Artist j.frede composes flea market photographs into custom built frames, creating visual and narrative landscapes from the previously unassociated materials. The works spread across the wall, building on each other through similar landscapes or horizon lines. The project, titled Fiction Landscapes, builds on the artist’s interest in memory, tapping into others’ momentos of the past to create fictionalized scenes of ambiguous origin.
Although each image has once been a placeholder in time for the photographer, once it gets collected into a mixed up bin at a flea market these associations are erased. “Arranging these into new landscapes that have never existed speaks to the stitching together of human behavior and how we relate to time and the past,” says Frede. “How many people have pulled over at that rest stop and taken nearly the same photo of the plain hillside? All locking their own associations into the view, first road trip with a new love; last road trip to see grandma; one of many road trips alone.”
The Los Angeles-based artist strictly uses anonymous photographs from the past for his works, never incorporating photographs of his own or individuals he knows. The memories he personally imbues into each composition in the series are instead ones he creates while making each arrangement, placing his own marker within the newly composed environment.
Currently j.frede has a piece from Fiction Landscapes in “Three Day Weekend: Party in the Back” at Blum & Poe on view through December 19, 2015. (via Visual News)
When European settlers arrived throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and rapidly expanded their territory across North America, the prevalent belief was that of Manifest Destiny. Specifically, that American settlers were destined to expand throughout the continent by any means necessary regardless of cost, environmental impact, or the devastating harm to Native American populations. The artwork of the period, primarily sweeping landscapes influenced by the European pastoral tradition, did well to capture the pristine beauty of the previously undocumented continent, but completely glossed over the reality of what was really happening.
In her log paintings, artist Alison Moritsugu faces that strange juxtaposition head-on by choosing a literal meataphor—the remains of downed trees—as a canvas for her bucolic oil paintings of the countryside where that very tree may have once originated. A fantastic collision of art history and environmental awareness. The rough edges of the cut branches and trunks appear like windows into the past, telling a story that the tree’s rings alone cannot. She shares via her artist statement:
Painters throughout art history from the Northern Song, Baroque, Rococo and Hudson River School tailored their depictions of nature to serve an artistic narrative. Today, photoshopped images of verdant forests and unspoiled beaches invite us to vacation and sightsee, providing a false sense of assurance that the wilderness will always exist. By exploring idealized views of nature, my work acknowledges our more complex and precarious relationship with the environment.
It should be noted that Moritsugu uses salvaged log segments from naturally fallen trees, or trees that would otherwise be turned into mulch. You can see a collection of new work starting November 12th at Littlejohn Contemporary in New York. (via My Modern Met)
While on a trip to visit the Ijen and Bromo Tengger Semeru volcanoes in East Java last month, Chicago-based photographer Reuben Wu captured the unusual sight of molten sulphur that flows from fumaroles at the base of the Blue Fire Crater at Ijen. The area is usually swarming with tourists, but Wu stayed after sunset until the moon rose to capture these otherworldly images.
The journey into the Ijen Caldera is not for the faint hearted. A two-hour trek up the side of the rocky volcano is followed by another 45-minute hike down to the bank of the crater. The blue fire found at the base is the result of ignited sulphuric gas that burns up to 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit) and can flare up to 5 meters (16 feet) into the air. It is the largest “blue flame” area on Earth.
Additional photos from Wu’s trek through Indonesia can be seen here. (via Colossal Submissions)
Earth View is a giant collection of 1,500 curated images that represent the most striking images found through Google Earth. You can can click or swipe randomly through the far flung reaches of the planet as captured from satellites as captured from the world. All the images are available as wallpaper images for mobile and desktop, and they even have a Chrome app that loads a random image for each new tab. See also: Aerial Wallpapers. (thnx, Xavier!)
Xhariep, South Africa
Al Jowf, Saudi Arabia
Saint John, United States
For Guillaume Amat's “Open Fields” project he placed a mirrored stand in various landscapes, reflecting the opposing environment back within the image to create a double interpretation of the surrounding scene. These reflections contain dark figures against bright fields, homes in barren landscapes, bits of foliage contained within stretches of industry, and even a horse that pops into the frame.
Each image is taken with a 4×5 inch camera, the included mirror measuring 31.5 x 47.2 inches. Amat wanted to concentrate on the double interpretation of the landscape seen outside and within the mirror, working on the concept of territory as space.
Independent curator and writer Paul Wombell compared this series to the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice saying, “With the use of the camera and a mirror Guillaume Amat has made photographic images that simultaneously look forward and backwards. They create a strange dreamlike landscape where buildings and figures float in the center of the picture and suggest that he has two sets of eyes, both at the front and back of his head. Orpheus would have been impressed.”
Amat lives and works in Paris where he mostly focuses on long-term projects to produce cohesive photographic narratives existing somewhere between documentary and poetry. (via vjeranski)
Making-Off Open Fields /#2 Le Calvaire des Dunes.
Brooklyn-based graphic designer Victoria Siemer (previously) explores the idea of fractured landscapes through photo manipulations and collages. Siemer makes use of reflected geometric shapes suspended over gloomy natural landscapes shrouded in fog and clouds resulting in portal-like mirrors. She says much of her work is guided by the idea of emotional fragmentation and “fragmentation of the self,” a topic she explored in-depth while studying design at SUNY Buffalo. You can keep up with her work on Instagram and some of her pieces are available as prints.
Often I use the windows of airplanes as frames in which to view the landscapes just beyond the thick glass— scenes featuring rolling clouds, rich gradient skies, and patchwork fields. Jim Darling has taken this idea of the window as frame and created paintings that place the audience as passenger, showcasing vague yet nostalgic landscapes within his constructed airplane windows.
Darling’s paintings are from this sky-high perspective, painted cities, clouds, and oceans with the occasional wing creeping into the painting from the far edges. Each work includes layered woodwork, acrylic, and aerosol to build the tromp l’oeil nature of the piece, allowing one to finally experience these atmospheric views without the turbulence. (via Stop, Drop & Vogue)