The fantastical black-and-white nudes of Asger Carlsen‘s Hester series are nothing if not provocative. The NY-based artist works in limbs and lumps, torsos and bulges, constructing figures that are human and yet not quite, and “shooting” them in gritty greytones. The resulting images are alternately grotesque, graceful, and thought-provoking. If you can suppress your gag reflex long enough, Carlsen’s deformed forms possess a strange beauty, and an unblinking skepticism about photography’s capacity for realism.
Over the past few years the creativity and aesthetic of the ski movie has reached exciting new levels. Whether you’re remised about it or not, the days of the Warren Miller lifestyle film are quickly fading, if not already gone. Studios like Sweetgrass Productions, Sherpas Cinema, Teton Gravity Research, and Solomon Freeski TV – among others – have redefined the genre with next level editing, production and storytelling.
Presented here is the teaser for Valhalla, a Sweetgrass Productions film set to be released in Fall of this year. I love the aesthetic they’ve created, and can’t wait to see the full movie if this is any indication of how it might turn out.
During the holidays I stopped in at a used book store and came across a wonderful photography book by Canadian artist, Roloff Beny. ‘To Every Thing There is a Season: Roloff Beny in Canada’ is a photographic essay exploring Canada during the 1960’s. The book contains poems, landscapes, portraits, architecture, and graphic design that is visionary for the time it was printed. Like a Boards of Canada album, the book puts my mind in a cozy, nostalgic place.
A little research reveals that the book was the official Canadian gift to visiting heads of state during the country’s 1967 centennial year. He’s also authored a number of other acclaimed photography books I’m hoping to pick-up in the near future.
Beny’s work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 1971, he was made an officer of The Order of Canada. In 1984, at the age of 60, Beny passed away from a heart attack in his Roman studio overlooking the Tiber.
You can view a more complete set of photos in this FLICKR SET I put together.
Inspired by a recent episode of Roman Mars’ wonderful podcast 99% Invisible, I sought out a few images of WWI-era “dazzle” ship camouflage. Rather than blending a target with its surrounding colors and textures, dazzle (aka “razzle dazzle” or “dazzle painting”) deliberately caused ships to clash with the sea and sky, creating eye-aching shimmer effects and making it difficult to discern the craft’s direction, speed, and distance. The hope—and it was a hope, as dazzle inventor Norman Wilkinson’s theories were never properly proven—was that the bedazzle’d ships would so confuse enemy submarines that their torpedoes would never meet their mark. The nautical old guard, as one would expect, rejected Wilkinson’s sweetly cracked vision; the artists of the era’s burgeoning Cubist movement, however, were utterly delighted.
I recently acquired some concrete art form Concrete Cat. They keep impressing me with the things they are doing in concrete. From a clock collaboration with Furni to Matt Heide’s Concrete Tactile Painting to larger furniture and counter tops. I love seeing an artist evolve with their craft as they push the limits of its intended purpose.
New Jersey photographer Stacy Swiderski’s series Suburban Nights depicts aluminum-sided houses, above-ground pools, yards, and family cars shrouded in the purple light of dusk and the clear black of midnight. Illumination comes from sodium-yellow streetlamps, or fresh snowfall’s iridescent blue. The most noticeable thing about these photographs—apart from their silky, hyper-real color scheme—is their lack of people. Swiderski’s lonely landscapes carry a familiar melancholy for anyone who grew up in these sorts of places (myself included), and I can’t get enough of the eerie calm and—maybe I’m projecting here—subtle menace of her images.
Posted by: Todd Goldstein
I remember the first time I laid eyes on a photo of Brasilia. I actually thought it was from a science fiction movie or computer generated 3D model. In fact, it’s still hard to believe these buildings really exist on our planet today.
Yesterday, the legendary architect behind Brasilia and many more modernist works of art, passed away at the age of 104.
Oscar Niemeyer was an architect by trade, but his buildings embodied much more than the engineering or utility behind them; they were, to borrow a phrase I read in a recent obituary, “a poetic vision of the future.”
And nowhere was Oscar’s vision better demonstrated than in Brasilia, a planned utopia conceived in Brazil’s interior that resembles a spaceport more than anything we might recognize as a city. In fact, after flying over Brasilia’s futuristic presidential palace and modular ministries in 1961, Yuri Gagarin, the Russian cosmonaut and first man in space, said “the impression was like arriving on another planet.”
The photos presented here are from two photographers and sources. Marcel Gautherot’s photos of ‘The Construction of Brasilia’ are sourced from an Arch Daily article you should read and see. The others are from Rene Burri, and you can view more of them through Magnum Photo’s website.