At a certain time of day, usually in the afternoon, both of my dogs get up from a nap and stretch in unison. They do not plan to do this together but they do on several occasions. It’s a remarkable little sight that always reminds me of two little people bowing: it makes me feel like a king. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to photograph this despite my best efforts. They are either not standing next to each other or it’s too dark. More often than not, the scene is too fast and my timing too imperfect: it is a moment I will just have to explain to people.
This is why photographer Tao Liu is particularly special: his work the result of pressing the capture button at the right time. Be it out of waiting or being really good at knowing when to take a photo, his photography is exciting in that it points out how ridiculous the most mundane shit in life can be. His photos are funny and relatable and, as you can see on his Flickr, quite abundant.
According to Peta Pixel, Liu is fairly popular street photographer in China—where he lives—and is a self-taught artist. His photography and style are born from his (assumed) former job as a water meter reader. He would take photos of little things that caught his eye on breaks and when walking to or from work. Obviously what he saw has hit something very relatable as he has become incredibly popular at pointing out life’s little idiosyncrasies.
If you recall almost a year ago, we shared similar work by photographer John Goldsmith. Both artists point out how ridiculous life can be and that, if you stop to take the time or simply look at something another way, you can have a good laugh at it. And, again: photography like this relies on expert timing. If I had an ounce of Liu’s capturing capability, I’m pretty sure I would have a pretty sweet double downward dog bowing photo Instagrammed by now.
Camouflage has always been intriguing to me. It was created as a natural defense mechanism though these days it’s more widely seen as a trendy fashions statement. Photography Lucia Fainzilber sees it in yet another light, a means to create a dialogue through art.
Fainzilber has always had a keen interest in fashion, and dressed flamboyantly even as a child. Now the artist, who also works as a fashion photographer, uses her images to show the ways we use fashion to convey identity, and the way fabrics can simultaneously cover us and express who we are. Fainzilber recognizes that sometimes clothing completely hides our identity, and many of her portraits communicate this feeling, as her own identity is entirely concealed, and further obscured by the world around her.
You can read more about her work on Artsy.
It’s pretty astonishing that, as of a few hours ago, the European Space Agency was able to land a robot on the surface of a comet. A mission 10 years in the making, the team’s Rosetta spacecraft successfully placed the Philae lander on to the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which is moving at 34,400 miles per hour (that’s 45x the speed of sound). The New York Times has an incredible gallery of images (like the one above) which shows the approach of the satellite to 67P which have been blowing my mind.
I also think it’s pretty funny that the comet is shaped like a duck, sorta.
London is getting a new museum and to call it eccentric may just be an understatement. Opening this month The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities is no doubt unlike anything you’ve seen before. “I’m so bored of contemporary museums and their desperate attempt to classify and make sense of everything,” Wynd told The Guardian recently. “The world is one big, glorious mess and we should celebrate that.”
Wynd has been building his collection for the last decade and his new Museum is not his only big release this year. He recently teamed up with the publishers at Prestel to release Viktor Wynd’s Cabinet of Wonders; a book that celebrates his collection and the collections of many more dilettantes, bohemians and artists.
Photographed by Oskar Proctor, these images capture the curiosities and horrors found in the collections of many other eccentrics. From shrunken heads and narwhal tusks to old erotica to occult paintings, the series of images are fascinating and unique.
The book also includes advice on how to start a collection of your own, covering everything from attending auction houses, to finding the right private dealers, flea markets and fairs. If pickled genitals, old skeletons or taxidermy animals are your thing then this book is certainty for you.
You can see a few more images taken by Oskar Proctor on his website. The book, Viktor Wynd’s Cabinet of Wonders, can be ordered here and Wynd’s museum will open hopefully open in Hackney later this month.
Have you ever thought about packing it all in and moving to the countryside? If you live in a city I’m sure that at some point in life you’ve considered leaving the fumes and smog behind and heading out in-search of fresh air and clean living. Who hasn’t reminisced about some green and fertile countryside from a half-remembered youth? Wouldn’t it be nice to return there?
This is certainly a thought that the Spanish photographer Juan Aballe has had. A few years ago he noticed that many of his close friends were moving to the countryside and so Aballe found himself confronted by the thought – what would life be like if he packed it all in and headed out to the country.
What followed was a series of photographs titled Country Fictions. Taken between 2011 and 2013, they were shot in a number scarcely populated areas on the Iberian Peninsula. But did Aballe find the rural utopia he had imagined? Not exactly. Aballe is a photographer who is more than aware of the dreams that can be captured behind a lens. Its title not withstanding, it’s hard to tell that these photographs are in fact a fiction. They’re a vision of Aballe’s imagined utopia. Like all photography, they show a fiction played out as a fact.
“In what could be called a collection of daydreams, Country Fictions reflects on the photographic language itself and how we are influenced by previous representations and preconceived ideas about rural utopias” says Aballe. “The illusion of escaping from contemporary society, the naivety and the hopes built around nature come together with the strangeness and the nostalgic look at a life that is not mine.”
It’s a great collection of images. You can view the full set on Juan Aballe’s website.
For a number of years the Japanese artist and cartographer Sohei Nishino has been mapping the world’s cities. From Rio to London and from New York to Tokyo, his highly detailed maps serve up a unique portrait of some of the world’s most diverse cities. Consisting of thousands of cut-out snapshots of each location, the artist meticulously pieces together these images to form highly complicated collages that include everything from people and animals to buildings and streets.
Nishino takes literally thousands upon thousands of photos before he’s ready to begin his cartographic collage. Piece by piece he edits these images down until he’s selected just the right ones. Despite the editing, his final work can still include up to 4,000 photographs; each of these he hand prints and then cuts and collages them together to create huge compositions that reflect his personal experience of each city. It’s a remarkable process and the results really do speak for themselves.
For those in London, an exhibition of Nishino’s work entitled ‘New Dioramas’ runs at Michael Hoppen Contemporary until 7 January 2015.
Striking out and doing what you truly love is never an easy decision, though it can lead to true happiness. That’s the case with James Chororos, a New York photographer who left his position as an architect with Studio Daniel Libeskind to concentrate on photography full-time. This proved to be a smart move as evidenced by the incredibly rich work that James put online.
His finest photos can be found under his portrait section. He’s captured an incredibly diverse range of people in such interesting places, all of which draw you in and make you want to know more. I hope to see James’ work showing up in more places soon.
If you visit any professional photographer’s website you’re bound to find that their work is typically – and understandably – divided into some rather traditional categories. Most of them will have a section dedicated to ‘portraits’ for example. Others may photograph ‘Architecture’, ‘Landscapes’ or ‘Models’. If you’ve seen as many sites as I have then you’ll no doubt know how frequently these categories crop up. That’s why I was excited to see that the photographer Pickled Thoughts had one category I haven’t seen appear too often. That category is: ‘Dance’.
While my attendance at contemporary dance shows often falls under the remit of ‘boyfriend duty’, I still can occasionally be wowed by a performance. Dance is an art-form which holds such grace, beauty and elegance, but it’s also incredibly physically demanding. It’s one of the wonderful dichotomies you witness during any performance and I feel that these photographs do a great job of demonstrating the flexibility of the dancers while never distracting from the beauty of their movements.
The lighting, composition and energy in this work is great and I highly recommend you check out the full series here.