Photography

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Art Photography

Sprawling Roots and Richly Hued Gowns Permeate Mary Sibande’s Postcolonial Artworks

June 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

From “A Terrible Beauty is Born” (2013), archival digital print, 43 1/4 × 126 × 3 inches. All images © Mary Sibande, shared with permission

The immensity and depth of Mary Sibande’s multi-media artworks reflect the magnitude of her subject matter, which explicitly entwines the enduring effects of British imperialism and the apartheid. Through photographs, sculptures, and sprawling installations that scale floor to ceiling, the South African artist most often features a central Black woman, who is shown enveloped in purple roots or grasping thick, black thread dangling from a nearby portrait.

Named Sophie, the figure’s role is subversive and one that sheds light on the particularly “cruel history of Black female oppression and its implications in contemporary life—in particular, perception and ownership of freedom.” Sophie is dressed in color-specific costumes resembling Victorian-era clothing and often is wrapped in an apron, a garment synonymous with domestic work. Each bold hue is rich with cultural and historical contexts.

(Sophie) is first encountered in the traditional blue uniform of a domestic servant as she dreams of the possibilities denied to her by discrimination and inequality. Sophie is then transformed into a fantastical figure, enveloped in purple representing the bitter struggle against apartheid and the promise of equality. In her most recent incarnation, Sophie wears red, the color of anger, as she gives form to popular disaffection and continued civil unrest across South Africa.

Living and working in Johannesburg, Sibande shares many of her postcolonial projects and news about future exhibitions on Instagram. Get a deeper look into her work on Artsy.

 

“Conversation with Madam CJ Walker” (2009), fiberglass, resin, fabric, and steel, 104 1/2 × 104 1/2 × 10 inches

“Conversation with Madam CJ Walker” (2009), fiberglass, resin, fabric, and steel, 104 1/2 × 104 1/2 × 10 inches

“A Reversed Retrogress: Scene 1” (2013)

“A Reversed Retrogress: Scene 1” (2013)

“A Terrible Beauty is Born” (2013), archival digital print, 43 1/4 × 126 × 3 inches

 

 



Food Photography

A Model Morphs into a Rotund Tomato, Peeled Banana, and a Hoagie in a Bizarre Photographic Series

June 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Annie Collinge, with styling and art direction by Rottingdean Bazaar, shared with permission

A new photo series, titled Table For One, takes the proverbial saying that “you are what you eat” literally as it transforms model Tin Gao by sandwiching her between layers of cheese, lunchmeat, shredded lettuce, and sliced tomato in a bulging hoagie. Shot by photographer Annie Collinge, the bizarre series sees Gao morph from one food group to the next, whether as a stout tomato fashioned from a red jacket that covers the model from chin to ankle or stuffed into a peeled banana that mimics a sleeping bag.

With styling and art direction by James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks of Rottingdean Bazaar, the humorous photographs were shot for Luncheon Magazine. Watch the video of the resting chicken below to see a somewhat unsettling part of the project, and follow Collinge and Rottingdean Bazaar’s future collaborations on Instagram. (via Inag)

 

 

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Art Photography

Hundreds of Photos of the New York Sky Pinned to a Massive, Spherical Sculpture by Sarah Sze

June 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

” Shorter than the Day” (2020), powder-coated aluminum and steel, 48 x 30 x 30 feet. All images © Sarah Sze by Nicholas Knight

Artist Sarah Sze explores the myriad conceptions of time and space through a tremendous, new spherical sculpture. Titled “Shorter than the Day” —a reference to Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I could not stop for Death,” which considers the comfort found in life’s finality—Sze’s piece weighs five tons and was unveiled Thursday at LaGuardia Airport. It is suspended above an atrium in Terminal B.

The New York-based artist captures the magnitude of the upper atmosphere as it changes from bright blue morning to a vibrant sunset to the rich hues of the night through nearly 1,000 photographs of the sky. Each printed image is fastened to the aluminum and steel with alligator clips and is revealed as viewers move around the massive work, just like the earth circles the sun to mark a day. The piece was fabricated in collaboration with Amuneal.

Along with three other projects from artists Jeppe Hein, Laura Owens, Sabine Hornig, “Shorter than the Day” was commissioned by LaGuardia Gateway Partners and Public Art Fund. To find out more about Sze, whose work involves countless individual objects positioned in precise arrangements, watch her TED Talk and visit her site. (via ArtNet)

 

 

 



Photography

Dive Into a Never-Ending Sequence of Jumps and Tucks in an Olympic-Games Compilation

June 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

Although devotees of the Olympic games will have to wait until 2021 for the next round of competitions, Donato Sansone channels the same excitement, energy, and displays of strength into an extravagant new mashup. A second iteration of his previous video by the same name, Sansone’s latest motion sequence is comprised of short clips of athletes completing tucks, dives, and pikes. Each bit of footage seamlessly blends into the next, making the competitors appear to be joined in a single, nearly minute-long jump.

For more of Sansone’s Rube Goldberg-esque sequences, head to Tumblr and Vimeo.

 

 

 



Photography

Graceful Photographs of Solitary Figures by Oye Diran Explore Beauty and Empowerment

June 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Dakota.” All images © Oye Diran, shared with permission

Oye Diran describes his distinctly elegant photographs as “conceptual with a degree of minimalism and fantasy.” The New York City-based photographer captures refined images of women dressed in pastel gowns of billowing tulle and surrounded by wide swathes of blush fabric—like in “Maktub,” an arresting photograph (shown below) that recently won a first-place LensCulture Exposure Award.

Whether a profile or wider, scenic shot, Diran’s work frames solitary subjects who often are closing their eyes or looking away from the camera. The photographs highlight the grace of the female body without veering into the sensual. “I try to convey the many truths and beauty of people of color, empowerment, and life ideologies in my images,” he tells Colossal.

Diran begins each stylized photograph, which he often shares on Instagram, with a mood board of notes and inspiration from nature, art, and movies. Choices about the color palette, models, poses, props, and scenery reflect that spirit. “I can come up with a message I’m trying to channel to my audience and then build the imagery that conveys that message. Inversely, I can create imagery without any intended message, purely from a mood or expressive creativity where interpretation is left to the audience,” he says.

 

“Maktub”

“Blue Thoughts”

“Lucid”

“Verity”

 

 



Art Photography

Striking Portraits by Artist Tawny Chatmon Embellished with Gold Garments and Ornate Backdrops

June 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tawny Chatmon, shared with permission

In The Redemption, photography-based artist Tawny Chatmon (previously) celebrates the beauty of Black hair through a series of arresting portraits superimposed with 24 karat gold flourishes. Each photograph features a solemn child who’s dressed in hand-painted ornate, gilt garments that are inspired by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s Golden Phase. “These portraits are meant to act as a counter-narrative and redemptive measure to uplift and elevate Black hair, tradition, and culture freeing us from negative stereotypes,” Chatmon says in a statement. “An intent, not to be confused with seeking validation, but rather an unyielding affirmation of Black beauty.”

By evoking Klimt, the Maryland-based artist hopes to elicit similar feelings as when considering some of the painter’s pieces like “The Kiss,” for example. “I remember being drawn to the details, the poses, of course, the gold, and the grace,” she says of her initial reaction to his pieces. The ornamental additions immediately signal beauty, which has many different meanings for Chatmon.

Beauty is every child in these portraits. Beauty is individuality and nonconformity. Beauty is something that you saw, that you can’t stop thinking about because it made such a good impression on you. Beauty is the way I felt when I got to hold each of my babies after giving birth to them. Beauty is motherhood. Beauty is when my 15-year-old son makes it a point to hug me every night and tells me he loves me. Beauty is goodness. Beauty is knowing you’re beautiful even in a world hellbent on making you think otherwise.

To explore more of the artist’s layered photographs that consider both personal and cultural conceptions of allure, grace, and strength, head to her site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Food Photography

Sliced and Diced Food Arranged into Color-Coded Sequences by Adam Hillman

June 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Adam Hillman, shared with permission

Adam Hillman (previously) has taken recommendations to choose a balanced diet seriously. For each slice of Granny Smith apple, the New Jersey-based artist pairs a quartered cucumber, halved kiwi, and peeled plantain in a meticulous, color-coded arrangement.

Using produce, candy, and breakfast fare, Hillman organizes an array of perishables into patterns and geometric sequences, which he often shares on Instagram. “There’s something beautiful about working with something so transient, and the beauty of the materials is something that can only be preserved through photography long after the food within the photo has either rotted or been eaten,” he tells Colossal.

For those in need of another dose of nutrients, Hillman offers prints from Society6.