Futuristic Views of London Shot From a Helicopter at Night by Vincent Laforet

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Earlier this month, photographer Vincent Laforet spent two hours in a helicopter at 6,000 feet above London to capture these surprisingly futuristic aerial views of the sprawling metropolis. The photographer’s approach to image processing and perspective creates electrified cityscapes that look like something right out of a scene from Tron or Blade Runner. But perhaps the most significant aspect of the shots is the attention to color and light. Laforet discusses this a bit on Storehouse:

Big Ben is a wonderful example of the different types of lights and their color temperatures due to the older yellow (sodium vapor) and the green (fluorescent) mixed in with magenta (fluorescent) and white daylight balanced LED lights. I find this to be one of the most fascinating aspects of this AIR project: had we shot it just a few years ago, you’d have see much more monochromatic (mostly yellow) lighting throughout the cities … It would simply not be the same and not nearly as visually appealing.

This new series of London photos is part of an ongoing project and soon-to-be book by called Air, featuring similar aerial photos of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Laforet will continue to travel around Europe over the next few weeks with stops in Paris and Berlin. You can see many more photos and read a detailed account of the London photoshoot on Storehouse. The entire Air Series in Europe is sponsored by G-Technology. (via Sploid)

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Artist Sean Yoro Paints Meticulous Seaside Murals While Balancing on His Paddle Board

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Riding atop a paddle board, artist Sean Yoro (aka Hula), paints murals while floating on the waves, placing his works just above sea level. The murals, all portraits of women, have a hyperrealistic quality that appear as if each is existing just above the tide. Due to the works’ position above the water they reflect perfectly into the waves, the image extending out far from the painted surface.

The NYC-based artist paddles out to paint the murals, balancing his acrylic paint on his board all the while. Hula grew up on the island of Oahu, where he spent most of his days in the ocean. Although he grew up dabbling in graffiti, watercolor, and tattoo art, he didn’t take his work seriously until he began to paint the the human body when he was 21. Hula also uses cracked surfboards as a surface to paint his female portraits, more of which you can see on his Instagram, @the_hula. (via Street Art News)

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Pneumàtic’s Salvaged Tire Installations Playfully Interact With Barcelona’s Urban Architecture

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Pneumàtic was founded by artists OOSS, Iago Buceta, and Mateu Targa for the street art festival Ús Barcelona. The idea behind the cut salvaged tire installations was to create works that tested the traditional uses of architecture, playing with the audience’s understanding of what is just beyond their physical grasp.

The works, which are all placed in linear or circular arrangements, also test the viewer’s association with architecture, giving a playful tactility to the spaces they occupy. Although most of the sculptures look as if they are only decorative, many impede walking paths, forcing one to walk around their blockade or traipse upon their back like a bridge. Each installation appears as if the solid structures the tires are adhered to are malleable, the pieces disappearing and emerging from the ground and walls like they are being slowly sucked in by quick sand. (via designboom)

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Delicate Glass Sea Life Sculptures by Emily Williams

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Glass Seaweed, 2014, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 20″ x 20″ x 20″

American artist Emily Williams draws inspiration from the sea and other aspects of organic life for the creation of her fragile glass sculptures that mimic seaweed, jellyfish, and coral. Each piece begins with a selection of perfectly straight borosilicate glass rods in various diameters which she carefully melts with a glass torch to form patterns similar to veins and branches.

As a child, Williams’ grandmother was a docent at the Smithsonian leading to many artistic and scientific discoveries at a very young age that would deeply influence her decision to pursue an artistic career. She went on to receive her MFA in sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis and a BFA in sculpture from V.C.U. in Richmond. She is currently working on an impressive glass coral piece shown in the video below (and discussed in this blog post), and you can see more views of her work both on Facebook and in her portfolio.

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Glass Seaweed, detail

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Glass Coral Skeleton, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 20″ x 22″ x 10″

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Glass Nest, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 15″ x 20″ x 20″

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Glass Jellyfish, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 15″ x 14″ x 14″

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Glass Petal, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 15″ x 12″ x 4″

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Petal, detail

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Burst, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 12″ x 10″ x 10″

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A Technicolor Swimming Pool Painted by HOTTEA on New York’s Roosevelt Island

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In a departure from his large-scale color field yarn installations, Minnesota-based artist HOT TEA is back in New York and was given the opportunity to transform a swimming pool on Roosevelt Island with whatever colors he saw fit. Apparently he took the ambitious approach and decided to use them all, spread between 120 gallons of paint.

The private commission produced by K&CO and Pliskin Architecture is called Asylum, a title the artist chose “because the act of creating it pushed my mental and physical endurance so far that I wasn’t sure I could complete the task,” he shares with Brooklyn Street Art. For almost a century starting in 1839, the island was also home to the New York City Lunatic Asylum. The vibrantly luminous gradients that define the area around the pool contrast starkly when viewed against the rest of the surrounding landscape, creating a surprising oasis of color.

The pool, located in Manhattan Park, opens for swimming Memorial Day weekend. You can read a bit more about it on Brooklyn Street Art.

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Photo by Jamie Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art

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Photo by Jamie Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art

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New Historical Portraits on Flattened Cans by Kim Alsbrooks

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Kim Alsbrooks (previously) began painting historical portraits on crushed cans in 2004 while living in the South. The series “My White Trash Family” was born out of the frustration of prevailing ideologies of class distinction, ideas she decided to challenge by placing portraits of the past onto everyman’s consumerist leftovers. These paintings are typically depicted straight from 17th to 18th centuries, and tend to match the material environment they are placed upon (either through color choice, content, or both).

For each painting a gesso layer is applied first, followed by a drawn image in graphite, and finally oil paint and varnish. Alsbrooks only uses detritus she finds on the streets, faithfully sticking to cans that have already been trampled and crushed flat. Difficulty comes in finding the perfect cans, as they must be free of wrinkles that would impede upon on the paintings she places within the center of each surface.

Alsbrooks estimates that she has painted more than 700 of these portraits over the last 11 years, and the series will culminate with an exhibition at the Racine Art Museum in September of this year alongside jewelry maker Nikki Coupee. Alsbrooks often elaborates on the background of the portraits she paints, descriptions behind the portraits’ selection can be found on her blog here.

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An Extraordinary Glimpse into the First 21 Days of a Bee’s Life in 60 Seconds

In an attempt to better understand exactly what happens as a bee grows from an egg into an adult insect, photographer Anand Varma teamed up with the bee lab at UC Davis to film the first three weeks of a bee’s life in unprecedented detail, all condensed into a 60-second clip. The video above presented by National Geographic doesn’t include commentary, but Varma explains everything in a TED talk included below. The primary goal in photographing the bees was to learn how they interact with an invasive parasitic mite that has quickly become the greatest threat to bee colonies. Scientists have learned to breed mite-resistant bees which they are now trying to introduce into the wild. Learn more about it in this video:

(via Reddit)

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