With the latest Apple releases, so too will come the flood of YouTube videos of folks “testing” the new devices in all sorts of precarious scenarios (submerging your new iPhone in a vat of soda, then freezing it for 12 hours, anyone?). New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based photographer/artist Henry Hargreaves (whose stellar work we’ve discussed here and here) takes a more cerebral approach to a practice that is no less cringe-inducing to us gadget geeks. Hargreaves, along with his stylist partner Caitlin Levin, whose incredible collaborations almost always employ food as the medium, juxtaposes said electronic devices with fast food in their series Deep Fried Gadgets. While we do shudder slightly at the sight of intentionally defacing these gizmos that we hold in such high regard, we certainly appreciate the concept and commentary, not to mention the fascinatingly engaging visuals. In Hargreaves’s own words, “I like to play with food and the juxtaposition of different worlds. I found a video of some Japanese kids trying to deep fry a PSP and eat it, it didn’t work and they made a mess of it, but I loved the idea and thought it could be expanded and photographed in a beautiful way. Electronics have become almost a holy device, the way a new apple device sends people out of their minds. But as soon as the next model comes out the last is immediately forgotten. This is a commentary about the similarities between tech culture and fast food. Quickly devoured and then discarded because of our appetite for the newest product.”
Tattoos are often very telling. Each and every one seems to have a story behind it, and for those who are covered, it’s like a novel. British photographer Alan Powdrill brings some of these stories to light, with his latest project and exhibition, aptly titled Covered. Looking at Powdrill’s portfolio as a whole, we love his edginess, which seems to be a common thread. Here, Powdrill features subjects who are literally walking canvases, their bodies covered in ink, underneath their everyday garb. This series presents a nice juxtaposition, and gets our minds racing about the evolution of the indelible artwork for each subject, and which unassuming individuals in our own community might be adorned in tattoos in a similar fashion. Powdrill really gets to the heart of photography here… storytelling is fundamental, and his work is quite poetic. Fascinating project, and very well executed.
With the proliferation of digital photography, pared with editing software like Photoshop, photo retouching is basically the norm these days. There has certainly been some controversy (good example here) surrounding the practice, especially when it comes to the issue of misrepresentation. Hungarian photographer/artist Flora Borsi specializes in digital manipulation, but with surprising effect that can even be described as unnerving. Turning retouching on its head, with her project Stockify, Borsi’s work clearly finds inspiration from legendary surrealist painters that came before her, most notably Picasso and Dali. Borsi brings the fundamentals of surrealist artwork, particularly unexpected juxtapositions, to the digital age with this arresting series. In her own words, “In this project I’ve been analyzing some fashion portraits, how perfect they are. So I made the opposite of retouching, somehow I distouched these pictures of perfect models. This project is connected to surrealist painters point of view: beauty wasn’t enough to give me interest. I love imperfections as much as I love surrealism. These pictures are my little monsters, no one wants to look like them, because they are totally unique.”
In keeping with our (hopefully) weeklong theme of Create Upstate 2015 (other posts here and here), we turn the spotlight on fellow Rochester-based designer (and educator/writer) Mitch Goldstein. Those behind the planning of Create Upstate clearly made a deliberate decision to have Goldstein kick off the main event. Goldstein is the perfect blend of adept designer and engaging speaker, and his talk about The Habit of Making got us charged up right out of the box. It almost felt like church for designers, and Goldstein was giving a homily. In essence, Goldstein discussed his habit of making for the sake of making, and how it has made him a better designer. This daily 30-minute creative exercise, which he and his wife Anne Jordan call “inside walking”, has given way to some pretty impressive work (below and here). Goldstein stressed the importance of letting go, and not worrying about making something “good” or even “finished”, but just focus on the making part. We are not really doing Goldstein’s sermon any justice here, just know that this is sage advice that we hope to get into the habit of following. Be sure to scroll down for products from Goldstein’s “walks”, and a sampling of his superb client work, some of which originated directly from said walks.
Via mitchgoldstein.com and Tumblr