French photographer and director Romain Laurent (previously here and here) started making portrait-based GIFs as a way to produce work outside his commercial jobs, a spontaneous project that would encourage him to produce consistently for himself rather than clients. Each GIF is simple in its concept—a snap of the finger, a twist of the hand—yet is elegant in its composition of muted colors and subjects often centered squarely in the frame. Although GIFs often incorporate the whole subject, Laurent’s work highlights one or two specific movements, isolating gestures rather than animating the whole image.
Laurent studied product design at the National School of Applied Arts in Paris before realizing photography was his medium of choice. Laurent nows works in New York City and has collaborated with clients such as Reebok, Hermes, Lacoste, Nissan, Google, and GQ. You can see more of his inventive portraits on his Tumblr, and access his GIFs directly on his Giphy page here.
Although the money face trend swept the internet back in 2011, that doesn’t make this new video from Darwin Deez any less hilarious. Almost every shot was created by aligning Deez’s mouth or other facial features with the subjects of world currencies in real time. Fun fact: because of Photoshop’s impressive currency detection algorithm it was almost impossible to edit a single screenshot from this video. Directed by Oscar Hudson. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
I’ve never specifically asked myself what Yoda and and Darth Vader might look like if reimagined as classical Greek nudes, but I can’t say I’m disappointed that somebody made this non-dream a reality. Artist Travis Durden took this idea to an artistic level, using digital technology to sculpt five Star Wars figures out of faux-marble. The heads of each of the sculptures are pulled directly from the movie franchise, while the bodies are sourced from statues found within Paris’s Louvre. The new amalgamations display a softer side to the characters, Darth Vader now sporting tendrils of hair that fall from his once menacing mask, and a stormtrooper casually reads from an ancient text.
The artist behind the sculptures chooses to remain hidden, his artist’s name a mash-up of characters from two of his favorite cult films. [I can only guess where his last name comes from.] Durden is interested in also creating mash-ups within his work, opposite worlds converging to create an original composite. His Star Wars sculptures are his newest works, and can be seen in the exhibition “Contre Attaque,” or counter attack, currently at Galerie Sakura in Paris. Prints are available on Galerie Sakura’s website here. (via Designboom)
Ukranian artist Alexey Kondakov continues his ongoing digital collage project “Art History in Contemporary Life” (previously) with these latest additions. Kondakov uses his own photographs of urban Kiev as a backdrop for gods, angels, and other figures from classical paintings which look like they’re joining your daily commute. You can see a few more images scrolling through his Facebook page.
This season’s hottest new retro-kitsch action figures pre-date GI Joes and Power Rangers by nearly 500 years. If you’ve ever imagined what Michelangelo’s “David” would look like while locked in heated battle with Rodin’s “The Thinker,” or how “Venus de Milo” would use a brand new set of articulated arms, The Table Museum has your answer. These 6-inch limited edition action figures feature fully moveable arms, legs, and even eyeballs. Unfortunately the ordering window for several of the figures has already closed, but “David” is currently available for pre-order at around ¥4800 (~$40) and ships sometime in May of 2016. They even take PayPal. (via Boing Boing, Hyperallergic)
Complete with its own theme song, this Rube Goldberg machine made for Japanese educational television program PythagoraSwitch features a brave little red ball named ‘Biisuke’ who rescues his other friends from being trapped elsewhere in the device—And then they all escape together while running away from bag guys! The team behind the program designs a shorter contraption for every single episode of PythagoraSwitch, but this longer one was created for an extended episode over the summer. You can see 200 additional clips from the show at varying levels of quality on YouTube. (via Twisted Sifter)
For her latest series Shake Cats, Portland photographer Carli Davidson trained her high speed camera on a parade of flittering felines, capturing each cat mid-shake in an explosion of fur, skin, and spit. You may recognize Davidson’s work from her previous portraits of shaking dogs and puppies. This new series proves to be equally humorous—if not more so—and is accompanied by an equally fun video, seen below. She even managed to get a cameo of famed internet cat Lil Bub.
The most frequent question Davidson gets about the series is how she coaxed the cats into shaking. The assumption is that she simply dumps water on them, but the answer is much more humane. After acclimating to the studio, some cats shake when simply pet by a human hand dipped in water. In other instances the cats were photographed during a standard ear cleaning using Epi-Otic ear cleaner applied by an animal care professional.
Most of the 61 cats appearing in Shake Cats are rescues, and Carli also had the opportunity to shoot regular high-quality portraits for each animal to encourage online adoption (which in most cases happened almost immediately). A portion of Davidson’s advance from the book will support three Portland shelters who provided its subjects.