Aerial photography has always intrigued us. The vantage point from high above presents so many opportunities to see things differently. But, when you think about it, it’s still a relatively small portion of photography. The rise of Google Maps aside, aerial photography is often something one must seek out. One terrific aerial photographer worth knowing is Florida-based Bill Yates. From a young age, Yates combined his two passions, flying and photography, into a truly extraordinary body of work. Clearly a man with a plan, Yates didn’t approach these fascinations recreationally. His credentials include being a member of a U.S. Naval Aviation squadron, as well as earning an MFA Degree in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design, while studying with master fine art photographers. Not too shabby. And his work speaks for itself. With the recent sharp uptick in chatter about the proliferation of drones here in the U.S and around the world, some impact on aerial photography will surely be felt. But if the work of Yates is not evidence of the importance of creative human vision behind the lens, we’re not sure what is.
It’s not often that we, the general public, are exposed to the ancestry of superheroes and other fictional characters. Stories of family roots have sometimes been depicted on the pages of comic books and graphic novels, and briefly on film. But Italian photography duo Carlo Marvellini and Andrea Marvellini, otherwise known as Foto Marvellini, have documented their heritage through some very impressive “historical” portraits. We are really taken with the authenticity of their work… well done. In their own words: “The historical company “Foto Marvellini – Milano” was founded when photography was born. As their old motto used to say, the Marvellini brothers performed “Portraits for everyone. Even for those who don’t want to be portrayed”. Through the generations Marvellini’s historical grew higher, becoming a great gallery of phantomatic characters. Hidden until today, this precious collection is now spread all over the world, as Andrea and Carlo Marvellini, the last heirs, desired.”
Another “historical” post here.
Type geeks rejoice! We love inventive type, like this stellar work by Madrid-based art director/designer Andrés Momó. Fittingly for “DASHAPE” sneaker event in Spain, Momó literally threaded sneaker laces in the shape of letters to form the title of the event. The care he took with the letterforms shows. And somehow, this just wouldn’t be the same if it was digitally rendered… Momó taking the time to create this the old school way gets major props in our book.
On the heels of the 87th Annual Academy Awards, we can’t help but feature this funny compilation of parodied clips featuring kids reenacting scenes from this year’s Best Picture nominees (American Sniper, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, Selma, Boyhood and Whiplash). Directed by Los Angeles-based producer/director Ethan Cushing for CineFix, “Kid Oscars 2015” is comical and awkward all at the same time (just picture child actors impersonating Martin Luther King Jr. and Stephen Hawking). It’s all in good fun, and highly entertaining.
Tilt–shift photography/videography is a technique often used to simulate a miniature scene. The selective focus style manipulates real-life scenes to look like small-scale models. Amsterdam-based photographer/designer/videographer Martijn Doolaard recently unveiled a mini-masterpiece utilizing this very technique. Entitled The Little Nordics, this short time-lapse video is a sort of love letter to the stunning landscapes of Norway and Iceland. In his own words, Doolaard gives a little back story: “Most parts are recorded in summer 2013. Prior to my trip to Norway I did not really have a plan for a movie. I visited Norway twice before and this time I wanted to go to some places I didn’t see before like Geiranger, Atlanterhavsveien and Trollstigen. Along the way I shot some timelapse videos of the fjords. Once I arrived in Geiranger I really enjoyed watching the hustle and bustle down the fjord. Ferries sailing back and forth through the fjords, kayak cruises arriving and departing and cars crawling up and down the steep roads. I liked the idea of portraying Norway as a cute little world while it’s known for it’s large scale nature and remote landscapes.” Doolaard is truly gifted, nailing every detail, from ambient sound effects, to the music and tempo. We could watch this over and over. Well done.
We find the manipulation of wood just fascinating. In the right hands, the possibilities are endless. In its natural state as trees, wood can obviously be quite beautiful. But the notion that an artist can create objects that harken back to their natural state, even after having served a function, is really quite something. The extraordinary work of Paris-based French-Argentinean artist and designer Pablo Reinoso speaks to this very idea: “For the series entitled Spaghetti Bench, Pablo Reinoso used public benches, which are anonymously designed and travel across cultures with an out-of-time, old-fashioned quality, as a starting point for his reflections. Started in 2006, these new creations have multiplied and found homes in very diverse places. In line with his work on Thonet’s chairs, the artist explores once again the seat as object. Yet this time it is no longer the object but matter that frees itself from its function and pursues its fate of wood, tree, plant. Reinoso stages benches that, after having accomplished their task as furniture, revert into growing, climbing branches. This freedom is expressed in a movement that embraces architecture, wandering through places, exploring their nooks and crannies, and giving free rein to its whims.” The fluidity of his work, juxtaposed with the perceived functionality of the traditional park bench, makes for some thought-provoking art. Each seems to tell a story. We are particularly taken with the Romeo and Juliette bench that climbs a balcony overhead. Incredible.
There is tremendous beauty in nature, and even some not visible to the naked eye. Take grains of sand, for instance. Much like snowflakes, no two grains are alike. But Hawaii-based Dr. Gary Greenberg reveals a beautiful, colorful tapestry of tiny shells, coral fragments and weathered crystals through his magnified photographs. Greenberg, a former photographer and filmmaker who later earned his Ph.D. in biomedical research, invented and developed high-definition, three-dimensional light microscopes that make this sort of photography possible. His impressive sampling for this photographic series features grains from beaches around the world, which he magnifies up to 300 times to expose “hidden and unexpected aspects of nature.” In his own words, Greenberg explains that his mission is to “reveal the secret beauty of the microscopic landscape that makes up our everyday world.” And that “art is a doorway through which we can more deeply embrace nature.”
At first glance, it’s not immediately apparent what these round masses are. But upon closer examination, it’s clear that these are actually very familiar sights (albeit from a disorienting angle). Chinese photographer Lo Cheuk Lun and his Shanghai-based photography studio, Stuff, shot these shampoo-lathered heads for monthly international fashion magazine Numéro. While the concept is rather interesting, this could have been sort of dull and uninspiring. In the skillful hands of Cheuk Lun, however, the series really comes to life. It’s executed perfectly, and we’d love to see even more hair types. It’s a wonder this wasn’t conceived sooner. Well done.
Accomplished Singapore-based art director/designer Thomas Yang has two passions in life: design and cycling. Yang merges the two (quite expertly, we might add) by way of this ongoing collection of limited edition cycling-related prints, aptly titled 100copies (sold here). You don’t have to be an avid cyclist to appreciate this brilliant work from Yang. His process involves a strategic use of bicycle tires as stamps, essentially creating bold renderings of architectural landmarks from around the world. So far, Yang has produced four different architectural designs — “The Cyclist’s Empire” (Empire State Building), “God Save the Bike” (Tower Bridge), “Bicycle Mon Amour” (Eiffel Tower) and “The Unforbidden Cyclist” (the Forbidden City) — among other items, like posters, tees, stickers and tote bags. We’re looking forward to seeing what Yang comes up with next.