Photography

Kurt Cobain Reading List: The Essential Books, Interviews, and Photos

I truly believe that there is very little left to say about Kurt Cobain.

In the 20 years since his suicide, we’ve searched for meaning in his actions on April 5, 1994, and most certainly in his actions before that day. Two generations — Gen X and millennials — idolize this man, who, despite dying just as Web 1.0 was taking hold, has become one of the Internet’s most discussed musical figures ever. Every anniversary — be it Kurt’s birthday, his deathday, every Nirvana album, grunge as a genre — must be celebrated with a rumination on Kurt Cobain. To which I counter: does the world need so-called new thoughts on Kurt when so many great ones already exist? … Read More

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Ecstatic Photos of Concert-Goers Mid-Dance

There’s perhaps no other state of ecstasy that’s more aesthetically pleasing than the one that can take hold of a person mid-dance. Mexico-based photographer Alejandro Cartagena nails this notion in his series titled Bliss (spotted via Feature Shoot). Cartagena attended the NRMAL music festival in Monterrey, Mexico and asked festival-goers to dance for him (in a perfectly innocent way, of course). The result is a gorgeous and inspiring series of portraits that show the freedom and rapture of cutting loose.  … Read More

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Breathtakingly Beautiful Closeup Photos of Butterfly Wings

The beauty of butterflies, the loveliest of all insects, has hardly gone unheralded — but this series of photos by Linden Gledhill is sure to make you even more appreciative of their aesthetic qualities. Using a macro lens to zoom in on tiny sections of their wings, Gledhill (who’s trained as a biochemist) reveals breathtaking multicolored fish-scale patterns that resemble lush fabrics and vibrant works of abstract art. Click through for a selection of images from the series (spotted via Colossal), and visit Gledhill’s Flickr page for many more butterfly-wing photos –  among other fascinating series. … Read More

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Bob Gruen’s Iconic Rock ‘n’ Roll Portraits of John Lennon, Ramones, and Tina Turner

Even the most casual consumers of rock ‘n’ roll iconography have seen Bob Gruen’s iconic images. He’s shot album covers, photographs that ended up as posters and postcards, and portraits that come to be so associated with superstar musicians, they run in their obits. John Lennon’s New York City T-shirt. Led Zeppelin’s plane. That kind of thing. … Read More

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Artist Caleb Cole Uses Self-Portraits to Examine the Inner Lives of Others

So rarely do self-portraits allow for the artist to examine the lives of others. Cindy Sherman, of course, is a rarity in that her presence on camera is so malleable, allowing her to embody innumerable different individuals outside of herself. Sherman has had a distinct influence on other photographers who work in self-portraiture, and Boston-based photographer Caleb Cole seems to have been inspired by her classic style. In his collection, Other People’s Clothes (spotted via Feature Shoot), Cole uses salvaged clothing and evocative locations to create self-portraits that take the focus off him and put it on the lives of fictional individuals. “They are portraits of people I have never met but with whom I feel familiar,” Cole explains, “as well as documents of the process wherein I try on the transitional moments of others’ lives in order to better understand my own.” … Read More

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Subversive Collages of Porn Stars in Domestic Settings

Taking a humorous stab at censorship, Brian Steinhoff‘s Porn for the Whole Family series collages decorative textiles with silhouetted porn stars. The florid patterns mask couples doing it in domestic settings (is that an Ikea rug?) with surreal effect. Sex toys are the only phalluses free from the floral confines, heightening the artificiality of each scene and referencing the artifice of porn itself. See more of Steinhoff’s tongue-in-cheek artworks, which we first learned of through a Beautiful/Decay commenter, in our gallery. … Read More

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Adorable Photos of Metalheads and Their Pet Cats

Musician, jewelry designer, and metal fan Alexandra Crockett looked past the corpse paint to reveal the softer side of menacing-looking metalheads, by way of their pet cats. Due out in May, the adorably evil Metal Cats features the felines that make these musicians, promoters, fans, and others purr. Members of bands like Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Black Goat, Isis, and Exhumed are featured throughout. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to no-kill shelters in the cities hosting a series of related benefit… Read More

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Disconcerting Street View Screencaps of Scenes Google’s Cameras Were Never Meant to Capture

Google Street View has proven to be a rich source of material for artists since it was introduced in 2007 — there have been a variety of fascinating Street View-based projects, from a journey into post-earthquake Fukushima to mind-bending digital art. (There’s Street View-centric music, too.) Still, artist Jon Rafman has raised the bar with his 9 Eyes project, a series of hugely disconcerting screenshots that capture things Google’s cameras definitely weren’t meant to see. Our friends at ANIMAL New York, where we spotted Rafman’s work, describe him as “the Tarkovsky of Google Street View art,” a label that seems pretty much spot on. (Also, if Rafman’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he directed the terrifying video for Oneohtrix Point Never’s “Still Life (Betamale).”) Click through for some of the best images from the project, and visit Rafman’s website for heaps more. … Read More

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Gorgeous Photographs of Exotic Dancers From the 1890s

Burlesque is an art form that still thrives today in progressive artistic spaces (that is, pretty far away from Scores). The tradition has a long history in America, incorporating talents such as musical abilities and athletic feats. (To strip, as the wise Stephen Sondheim wrote in the classic American musical, you’ve got to have a gimmick.) Exotic dancers today, however, look much different than their artistic predecessors, and these images of burlesque performers taken in the 1890s (found via Lost at E Minor) are a lovely look at the creativity and fashions of a budding artistic movement that celebrated femininity and sexuality. … Read More

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Eerie Photographs of the Nighttime

Photographs taken at night often have a spooky, ethereal sensibility to them. That naturally applies to the work of Manchester-based Neil Warburton, whose series Night Fog Studies (spotted via Faith is Torment) is made up of images that could easily pass as stills from a David Lynch film. Warburton himself describes his work as a “photographic exploration in how dense fog, light, and objects interact at night,” and while that’s pretty evident on a surface level, Night Fog Studies also provides a sense of the silent, haunting beauty of life in the dark.  … Read More

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