If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit somewhere like the Alhambra in Spain or Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, you already know that the aniconistic provisions of Islamic scripture mean that, over the centuries, Muslim artists have created abstract patterns of remarkable beauty. Their work interweaves intricate geometric tessellations and ornate calligraphy to stunning effect. These photos, by photographer Mohammad Domiri, come via Design Boom, and they’re some of the most gorgeous examples of this design you’ll ever see — they capture the interiors of palaces and mosques from all over Domiri’s native Iran. In a sadly polarized world where Islamic culture is often stereotyped and misunderstood, they’re also a reminder that the Middle East has given the world some of its most wonderful cultural artifacts. … Read More
Dystopia may be all the rage in 2014 — especially in YA literature — but the multimedia artist Todd Baxter and his wife, the writer and designer Aubrey Videtto, are exploring a somewhat different vision of the future. Their sci-fi collaboration, Project Astoria, depicts a failed late-1960s attempt to colonize an Earth-like planet and transform it into a utopia. As Baxter writes at Bleek Magazine, the project is most interested in “the kids who grow up in the Astoria System and are coming of age just as the whole thing is really falling apart.” The images below, spotted via Beautiful/Decay, are from “Project Astoria: Test 01,” the first installment of the long-term endeavor. Baxter describes this series — which many have noticed could be a stylistic cousin to Wes Anderson’s films — as “an introduction to the people, animals, and objects of the Astoria System, the retro-futuristic backdrop for this new project.” … Read More
Photogenic New Zealand high schooler and Instagram favorite Liam Martin, who we learned about on Neatorama, is a master of disguise. He takes comical photos of himself dressed in the fashions of trendy celebrities, recreating portraits of pop culture stars like Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift. The remakes are done with whatever Martin seems to have on hand — including pasta, which mimics long curls, and cardboard props. But it’s Martin’s personality that really makes the photos hilarious as he mugs his way through each snapshot with aplomb. Martin’s version of high fashion evokes the absurdity of celebrity culture and examines it from a youthful perspective. … Read More
It’s remarkable what a camera can do to reality. When you first see these photos by British photographer Dan Holdsworth, you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking at — abstract geometric designs? Computer-generated fractal landscapes? The surface of the moon? In fact, the images are all of glaciers in that most photogenic of countries, Iceland. They’re part of a series called Blackout, which we spotted via Faith is Torment, and while the idea of printing large-scale negatives can be gimmicky in the hands of the wrong artist, the fact that these images are presented as negatives only makes them more striking and otherworldly. They’re like staring into some impossible world, both strangely familiar and entirely alien. You can see more of Holdsworth’s work at his website. … Read More
When you think of the Mediterranean, you tend to think of olive groves and sunny beaches, but for whatever reason, various South European countries have always had an affinity for darker shades of rock ‘n’ roll, perhaps reflecting the cultural affinity in these countries for surprisingly dark music. (Greek rebetiko, for instance, is some of the most gloriously depressing stuff you’ll ever hear.) With that in mind, it’s fascinating to look at these photos of people from the Italian “dark movement” of the early 1980s. The images — taken by Italian photographer Dino Ignani — surfaced on Dangerous Minds this week, and they capture an era of spectacular makeup and even more spectacular hair. You can just imagine these people at a dark basement club, standing perfectly still and listening to The Dome or something similar. Excellent. … Read More
Chances are, invisible forces are swirling around you right this minute — unless you’re surfin’ the ‘net via Ethernet cord, in which case we must ask, do you know what year it is? PhD student Luis Hernan says these forces “can be characterised in the same terms as… ghosts and spectra.” But these ghosts aren’t lost spirits wandering the earth (probably not, anyway): they’re WiFi signals. A whole landscape of electromagnetic signals, flying through the room, powerful but completely unseen. The spectral power of these sprightly signals inspired Hernan to design a system to help us visualize them, shedding some literal light on the mystery of WiFi. … Read More
It’s hard to imagine a perpetually populated New York City spot like Penn Station free of people, but photographer Duane Michals captured the quiet side of the iconic locale, and others, in his Empty New York series. Started in the 1960s, Michals explored the streets of New York during the early morning hours, capturing shops, parks, and subway cars. His striking work was the subject of a recent exhibition at DC Moore Gallery that closed in May.
“It was a fortuitous event for me [to discover the work of Eugene Atget in a book]. I became so enchanted by the intimacy of the rooms and streets and people he photographed that I found myself looking at twentieth–century New York in the early morning through his nineteenth-century eyes,” the artist stated. “Everywhere seemed a stage set. I would awaken early on Sunday mornings and wander through New York with my camera, peering into shop windows and down cul-de-sacs with a bemused Atget looking over my shoulder.”
Michals reinterpretation of the metropolis is theatrical and sometimes eerie, bringing an unexpected philosophical resonance to everyday spaces like a laundromat. See more of these rare gelatin silver prints in our gallery.
Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art will exhibit Michals’ other work from November 1 through February 16. Visit DC Moore Gallery through the end of the month to see the paintings of Robert De Niro, Sr., father of actor Robert De Niro. … Read More
New York City-based photographer Anna Friemoth’s terrific portrait series 10 Commandments makes those abstract biblical rules for living playfully — even provocatively — concrete, as Friemoth turns the breaking of each commandment into a clever self-portrait of sin. Click through to check out the photographer’s bad… Read More
Although it ceased publication in 1955, the Brooklyn Eagle, which was founded in 1841, had the good mind to give its archives over to the Brooklyn Public Library. And while people like to talk about the time we’re living in now as the Golden Era of Brooklyn, one only has to take a few minutes to look through these archives to see that there was truly no place like Brooklyn during the first half of the 20th century. … Read More
Way back in January, the Internet went crazy over a German retirement community that released a calendar placing its senior residents into the roles of beloved film characters. Turns out some folks who probably don’t spend 80 percent of their time glued to the web were also inspired by those creative Germans: Senior Living Communities, a chain of retirement communities across the US, decided to take the idea one step further and create a “Pop Culture Calendar.” In this wonderful 18-month booklet, which we spotted on Uproxx, Senior Living’s retirees “Blue Skidoo” their way into movie scenes, album covers, and a Norman Rockwell painting, playing everyone from Forrest Gump to Bo Derek. We can only hope to have as much spirit and spunk as these folks in our twilight years. … Read More