Photographer Oleg Oprisco (previously) who lives and works in Kiev, continues to wow us with his vivid style of conceptual photography that places subjects in the middle of surreal and fantastic tableaus. Oprisco spends large amounts of time scouring flea markets and resale shops to collect props, costumes, and other items for each shot which he often sketches beforehand in a sketchbook, with the final shoot requiring 2-3 days of preparation. I love this bit from an interview with 500px earlier this year where he was asked to give advice to amateur/student photographers:
I strongly advise to use your time wisely. Laziness is your worst enemy. Enough looking at photographs taken by your idols. You’ve commented on enough work that you hate. It’s time to take photos. Your best photos. Let go and shoot, shoot, shoot!
In an ongoing series by Joana Vasconcelos, the Portuguese artist has been wrapping various animals—wasps, lizards, snakes, crabs, lobsters, frogs, bull-heads, donkey heads, horse heads, wolves and even cats—in five-needle lace, handmade cotton crochet. But these aren’t any old animals. Vasconcelos has appropriated the ceramic artwork of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905), one of the most renowned Portuguese artists of the 19th century.
Each of the pieces “are ambiguously imprisoned/protected by a second-skin in crochet-work,” says Vasconcelos. At once both beautiful and strange, the work stands as a testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship of the artist but also as a one-upmanship of maternal femininity and domesticity. The use of crochet to mummify the ceramic animals “opens up a vast and rich field of interpretation” that challenges our preconceptions of femininity, as well as our notions of tradition and modernity. (via Trendland, Ghost in the Machine)
Warsaw-based artist NeSpoon uses ornate lace patterns in her unique brand of street art that translates into ceramics, stencils, paintings, and crocheted webbing installed in public spaces. NeSpoon refers to her art as “public jewelry,” specifically as an act of beautification by turning abandoned and unadorned spaces into something aesthetically pleasing. You can see much more over on Behance. (via My Modern Met, Unurth)
Animator and director Mikey Please of Parabella Animation Studio just released his latest stop-motion animation project, Marilyn Miller. The film screened at numerous festivals like Sundance and SXSW over the last year, picking up plenty of accolades along the way, and is now available online for the first time. Marilyn Miller is a followup to Please’s BAFTA-winning animation The Eagleman Stag, and makes heavy use of tediously sculpted styrofoam models and complex long-exposure lighting to tell a story of creation and destruction. The film was photographed and animated by Mikey Please and Dan Ojari. And you can see a bit of behind-the-scenes footage here. (via Colossal Submissions)
Update: There’s a great writeup by Jason Sondhi about Marilyn Myller over Short of the Week.
Artist Isaac Cordal (previously) is well-known for his creation and placement of miniature cement figures in public places around the world as part of an ongoing series called Cement Eclipses. While the meaning behind each tiny sculpture is intentionally ambiguous, it’s impossible to look at each piece without imagining a story. The pieces often appear in scenes of mourning or despair, as part of what Cordal says is commentary on humankind’s disregard for nature and as foreshadowing of potential consequences. From his artist statement:
Isaac Cordal is sympathetic toward his little people and you can empathize with their situations, their leisure time, their waiting for buses and even their more tragic moments such as accidental death, suicide or family funerals. The sculptures can be found in gutters, on top of buildings, on top of bus shelters; in many unusual and unlikely places.
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For many of us, the idea of flying a kite involves stopping by a convenience store to purchase an inexpensive plastic kite emblazoned with a movie character, and heading over to the local park to launch it into the sky where it’s promptly swallowed by a tree. But for residents living in the crowded favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where resources and park space is scarce, flying kites is do or die. People of all ages take to the rooftops to fight with homemade kites using strings coated with wax and powdered glass in an attempt to cut the strings of competitors. Entire battles are fought between neighboring “turfs,” where real life conflicts between people and neighborhoods are settled through kite wars.
Filmmaker Guilherme Tensol, in collaboration with sports magazine Victory and Brazilian production company Mosquito Project, produced this stylized documentary short titled Kite Fight for the New York Times leading up to the World Cup a few weeks ago.