Caribbean-born, Copenhagen-based photographer Denisse Ariana Perez captures images that connect her subjects with the environment and redefine ideas of black masculinity and beauty. Taken in Benin and Uganda, Perez’s Men and Water series (I, II, and III) features men of color often topless, but not sexualized, as they sit, stand, and embrace one another in murky natural pools and beneath waterfalls.
“I’m on a quest to find beauty in the sometimes less obvious places,” Perez told It’s Nice That. “I like to use this medium to highlight the beauty of individuals, their communities and cultures, especially those who are marginalized.” Many of her subjects are men because she likes to portray them “through a sensitive lens, to show more sides to them, other than their physical strength or sex appeal.” Working as both a copywriter and a photographer, Perez says that storytelling is what bridges the two worlds, and the liquid landscapes are a big part of the stories that she tells.
“Water can disarm even the most armed of facades,” Perez writes of the Men and Water series. “Becoming one with water is not about rushing but rather about flowing. And flowing is the closest thing to being.” To see more of Perez’s beautiful images, follow the photographer on Instagram.
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It’s well understood that producing a single book is an arduous task, making it even more impressive that British photographer Alastair Philip Wiper is offering three distinct versions of his newly released work, Unintended Beauty. The monograph is available in three covers—an orange or blue option with architectural and machine focuses and a black one with hanging sausages—created by the design firm, IRONFLAG.
The Copenhagen-based artist has an eye for spotting the sublime complexities inside warehouses, factories, and shipyards of global institutions like Adidas, Boeing, The European Space Agency, and the Swiss research laboratory CERN, where he captured the pattern and symmetry of the industrial spaces. “We create systems, structures and machines that allow us to provide for our lives and answer our questions about the universe. Machines tell the story of our needs and desires, our hopes and follies, our visions for the future,” Wiper said in a statement.
Something I want to do is challenge what people think of as beautiful, because there are a lot of things that you can say are ugly and beautiful at the same time. The title of the book ‘Unintended Beauty’ is meant to be a bit provocative. A lot of beautiful things should have a bit of ugliness to them.
Including a foreward written by theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser and an interview with the artist conducted by Ian Chillag, the 208-page book features 90 full-color images and is printed on Galerie Art Silk paper with a cover of Italian Manifattura del Seveso cotton textile. Unintended Beauty is now available from Hatje Cantz, although each edition has a limited number of copies.
Two exhibitions for the project will open this year, one on February 26 at RIBA, London and another on April 2 at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Bordeaux. Until then, you can keep up with Wiper’s exploration of technical intricacies by following him on Instagram. (via Creative Boom)
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Denis Shiryaev has found a way to clarify the world’s earliest films and their signature grainy textures. He transformed the historic 1896 The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station into a 50-second film that suddenly reveals distinct faces of the passengers scrambling to get on the train, in addition to details on the locomotive that otherwise were undistinguishable in the original version. According to Peta Pixel, Shiryaev first used Topaz Lab’s Gigapixel AI to upgrade the film’s resolution to 4K, followed by Google’s DAIN, which he used to create and add frames to the original file, bringing it to 60 frames per second.
Made in France, the 35 mm film bears a legend stating that the first viewers of the silent production were so frightened by the moving train that they all ran out of the room. It was created with an all-in-one camera that served as a printer and projector. Watch the original black-and-white video shown below, and then Shiryaev’s remaking underneath.
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Suzanne Saroff doesn’t mind if her audience has a distorted view of the vibrant flowers and leaves she captures. The New York-based photographer, who’s worked with a long list of clients like Calvin Klein, Glossier, and Prada, is a master of illusion in her tonal images that place florals behind clear glasses of water, skewing their structures in her red, pink, and beige compositions.
Saroff tells Colossal that her latest work revisits elements of distortion she used in previous projects that framed images of bananas, avocados, and fish behind glass vessels filled with water. Since her Perspective series, the photographer says she’s begun to explore “subtle new ways of expressing feelings and emotions through flowers, color, composition, and lighting.” Her more recent project maintains themes of “exploration and play,” although it employs different techniques and aesthetics.
I always have some idea of what I want to shoot—in terms of color, light, subject and composition—but some of my favorite photos come from something raw and in the moment. These photos can take 20 minutes or the entire day—with the distortions I work at and the moving of all of the pieces around until everything feels just right. When I get the photo I know right away. This series is about bringing emotions to creating.
Head to Saroff’s Instagram to see the skewed projects she conceives of next.
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When Karen Jerzyk (previously) decided to photograph people donning ghost costumes, she was well aware of the outfit’s reputation in mainstream culture. “I know the sheet-ghost image has been used a million times before, in countless applications,” she tells Colossal, “but it was October and the timing was perfect and I always loved the simplicity and character of sheet-ghosts.”
At the time, the Boston-based artist was making a quick stop between trips to Florida and California at Yellow Dog Village, an abandoned neighborhood in Pennsylvania. Enthralled with its dilapidated homes and gravel roads, Jerzyk posed her sheet-covered model in the village, starting a new trend in her own uncanny work.
It instantly makes me think of my childhood, and there’s something magical about it—if you were a kid growing up with no resources to get or make a halloween costume (I was never that kid, but always had friends that were, and helped many make their costumes over the years), there was ALWAYS a way to be a ghost.
Since Yellow Dog, Jerzyk has brought her simple costume to rural areas around the northeast United States, creating unsettling images of a single figure posed against a gloomy, neglected backdrop. This specter-centered project is easier to create when traveling than her previous work, Jerzyk says, because anyone can become the haunting figure, including herself, although she hasn’t done that yet. “It’s a character someone can instantly be anywhere,” she says.
The artist has photographed multiple friends, who are all masked by the white sheet with cut-out eye holes. She even convinced her mother to pose in front of an abandoned home in New Hampshire in the midst of Christmas preparations. To keep up with Jerzyk’s haunting adventures, follow her on Instagram and take a look at more of her work on Behance.
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French artist JR (previously) is back in New York, transforming pockets of the city with his latest work. Installed on stacked shipping containers, “The Chronicles of New York City” is a compilation of images depicting more than 1,000 New York residents, who the artist photographed and reproduced for the large-scale work. Created in Williamsburg’s Domino Park, the black-and-white mural is JR’s biggest public project to date in the city. It overlooks the East River and features people living in all five boroughs gathered in a public space that mimics the newly built park.
Since opening his exhibition “JR: Chronicles” in October of 2019, the artist has been transforming areas throughout the city, like a space at the Kings Theatre in Flatbush and the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance in Bedford Stuyvesant. “The Chronicles of New York City” is the centerpiece of the exhibition, which is on view through May 3, 2020, at Brooklyn Museum, and is accompanied by audio recordings of those portrayed in the monochromatic mural. The public installation was a collaboration with architectural firm LOT-EK, which is known for its sustainable design and helped in creating the site.
“Working at the intersections of photography, social engagement, and street art, JR collaborates with communities by taking individual portraits, reproducing them at a monumental scale, and wheat pasting them—sometimes illegally—in nearby public spaces,” says a statement about the exhibition. See where JR’s work pops up next by following him on Instagram and peek in his shop to check out what’s available for purchase.
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Interview: A Conversation with Photographer Brooke DiDonato Explores the Process and Inspiration Behind Her Surreal Imagery
New York City-based photographer Brooke DiDonato discusses her approach to composition and color in her unmistakably original images in a conversation with Editor-in-Chief Christopher Jobson. The two talk about ideas of surrealism and magic realism found in DiDonato’s work, the deep lines of inspiration drawn from her family, and her observations of the world around her.
Join hundreds of Colossal Members who are diving into this discussion with DiDonato. As a member, you’ll gain access to this interview, in addition to other perks, and be part of a visual culture community of 10 million monthly readers.
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