Tag Archives: black and white

Photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen Seamlessly Integrates His Body with the Natural World 

Fosters Pond II, 1989. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

Finnish-American photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen has been capturing self-portraits of his nude body in natural surroundings for the better part of five decades. More than just existing in these scenic locations, Minkkinen fully merges his limbs and torso like a chameleon, blurring the lines between where the world ends and his body begins.

The methods used to create these bold and uninhibited shots pre-date the use of Photoshop by decades, instead relying on a simple 9-second shutter release that allows Minkkinen to quickly pose for each shot. He usually works completely alone, and won’t let anyone else look through his camera’s viewfinder, lest they instead be labeled ‘the photographer.’ What may appear as a simply composed photo with fortuitous timing, is often the result of Minkkinen taking dangerous risks as he submerges himself in strong currents, buries himself in ice, or balances precariously on the edge of a cliff. He shares from an article How to Work the Way I Work:

Many of my photographs are difficult to make. Some can even be dangerous. I do not want to have someone else coming in harm’s way taking the risks I need to take: to lean out off a cliff or stay underwater for the sake of my picture. We control how much pain we can tolerate; such information is unknowable by anyone else. Some of my pictures might look simple, but in reality they can test the limits of what a human body is capable of or willing to risk. Thus I title them self-portraits, so the viewer knows who is in the picture and who took it.

At the age of 70, Minkkinen was just awarded the 2015 Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and is currently finishing work on his 8th book. The photographer opens his first-ever solo show in Chicago tomorrow evening at Catherine Edelman Gallery titled 7 8 9 0 1, featuring a range of both old and new portraits. You can see more from the exhibition here.

Hands and Feet, White Sands, NM, 2000. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

Väisälänsaari, Finland, 1998. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

Oulujärvi Afternoon, Paltaniemi, Finland, 2009. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

Mouth of the River, Fosters Pond, 2014. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

Asikkala, Finland, 1992. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

10.10.10, Fosters Pond, 2010. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

Fosters Pond, 2000. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

Le Bouquet d’Arbres, Malmö, Sweden, 2007. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

Beach Pond, Connecticut, 1974. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery.

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Dually Sinister and Playful Solarplate Etchings by Jaco Putker 



When flipping through these prints by Netherlands-based printmaker Jaco Putker it’s difficult to pintpoint the exact emotion one should feel, but generally, if it’s somewhere between amused and terrified, that’s just what the artist intends. Putker combines both digital preparation with traditional photopolymer (solar plate) etching to create collages that can be both highly ridiculous and downright frightening. He refers to the artworks as “illustrations to fables which don’t exist, but hopefully take shape in the beholders’ minds.”

Putker has exhibited in countries across Europe, Canada, and the United States, and currently has work at the Tokyo International Mini-Print Triennial. You can explore a trove of his prints on his website and many of his originals are avaiable online through Saatchi Art. (via The Jealous Curator)







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New Black and White Surrealist Self-Portraits by Noell Oszvald 


Visual artist Noell Osvald (previously) creates startlingly bold works through simple gestures all performed in black and white. The self-portraits rarely show the 25-year-old artist’s face, instead expressing emotion through the way she tilts her head or slightly crooks her neck. Emphasizing line, her works incorporate a strict horizon or eliminate it altogether, segmenting the image from left to right. In one particularly powerful image the back of her head faces the camera and her hair is completely down. Her hair is gently separated over her shoulders and her part continues upward from the nape of her neck and meets with the corner of the wall above. She stands directly in the center of this division, making it seem as if her environment is splitting her in two.

The self-taught artist’s works are mostly composites that only allude to being photographs. She explains that she does not pre-visualize any of her works, all are completely spontaneous. “I find post-processing the most enjoyable part of creating,” she told Lines magazine. “I build my pictures up from several different ones, much like a jigsaw puzzle.”

You can see more images by Osvald on her Flickr and Instagram.









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Meet a Completely Colorblind Man Who Uses Special Tech to ‘Hear’ Colors 

Produced as a part of The Connected Series, Hearing Colors, is a short film that explores the life of Neil Harbisson, a man who was born with achromatopsia that leaves 1 in 30,000 completely colorblind. Through an antenna-like object implanted into the back of his head, Harbisson is able to gain a comprehension of the colors around him by hearing distinct sounds.

Harbisson completely embraces the unusual technology and openly refers to himself as a cyborg. “I don’t feel that I am using technology. I don’t feel that I am wearing technology. I feel that I am technology,” Harbisson explains. “I feel no difference between the software and my brain.”

The five minute film, shot in black and white, gives the audience a sense of Harbisson’s artificially created one, letting us peer into how he sees humans, cities, and everyday life.

Hearing Colors was created by filmmaker Greg Brunkalla. You can see more of his films on his Vimeo page here. (via Swissmiss)

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Artist Jane Long Digitally Manipulates Black and White WWI-Era Photos Into Colorful Works of Fantasy 

All Hands on Deck

All images provided by Jane Long Photography

Australian artist Jane Long transforms cracked and faded black and white photographs into colorful works of fantasy, giving the subjects a new, and entirely surreal context. The images she uses for her series, Dancing with Costica, were captured over a half century ago by Costică Acsinte a Romanian war photographer who documented WWI.

The glass-plate photographs by Costica capture the straight faces and intense eyes of the subjects taken long before smiling was common in images. “I wanted to change the context of the images,” says Long. “Photographic practices at the time meant people rarely smiled in photos but that doesn’t mean they didn’t laugh and love. I wanted to introduce that to the images.”

By altering the images Long imagines the subjects as characters, letting the audience decide whether they are bad or good. These colorful transformations have been a source of controversy as some viewers have felt it improper to alter images of those she doesn’t know. In response to these accusations the artist stands by her work and explains, “I wanted people to see these figures as real people, more than just an old photograph. Adding colour completely changes our perception of images.”

Long’s series Dancing with Costica will be exhibited from August 22nd to September 20th as part of the Ballarat International Photo Biennale. You can see more work by Long on her Facebook page here. (via My Modern Met)

Neptune's Bride



Tall Poppies


Burn it Down

A Fond Farewell



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Vincent van Gogh Possibly Identified in Newly Discovered Group Photo of Famous Artists from 1887 

JULES ANTOINE (1863-1948) ATTR. – Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with friends, Paris, 96 rue Blanche, December 1887 Melanotype, direct positive and reversed image on blackboard (carton photographique), 86×112 mm, “Gautier Martin” stamp, recto. Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Félix Jobbé-Duval. André Antoine is standing between them.


Some experts believe this recently discovered 1887 melainotype showing six men drinking around a table may include a rare sighting of painter Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh famously recorded himself in numerous self-portraits, but was known to abhor photography and supposedly never sat for a photo as an adult; only two rare photos of the artist as a child are known to exist, taken when he was 13 and 19.

The image first came to the attention of French photo expert Serge Plantureux when two individuals acquired the photo at an estate sale and thought they recognized a few of the faces, among them, artists Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard—a significant discovery in and of itself. Analyzing the photographic process, the photographer (thought to be to Jules Antoine), and pinpointing the when the photo was taken raised the chances significantly that a bearded figure who appears amongst the gathering of stoic men might be Van Gogh. Serge Plantureux writes for magazine L’Oeil de la Photographie (The Eye of Photography):

The photograph they had brought to show me was small, dark, and rather difficult to see. Six characters were around a table. The light was pale, perhaps it was a winter afternoon.

They told me, still hesitant, that they thought they recognized the people in it, artists in whom they had long been interested. They were collectors and liked the painters of the late 19th century, in particular the neo-impressionists. They also said it was possible that one of the figures around the table was someone whose true face had never been seen.

The photo went to auction just this weekend and was expected to fetch between $136,000 to $170,000, though a final sale price hasn’t been made public. Still, some experts aren’t convinced. The photo expert for the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam feels it can’t be the artist “because it simply does not look like him,” and also mentions the artist’s desire to never be photographed. Others note that Van Gogh didn’t mention the gathering in his meticulously written letters from the time period.

Regardless, the photo is still of significant historical value and only time will tell if experts reach a consensus in the identities of everyone depicted. (via PetaPixel, Hyperallergic)

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Artist CJ Hendry Draws 50 Photorealistic Foods in 50 Days 


Starting in February, Brisbane artist CJ Hendry embarked on an ambitious drawing project, the creation of 50 food drawings in 50 days, with a new piece posted to Instagram every 24 hours. Each black pen drawing of a photorealistic food set against the backdrop of an ornate French plate is rendered with a stunning grasp of shading and depth. You can scroll through the entire collection of photos here, and see some of her earlier large-scale drawings on Analogue/Digital.com.au. (via Boing Boing, The Cool Hunter)








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