Art

Nostalgic Photos of America’s Rapidly Vanishing Drive-In Theater Culture

A symbol of more innocent times, the drive-in theater hit peak popularity in the ‘50s and ‘60s. They accounted for about 25 percent of movie screens in the United States. As of 2013, that number has dwindled to a pitiful 1.5 percent (under 400 drive-ins) due to the rise of home video and digital media. Photographer Stefanie Klavens, whose work we first admired on Beautiful/Decay, has a great affection for the drive-in theater and documents the few that remain across the country. “From the ornate city palace to the intimate small-town movie house my photographic journey has taken me all over the country,” she writes on her website. “I strive to record this rapidly vanishing era in American popular culture. Through this series I explore the history of architecture and design, the evolution of our social history and habits, and the importance of preserving a record of the past.” Step into the past with Klavens’ Vanishing Drive-Ins series, below. … Read More

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Dramatic Photos of New York City’s East Village Locations in 1984 and Today

New York City has undergone some dramatic changes over the past several decades. Landmarks like Kim’s Video & Music are shuttering their doors, and rents are skyrocketing more each year. One neighborhood that has seen a major shift is the East Village. In 1984, photographer Daniel Root, who we learned of on Kottke, documented the area—the way most people think of it, as it appears in the movies. Today, he has made it his mission to revisit the locations in his images to document their current state. The EV NY project reveals some fascinating and dramatic transformations. Gentrification has scrubbed the East Village’s former graffiti-covered walls. See what you make of New York City’s East Village 30 years ago versus today in our gallery. … Read More

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Trippy GIFs Make Math Fun

Dave Whyte is a PhD student based in Dublin who has a very cool side project — posting hypnotizing and beautiful mathematical GIFs on his Tumblr, Bees & Bombs. The results are trippy and magical, like a Magic Eye that’s going on in a continuous loop forever, as noticed by Colossal. Chill out with some of his best art below. … Read More

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Gorgeous Portraits of Nocturnal Animals

There are times when, as a writer, you really want to delve into the realm of Serious Criticism, taking a critical view of works of art in their sociopolitical context and examining their role in both their own fields of artistic endeavor and against a wider backdrop of cultural trends and movements. There are also times when you just want to go, OMG SUCH CUTE ANIMALS ARGGHHHH~~~~~. These gorgeous photos of nocturnal animals, from Rhode Island photographer Traer Scott’s book Creatures of the Night, fall firmly into the latter category. That’s not in any way to understate their artistic worth — they’re beautifully composed and well shot — but dear god, how cute is that little baby fox thing on the book cover?! Hat tip to Featureshoot, where we first spotted these — and also, do check out Traer’s website, where there’s a wealth of beautiful animal photography. … Read More

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10 Essential African-American Photographers

Thomas Allen Harris’ documentary Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People will be playing at New York’s Film Forum through September 9. “The film is a cornucopia of Americana that reveals deeply disturbing truths about the history of race relations while expressing joyous, life-affirming sentiments about the ability of [African-American] artists and amateurs alike to assert their identity through the photographic lens,” Film Forum writes. “What the film strives to say is, when everything around me is telling me I am not worth anything, I can present myself and have a likeness of myself and my talents that shows I have values,” Harris told the New York Times. Inspired by the film’s New York City premiere, we’ve highlighted the works of ten essential African-American photographers who have documented the African-American experience in profound and inspiring ways. … Read More

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Adorable and Ridiculous Portraits of Pooches from New York City’s Dog Beauty Pageant

America: land of the free, home of the… dog pageant. We love our dogs just as much as we love dressing them in sparkly tutus and tiaras—some of us, anyway. Artist Sophie Gamand, whose photographs of wet dogs mid-bath previously captured our hearts, returns to the Flavorwire gallery with a series about doggie pageants (first spotted on Neatorama). Gamand was at the recent New York City Dog Pageant where pampered pooches hit the stage in their glittering gowns and outrageous costumes. “In a city like New York where having a child is so expensive, where people don’t want to give up their freedom or lifestyle, where they feel isolated and have a hard time meeting their soul mate, the dog seems to be the perfect answer,” Gamand writes about the “doggie moms” in her pictures. Most of the pups appear to be having a good time. Their personalities really shine through. But a few can’t disguise their humiliation. Gamand explains that these moms also regularly attend animal-related charity events with their stylish hounds dressed to the nines. That means the embarrassing miniature cheerleader outfit that poor Yum-Yum is forced to wear isn’t for naught. … Read More

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Meditative Photos of Hermits and Their Woodland Homes

Christopher McCandless, Henry David Thoreau, Ted Kaczynski, Noah John Rondeau—our image of society’s hermits and woodland wanderers is a strange one. Naive idealist, poet, serial murderer, and eccentric. Documentary photographer Danila Tkachenko sought to understand the radical lifestyle better and ventured deep into the woods. “While exploring their experience, it is important for me to understand if one is able to break free from social dependence and get away from the public to the subjective—and thus, to make a step towards oneself,” he writes. Tkachenko’s Escape series, first spotted on Fubiz, documents the life and surroundings of people who remain alone in the wilderness for decades, far from civilization. … Read More

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The Invisibles: Touching Vintage Portraits of LGBT Couples

We tend to assume that in less enlightened times, same-sex couples would have had to live in America the same way they still do in many countries around the world today — hiding their love in the metaphorical closet, pretending to be straight for fear of persecution and/or prosecution. These images, though, tell a different story — they’re part of a project called The Invisibles by French artist and filmmaker Sébastian Lifshitz, and they’re all found photos from flea markets, stoop sales, etc. They’re touching and beautiful, and also brave — as Alyssa Coppelman of Feature Shoot, where we spied these images, points out, just getting these photos developed was a risky enterprise. There are more details of Lifshitz’s project, including its accompanying book and documentary film, at his website. … Read More

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Clever Photoshops of Contemporary Magazine Covers Into Classic Artworks

Filipino artist Eisen Bernard knows Tilda Swinton belongs in a work of art — which is why he Photoshopped her into one, along with dozens of other celebrities featured on magazine covers, for his Tumblr Mag + Art. The concept is simple and the execution flawless: highly stylized magazine portraits are blended seamlessly into masterworks from the likes of John Singer Sargent, Jacques-Louis David, and Rene Magritte. Click through to see for yourself that Achilles has never looked better than with James Franco’s face. All images courtesy of Eisen Bernard. … Read More

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Gloriously Subversive Comic Book Beefcake: Brett White’s Superhero Parodies

When Marvel Comics decided to have an erotic artist, Milo Manera, illustrate a variant cover for Spider-Woman #1, the results were… well, they were what you would expect from an “erotic artist,” and distinctly striking in their porn-like feeling. As a result, the cover caused a lot of outcry and protest online, especially considering that the world of comics has a tendency to treat female characters like sex-symbol appendages and that’s it. (Google “Power Girl boob window” if you want more to be depressed about.) However, Brett White responded with his own funny mock-ups of super-sexualized male superheroes, taken from the “Marvel Swimsuit” Issues from 1991 – 1995 and the result makes the point with pictures that say 1,000 words. (We spotted these via Comic Book Resources — you can also check out White’s Tumblr.) Take an erotic trip to hunk city, and collect all ten hot-guy comic book covers. Wolverine is totally going in my locker. … Read More

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