Young Polish designer/photographer Paweł Kadysz has a thing for so called 365 projects, where he publishes a photo each day for a year (or similarly long stretch of time). In fact, Kadysz is so taken with these long-term, discipline-demanding projects, that he launched a web platform dedicated to their very existence called “tookapic”. While they require a certain amount of commitment, these daily photo projects are touted by Kadysz as a great way to break out of one’s comfort zone and really grow as a photographer. He even describes the sensation of being “addicted” to his camera and daily photo taking. Kadysz’s latest project, The Daily Life of Darth Vader, is timely not only for its subject, none other than the Sith Lord himself, one Mister D. Vader, but also for its feeding of our cultural obsession with a glimpse into the everyday life of public figures. Granted, this is a fictional character, but it still plays on that collective fixation. Not quite a year, but rather 60 days, Kadysz’s Darth Vader project ended with the premiere of Episode VII, and garnered lots of buzz. Oh, and did we mention that the entire collection is basically a series of selfies by way of a self-timer. Awesome achievement anyway you slice it.
It’s said that what’s old becomes new again… trends are cyclical to some degree. Our recent past (the 1980s) featured a rise in technology, and 8-bit graphics found in Atari and Nintendo gaming systems. These now rather primitive looking graphics have influenced fashion, music and entertainment, and in this case, art. New York-based artist Adam Lister has been exploring digitalized representations of famous works of art and pop culture figures through watercolor painting, and even 3D printing. Lister’s subjects have included everything from the Mona Lisa, to Monet, to Iron Man. All novelty aside, Lister’s work is an interesting examination in visual familiarity. Most of his works are extremely recognizable, yet they are simply made up of a series of large squares and rectangles, and most details are not apparent. Our visual cognition is quite powerful, and Lister capitalizes on just that, with great success.