Rare Photos of the New York City Punk Scene in the ’70s and ’80s

The progenitors of punk probably never imagined themselves in photographs that would be selling at art auctions, but the New York City scene during the ‘70s and ’80s continues to prove irresistible. Allan Tannenbaum’s rare “punk portfolio” is up for auction — and the kind folks at artnet Auctions gave us a preview of the images. From 1973 to ’82, Tannenbaum was SoHo Weekly News’ chief photographer and photo editor, covering art, music, and political happenings, capturing New York City nightlife at underground clubs like the Mudd Club, CBGB, and Max’s Kansas City. All the familiar players are featured in Tannenbaum’s set, including a very sweaty Iggy Pop, Sid Vicious being dragged off by the police, and a chic Debbie… Read More

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Breathtaking Neon-Tinged Aerial Shots of New York City at Night

New York City has been photographed in many, many ways: from above, from below, from street level, its traffic often held in an extended exposure to create that famed river of lights. Yet these photos by Vincent Laforet, which came our way via Storehouse, manage to do something new, their tilt-shift perspectives leveling the playing field and re-contextualizing the funhouse lights of Times Square. Laforet captures the symmetry and chaos of the nighttime city, the neon and geometry of which bring to mind a kind of futuristic cityscape from Sim City rather than an actual, real-life thing. More of Laforet’s work, some of which does not look at all like this particular project, can be found at his website. … Read More

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Can Art Overcome Confirmation Bias and Encourage Vaccinations? The Gates Foundation Will Find Out

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation‘s new initiative, The Art of Saving a Life, debuted on Wednesday, January 7, with a splashy website full of art — film, literature, music, photography, visual art — that was commissioned in order to promote and to spread the idea that vaccines, from America to Africa, are important to human civilization. Is it too easy to say that they want this campaign to go viral? To infect the average person on Facebook or other political battlefields? … Read More

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Awe-Inspiring Photos of a Polish Forest from a Bird’s-Eye View

Award-winning artist Kacper Kowalski, who we discovered on Beautiful/Decay, is a devoted pilot and photographer who takes aerial pictures of his native Poland. The majestic forests of the Central European country are the subject of his series Polish Autumn. The rich palette of the season and gorgeous natural forms of the forest landscape are abstracted by Kowalski’s bird’s-eye lens. Forests cover around 30% of the land, and the country has a fascinating history of woodsmen and their families who have forged their own customs, dialect, and unique dress living in Poland’s most remote locations. Kowalski’s images invite viewers to imagine a world beyond the trees. … Read More

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Remarkable Photos Highlight the Athleticism of Pole Dancing

First, it was all about sex, the centerpiece action and primary attraction of grimy, sweaty strip clubs. Then it became about fitness, with singletons and soccer moms taking classes at shiny, sweaty fitness clubs. But for whatever reason, pole dancing has never really gotten its due as an athletic achievement — though Dutch photographer Bart Erkamp is doing his part to change that. In his series Pole Fitness (which we spotted via Design Taxi), Erkamp showcases pole dancers at work in their practice environment, with poles installed in living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. In doing so, he makes the previously sexualized object into a utilitarian domestic accoutrement, while spotlighting the tremendous athleticism of the endeavor. … Read More

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’90s-Era Postcards of D.C. Punk Luminaries and Their Cars

Washington, D.C. artist and curator Cynthia Connolly hails from the early DIY scene and was a longtime employee of indie punk label Dischord Records (owned by Minor Threat’s Jeff Nelson and Ian MacKaye). Her postcard photo sets featuring D.C. punk musicians and their cars recently caught our attention on Dangerous Minds. From Connolly’s website about the origins of the series:

Musicians from D.C. and their Cars (or later renamed Favorite Mode of Transport) was first created for the Chicago based and nationally distributed ‘zine, Speed Kills in about 1994. I wanted to contribute to my favorite ‘zine at the time, called Speed Kills, of which its topics usually covered indie and punk music and old cars. I owned a 1963 Ford Falcon, and at the time, my musician friends were all buying old cars. I then decided to create a photographic body of work that included the obvious: musicians from D.C. who owned old cars.

See what kind of car Allison Wolfe, Jenny Toomey, and Ted Leo were driving circa 1994, below. … Read More

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Chilly Photos from the Coldest Village on Earth

The next time you start complaining about the cold, think of these photos from Amos Chapple who documented the Russian village of Oymyakon. The rural locale has one of the lowest recorded temperatures for any permanently inhabited spot on Earth. According to the Daily Mail, due to Oymyakon’s subarctic temperature, residents are unable to grow food, so they live off reindeer, horsemeat, and fish. Meanwhile, digging a grave for a funeral in Oymyakon can take up to three days, because the ground is permanently frozen. And you can forget about turning your car off. Most locals leave them running, otherwise it can be impossible to start them again. “Oymyakon’s lowest recorded temperature is -67.7°C (-90°F) in 1933 while the average for January is -50°C (-60°F),” reports Beautiful/Decay. Chapple captured the desolate beauty of the Oymyakon landscape during his brave excursion. … Read More

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Subtly Beautiful Animated “Cinemagraphs” of the World Around Us

The humble graphics interchange format might have long since passed into history, replaced by more efficient formats like JPG and PNG, were it not for its capacity for rudimentary animation. In the 21st century, this capacity has seen the GIF make a comeback as a vehicle for digital art. These images, by French artist Julien Douvier (which we spotted on Faith is Torment), are more staid than the extravagant, surreal GIFs of net artists — they play like Harry Potter-esque animated photographs, giving the impression of a single animated image rather than a short loop of film. Douvier calls the resultant images “cinemagraphs,” and they’re like staring through a window into another world; the animations are so subtle that it takes a moment to realize the water you’re looking at is rippling, or that the corn is swaying softly in the breeze. There’s more of Douvier’s work at Behance. … Read More

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12 Endlessly Fascinating Album Covers from 2014

We’ve brought you the

SBTRKT — Wonder Where We Land

For his second album, Aaron Jerome — aka UK producer SBTRKT — employed a whole team of folks to create the cover: art direction and design from

Arca — Xen

To fully understand the amorphous being at the heart of Alejandro Ghersi (AKA… Read More

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