Art

The Surprisingly Diverse History of Skinhead Culture, in All Its Controversial Forms

“You don’t have, like, Coldplay claiming they were skinheads,” tireless punk archivist, curator, and artist Toby Mott explains, “but everyone says they were punk. Everyone. Bono, whoever. Punk was very fashionable — and huge. That’s what’s intriguing about it.”

By the looks of Mott’s new book, skinhead culture is just as intriguing, albeit for different reasons. Released last December, Ditto Press and The Mott Collection’s Skinhead: An Archive explores the sociopolitical ideologies that made England’s skinhead subculture polarizing even internally. … Read More

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Jaw-Droppingly Intricate Crayola Mini-Sculptures of Pop Culture Characters

There aren’t that many totally universal experiences, but it seems safe to say that most of us spent a fair amount of our childhood with a crayon in our hands (or, more accurately, in our hands and our mouths. Just me?). Yet after they’re broken or melted (or eaten!), most of us just throw them away — but not Hoang Tran. This multimedia artist ingeniously carves large crayons into icons of popular culture, with carefully applied melted wax from other crayons adding color accents. It sounds far too time-consuming and delicate for an impatient clod like your correspondent, but Tran’s done a ton of these amazing mini-sculptures, so we’ve picked a few of our favorites; check out the full assortment over at his Tumblr. … Read More

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Photorealistic Paintings Give Vintage Photos a Cultural Makeover

David Lyle is a cultural archaeologist, digging through thrift store bins, online auctions, and flea market photo stacks for the perfect subjects. The New York City-based artist, whose work we discovered on Design you Trust, reimagines lost snapshots from the ‘50s through ‘70s in his oil paintings, adding modern details that mock, celebrate, and comment on American nostalgia. Most of his transformations are naturalistic and seamless, which presents an uncanny meeting of the past and present. … Read More

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Moody Paintings of Drive-In Theaters Showing Classic Films

Artist Andrew Valko captures the allure of the drive-in theater and those larger-than-life faces on the silver screen that beckon to us in the dark. His series of moody paintings also features power lines, street signs, car interiors, and the rolling landscape — but it’s those Hollywood stars on the big screen whose expressions mesmerize. The series is nostalgic, yet oddly futuristic at the same time due to the inclusion of highways and a neon light emanating from each artwork. Take a closer look in our… Read More

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Haunting Photos of Abandoned Malls Buried in Snow

Photographic displays of “haunting decay” have become so banalized as to sometimes evoke more eye-rolls than chills. But photographer Seph Lawless (a pseudonym) has, through his politically charged depictions of American vacancies, restored novelty to imagery of the old and dilapidated: images from his 2014 book, Black Friday, were widely circulated last year. The title, based on a tradition that unfortunately hasn’t lost its relevance in American culture, was juxtaposed with photos of abonded structures central to this “holiday”: malls. … Read More

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Striking Photos of India’s Old Movie Theaters

India is the largest producer of films in the world, but its economic growth has forced some of the country’s smaller, single-screen theaters into decline. Katherine Newbegin, who we first learned about on Beautiful/Decay, started photographing these lost movie palaces in 2010, documenting a once thriving social chapter in Indian cinema’s history. “The fulcrum of the project lies in the exploration of the architecture, which is informed by the human relationships that took place in these spaces, but now only remain in the evidence left behind,” she told ArtStar. “The cinema architecture holds a stifling sense of deadness, as if it were a museum. The lingering chairs, ancient posters, and well-worn furniture act as a conduit into a displaced time.” This process of discovery is crucial to Newbegin’s work. She travels alone to each location, usually discovered by word of mouth, without any knowledge of the theater’s history. For instance, she didn’t learn that the Samrat Cinema I in Jaipur was a porn theater until after photographing the space. See the crumbling beauty of India’s cinemas through Newbegin’s eyes in our gallery. … Read More

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Romantic Tree Carvings in New York City’s Forgotten Forests

It’s a time-honored tradition to carve a lover’s initials into a tree. And you’ll often see the names of bands and random teen lingo carved into bark. It’s a romantic record of gleefully reckless youth and idyllic young love. Artist Mary Reilly uses photography, powdered graphite, and lead graphite on paper to commemorate these “anonymous small crimes of passion.” Her exhibition at New York City’s Garvey|Simon Art Access, which closes today, memorializes the tree carvings found within the woods of Alley Pond Park, Queens. The gallery writes of her process: … Read More

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Brilliant Geometric Photos of Hong Kong’s Neon Signs, Shot From a Surprising Angle

Though at first they look like they could be TRON backgrounds or renderings of computer circuit boards, the images below are photos take in the real world of Hong Kong at night. For the series he calls Eye Carry the Night, the Spanish-born photographer Rainer Torrado shot the unmistakable neon signs of the Wan Chai district from below. They are, of course, entirely unreadable from this angle — but the geometric patterns formed by tubes, wires, and metal frames might be even more beautiful this way. Click through to view the series, which we spotted via Junk Culture. … Read More

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