Dozens of Expressive Puppets Encourage Kindness and Acceptance in a Series of Sing-A-Long Short Films
Irish director and animator Johnny Kelly (previously) is known for his puppet-based films, most notably his 2011 piece for Chipotle titled Back to the Start. His most recent project, Right on Tracks, is a series of short sing-a-long videos for Cheerios. Kelly worked with the art collective Nous Vous and Andy Gent, who was also the lead of the puppets department for Isle of Dogs.
The catchy anthems have an inclusive message that focuses on building confidence in yourself while practicing kindness to all. Walter Martin of The Walkmen created songs such as Just Be You which teaches acceptance of your own quirks and unique traits, and It’s All Family which showcases a look at familial structures in a much broader light than we typically see on TV.
“We wanted to show diversity,” Kelly told It’s Nice That. “Nous Vous’ characters are so otherworldly and abstract that they could be anyone and everyone. It was important that people empathize with them too. With such simple designs, you can read a little more into their expressions, project your own loneliness onto a lonely character, or warmth onto a happy character.”
The cast of puppets are large, small, and every size in-between, with characteristics that range from colorful tufts of hair to necks that extend out like tree branches. You can take a behind-the-scenes peek at how Kelly created the four-part series in the video below, and view more of his short films on his website and Vimeo. (via The Kid Should See This, It’s Nice That)
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Japanese photographer Shin Noguchi’s series One Two Three follows the daily explorations, amusements, and tantrums of his three daughters, nine-year-old Yumeji, four-year-old Kotoyo, and two-year-old Hikono. The unplanned snapshots capture split-second moments of beauty such as a bubble floating perfectly in frame to surround his daughters’ faces in one image, or a photograph of his toddler at the table fast asleep behind a large cheese pizza.
“I just click the shutter when the moment is right during the life of my family,” explains Noguchi to Colossal. “I definitely hear a kind of music while clicking the shutter—the unposed, unstaged moments that exist. It’s like improvisations in Jazz. Like Eric Dolphy said, If I missed it, it’s gone in the air, I can never capture it again.”
Noguchi was inspired to start documenting his children after losing his father to stage four lung cancer in 2017. When packing up his father’s things he found previously unseen pictures of his own childhood taken by his mother which inspired him to engage in a more comprehensive documentation of his own family’s life. “If someone asks me, ‘Are these photos then art, or life?’ I want to say that ‘life is art,'” he explains. “I never called my photography ‘art,’ but definitely they show me what I feel art to be.”
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Photographer Diego Moreno incorporates ancestral imagery with a familiar contemporary universe in his series “In My Mind There is Never Silence.” The artist shares with Colossal that the characters that populate the series draw from his personal family history along with pre-Hispanic Mexican traditions. Each photograph depicts a normal domestic scene: gathering around a table for coffee, getting a hair cut, or playing in the living room with television on in the background. Moreno’s grotesque guardians are participants in or witnesses to these everyday tableaux, which doesn’t seem to surprise or alarm the humans in the room.
Each large, monstrous character, the Panzudo (which translates roughly to “paunchy”) guards a neighborhood in Chiapas, Mexico, and their size and grotesqueness reflects each individual’s scale of sin. He explains, “This work gives new meaning to the intricate tangle of the concealed and the visible, the individual and the collective subconscious, on the highly complex map of coexisting cultures and beliefs in contemporary Mexico.”
The series will be released as a photobook in 2019. The images will also be on view, representing Latin America, in the 5th African photo biennial in Ethiopia in December, 2018, in the Photo Vogue Festival in Milan, Italy on November 15, 2018. (via Lens Culture)
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In her latest series, German photographer Alma Haser combines the portraits of several pairs of twins by literally puzzling their images together. Haser first photographs each twin separately, then prints their corresponding photograph onto a 500 or 1000-piece puzzle. Finally, Haser painstakingly switches every other piece to create two works that are an equal combination of each sibling.
In earlier works in the series Haser only switched the twins’ faces, rather than melding their entire portraits. In the side-by-side images of the the twin brothers below it is difficult to tell if anything is swapped, unless you narrow your focus to the subjects’ eyes.
Haser recently contributed a few portraits from this series to the group exhibition The Body Issue: Human Stories at NOW Gallery in London. You can see more of her portraiture involving twins on her website and Instagram, and shop select prints on her online store. (via Hi-Fructose)
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An Upcoming Documentary About Tall Bikes and a Family that Prizes Creative Expression Above All Else
Part film trailer, part home video, part testament to the power of unbridled creativity, this extended teaser gives us a glimpse into the unusual life of the Zenga Bros and their obsession with absurdly tall bicycles. Born and raised in Vancouver, the 6 brothers come from an eclectic family of 9 children who were taught from a young age to explore their own creativity, no matter where it lead them. This belief was embraced so thoroughly it became a lifestyle complete with a set of three intersecting tenets called the Three Beans: Create Everywhere, Redeem Everything, and Be a Fool.
The Zengas have engaged in community art projects since 1999, but the most notable has been the design and fabrication of tall bikes. They first encountered photos of similar bike designs in the late 90s in a zine and soon the boys were singularly obsessed with building their own unwieldy cycles. The bikes have connected them to makers from around the world, taken them on a trip across Africa, and will culminate in an upcoming tall bike tour and film currently in production by one of the brothers, Benny Zenga. The Zengas also produced a film last year with Booooooom titled Skate Heads that’s definitely worth a watch.
The film’s trailer is currently premiering as part of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
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The stories of a unique bond between a child and their pet are as timeless as they come, but rarely does the pet have wings. Such is the case with photographer Cameron Bloom whose son Noah happened upon a baby magpie in 2013 when the family was out walking near their home in Newport, Australia. After consulting with a veterinarian, the family learned to raise the orphaned bird, who they affectionately named Penguin.
A year later, the curious bird has deeply integrated with the family. Despite being free to come and go outdoors, she always returns to the Bloom household where Cameron, his wife Sam, and their sons Rueben, Noah, and Oli eagerly await her return. On rare occasions, Penguin even shows off her adopted family to other magpies who have followed her inside the house.
For the past year, Bloom has dutifully snapped photos which he publishes on a wildly popular Instagram account. Seriously people, it’s amazing; follow it now, ask questions later. The feels. Penguin pretty much gets the run of the house and is free to snuggle with the family in bed, get tangled in their hair, or help with homework.
Just yesterday, New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive announced that he’ll be writing a book about Penguin and the Blooms, accompanied by Cameron’s photography. You can see more on his website. All photos shared here courtesy the photographer. (via Beautiful Decay, ABC)
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