions as figuration and abstraction, manipulation and reality, but also succeeds in knocking the world off its axis and transcending both traditional and technological means of communication.”
“The simplistic beauty of the “8-bit” work that emerged from the first days of digital are what inspire the artwork and paintings of Adam Lister. They capture the essence of the digital age, representing familiar images of culture and art in a format that is nostalgic and beautiful in its limitations. Lister’s collection of 8-bit-inspired portraits, reproductions and original works have been met with critical acclaim and tremendous excitement from collectors.”
Beth Whaanga’s series of photos called Under the Red Dress show the changes to her body caused by cancer. Photograph: Nadia Masot.
“How radical and provocative is an honest image of a woman’s body?
Beth Whaanga, a mother of four from Brisbane, Australia, is finding out after posting images on Facebook of her body following surgery for breast cancer late last year. Taken by Nadia Masot, the pictures are brilliantly direct, documenting Whaanga’s ongoing hair loss, total bilateral mastectomy, navel reconstruction and hysterectomy scar. Whaanga lost more than 100 friends on Facebook after posting the pictures – and then they went viral. A registered nurse, she describes herself as a “breast cancer preventer”, and hopes to make people more aware of the physical changes that might signal a problem.”
“Pixelhead is a simple balaclava made with an elastic fabric very similar to swimsuit material. Its aesthetic appearance, however, is quite specific: the decorative pattern chosen by Martin Backes is indeed “pixelated” and the colour palette is similar to those that a face or a head shot would have if photographed by a digital camera. Pixelhead has been created as a garment for urban survival: worn in the daily hustle and bustle it makes faces unidentifiable if pictured or recorded by surveillance cameras. Intuitively we could describe this object as “camouflage.” This definition, however, has in itself a surprising reversal of perspective. The ancient concept of mimesis is in fact that of imitation of nature and the world. But Pixelhead operates its mimesis towards an environment that is not natural anymore. Being “mimetic” in this project means, instead, to emphasize a profound and urgent transformation: to defend our privacy in (physical) reality we must adapt as much as possible to the technologies of control, implemented in the thousand eyes of the machines looking at us. Those eyes are a constant and continuous filter through which everything is read, encrypted and processed. ”
“The work deFacebook by Indian artist Nandan Ghiya consists of a series of portraits made from images taken from popular social networks and physically printed on canvas. The selected photos are classic half-length or full-figured portraits, (partially) set up according to the classical canons of the family portrait. The wooden or golden frames are thick and heavy. Together with the hue of the pictures, which often changes to sepia, they give the images a nostalgic antique mood. This aesthetic vintage effect is functional, engendering a sense of disruptive irony. Some parts of the pictures (often the faces) have been modified using very apparent and colourful glitch effects. This is underlined by a subtle but crucial characteristic: the frames of the paintings retain their classical rigor in the colours and materials but they follow every whim of the glitched pixels which overflow the profiles, breaking the hardness and regularity of the classical frames. With this refined aesthetic expedient, the artist looks to disrupt the style of the classic portrait. The transition to digital of the public representation of the self (once the family portrait) became engrained after Facebook. The subjectivity, so fixed on canvas, is represented in all its fragility, creating effective effigies of the modern portrait – even more impressive because of the errors in the unstructured faces.”
According to Chrystal Bougon, owner of plus-size lingerie store Curvy Girl, “There are so many pictures of models in lingerie, but I’m constantly asked for pictures of our products on ‘regular’ bodies… In the fashion world, anything over size 4 is considered plus-size. I know, it’s a big joke.”
Bougon stated: “Inspired by a customer, I wanted to show that women with rolls, bumps, lumps, scars, stretch marks, surgery scars and natural breasts that have nursed babies can be stunning and beautiful.” And women have responded in full-force, posting their own photos to Curvy Girl’s Facebook page in high numbers.
“I began this book project unknowingly: After shooting some self-portraits with my 5-week-old son Sequoia accompanied by a blog about my newly-round post-Birth body, I was flooded with emails by mothers wanting to share their Incredible, Inspiring, & Sometimes Painful stories with me. It was then I realized I had to tell their untold stories, that a body of work begged to be created! Through Photographs & personal essays from these courageous mothers all over the country, I hope to offer a powerful healing tool for Mothers everywhere. Since inception, 1000’s of women have volunteered & the project ‘A Beautiful Body Project’ was born. Together we can redefine our culture’s idea of a beautiful woman. I have photographed and humbly listened to hundreds of stories now: Anorexia; childhood bulimia; a woman being told by her mother she was too fat to be a ballerina. Self-hatred; self-inflicted-suffering; Feeling unsexy because she perceived her nipples as imperfect; feeling unsexy because she lost too much weight after breast feeding; Feeling like there was something deeply wrong with her because she had only lost 5 pounds 9 months after the birth of her 2nd child; Sexual abuse; teenage & young adult drug addictions due to self loathing because she never felt beautiful; breast cancer after the birth of a long-awaited pregnancy; loss of a baby at birth with a wrinkly tummy & un-suckled breasts to remind her everyday of what might have been”.
“There are so many stories shadowing mothers in our culture. We are, however, also tremendously blessed with vast amounts of freedom as American Women: we are lucky to be able to shape-shift concepts and ideas in our country. We have the ability to choose to feel worthy, to believe we are beautiful and to act as women who wish to share beauty and joy in this world as an inter-connected community of people seeking a beautiful and peaceful life. It is my hope in 2013 to find a publisher for this book of powerful photographs & stories in order to inspire thousands of other mothers who are eager to feel validated by witnessing this exploration of vulnerability as a collective”.
Decadent, extravagant, obscene: the great Czech photographer Jan Saudek together with Sarah Saudek – his model, wife and muse. Jan Saudek was Jewish and having been born in Prague, he lived through the horrors of deportation during World War II. On returning to Prague he was forced to work in secret, hidden in a cellar, where he developed dreams and fantasies whilst living under a rather grey and pragmatic dictatorship. In the seventies he began to “correct” his black and white prints tinting them with watercolours. In his exclusion this “underground man” created an art of dreams, beautifully sad and light: erotic in the most spirited and interesting way. The works of Saudek, are as fascinating and mysterious as Prague itself and have made him one of the greatest living authors. A pillar of twentieth century photographic history. The surreal world of Jan Saudek is a room with plaster peeling from the walls, which filters the infinite. The flesh of the annoyingly imperfect bodies, once exposed to his eye and brush are fashioned in to the unique and extraordinary, which only art can give to the underworld, by touches of melancholy and beauty. For her part Sarah Saudek tells of infinite decadence of femininity, that is impossible to contain or restrict with a moralizing interpretive palate.
“I have medium-large labia. I have meaty outer lips, & long thick inner lips. And my inner labia are different sizes. I love my labia. But some women don’t love theirs. Many women see unrealistic images and listen to misguided opinions and think their labia should be neat, small & invisible to be “normal”. This blog is all about fighting that view, by showing how perfectly normal and beautiful large labia are. Really they’re nothing special though, the average woman has them! Anyway I’ll show you mine & feel free to submit yours”.
Our Breasts “celebrates the beautiful diversity of natural breasts, of all sizes, shapes, colours, ages and races. Breasts are such an important and integral part of what makes us feel feminine, sexual, and real women. By showing how all women are different, and uniquely special, as a gender we will be able to challenge the beliefs around what makes breasts beautiful. And in turn, we will be able to help women feel better about themselves. Help show the beauty of all women by contributing your breasts to this project”.
“Glitches are the uncanny, brutal structures that come to the surface during a break of the flow within a technology; they are the primal data-screams of the machine. In the digital these utterances often take form following the “vernacular of file formats” (the encoded organizations of data). A file format signifies what protocols (formal descriptions and semantic rules) are used to structure or encode the information. Many different file formats exist, for different forms of information and every one of these formats possesses its own encoding structures, which can be understood as a grammar or idiom. When this idiom is broken, for instance by a glitch or a wrong encoding, the data in its basic/primal structures of encoding comes to the surface. Visually glitches show themselves through organizational structures like rasters, grids, blocks, points, interlacing vectors and frames and therefore often look complex, repetitive, discolored, fragmented and flickering”.
Evolution is an advertising campaign launched by Unilever in 2006 as part of its Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, to promote the newly created Dove Self-Esteem Fund. The centre of the Unilever campaign is a 75-second spot produced by Ogilvy & Mather in Toronto, Canada. The piece was first displayed online on 6 October 2006, and was later broadcast as a television and cinema spot in the Netherlands and the Middle East. The ad was created from the budget left over from the earlier Daughters campaign, and was intended to be the first in a series of such online-focused spots by the company. Later pieces include Onslaught and Amy.Evolution was directed by Canadian director Yael Staav and Tim Piper, with sound design handled by the Vapor Music Group, and post-production by SoHo.
Contessa Rosafosca is a laboratory where there are projects and strictly handmade items made with the belief that “beauty is not perfection: the imperfections, unique details, the mistakes make beautiful and personal collections of accessories, clothing and above all make it interesting and unique people. “ Contessa Rosafosca wants to shape an ancient tradition with new … joining present with future. Design and craft, a winning combination to propose new stimuli, creating shapes from harmonic lines capable of transferring the glass jewel a charming and elegant timeless style. Contessa Rosafosca is a trademark of OZ SIGN Cesaretto Silvia, a young graphic designer of Venetian origin. After working for seven years in the advertising agencies of Padua, Rovigo, Ferrara and Milan, in 2004 she moved to Switzerland, where she still lives and works as a graphic designer.
The photographer Giordano Morganti shows the beauty from a different perspective. He gives the opportunity to observe the individual through the lens of a photographic lens that takes us away from the frantic search of perfection, beauty, eternal youth and happiness and require the acceptance of the limits.
Instagram is a free application that allows users to take photos, apply filters, and share many of the social networking features. Despite the few effects and the standardization of the product it is funny. Particularly interesting is the square format, even if much more difficult to manage than the classic 2/3.
The photos are imperfect but they ‘taste good’.
Gabi Trinkaus is an Austrian photographer who uses clippings of female magazines to compose new faces and new people. Notwithstanding the use of a lot of not homogeneous paper’s pieces, every work of Trinkaus is ‘perfect and harmonious’.
It’s a long time that the cinematography proposes loves not stereotyped, imperfect. Not only love between princes and princesses, performing men and sweet girls, but love between animals and commoners, ogres and princesses, retro robots and super technology.