Art

Photo credit: Alice Smeets

Stunning Photos of a Haitian Art Collective’s Ingenious Interpretation of the Tarot

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Since 2007, award-winning photographer Alice Smeets, who we discovered on Supersonic, has been traveling to and living in Haiti, documenting the country and its people. Moved by Haitian spirituality and a group of artists in the slums of downtown Port-au-Prince known as Atis Rezistans, Smeets collaborated with the group to create a stunning photographic version of the tarot deck. Replicating scenes from the popular Rider-Waite deck with found objects and original works of art, featuring the Atis Rezistans as models, the artists titled the series The Ghetto Tarot.
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"I Need Your Help R2," 21.5" x 28" (2015) ©Craig Davison

‘Star Wars’ Meets Kids’ Imaginations in Craig Davison’s Evocative Paintings

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If your childhood entailed a healthy mix of both getting lost in Nintendo and playing outside with your tangible friends, then British artist Craig Davison‘s Star Wars paintings will warm your heart and simultaneously make you wish that paper-towel rolls could still transform into lightsabers. In Davison’s series, pre-tweens use their imaginations to travel to a galaxy far, far away and craftily become beloved characters from George Lucas’ epic Star Wars universe. Clicking through the slideshow, you’ll encounter a makeshift Luke Skywalker (using Grandpa’s cane as a lightsaber), Yoda (with ears made from clothespins), R2-D2 (whose rotund head is crafted with a bowl), Princess Leia (toting a hair-dryer gun), Darth Vaders in hoodies, and spacecrafts made from the lids of trashcans. Prints of Davison’s work are available to purchase online from the ArtMarket and The Hawthorn Gallery websites. Feel the force!
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Cut Piece (1964) performed by Yoko Ono in New Works of Yoko Ono, Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, March 21, 1965.
Photograph by Minoru Niizuma.
© Minoru Niizuma. Courtesy Lenono Photo Archive, New York

Yoko Ono Is For Everyone

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In October 2000, right around what would have been John Lennon’s 60th birthday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened one of its most extensive exhibits ever, in honor of Lennon’s life and (mostly non-Beatles) work. Amidst the expected artifacts — handwritten lyrics, grammar-school report cards, the white baby grand from the “Imagine” video — sat one that was horrifying: a bag from New York’s St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital containing the clothes Lennon was wearing on the night Mark David Chapman shot him outside the Dakota. Coupled with Lennon’s glasses, caked in 20-year-old blood, this corner of the exhibit was intended as an emotional climax. Even at 13 years old, the weight of these artifacts impressed upon me a jaded anger: How could someone have violently ripped Lennon from this world when all he wanted was to make it a peaceful place?
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kondakov2

Gorgeous Photo Mash-ups Bring Classic Paintings to Life in 21st-Century Kiev

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Great art is constantly reminding us that the past was not so different from the present — that even as human circumstances change, human emotions and interactions remain largely the same. The Ukrainian designer Alexey Kondakov provides visual proof of that observation in his lovely series 2 Reality, which seamlessly places the subjects of classic paintings in present-day Kiev. Angels serenade Mary and baby Jesus on the subway. A group of dancers in various states of Classical undress become a pack of party-goers about to catch the last train home. And the work of such artists as Caravaggio and Holbein is given a stunning new life. Click through for some highlights from 2 Reality, which we spotted via Faith is Torment, and visit Kondakov’s Facebook page to see more.
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Martin Eder, “Katalepsie”. Oil on canvas, 50 cm x 70 cm.

Brooding Portraits of Nameless Women Warriors

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If they’re depicted at all, heroines in pop culture generally tend to be more Lara Croft than Brienne of Tarth — they’re pneumatic, idealized Amazons, able to lazily decapitate puny men (or steal their loot), all the while remaining perfectly made up and depilated. The general lack of three-dimensional heroines makes these paintings by German artist Martin Eder, which we spotted via Beautiful Decay, all the more fascinating. These nameless women are clearly the product of fantasy, being as they’re wielding massive broadswords and all (and, in one case, apparently transforming into a swan), but they’re also deeply human — they’re bruised and tired, searching within for the energy to fight another day. You can see more of Eder’s work at his website.
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Photo credit: Bela Doka

Photos of a Bizarre College-Age Fan Club That Worships Putin as a Pinup

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Most Americans seem to know Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, from the controversial, anti-Putin Pussy Riot protests and the many GIFs that mock his absurd attempts at establishing a hyper-masculine image in the media. But there is a segment of the Russian population that idolizes the political figure, including a group of teens and 20-somethings who look at Putin as a kind of pinup.
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Photo credit: Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney

Revealing Close-Up Photos of Creatives’ Pencils

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Most people reach for their laptops or iPads when giving shape to their ideas. But for all our conveniences, there are some things that a computer just can’t do like the humble pencil. In a new photo series by Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney, first spotted on Photojojo, the duo captures close-up images of the pencils used by artists, designers, writers, and tastemakers. Most of the subjects are British, and we would love to see more women involved with the project, but you needn’t be familiar with those featured to appreciate how unique their tools are and the way tiny details reveal personality traits. Browse the series in our gallery, and get to know the secret life of the pencil.
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Kim-Kardashian-Selfish-Cover

Nothing Is Embarrassing: On Kim Kardashian’s Strangely Liberating Book of Selfies

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Selfish, Kim Kardashian’s new 445-page book of selfies, is a bit of a party trick. Pull out the compact, three-pound art book at a social function, and people clamor to flip through the hundreds of near-identical selfies that chart Kim’s evolution both as a human and as a brand (is there a difference?). Some took a meta selfie with the book, Kim’s damp bosom and dewy face overshadowing their own smiles in the foreground.
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