Category Archives: Art

Model Car Photography

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Michael Paul Smith makes brilliant photographs of (fictional) Egin Park (top), circa 1950’s. His setups (bottom) seamlessly integrate model- and full-scale.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1950, Michael has been building scale models for over 25 years. His model making skills have been accumulated through his varied job and life experiences; he has been a text book illustrator, wallpaper hanger and house painter, designer of museum displays, architectural model maker, and art director for retail stores. His love of the 20th Century has been a constant inspiration for all of his work.

Michael Paul Smith   [Flickr]

Colourised Historic Photographs

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On TwisterSifter, a great set of historic black and white photographs which have been colourised. Above is a shot of unemployed lumber workers in the 1930’s.

Historic Black and White Photos Colourised   [TwisterSifter]

Notes for an Epilogue

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Lens Culture is featuring a brilliant photo essay by Tamas Deszo on the loss of traditional culture in Romania. Above is the flooded village of Geamana.

Spiritual tradition and physical heritage are simultaneously disintegrating in Romania.

Time and modernization are beginning to undermine centuries-old traditions preserved in tiny villages, in communities of only a few houses, as well as the bastions of the communist era’s enforced industrialization, which became part and parcel of Romania’s recent history.

Those living in the ‘reservations of forgetting’ blend with nature, exhibiting a humility inherited through generations. They are living out their last days in evident equality of closeness to nature. Helped by time’s decay, they are diligently pulling down the absurd edifices of the environment that was inflicted on them. In the manner of termites, they carry away small pieces of immense concrete constructions on the rickety carts of poverty.

Notes for an Epilogue   [Tomas Dezso]

A-Z of Unusual Words

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Ireland-based graphic designers The Project Twins have created a great set of images illustrating 26 very unusual English words, one for each letter of the alphabet. Pictured above is cacodemonomania, or the pathological belief that one is inhabited by an evil spirit. Below is the German-looking zugzwang, which is a position in which any decision or move will result in problems.

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A-Z of Unusual Words   [The Project Twins]

Single Photo Looks Like 4 Photos

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This photograph, by Bela Borsodi, was created as an album cover for the band VLP. It’s actually one photograph, taken of a setup carefully manipulated to make it appear like four separate photographs. The setup is shown from a different angle after the jump, if you’re interested.

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Grandmothers and Their Food

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Photographer Gabriele Galimberti has put together a beautiful photo essay depicting grandmothers from around the world with traditional dishes that they’ve cooked. Above is a woman in Haiti, while below is a Brasilian lady with one of my all-time favourite dishes, bobó de camarão.

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Delicatessen with Love   [Gabriele Galimberti]

WWII Propaganda from Persia

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If you look closely, you can see that the man sleeping on the couch has the face of Adolf Hitler, while the two snakes about his shoulders have the faces of Mussolini and Tojo. His body and clothing, however, evoke the evil ruler Zahhāk, from Ferdowsi’s Shahname, the Persian national epic. In the image above, the evil ruler is dreaming of three kings who are coming to kill him – Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin.

The piece is part of a larger series created by a British graphic designer who incorporated traditional Persian themes in an effort to win the support of the Iranian people.

The British and Soviet forces invaded Iran from the north and south between August 25 and September 8, 1941. The reason for the invasion was that after the German offensive against the Soviet Union in June, they felt threatened the Iranian petroleum resources in their management, and they also intended to transmit war material from the Persian Gulf via rail to the Soviet Union. Although Iran was neutral, the Shah had basically done the inter-war modernization of the country with German help, and he refused to expel the German advisors on British request. After the peace treaty the British deposed him and expelled him to Egypt, and raised on the throne his son Reza Pahlavi, who represented the Anglo-American policy, and declared war on Germany. Subsequently, in November 1943 opened the Tehran conference with the participation of the three above kings, with the aim of coordinating the common war efforts and to open the second, western front.

The easy defeat of the Persian army and the humiliation of the occupation hit very hard the country’s public opinion. This was acerbated by the fact that the massive British buying-up of food for the troops caused a severe famine in the occupied zone, and that, on the principle of “divide and conquer”, both occupying forces excited the ethnic minorities living under their power against the Persian rule. All this is described in detail in Simin Daneshvar’s Savushun (1969), the key novel of 20th-century Iran.

It is understandable therefore, that on the occasion of the Tehran conference the British saw it opportune to present the purpose of their arrival in an easily perceptible visual form to the Persian people.

Additional historical context and images here:

Book of Kings   [Poemas del Rio Wang]

The Silent Drama of Photography

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Sebastião Salgado recently gave a brilliant TED talk on his story as a photographer and showed some images from his newest project, Genesis:

Brazilian-born Salgado, who shoots only using Kodak film, is known for his incredibly long-term projects, which require extensive travel and extreme lifestyle changes. Workers took seven years to complete and contained images of manual laborers from 26 countries, while Migrations took six years in 43 different countries on all seven continents. Most recently Salgado completed Genesis, an ambitious eight-year project that spanned 30 trips to the world’s most pristine territories, land untouched by technology and modern life. Among Salgado’s many travels for Genesis was a two-month hike through Ethiopia, spanning 500 miles with 18 pack donkeys and their riders. In the words of Brett Abbott, a Getty Museum curator, Salgado’s approach can only be described as “epic.”

Sebastião Salgado: The Silent Drama of Photography   [TED]

Kids with their Most Prized Possessions

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Photographer Gabriele Galimberti has created an interesting photo essay in which she’s travelled around the world photographing kids with their most prized possessions. She commented on the differences – and similarities – she observed over the course of the project:

But how they play can reveal a lot. “The richest children were more possessive. At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them,” says the Italian, who would often join in with a child’s games before arranging the toys and taking the photograph. “In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”

Yet even children worlds apart share similarities when it comes to the function their toys serve. Galimberti talks about meeting a six-year-old boy in Texas and a four-year-old girl in Malawi who both maintained their plastic dinosaurs would protect them from the dangers they believed waited for them at night – from kidnappers and poisonous animals respectively. More common was how the toys reflected the world each child was born into: so the girl from an affluent Mumbai family loves Monopoly, because she likes the idea of building houses and hotels, while the boy from rural Mexico loves trucks, because he sees them rumbling through his village to the nearby sugar plantation every day.

Pictured above is Maudy, from Kalulushi, Zambia. Below is Virginia, from American Fork, Utah.

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Toy Stories   [Gabrielle Galimberti]

The Art and Science of Beer

Great piece with Charlie Bamforth, the head of Malting and Brewing Science and UC Davis.