Art

Stylishly Striking Portraits From 1980s Italian Goth Clubs

When you think of the Mediterranean, you tend to think of olive groves and sunny beaches, but for whatever reason, various South European countries have always had an affinity for darker shades of rock ‘n’ roll, perhaps reflecting the cultural affinity in these countries for surprisingly dark music. (Greek rebetiko, for instance, is some of the most gloriously depressing stuff you’ll ever hear.) With that in mind, it’s fascinating to look at these photos of people from the Italian “dark movement” of the early 1980s. The images — taken by Italian photographer Dino Ignani — surfaced on Dangerous Minds this week, and they capture an era of spectacular makeup and even more spectacular hair. You can just imagine these people at a dark basement club, standing perfectly still and listening to The Dome or something similar. Excellent. … Read More

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Ethereal Photos Make WiFi Signals Visible

Chances are, invisible forces are swirling around you right this minute — unless you’re surfin’ the ‘net via Ethernet cord, in which case we must ask, do you know what year it is? PhD student Luis Hernan says these forces “can be characterised in the same terms as… ghosts and spectra.” But these ghosts aren’t lost spirits wandering the earth (probably not, anyway): they’re WiFi signals. A whole landscape of electromagnetic signals, flying through the room, powerful but completely unseen. The spectral power of these sprightly signals inspired Hernan to design a system to help us visualize them, shedding some literal light on the mystery of WiFi. … Read More

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Classic Album Covers Painted on Empty Cigarette Packs

There’s nothing cool about lung cancer, but just try telling that to the lizard brains of those of us who grew up worshiping the chimney-like rock icons of the ’60s through the ’90s — and leave it to a Parisian to remind us of smoking’s illicit appeal. In a series called Smoke Signals, French artist Léo Dorfner takes a novel approach to juxtaposing music and cigarettes, painting iconic album covers — Daft Punk, David Bowie, Sex Pistols — on the insides of empty Gitanes packs. Click through to view some highlights from the series, which we spotted via Junkculture… and if you’re feeling tempted to light up, just throw the two words emblazoned on the front of each pack into Google Translate. … Read More

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Striking Photos of Empty New York City Locations in the 1960s

It’s hard to imagine a perpetually populated New York City spot like Penn Station free of people, but photographer Duane Michals captured the quiet side of the iconic locale, and others, in his Empty New York series. Started in the 1960s, Michals explored the streets of New York during the early morning hours, capturing shops, parks, and subway cars. His striking work was the subject of a recent exhibition at DC Moore Gallery that closed in May.

“It was a fortuitous event for me [to discover the work of Eugene Atget in a book]. I became so enchanted by the intimacy of the rooms and streets and people he photographed that I found myself looking at twentieth–century New York in the early morning through his nineteenth-century eyes,” the artist stated. “Everywhere seemed a stage set. I would awaken early on Sunday mornings and wander through New York with my camera, peering into shop windows and down cul-de-sacs with a bemused Atget looking over my shoulder.”

Michals reinterpretation of the metropolis is theatrical and sometimes eerie, bringing an unexpected philosophical resonance to everyday spaces like a laundromat. See more of these rare gelatin silver prints in our gallery.

Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art will exhibit Michals’ other work from November 1 through February 16. Visit DC Moore Gallery through the end of the month to see the paintings of Robert De Niro, Sr., father of actor Robert De Niro. … Read More

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Miniature Paintings Enshrined in Vintage Books

Joseph DeCamillis, who we first learned about on Beautiful/Decay, transforms vintage books into works of art by inserting miniature copper oil paintings into their covers. But his altered books are more than just two-dimensional pictures. DeCamillis collages other materials and personal writings with the paintings that play off the cover text, creating new narratives. Combining DeCamillis’ talent with his love of collecting and literature, the paintings are created with brushes that have three hairs or less. They are the size of a postage stamp. Once completed, DeCamillis seals the books shut forever. “Enshrining the miniatures in altered books establishes them as icons,” he writes on his website. The highway imagery is inspired by DeCamillis’ time living on the road in an old motor home. See more of DeCamillis’ whimsical book paintings in our gallery. … Read More

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Photographer Breaks Each of the ‘10 Commandments’ in Witty, Sinful Self-Portraits

New York City-based photographer Anna Friemoth’s terrific portrait series 10 Commandments makes those abstract biblical rules for living playfully — even provocatively — concrete, as Friemoth turns the breaking of each commandment into a clever self-portrait of sin. Click through to check out the photographer’s bad… Read More

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Gorgeous Art Nouveau Posters for ‘Game of Thrones’ — and Its Drugs of Choice

We hear a lot about the sex on Game of Thrones, but what about the drugs? io9 pointed us to these lovely Art Nouveau-style posters by FRO Design Company, aka graphic artist and web designer Fernando Reza, which celebrate the mind-altering chemicals (plus a few other substances, like Valyrian steel) of Westeros. Get your milk of the poppy fix below, and buy a print or seven at Reza’s website. … Read More

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Rare Vintage Photos of Big-City Burlesque Beauties of the 1950s

Although it ceased publication in 1955, the Brooklyn Eagle, which was founded in 1841, had the good mind to give its archives over to the Brooklyn Public Library. And while people like to talk about the time we’re living in now as the Golden Era of Brooklyn, one only has to take a few minutes to look through these archives to see that there was truly no place like Brooklyn during the first half of the 20th century. … Read More

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Spirited Retirees Reenact Pop Culture Scenes for (Another) Calendar

Way back in January, the Internet went crazy over a German retirement community that released a calendar placing its senior residents into the roles of beloved film characters. Turns out some folks who probably don’t spend 80 percent of their time glued to the web were also inspired by those creative Germans: Senior Living Communities, a chain of retirement communities across the US, decided to take the idea one step further and create a “Pop Culture Calendar.” In this wonderful 18-month booklet, which we spotted on Uproxx, Senior Living’s retirees “Blue Skidoo” their way into movie scenes, album covers, and a Norman Rockwell painting, playing everyone from Forrest Gump to Bo Derek. We can only hope to have as much spirit and spunk as these folks in our twilight years. … Read More

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Fascinating (and Potentially Despair-Inducing) Photos of Baltimore Artists’ Workspaces

Pretty much every impoverished artist in Bushwick or Ridgewood is perpetually entertaining semi-serious plans of just giving up on the J train and moving to Detroit. Or Berlin. Or… Baltimore. If you’re one of these people and you’re already struggling to fight off your goodbye-to-all-that urges, perhaps it’s best if you don’t look at these photos by photographers Rob Brulinski and Alex Wein, which document the frankly awesome-looking workspaces of a bunch of Baltimore-based artists. The series is based around a locally famous loft building called The CopyCat, where residents have transformed a defunct factory into some pretty sweet spaces, most likely for a fraction of what Brooklynites are paying. If that hasn’t already sunk you into a pit of existential despair, you can read more about the project, including a fascinating interview with Brulinski, at Feature Shoot. … Read More

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