Currently on view at the Queensland Art Gallery is Ressort, a 174-foot (53 meter) aluminum and stainless steel snake skeleton by French/Chinese contemporary artist Huang Yong Ping. The twisting metal sculpture was commissioned for the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at QAGOMA which is the only major exhibition that focuses exclusively on contemporary art from Asia, the Pacific and Australia. The snake plays a prominent role in much of Ping’s artwork, as the symbol of the serpent is generally considered a good omen in Chinese culture. You can see much more of the artist’s work over at Kamel Mennour gallery. (via my modern met)
Generally when you encounter a photograph of a snake it’s coiled up in a circle, a clump, or perhaps dangling from a limb, twisted into a naturally organic shape. Y’know, it’s snakelike. Photographer Guido Mocafico has taken a decidedly different approach with his Serpens series (Part 1, Part 2), choosing instead to place the snakes into rectangular boxes, snapping each photo from above at a precisely balanced moment, turning chaotic figures into something distinctly geometric. From Mocafico’s selection of different species to their gorgeous coloration and almost zen-like positioning, I’ve never seen anything like these. For more serpentine photography don’t miss the work of Mark Laita who travels everywhere to photograph the world’s deadliest snakes. (via supersonic electronic)
For the past year LA-based photographer Mark Laita has been traveling to various locations around the U.S. and Central America photographing some of the world’s most deadliest snakes, a series entitled Serpentine. Of the project he says:
The sensual attractiveness of snakes, which coexists with their threatening, unpredictable and mysterious nature is truly unique. This dichotomy, in which their beauty seems to be heightened by their danger, and vice-versa, is what I find so fascinating. Add to these contradictions the rich symbolism of serpents and you have a wonderfully compelling subject.
Laita works with collectors, breeders, zoos, and even anti-venom labs who let him photograph their snake collections. But as you can imagine snake handling can be dangerous work. Just last week on a photo shoot in Costa Rica, he tangoed with a Black Mambo (last photo), the longest venomous snake in Africa that can grow up to 14 feet long. So what kind of risk did you take at work today?
See also his beautiful if somewhat heartbreaking catalog of ornithological specimens entitled Amaranthine, and some exquisite images of sea life. All images courtesy the artist. (via feature shoot)