Art

Photo credit: Laura Beth Reese

Intimate Portraits of Ex-Lovers in Bed

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Some couples break up to make up, but Boston-based artist Laura Beth Reese breaks up (not intentionally, of course) and photographs. “Her work is autobiographical: she photographs people that occupy her life one way or another, for better or worse,” an artist statement informs us — and that couldn’t be more evident than in the photo series Ex-Boyfriends, which we first spotted on Illusion. The portraits of former lovers are intimate and vulnerable with a hint of awkwardness. The old beaus recline on a bed with tousled hair, half-dressed. The history of these relationships is evident in the gaze of the exes — proving that sometimes the past never leaves us completely.
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Emily as Columbia. NYC RHPS - Upper West Side, NY. Photo credit: Lauren Everett

Local ‘Rocky Horror’ Cast Members Live the “Don’t Dream It, Be It” Philosophy in Lovely Photo Portraits

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At a time when we have more opportunities than ever to avoid the expense and inconvenience of cinemas in favor of viewing even new releases in the comfort of our living rooms, it’s kind of remarkable that one film is still showing on dozens of screens after four decades. That film is, of course, The Rocky Horror Picture. And it’s maintained its place in so many American movie theaters because those midnight screenings still offer an experience you just can’t get at home, with elaborately costumed live reenactors leading amusingly lewd performances that go heavy on audience participation.
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Intimate Photos Capture the Daily Lives of Cuba’s Transgender Community

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Photographer Mariette Pathy Allen, who has documented transgender lives around the globe, took her lens to Cuba to show trans* lives in the slowly loosening environment of Raoul Castro’s rule. As America opens a new relationship with Cuba, and as we ponder the concept of transgender images in the media in the wake of Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover reveal, her photos provide a fascinating look at the community beyond statistics and celebrities — and beyond America’s shores.
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Photo credit: Kirk Weddle. Courtesy Modern Rocks Gallery

Nirvana Goes Swimming in Rarely Seen Outtakes From Kirk Weddle’s ‘Nevermind’ Photo Shoot

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Will it surprise anyone to learn that Kurt Cobain was, in the words of photographer Kirk Weddle, “not a water guy at all”? Weddle, who had previously shot Nevermind‘s iconic naked-swimming-baby cover, gathered the members of Nirvana together in Los Angeles a month after the album’s release for another underwater photo series. This time, it was Kurt, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl themselves who ended up in the pool. Despite the cold temperatures and early-morning call time (10 AM!), the pictures turned out great — and, like the Nevermind cover, the session has since become a classic. Now, Austin’s Modern Rocks Gallery is displaying a generous selection of outtakes from the shoot. While some have previously been published online or appeared in the recent Cobain documentary Montage of Heck, others will be entirely new to… Read More

Image credit: Michal Karcz

Stark Photorealistic Paintings of Post-Apocalyptic Landscapes

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As someone who’s all about the (post-) apocalypse, it’s perhaps not surprising that I find the work of Polish artist Michal Karcz appealing — his startling paintings, which we spotted via Faith is Torment, create stark visions of a world shattered by some nameless disaster. Karcz apparently started his career as a photographer, which perhaps explains the photorealistic nature of his pictures — there’s an element of surrealism to them, too, which makes the visions of familiar landmarks like the White House and the Chrysler Building all the more striking. You can see more of Karcz’s work at his website.
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Image credit: Giacomo Carmagnola

Mind-Bending Glitch Art Renderings of Historical and Natural Imagery

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Inspired by glitch art, symbolism, writers like H.P. Lovecraft, and the Internet, Italian artist Giacomo Carmagnola explores classic and historical imagery through a warped digital lens. Some of his reimaginings are subtle, as in the case of a small boat traversing the open sea, while others render human figures and faces into nightmarish glitch-ridden landscapes. Carmagnola, who we first spotted on Scene 360, seems to be fascinated by forces of nature — things that cannot be controlled, like lava, fire, and amusingly, the bloody elevator scene in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The a closer look in our gallery.
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Image credit: Lisa Waud

Otherworldly Photos of an Abandoned Detroit Home Filled with Thousands of Flowers

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Recently, Philadelphia artists Jacob Hellman and Billy and Steven Dufala gave a crumbling row house a funeral, complete with oversized casket sprays. Lisa Waud, owner of floral design company Pot & Box, is doing something similar for an abandoned Detroit home, called Flower House. This October, she will collaborate with a group of florists nationwide to fill the interior walls and ceilings of the house with fresh flowers and living plants for one weekend. The home will then be torn down and repurposed for an urban flower farm. See a preview of what’s in store in our gallery (from a preview event, with over 4,000 blooms), with thanks to Beautiful/Decay, and find out how you can get involved on the project website.
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Richard Prince’s Instagram Project Isn’t Just Morally Questionable — It’s Boring Art

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At this point, there remains very little to say about an artist who has been as roundly, comprehensively, and rightly criticized as Richard Prince has over the years. Even so, there’s something particularly egregious about the art world’s most notorious magpie’s new project, which, as widely reported, consists of printed screenshots of people’s Instagram photos. The fact that Prince has been selling these images for $90,000 apiece probably says more about the gullible nature of fine art collectors than anything else, but it does add insult to injury for anyone who happens to be the subject of one of the pictures that have been lifted.
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"Ebony Jet" by Michael James O'Brien

Taking Wigstock: Michael James O’Brien’s ’90s Drag Portraits Capture an Explosive Moment in Queer Visibility

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In the 1990s, drag shimmied into the American mainstream in films like The Birdcage and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. If you grew up in this era, it was likely through these imaginary portraits of the drag world that you came to have a vague understanding of drag’s traditions and manifold sensibilities. Meanwhile, documentaries like Paris Is Burning and Wigstock: the Movie gave those who were interested in drag beyond its potential for moving straight audiences with introductory comedy narratives a closer, anthropological look at the celebratory scene — one that provided room for ecstatic transgression and self-exploration towards the end of a devastating era for the queer community.
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