A Brief Survey of Art History’s Most Macabre Paintings

It was today in 1793 that Girondist sympathizer Charlotte Corday assassinated French revolutionary leader and radical journalist Jean-Paul Marat while he was taking a bath. The stabbing was memorialized in Jacques-Louis David’s 1793 painting, The Death of Marat, depicting Marat as a martyr on par with the Pietàs of classical painting, but artists like Edvard Munch created a much bloodier version of the events (featured, below). Art history is full of beautifully rendered paintings depicting gruesome acts and macabre scenarios. Here are ten you won’t soon forget. … Read More

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Comical Photos of People Falling In Disastrous Everyday Situations

Italian photographer Sandro Giordano, who we learned about on Photojojo, composes scenes that imagine the disastrous implications of everyday situations. The artist photographs his models in the awkward, nail-biting, and often hilarious moments after a fall. The angles are unflattering, bodies look comically broken, and there isn’t much room for modesty. “My photos tell the stories of people who live life at an exhausting pace, experiencing sudden blackouts. When the demands of the modern world become too much to cope with, our body rebels against our brain wreaking havoc in our day-to-day life,” the artist told iGNANT. See more from Giordano’s clever In Extremis series, below. … Read More

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Hilarious GIFs Bring Holy Renaissance Art Down to Dirty, Dirty Earth

Are you one of those people who skips the Renaissance art section at museums? Perhaps you find it hard to relate to Catholicism or beautiful naked men or baskets of fruit – or simply the distant past. As many GIF-makers are wont to do, collage artist James Kerr (AKA Scorpion Dagger) implodes time, superimposing trash culture-obsessed contemporaneity onto these exemplars of antique elegance – collaged mostly from “early and Northern Renaissance paintings” – and thereby rendering them hideously relatable and hilariously sacrilegious. … Read More

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Adorable Photos of Children Fighting the Monsters Hiding in Their Bedrooms

You know what kids are like: they think their rooms are infested with monsters, evil creatures hiding under their beds and lurking in their closets. In her series of digitally enhanced photos, Terreur (spotted via Fubiz), Laure Fauvel brings these nightmares to life — but instead of cowering under the covers, the real-life kids who are her subjects become heroes, fighting off their demons with plastic swords and fairy wands. … Read More

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Gregory Crewdson’s ‘Fireflies’ Photos Are a Bit of Summer Magic

In Gregory Crewdson‘s gorgeous black-and-white series Fireflies, the acclaimed photographer, best known for his large-scale portraits of suburban and rural spookiness in the essential Beneath the Roses and Twilight, turns his camera towards the daily flutter of fireflies during one summer in 1996. It’s a departure for Crewdson, looking in minute detail at the moment when hazy summer days give way to the magic of nights illuminated by the sparkle of fireflies. All 61 Fireflies photographs are currently on display at Wave Hill in the Bronx, in an exhibition that’s appropriately running all summer long with special events galore, until August 24th. … Read More

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Kenny Braun’s Black-and-White Photos Capture the Drama of the Texas Surfing Scene

There’s nothing better than sitting in your home or office, scrolling through photos of beautiful feats of athleticism you’ll never be able to accomplish. To help with this process, we present to you a series of gorgeous photographs from Kenny Braun’s book, Surf Texas, which we first spotted on It’s Nice That. As the title suggests, Braun’s photographs depict Texas’ surfing scene from Galveston to South Padre, a subculture that remains relatively unknown despite Texas being one of the top six surfing states in the country. I, for one, am still trying to wrap my head around cowboys and surfers coexisting in one place. … Read More

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Bizarre, Hilarious Portraits of Cats Photoshopped to Resemble Their Owners

Few quotidian occurrences are quite as delightful as spotting a pet that, true to the cliché, really does resemble its owner. Sebastian Magnani cheats more than a little bit to achieve this effect, but with delightful results. A few years ago, in Underdogs, he used Photoshop to place canines in their owners’ clothing. Now he’s back with UnderCats (spotted via My Modern Met), a painstakingly crafted series that does the same thing with humans and their feline friends. If you’re dying to see a cat in bleach-blond dreadlocks — and really, who isn’t? — then this is surely the photo project for you. … Read More

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Illuminating Cross-Section Photos Reveal the Insides of Fireworks

If you’re reading this in the US, chances are you spent some part of the past weekend staring up at a night sky illuminated by a series of beautiful, multicolored explosions. And perhaps you wondered to yourself, where do all those gorgeous hues and shapes and ooh-and-ahh-inspiring special effects come from? How do fireworks actually work? Here’s a basic answer, but more visually oriented types might prefer Seattle-based photographer Andrew WaitsBoom City series (spotted via Junkculture). By cutting Roman candles, smoke balls, and other everyday fireworks in half and photographing the results against a stark, black background, Waits gives us a rare hint of what happens after we light the fuse. … Read More

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Emotional Photos of Women Wearing Their Ex-Lovers’ Shirts

Writer Hanne Steen and photographer Carla Richmond, who we learned about on Beautiful/Decay, collaborated on the series Lovers ShirtsThe photographs explore the complex emotions attached to the tokens associated with former loves — in this case, their shirts. “Through a meditative series of memory-provoking questions, the subject, wearing his or her lover’s or ex-lover’s shirt, focuses on their image in a mirror,” the project website reveals. “After sitting with their feelings and their own image reflected back at them for about ten minutes, we begin a conversation.” Through these talks, the emotions of participants begin to surface. “It feels like a flag I can’t stop flying. It comforts me in the meantime between the spaces,” one subject shares. “It’s just a rag I turned into a promise that he would never leave,” another states. The accompanying photos show the women in the throes of the heart-rending reflections, but several participants clearly experience great joy when revisiting the memories. Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More

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H. R. Giger’s Dark, Erotic, Experimental Polaroids

Just months ago we said goodbye to Swiss painter, set designer, and sculptor H.R. Giger. The artist is best known for his design contributions to Ridley Scott’s Alien and his dark, erotic, biomechanical drawings. It seems Giger’s photographs are no different. Publisher Antenne Books recently released Polaroids, a collection of unpublished photos from Giger’s personal archives. These are the images he used as references for his work and to document his progress, but they also became experimental artworks in their own right and captured the relationships he had with other artists — including longtime collaborator Debbie Harry. Take a closer look in our… Read More

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