Jason Taylor: Underwater Sculptures

The traditional attitude, common to all the experts in restoring works of art, is to search for and retrieve archaeological remains from the place where they are located, to bring them back to their former glory. The examples are many and all about works “saved” from the imperfections they have due to the effects of time and erosion on them. But there is someone who bases his art right on the degradation of these works in contact with nature. It is the case of Jason Taylor and his underwater sculptures.
“[…] These ambitious, permanent public works have a practical, functional aspect, facilitating positive interactions between people and fragile underwater habitats while at the same relieving pressure on natural resources. Taylor’s art is like no other, a paradox of creation, constructed to be assimilated by the ocean and transformed from inert objects into living breathing coral reefs, portraying human intervention as both positive and life-encouraging.”

Source: http://www.underwatersculpture.com/

Coffee Art

“Since 1980s, the art form created by pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso, or so called latte art, has been widely welcomed within the modern society, which thirsts for elegance and beauty. With the strong need of the society, the Baristas, coffeehouse bartenders, have sought for creativity and evolution for the latte art since then, resulting in plethora of patterns and even variants in the industry.”

Coffee art is a beautiful example of artistic design, whose perfection in creating extraordinary images is ephemeral and temporary.
The beauty of these works, in fact, lasts only the time of exposure to the public, or in this case, to the customer who ordered the coffee.

a cup for winter morning

latte art: kiki

However, this is not the only thing it is possible to do with a cup of coffee.

“Shanghai-based artist Hong Yi, aka Red, has already impressed us with her sunflower seed portrait of artist Ai Weiwei and even went on to gain worldwide attention with her portrait of basketball star Yao Ming, which was painted with a basketball. Now, the creative artist who “likes to paint, but without a paintbrush” is back with a new inventive portrait project of pop star Jay Chou, made with coffee cup stains.”

 She dips the upside-down cup into the coffee grounds and presses it against big paper to finally get a great picture of pop star Jay Chou. So it obviously represents a new way of making the well-known coffee art.

Sources: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-latte-coffee-art/
http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/hong-yi-red-jay-chou-coffee-stain-portrait

Body Loving Blogs

Socially constructed ideas of beauty lead several women to have serious self-confidence problems,  in many cases to mental and physical illness and perhaps to suicide. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to easily find anti-body shaming posts from people proud to be how they really are, not constantly worried about social acceptance and judgement. This kind of posts are frequently grouped on image sharing sites, such as the wide Tumblr platform, and are linked to personal blogs of body love and appreciation.

I Am Not A Number:

“Acceptance is one of the greatest challenges in life. This is a place of encouragement and support in learning to love ourselves.”

<br />
“I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself.”—<br />
Oprah Winfrey<br />

<br />
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”— <br />
Amy Bloom<br />

 

StopHatingYourBody:

“Our mission: to love ourselves, every last inch! To support others, help build positive self esteem! This is The Body Peace Revolution! This is a place of encouragement, a place to talk about body image, a place for feeling beautiful.”

TRIGGER WARNING: Anorexia, Bulimia, Self-Harm, Mental Illness<br />
My name is Courtney, and I have been struggling with an eating disorder since I was 9 years old. It was then that I went on my first diet- and I have been in a constant cycle of anorexia and bulimia ever since. I also have chronic depression and anxiety, and I have a tendency to engage in self-harm along with my eating disorder. <br />
Yet, you look at my body and do not see the stereotypical “anorexic” appearance. I have been told by my peers that I was lying about my disease because I am not skin and bones. I haven’t been taken seriously, and this has made me avoid getting help for so many years because I have convinced myself that as I am not skin and bones, I am not “worthy” of help.<br />
And I’ve finally realized that’s a load of BS. I started treatment last week, and I’m ending the cycle starting now. <br />
This is my body. It isn’t perfect. And I have been struggling to feel comfortable in it for a majority of my life now- but it is beautiful. It has survived years of abuse, bullying, emotional turmoil, and my two legs that I’ve always hated so much have carried me onwards through my life no matter how much I tore myself down. I’m ready to accept myself and love myself for exactly who I am. <br />
Because I’m not just going to be another statistic, another victim of this thin-obsessed world.<br />
I’m going to be better than society. <br />
My URL: redheaded-love<br />
BE BRAVE! JOIN THE BODY PEACE REVOLUTION!

“This is my body. It isn’t perfect. And I have been struggling to feel comfortable in it for a majority of my life now- but it is beautiful.” Courtney

These are just two of the hundreds of blogs spread across the network, which are instances of hope and pride. They may help other people to have their own personal acceptance, first of all.

Sources: http://shapesizeandscale.tumblr.com/
http://stophatingyourbody.tumblr.com/
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/body-love

Anna Bodnar: Artistic Photography //

“Some time ago I wrote to Aldona. She asked about the sessions. Often write to me different girls who want to “get on a project,” but rarely agree, unless you delight me if interested. Aldona was really such beautiful.[…] It turned out that Aldona is very unique. Aldona was born with no arms and no legs. But in Aldona is the most amazing optimism. That it could infect half of humanity, such a pandemic optimism, it would be divine. […]
But back to Aldona, it came to me in a Sunday a few weeks ago with my mom. Her mom is incredibly strong woman, not in a physical sense, but certainly in that too, but in the mental or whatever it is called there. In the end she had to instill in Aldona this giant optimism. The Aldona session was a great pleasure for me as a photographer. Aldona is a great model and works with it perfectly.” (Translated from Polish)

“Aldona is 18 years old. She loves modelling and wants to be a professional one day. I wanted to show her deformity, but at the same time to portray her as a beautiful, optimistic and brave woman.” A.B.

Anna Bodnar is a philologist by education and graphic designer. She considers photography as a starting material on which operate and represent her own personal conception of surrounding reality. By using graphic programs, such as Photoshop, she is able to create what she calls “surrealist images”, whose main subject is human body.

akt-grafika komputerowa-fotografia aktu-artystyczna fotografia

Akt-fotomontaż-grafika-fotografia konceptualna

Sources (in Polish): http://blog.annabodnar.eu/?tag=historia-aldony
http://blog.annabodnar.eu/

Allan McCollum’s Visual Art

“When I see a picture frame that contains an indecipherable image in the background of a television scene, I take a snapshot of the TV screen. I then enlarge this indecipherable image photographically, and put it in a new, larger frame of my own. The source of the Perpetual Photo – the original snapshot taken from the TV screen – is pasted on the back of the frame, only to be viewed by removing the Perpetual Photo from the wall and turning it around.” A.M.

The artist frequently described these works as “pictures of the desire to see a picture.” He has said that what he finds poignant in the Perpetual Photos is “…that no matter how many times you enlarge the little blurs in the picture frames, you’re no closer to any answers to any questions. Part of the beauty the images have for me is the way they invite a futile impulse to use logic in an attempt to discover an emotional truth. And because these pictures are in a constant state of appearing and disappearing everywhere at once, it’s as if we are all perpetually suspended in our wishes to make sense of the represented world, and forever lost in our search for the recognizable.”

Perpetual Photos:

  

Allan McCollum and Laurie Simmons have joined forces in an unusually productive meeting of minds and visions. Their “Actual Photos” series consists of portraits of non-actual people-head shots of the minuscule figures used in the smallest-scale model train sets. Made of cast plastic hand painted with a single-hair brush, the figures themselves stand about one-quarter inch high; with heads less than one sixteenth inch in circumference, their features are virtually invisible to the naked eye.Brightly colored, alive with painterly flair and dripping (literally) with sculptural detail, these images exude an eerie, unfounded cheerfulness. But they also frustrate our desire for instant recognition; for the most part the images remain permanently blurred and out of reach. Ironically, this vagueness mimics the blurring effects of a camera in the wrong hands, undermining the technical precision that made these faces visible in the first place.

Actual Photos:

Sources: http://www.petzel.com/exhibitions/2004-09-01_allan-mccollum
http://allanmccollum.net/allanmcnyc/Roberta_Smith.html

The Fashionable Side of Imperfection

“Ripped jeans started it all. Before there were premium denim brands boasting a million different cuts, color washes, whiskers or “worn in” looks it was the jeans with holes gaping at the knees, which were the purest form of denim customization. These tried and true sartorial soldiers wore their state of dog-eared disrepair like a badge of honor. They were jeans so well loved by their owners that the idea of parting with them , even after the textile has rubbed away into threads of its former self, was inconceivable.Today it is impossible to know who has put the time into authentically creating their porous jeans with the all natural air conditioning at the knees and who has just bought a prefabricate designer version. The new challenge with the ripped jeans look is to come up with a novel way to wear the style. To this end some fashionistas are brazenly slicing chunks of denim out of their jeans and brands are targeting unusual areas for faux “wear and tear” features like on the upper thighs or down the length of a seam.It doesn’t really matter how you got your rips in your jeans. But why not come up with an interesting back story for your shredded denim. After all, something that looks so deliciously ragged should have tale to tell.”

Source: http://www.vogue.it/en/trends/vogue-manias/2012/07/ripped-jeans

 

 

Low Resolution Reality

If we consider the truthfulness adressed to low quality videos, it comes with no surprises that this sort of choice has been widely used for producing several films, particularly the horror ones. Here there are two instances of horror films, both based on the use of low quality tools of filming: “Paranormal Activity 4” and “The fourth kind”.

The first one is the sequel of the “Paranormal Activity” film series and it is obviously a fake documentary, set in November 2011. The plot is about a girl, Alex (Kathryn Newton), obsessed by a supernatural presence, manifested in her house when a new family moved into the neighborhood. The teenager connects the phenomena to a kid who likes to make jokes, but decides to film everything with a camera.

The second one (“The fourth kind”) purports to be based on actual events occurring in Nome, Alaska in 2000, in which psychologist Dr. Abigail Emily “Abbey” Tyler uses hypnosis to uncover memories of alien abduction from her patients, and finds evidence suggesting that she may have been abducted as well. The film has two components: dramatization, in which professional actors portray the individuals involved, and video footage purporting to show the actual victims undergoing hypnosis. (At some points in the film, the “actual” and dramatized footage is presented alongside each other in split-screen.)