Photography

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Photography

Freshly Cut Flowers Make Sparks in Electrically Charged Images by Hu Weiyi

February 18, 2019

Anna Marks

Image credits: Hu Weiyi and A+ Contemporary

Image credits: Hu Weiyi and A+ Contemporary

In The Tentacles project, by Chinese artist Hu Weiyi, bright sparks and fiery electrical waves flow through a series of freshly blossomed flowers against matte gray backgrounds. To produce the images, Hu uses high-voltage capacitors to create electrical currents that run through the pink and maroon roses, showcasing the power of electricity in all its beauty and danger.

The photo series was inspired by a previous project Hu created in 2014, called Flirt, which introduced cold light to various objects to manipulate viewers’ perception without using digital software. “I then began to study the high-voltage arc and made a high-voltage capacitor which can instantaneously penetrate through the air,” says Hu. “The principle is similar to that of the electric baton, but much stronger.”

The research behind The Tentacles took Hu over a year. He worked with various technicians to try different types of electric discharge devices that would exert the right amount of electrical flow to be captured by his camera. In this experimental phase, Hu used dozens of roses and took hundreds of photographs before finding the right images and settings for his final collection. “My studio is therefore filled with the unpleasant smell of rotten flowers, just like a morgue,” says the artist.

Hu’s work illustrates the aesthetic beauty and diversity of physical forms; the softness and stillness of the spongy rose petals in comparison to the dangerous allure of the electrical spark. “The moment of discharge is wonderful and sexy, but it can also be a cold-blooded tool for torture and execution,” he explains. Hu’s combination of materials illustrate the impermanence of natural plant matter, much like the fragile nature of the human body when exposed to lightning. “The flowers in full bloom remind me of my own fragility and powerlessness,” says Hu.

In comparison to manipulating photographs with software such as Photoshop, the time, precision and research in Hu’s work gives the subjects in his images more weight, their electricity more tangible. You can see more of Hu’s photographs on A+ Contemporary’s website.

 

 



Photography

Intertwined and Contorted Figures Form Surreal New Portraits by Brooke DiDonato

February 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Brooklyn-based photographer Brooke DiDonato (previously) poses bodies in twisting forms, skewing the viewer’s perception of where one body ends and the next begins. DiDonato also combines subjects and scenes in surreal ways that question the division between human and nature, presenting limbs popping up from a field of sun-baked crops, or capturing a stream of bountiful flowers spilling generously out of an open spout.

The above image of two men’s intertwined bodies was inspired by a previous image DiDonato made for a shoe campaign that featured two separate subjects wearing the same pair of shoes. She wanted to revisit this concept while incorporating full bodies to play on the idea that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

A selection of DiDonato’s images from her series “As Usual” is included in The Fence, one of the largest traveling photography exhibitions in the world. Upcoming locations for the open-air experience are Boston, Denver, Houston, and Calgary, Canada. You can keep up-to-date with her portraits and other images by visiting her website or Instagram.

 

 



Photography

The Abandoned Grandeur of Crumbling Palaces Showcased in Large Format Photographs by Thomas Jorion

February 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Thomas Jorion, "Pappagallo, Italie" (2018), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Esther Woerdehoff Galerie

Thomas Jorion, “Pappagallo, Italie” (2018), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Esther Woerdehoff Galerie

Whereas many photographers seek to capture beautiful ephemeral moments with their camera lens, French photographer Thomas Jorion is drawn to a more eternal timeline. Using an analog 4×5 camera, Jorion focuses on abandoned places: spaces and structures lost to the nature and time. In his photographs, once majestic buildings that are now largely forgotten are given the same careful composition and attention that more currently-engaged spaces might receive. His solo exhibition Veduta at Esther Woerdehoff Galerie in Paris explores the abandoned villas and palaces of Italy through April 6, 2019. You can see more of Jorion’s work on Instagram.

"Cedri, Italie" (2017), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Thomas Jorion

“Cedri, Italie” (2017), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Thomas Jorion

"Fondali, Italie" (2017), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Thomas Jorion

“Fondali, Italie” (2017), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Thomas Jorion

"Ghepardi, Italie" (2016), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Thomas Jorion

“Ghepardi, Italie” (2016), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Thomas Jorion

"Sognare, Switzerland" (2016), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Thomas Jorion

“Sognare, Switzerland” (2016), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Thomas Jorion

"Fulmine, Italie" (2018), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Esther Woerdehoff Galerie

“Fulmine, Italie” (2018), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Esther Woerdehoff Galerie 

"Pensile, Italie" (2018), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Esther Woerdehoff Galerie

“Pensile, Italie” (2018), Pigment print, American box frame in raw oak, image courtesy of Esther Woerdehoff Galerie

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

An Extraordinary Time-Lapse Captures the Microscopic Development of a Single Cell into a Newt

February 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In Becoming, a time-lapse film by Jan van IJken (previously), a single cell splits. Then it splits again, and again, and again, morphing and quivering as new quadrants continually appear and divide. The cell belongs to an alpine newt, and during most of its transition from a single cell zygote to hatched larva it looks remarkably like a sunny-side up egg. The film’s rapid timeline condenses four weeks of growth into six minutes, presenting a speedy and awe-inspiring glimpse at how we all begin.

“I wanted to capture the origin of life,” van IJken tells Colossal. “What is particularly interesting I think, is that the basics of embryonic development are the same for all animals, including us. I think the way we develop is a true miracle. In my film you can see individual cells move to the place where they belong in the embryo. How is this possible? It is all managed by a precise internal clockwork in each individual cell.”

Van IJken used time-lapse photography and video in combination with a trinocular microscope to precisely observe the details of the newt’s development. You can view more of his work, including a trailer for his first film Facing Animals, on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Photography

Balloons Precariously Compressed Between Marble Slabs in Photo Series by Daniel Forero

February 4, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In art director and photographer Daniel Forero’s most recent series Air, slabs of marble trap, compress, and squish inflated balloons. The series was inspired by the shapes and colors of stones that compose the buildings in his new home of Paris. Forero wanted to focus on the ways that architectural materials create beauty through balance, and decided to create scenes that would emphasize the stone’s weight.

“The sculptures create tension, but at the same time harmony,” Forero explains to Colossal. “It was difficult to put the objects together in a natural way without any help from other objects. There were a lot of failures in the process, but once the objects ‘fit’ they stood still in perfect balance for several days until I removed them from my table.” You can see more of Forero’s compositions on his website, Instagram, and Behance.

 

 



Photography

Bodies Flip, Dance, and Stack in Gravity-Defying Images by Rob Woodcox

February 1, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Fine art and fashion photographer Rob Woodcox works with dancers to create striking images of human bodies pushed past their physical threshold with a bit of creative editing. Impossible feats of the body are achieved in his photography, such as an image of subjects curved in both convex and concave positions while suspended in the air, and another of bodies stacked meticulously in a sort of Tetris-style configuration. You can view more of Woodcox’s creative presentations of the human form on Instagram, and buy select prints of his work on his website. (via Visual Fodder)

 

 



Art Photography

Light Installations by Javier Riera Project Concentric Circles and Geometric Cubes onto Mountains and Trees

January 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Spanish artist Javier Riera designs and photographs light projections that fit perfectly onto specifically shaped trees and their branches. The geometric forms are inspired by the particular landscape, and are used to reveal what Riera perceives to be latent dimensions or energies embedded in the natural environment.  “His hopes the photographs deepen the connection between nature and the audience, allowing the viewer to find a greater appreciation for the multitude of layers that compose the nature world.

“[I am interested in] those moments in which the outside (the landscape) begins to be perceived as something very intimate, while our internal world begins to be perceived with some distance,” says Riera to Colossal. “It is almost as if it becomes external to us, and for that reason it is clarified.”

Although the visual aspect of a location is important to Riera’s design, a large part of his process is researching the landscape’s history, including the people that inhabit or visit it. This information allows him to develop an original pattern or structure for the projection, while also remembering the place more holistically as the work develops. Riera will have work in the upcoming Umbria Light Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain from February 21-23, 2019. You can see more of his projected light works on his website and Instagram.

 

 

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