Art

Haunting Photos of Nuclear Test Sites in Secret Soviet Cities

In their heyday, Semipalatinsk-16 and Moscow-10 weren’t represented on a map. There were no street signs to lead you there. And if you wanted to live there, the KGB had to approve your relocation with the proper security clearances. These were secret Soviet cities that became missile test sites. Today they are known as Kurchatov (in Kazakhstan) and Priozersk (in Russia).

Aritst Nadav Kander was fascinated by these closed cities, which he captured on camera. “Hundreds of atomic bombs were detonated in the so-called ‘Plygon’ near Kurchatov until the program ended in 1989. The bombs were exploded in a remote but still populated area, and convert studies were made of the effects of the radiation on the unsuspecting inhabitants,” reads the photographer’s statement. “[Kander] was then drawn to the bleak Aral Sea where there had been a military presence in the area, which had been responsible for launching the missiles used in the development of the defense systems in Moscow 10.”

Kander’s photos are available in the book Dust, which will be released on October 31. If you happen to be in London, you can catch an exhibit of Kander’s work at Flowers Gallery through October 11th. … Read More

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‘Fart of Darkness': Sara Drake’s Hilarious Book Covers for Slightly Altered Classics

If you like literature, puns, and bathroom humor, then Sara Drake’s Recovered Classics series is sure to put a smile on your face. The Chicago-based Art Institute grad, who describes herself as a storyteller and educator, illustrated this very funny set of book covers for classics with slightly altered titles. I’m not so… Read More

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Revealing Photos of Burlesque Performers In and Out of Costume

Speak to enough burlesque dancers, and you’ll learn that many of them began performing in hopes of finding not a full-time career but a creative outlet — a way to inject a dose of glamor into their daily lives. Sean Scheidt, a photographer who works out of Baltimore, New York, and LA, captures the fascinating and sometimes incongruous relationships between performers’ onstage personae and civilian identities in his series Burlesque, which pairs in-costume photos with shots of the same ladies (and the occasional dude) in their street clothes. … Read More

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‘Underwater Puppies’ Are the Cutest Thing You’ll See Today

Photographer Seth Casteel has found himself a delightful, bestselling niche with his underwater animals series — even if it’s just dogs for now. His new book, Underwater Puppies (a sequel, naturally, to Underwater Dogs), is the cutest thing, with joyful photos of goofy, tiny puppies enjoying swimming for the first time, and Casteel capturing it all on film. It’s adorable, and we’ve got a sample below. … Read More

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Tweets Have the Artistic Agency to Make Abstract Expressionist Blobs

While the following images might look like psychedelic pools of nothing in particular – hypnotizing screensavers, perhaps, or intercut footage in a La Roux video – they aren’t just empty colors. Rather, they’re “emotions.” The quote marks are necessary, because, in fact, the images belong to a sort of 3-D infographic of emotional states as expressed on Twitter. The installation, titled Monolitt and created by Syver Lauritzen and Eirik Haugen, was set up at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. It allowed passersby to tweet at an underwhelming white protuberance that begins oozing paint, whose color-palette is determined by the emotional display of the tweet. … Read More

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Exuberantly Colorful Photos of Flamboyant Moroccan “Rock Stars”

If these photos by London-based, Moroccan-born photographer and stylist Hassan Hajjaj are anything to go on, there’s a party happening in Marrakesh, and it seems like an awful shame that we’re not invited. They’re part of an exhibition called My Rock Stars, and there’s certainly an effortless cool about his subjects that’d put most Western rockers to… Read More

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Untranslatable Words, Translated Into GIFs

One of the pleasures of learning new languages is acquiring words for concepts that you were never quite able to express in your native language. Perhaps the most famous example of this is the German word schadenfreude, which translates into English as “the pleasure derived from the misfortune of others.” An enterprising young artist has created a blog in which he translates these words, not into phrases, but into GIFs. Mark Cuyos, a trilingual 20-year-old medical student, founded his Tumblr, Wordstuck, for “curious people who seek adventures in discovering words and languages around the world.” Click through to see a few highlights from the project, which we spotted via DesignTaxi. … Read More

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Edward Gorey’s Vintage Paperback Covers for Doubleday Anchor

Writer, illustrator, spooky legend of the macabre and noted cat lover Edward Gorey spent the 1950s as the art editor for Doubleday’s new editions of Anchor paperbacks concerning serious and academic novels. According to Goreyography, the artist was responsible for the total cover package with the lettering, typography, design layouts, and in some cases, the art (other artists also contributed illustrations for this series, including the likes of Milton Glaser and Andy Warhol). We first saw these covers via Austin Kleon’s website, and do check it out: there’s a wonderful collection of 90-plus Gorey-era Doubleday Anchor paperbacks on Flickr. See a small sampling below. … Read More

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The Uncanny Personal Universe of 10 Artists

On the East Coast, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is hosting David Lynch’s first major museum exhibition in the United States. David Lynch: The Unified Field explores the director’s personal iconography from his beginnings as a painter in the ‘60s to the present. … Read More

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