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optical illusion paintings

03/22/15 3 Comments

"The Phenomenon of Floating"

“The Phenomenon of Floating”

there’s a beautifully conflicted symmetry to rob gonsalves‘s acrylic paintings, which blend different images & ideas to wonderful results.  see what i’m talking about in the gallery below.   for more of his work, check him out on facebook.  1st spotted @ yahoo.


“This is all about how women’s bodies are consumed and are considered public property for display, comment and consumption…Women need to start talking about their daily moments because it’s the smaller stuff that affects the larger things, like rape, domestic violence, harassment in the workplace.”

– tatyana fazlalizadeh on her art series “stop telling women to smile”, which uses real women’s portraits and quotes to speak out against street harassment.  for a multimedia immersion into the movement, watch the video above, read this nytimes article, & check out the photo gallery below.


stop telling women to smile


carrie mae weems

03/05/14 2 Comments

"a single's waltz in time" (2003)

“a single’s waltz in time” (2003)

Art is the one place we all turn to for solace. We turn to it constantly, whether you are listening to music, or pop in a film; you want to escape reality, and if you thinking deeply, you want to engage in art in a complex way. Art allows us to navigate the more complicated parts of our lives in a way that is more palpable. We don’t go to the movies just to see a movie; we go for the experience. I’m very interested in the experience. Art has saved my life on a regular basis. I wanted to offer that experience to children, to enlist them, to show them the possibilities that are in the arts, to persuade them to pursue it for both their own personal salvation and for changing the way we are understood.

– mother, artist, macarthur fellow carrie mae weems.  she has an installation at the guggenheim until may 14th.  if you can’t make it to nyc in time, you can check out some of her work in the gallery below.  pics via her website & a recent nytimes feature (click both links to learn more about her story).

life rewind 2013: photos


life rewinds on with my favorite images from 2k13.  click on a photo to open the full screen gallery & to get background info on the pics.

vivian maier’s master class in selfies

11/18/13 1 Comment

Undated, New York.

from a lightbox piece on nanny/undercover photog vivian maier:

One of the things that fascinated me early on was the fact that Maier was shooting photos prolifically while she had a career as a nanny and, at the same time, didn’t show her work to anyone for feedback. So, to me, this is the mark of a true artist; someone who can create a large body of work by themselves as an expression of their true self and it speaks to all of us in our own way. That’s important. She didn’t try to become famous, she didn’t create images for others and she didn’t see things that she knew others would appreciate. She saw the world in a personal, uninfluenced way, and her photos are a raw depiction of that world she saw. 

for a taste of this prolific/personal art, check out the collection of ms. maier’s self-portraits below (click for closer looks + captions).  vivian’s selfies are cooler than the ones that saturate social media in the creative ways that her pics show her without her always being the center of attention.

catch more of ms. maier’s work and story here.  also, nyc folks, the howard greenberg gallery has a vivian maier exhibit going on until early dec. 1st spotted via npr.

“die kampfkinder”: 6-year-old muay thai fighters

11/01/13 2 Comments

The coach shouts at a boy during the break of the fight.

while vacationing in thailand two years ago, photographer sandra hoyn saw a muay thai competition featuring boys & girls as young as 6 years old.  shocked and intrigued, she immersed herself in the culture, spending time with the kids at their homes, training sessions, and fights.  the result was a photo series hoyn titled “die kampfkinder” (“fighting kids”).  she talked about the experience with slate:

“I feel the urgency to show what is happening in the world, in which circumstances people are living. Sometimes it is difficult to keep the journalistic difference. With many protagonists of my stories, I develop a friendship, so on one side it is good for the story, while on the other hand it’s hard to stay neutral and remind myself I’m not just a friend, I’m also a photojournalist.”

“The most shocking thing for me was to see the pressure on these children. They are the instrument for the parents to earn money, and they have to win the fight because the parents bet a lot of money on them. A lot of people lose all their money in one night.”

you can check out some of the series in the gallery below (click for closer looks + captions).  let me know what you think about the idea of child fighters, hoyn’s work or anything else that comes to mind.

related: as gamblers gather, thailand’s child boxers slug it out

nostalgic pin-up pics recreated using milk


3019732-slide-s-1-milky-pin-upsdetails via

The project aims at creating a pin-up calendar inspired by the popular pin-up calendars of the 40’s and 50’s. Only instead of clothing, the models are wearing milk. Milk frozen with high speed strobes…As an inspiration, Jaroslav [Wieczorkiewicz] looks at illustrations done for pin-up calendars by Gil ElvgrenAlberto VargasGreg Hildebrandt and more which were featured on Brown & Bigelow calendars…While none of the milk is illustrated, it is created from layering splashes from hundreds of individual photographs. Each taken with (real) milk splashed across (real) bodies…The lighting setup is made with an Einstein E640 bounced of a silver parabolic umbrella for key and another E640 shooting through a strip-light for kick.

check out the gallery below for pics from the calendar + some behind-the-scenes shots (click for closer looks…first spotted at co.create).  what do you think about the project?  does it fall closer to tasteful art or something more indecent?

related: model mothers

ella & marilyn


tumblr_mml5zaMyMe1rnpyyeo1_1280 a great pic of two icons in their respective fields, jazz songstress ella fitzgerald & actress marilyn monroe.  here’s some background on their special bond, first via pieces of me:

I never get tired of this photo.

Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to play at Mocambo because of her race. Then, one of Ella’s biggest fans made a telephone call that quite possibly changed the path of her career for good. Here, Ella tells the story of how Marilyn Monroe changed her life:

“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt… she personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”

npr affiliate kplu also points out that ella influenced marilyn’s career as well:

[Y]ears prior to the Mocambo phone call, Monroe was studying the recordings of Fitzgerald. In fact, it was rumored that a vocal coach of Monroe instructed her to purchase Fitzgerald’s recordings of Gershwin music, and listen to it 100 times in a row.

Continued study of Fitzgerald actually turned Monroe into a relatively solid singer for about a decade.

related: real recognize real | bonnie greer talks about her play “marilyn and ella”


08/31/13 2 Comments


often times in portraits, faces are the center of attention.  this photo series however takes away that center literally and pushes your attention elsewhere.  details via nytimes:

Visiting the town of Gulu in northern Uganda, the Italian photographer Martina Bacigalupo happened upon discarded portraits with the subjects’ faces removed. They led her to the Gulu Real Art Studio, where Obal Denis sold ID photos by cutting rectangles out of larger prints. Bacigalupo gathered Denis’s scraps and interviewed his customers. Many had been affected by the war in northern Uganda, which lasted some two decades. Taken for driver’s licenses, new job and loan applications, the photos were the means for Ugandans to start new chapters in their lives. The “leftovers,” as Bacigalupo calls the images — showing at the Walther Collection Project Space in New York next month — evoke in her mind both the “agony of an entire community” and its resilience.

you can check out some of the series in the gallery below.  as you do, see if you can glean each subject’s backstory from details like clothing & body language.  also, try to imagine the face that belongs in the blank space.   for more, be on the lookout for bacigalupo’s upcoming book “gulu real art studio”.

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