Photographer Kristina Makeeva creates captivating scenes centered around Lake Baikal. The lake, located in Russia, is the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, holding nearly a quarter of the world’s fresh surface water. Makeeva takes advantage of its vastness in forming otherworldly images that seem totally separate from the built environments most of us reside in. “The first time I visited Baikal, I had no expectations, and yet what I saw and felt kept me awake for the three days I was there, Makeeva tells Colossal. “I was exploding with inspiration. Now, having traveled to many countries around the world, I still think of Baikal as one of the most beautiful places.”
Makeeva uses Lake Baikal as both the stage and the star in her striking photographs. Often, a single figure centered in the image poses in a manner that draws attention to the surprisingly vibrant colors, shapes, and textures in the frozen landscape. The photographer frequently outfits her models in ruffled tulle dresses with impossibly long trains or minimalist white suits that call to mind astronauts or acrobats. Makeeva explains that depending on the shoot, she either brings models from Moscow or hires local models to work on location, or the models are integrated into the frigid landscape in post-production if their costumes are tricky to travel with.
The artist explains that after a childhood in Moscow’s “grey and boring suburbs”, she is eager to incorporate the magical energy of fairy tales and fantasy into her photographs. “As I travel and read more, I’ve been able to add an element of cultural understanding and context to some of my favorite fairy tales,” says Makeeva.
I always have a movie playing in my head. As a photographer, you still need to do your homework if you want to create something unique in that location. So I immerse myself into history, landscape, and pictures. It’s important to have a special inventory list. As weather conditions play a major role in shoots, we will often order special clothes and dresses that fit with the landscape. We envision and look at several dresses in advance of a shoot. And, of course, we also buy thermal clothes for the model so that she’s as comfortable as possible in the climate.
In reflecting on the end results of her meticulously researched work as an artist, Makeeva tells Colossal, “How I feel about my art and how others feel is often very different. This is natural because our experience of art depends on our life experiences. As a rule, I try not to title my photos, so that everyone is free to interpret my photography however they’d like.”
Share this story
It Was Better Tomorrow: Fashion Designer Benjamin Benmoyal Creates Powerful Silhouettes Using Recycled Materials
Hulking silhouettes are enlivened with vibrant multi-colored stripes in futuristic garments by fashion student Benjamin Benmoyal. The fabric for the collection, titled “It Was Better Tomorrow”, was woven on a loom using discarded video and cassette tapes intermingled with recycled yarns and Tencel (a wood pulp-derived fiber).
In an interview with Dezeen, the French-Israeli designer explained that he was feeling pessimistic about the world after his compulsory service as an 18 year old in the Israeli army. “After high school I was completely lost in my life, I failed many things and needed to prove to myself I could do something that would push me, physically and mentally, to the limits,” Benmoyal said.
In enrolling at the renowned art school Central Saint Martins and creating this collection, Benmoyal sought to channel optimistic energy and harken back to the utopian outlook of the 1960’s. He also drew color inspiration from international travels and artists he admires, such as James Turrell. The collection was included in the multi-art show Designing in Turbulent Times this autumn. See more from Benmoyal on Instagram. (via Dezeen)
Share this story
“Tasteful dress” gets a whole new meaning in Sung Yeonju’s edible apparel. The Korean artist’s ongoing series, Wearable Foods, combines relatable materials with digital editing to form cocktail dresses, shorts, and blazers. Gracefully draped scallions, polka-dotted lotus roots, and subtly striped banana peels become unique ‘fabrics’ suited for a night on the town. Watch Sung turn produce into fashion in the behind-the-scenes video below. (via Trendland)
Share this story
Self-taught artist Magnhild Kennedy (previously), who works as ‘Damselfrau’, uses found and vintage materials to create elaborate masks. Mesh netting, sequined appliques, ribbons, beads, and pompoms come together in Kennedy’s wearable artworks, which she documents and shares on Instagram. Leaving space for her eyes, the artist otherwise completely obscures her face and poses against a blank background with patterned fabric draped around her shoulders. The artist declines to attach specific meaning or intention to each creation, instead leaving the interpretive experience up to the viewer.
In an interview with Yatzer, Kennedy explains that she grew up in an artistic household, and describes her start as a mask-maker as “a fluke”: in the 2000’s she began making masks as a fun thing to wear when going out to clubs with friends. Over the last decade, Kennedy has continued to explore the seemingly limitless possibilities of the mask as medium, and teaches herself new sewing skills to add to her repertoire of techniques. The artist explains to Yatzer that she draws inspiration from domestic environments: “I’m inspired by people’s homes and how they live with their objects around them. I often feel like I’m decorating a space, more than making a mask.”
Share this story
The husband and wife duo behind Drop-a-Pin have turned their love of architecture into an enamel pin business, transforming some of the world’s most recognizable buildings into miniature, 2-D renditions. The Drop-a-Pin duo explains that, thanks to their professional training as architects, most of the buildings they’ve turned into pins are ones they were familiar with. The pair spent the last five years traveling around the world to document buildings they love.
From Nakagin Capsule Tower in Toykyo to the Geisel Library in San Diego, each pin conveys the facade, silhouette, and color palette of the buildings that inspired them, while keeping a clean, minimalist look. “We developed a simple method we learned at the university in a course called Basic Design,” the team explains to Colossal. “The first and only law is to maintain the minimum number of lines necessary so that the building can still be identified. Once the lines in the design could no longer be erased, we reached the destination.”
Share this story
Photographer Natalie Lennard, who works as Miss Aniela, creates lavish scenes centered around elegantly dressed models. While each image might seem, at first glance, like a straightforward luxury fashion shoot, further inspection reveals surreal details. A canary yellow tulle gown morphs into birds, and ocean water splashes out of a painting frame.
Miss Aniela’s fantastical scenes are created using a combination of on-site shoots with practical effects, along with extensive post-production and even bespoke C.G.I. (as for the 20,000 fish forming the dress worn by a deep sea diver model in “She Shoal”). The photographer explains that all images are shot on location with the model posed and lit in-frame. “Sometimes I do not know whether the image will be largely ‘raw’ and not require overt surrealism added,” Aniela shares, “until I go through the process to feel what is right for each piece.”
The U.K.-based artist has been working as a fine art photographer for 13 years, getting her start with self-portraits as a university student. In some works, she incorporates direct references to paintings from the art historical canon. Aniela has been working in her current style since 2011, and shares with Colossal that she has noticed a rising interest in her work from art collectors, as the lines between fine art and fashion are increasingly blurred.
Share this story
Editor's Picks: Science
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.