Tag Archives: black and white

Sinister Architecture Constructed from Archival Library of Congress Images by Jim Kazanjian

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Inspired in part by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, artist Jim Kazanjian (previously) assembles foreboding buildings using snippets of photographs found in the Library of Congress archives. Equal parts secret lair, insane asylum, and the work of a deranged architect, Kazanjian’s collages are created from 50-70 separate photographs taken over the last century. Each piece takes nearly three months to complete as he painstakingly searches for just the right elements, a process he likens to “solving a puzzle, except in reverse.” From his artist statement:

I’ve chosen photography as a medium because of the cultural misunderstanding that it has a sort of built-in objectivity. This allows me to set up a visual tension within the work, to make it resonate and lure the viewer further inside. My current series is inspired by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and similar authors. I am intrigued with the narrative archetypes these writers utilize to transform the commonplace into something sinister and foreboding. In my work, I prefer to use these devices as a means to generate entry points for the viewer. I’m interested in occupying a space where the mundane intersects the strange, and the familiar becomes alien. In a sense, I am attempting to render the sublime.

You can see much more of Kazanjian’s work on his website, and at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery in Vancouver later this year. (via Colossal Submissions)

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Ancient Trees: Beth Moon’s 14-Year Quest to Photograph the World’s Most Majestic Trees

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Criss-crossing the world with stops on almost every continent, San Francisco-based photographer Beth Moon spent the last 14 years seeking out some of the largest, rarest, and oldest trees on Earth to capture with her camera. Moon develops her exhibition prints with a platinum/palladium process, an extremely labor-intensive and rare practice resulting in prints with tremendous tonal range that are durable enough to rival the longitivity of her subjects, potentially lasting thousands of years. Moon’s collected work of 60 duotone prints were recently published in a new book titled Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time. From Abbeville Press:

This handsome volume presents sixty of Moon’s finest tree portraits as full-page duotone plates. The pictured trees include the tangled, hollow-trunked yews—some more than a thousand years old—that grow in English churchyards; the baobabs of Madagascar, called “upside-down trees” because of the curious disproportion of their giant trunks and modest branches; and the fantastical dragon’s-blood trees, red-sapped and umbrella-shaped, that grow only on the island of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa.

Moon is currently working on a new series of trees photographed by starlight called Diamond Nights. (via Huffington Post)

Avenue of the Baobabs

Bowthorpe Oak copy

Bufflesdrift Baobab 2-2 copy

Croft Chestnut 1 copy

Desert Rose (Wadi Fa Lang) copy

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Sentinels Neg 2014

Wakehurst Yews

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Majestic Black and White Studio Portraits of Goats and Sheep by Kevin Horan

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Ben #1, 2014. Photo © Kevin Horan.

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Sherlock #2, 2012. Ella #1, 2014. Photos © Kevin Horan.

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Carl #1. Photos © Kevin Horan.

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Xantippe #1. Lizzie #1. Photo © Kevin Horan.

Jake #1, 2012
Jake #1, 2012. Photo © Kevin Horan.

horan-4Sydney #3. Xenia #1. Photos © Kevin Horan.

Mr. Beasley #1, 2014
Mr. Beasley #1, 2014. Photo © Kevin Horan.

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Briede #1. Honey #3. Photos © Kevin Horan.

Honey #1, 2014
Honey #1, 2014. Photo © Kevin Horan.

When it comes to fancy studio portraits of pets, it’s no surprise people are willing to hire photographers for loving photos of their cats and dogs, we’ve even seen cameras thoughtfully trained on chickens and exotic snakes, but commercial photographer Kevin Horan decided it was high time for an artistically neglected group of barnyard animals to step into the spotlight: goats and sheep. In 2007, Horan moved from Chicago to Whidbey Island, Washington where he approached a neighbor about photographing one of his sheep. The neighbor agreed and his portrait series Chattel was born.

Lately, Horan photographs mostly sheep and goats from the New Moon Farm Goat Rescue in Arlington, WA, where he sets up a portable studio and works with assitants to achieve surprisingly emotive and humorous portraits that reveal the subtle personality of each animal. The wildly popular series was selected in Photolucida’s Critical Mass Top 50 for 2014, and one of the photos was acquired by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Prints are available upon request. (via Slate, PetaPixel)

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Artist Kevin Weir Creates Ghostly Animated GIFs Using Archival Photos from the Library of Congress

Starting this month Verizon FiOS customers can get upload speeds every bit as fast as their download speeds. Since that means faster, easier sharing of high-res illustrations, designs, and photos, FiOS is sponsoring a series of posts on Colossal to help us commission and share these super hi-res animated GIFs from some of the most amazing artists we could find.

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Art director and designer Kevin Weir uses historical black and white photographs forgotten to time as the basis for his quirky—and slightly disturbing—animated GIFs. His path to online GIF superstardom began when he was in high school. He tells us that “my parents’ boss bought me a copy of Photoshop and I decided I wanted to be some kind of designer.” Having mastered the software, he found himself five years later “making black and white GIFs as a way to occupy myself during the downtime of an internship I had during grad school.” He shared the images on his Tumblr, Flux Machine where they quickly went viral.

Weir makes use of photographs he finds in the Library of Congress online archive, and is deeply drawn to what he calls “unknowable places and persons,” images with little connection to present day that he can use as blank canvas for his weird ideas. Perhaps it’s the nature of his imagination, or maybe a result of the medium’s limited frames of animation to communicate anything too serious, but despite the creepiness factor, it’s hard to not to smile at the absurdity of his ideas.

Weir is now an art director at Droga5 in NYC, he also also animates music videos and sassy birds.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases 400,000 Images Online for Non-Commercial Use

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Kinder in einem Feriendorf / Martin Munkacsi / 1929

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released a vast archive of 400,000 (mostly) hi-resolution digital images online that you can download and use for non-commercial purposes. From a 12-megapixel scan of Rembrandt’s 1660 self-portrait to over 18,000 photos spanning almost two centuries. Here are a few quick gems from the Photography collection, see also: Arms & Armor, Modern and Contemporary Art, and other highlights. (via Kottke)

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Daughters of Jerusalem / Julia Margaret Camero / 1865

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Head of Man with Hat and Cigar / Leon Levinstein / 1960

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel Standing Before the Launching Chains of the Great Eastern / Robert Howlett / 1857

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A Study, No. 1 / Rudolph Eickemeyer / 1901

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Street Minstrel, Gose / Shinichi Suzuki / 1870s

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Group of Thirteen Decapitated Soldiers / Unknown / 1910

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Sincerely Yours, Woodrow Wilson / Arthur S. Mole / 1918

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A Girl, Carmel / Johan Hagemeyer / 1930.           Unidentified Child Picking Nose / Walker Evans / 1930.

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Large-scale Graphite Drawings of Surreal Adventures, Dreamers, and Heroes by Ethan Murrow

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“All Mine”/ graphite on paper 28″ x 28″ 2011

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“State of Massachusettes” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2014

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“Wanderer above the sea of fog” (homage to Caspar David Friedrich) / graphite on paper 36″ x 36″ 2013

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“Betrayal” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2012

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“State of Alaska” / graphite on paper 36″ x 36″ 2014

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“State of Nevada” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2014

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“Lovers Film Proposal” / graphite on paper 24″ diameter 2013

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“Early Warning System” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2013

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“The Old Aristocratic Colors Break Through” / graphite on paper 48″ x 48″ 2013

Heavily influenced by both film and photography, artist Ethan Murrow creates grandiose theatrical narratives manifested as large-scale graphite drawings. The artworks are populated with adventurers, inventors and dreamers, in what Winston Wachter gallery calls “characters as outrageous innovators and absurd explorers capturing a sense of adventure, satire, fun and defeat.” Murrow’s latest works involve a series of drawings set in different American states for his show State Flag currently at Winston Wachter in New York through May 2014. You can see much more of his work here and on his website. (via Illusion)

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The Ethereal Long Exposure Photography of Darren Moore

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Self-taught photographer Darren Moore creates ethereal black and white landscapes using a method called daytime long exposure, where a special filters are attached to a camera lens to reduce the amount of light. These neutral density filters allow for the shutter to open for extended periods of time in broad daylight, from 30 seconds to upward of 15 minutes for a single exposure. Moore shoots mostly in locations around England, where he frequently visits causeways, breakwaters, shipwrecks, and other features along the shore.

You can see more of Moore’s photography over on Flickr and in his online gallery. He’ll also have work later this April in a group show at the Patchings Art Centre.

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