Tag Archives: beauty

Behind the lens: Nadav Kander

It may be embarrassing to admit this, but I hadn’t even heard of Nadav Kander until last week when I was at the Constructing Worlds exhibition at the Barbican and I found myself standing mesmerised in front of his photographs taken along the Yangtze River.

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In keeping with the exhibition’s theme, the photographs focus on architecture or rather on the impact of industrialisation on the natural landscapes. One of the most intriguing aspects of the images is the prevailing mist, making the scenes look almost magical or otherworldly. I commented on this to Alona Pardo, one of the show’s co-curators, during an interview for PORT magazine and she told me that the mist is, in fact, pollution. So not quite so magical then. It’s an idea which really interests me though: the illusion of beauty. It stresses the importance, in this case, of understanding a landscape’s history and development as tourists and emphasises our ignorance, but it also demonstrates the peculiar type of beauty to be found in contamination, the industrial and the ugly, which isn’t really an illusion at all. In China, the beauty is born out of transience. The landscapes are changing daily due to the rapid pace of development, meaning that Kander’s photographs can never be taken again, those places no longer exist. So that’s where the ghostly feeling of another world comes from.

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nadav-kander-chongqing-VII really recommend heading to the Barbican to see some of the images in person, you can also view Kander’s whole portfolio including some great portraits on his website: http://www.nadavkander.com/

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Tierney Gearon – ‘Explosure’

Contemporary photographer, Tierney Gearon has built herself a very solid reputation in the last ten years and rightly so. Her work is intensely colourful and imaginative – the sort of thing you’d like printed on a huge poster on your wall, though it also feels incredibly private. Gearon herself claims that ‘My work is like a diary. I do it for my soul.’ So in a way, when you look at her photographs you’re become a sort of voyeur. It is for this reason that her debut series ‘I Am Camera’ caused so much of a stir. People found something uncomfortable and inappropriate about the images of her children playing or posed in an adult-like manner. Indeed, there is something uncomfortable about her artistic vision, but though surreal and often otherworldly, it’s also relatable and powerful emotive.

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All of three of her photography series have a dreamlike quality, but it’s ‘Explosure’ that’s really bewitching. By double exposing images inside a camera, Gearon has created a collection of images that are so chaotic and bizarre that it’s hard not to be drawn to them. Each image documents a spontaneous collision of different worlds. The figures are out-of-place, but somehow it all seems perfectly natural, as if that’s where they were meant to be all along. It’s hard not to believe these extraordinary images haven’t been photoshopped or retouched, but it just goes to show the world’s beautiful enough without technology.

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33All images featured here are from ‘Explosure’ and have been taken from Tierney Gearon’s website, where you can view the whole collection along with her other exhibitions: http://www.tierneygearon.com/

It’s also well worth watching her collection of short films in collaboration with the New York Times Magazine Hollywood Heroines Oscar 2012. Haunting stuff:

 

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One to watch: Sophia Fontaine

French photographer, Sophia Fontaine describes herself as a ‘daydreamer’ and after looking at her photographs, it’s easy to see why. Reflection is a key theme of her work as she captures stationary figures standing limply with their heads hung. There’s something eerie and even vaguely morbid about her photographs enhanced by the grainy effect and look of antiquity. These are photographs which induce a pang of nostalgia, loneliness and oppression. Yet they are also photographs of extreme beauty: visual poetry.

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tumblr_md1fp6G90t1r3np2vo1_1280‘Encaged’

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tumblr_mnk61vmii41r3np2vo1_1280‘Twisted Vision’

tumblr_mibu0jTOnn1r3np2vo1_1280‘Stephanie’

tumblr_m9mxzjKa4o1r3np2vo1_1280‘A Sunbeam has Fallen…’

tumblr_lvlnugg8e11r3np2vo1_1280‘Faded’

Head to Sophia’s Flickr to see more of her work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sowildfontaine/with/8882923444/

 

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Take a break, have a brownie

Over coffee and cake this afternoon, my friend and I ended up discussing anorexia. As it turned out we both have friends suffering from some type of eating disorder and scarily, it’s not surprising. Being a girl is stressful.

Confused-Baby-Gir-Photoit’s all so confusing!

We’re living in a culture where the most desired body shape resembles that of an Ethiopian child whilst also being bombarded with images of delicious dinners and exquisite cupcakes, which we artistically instagram to show the world just how much we love food even though it seems we’re not actually allowed to eat it. It becomes an insane obsession.

ryan-gosling-bp__spani can think of much better obsessions to have…

Everybody wants to be a size zero celebrity and without a personal trainer or nutritionist to hand, it seems there’s only two alternatives: live at the gym or never eat. Since living at the gym requires time which quite frankly nobody has enough of, girls opt for the second option and when they reach the desired skeletal shape instead of being told they look like a corpse they are offered a job in Abercrombie (this actually happened to somebody my friend knows).

When did our idea of ‘beauty’ become so warped? And when did we all become so vain?

kisshe’s sexy and he knows it

Life is about so much more than looking good. It’s about experience. So get out the gym, stop snapping pics of food and start eating it.

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But I thought this was all for me?

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Hauntingly Beautiful

My Science Academy’s gallery of ’30 abandoned places that look truly beautiful’ is too good to be kept a secret. From the 15th Century Monastery in Germany to the Sunken Yacht in Antarctica, each photograph captures the ghostly quality and age worn beauty of these amazing places. My list of places to go is increasing by the minute.

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alien-esque dome houses, South West Florida

For the full list hit the link: http://myscienceacademy.org/2013/04/14/the-33-most-beautiful-abandoned-places-in-the-world/

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One to watch: Anastasia Mastrakouli

Artist and photographer, Anastasia Mastrakouli’s ‘naked silhouette alphabet’ has made the fifth year undergraduate student a clear emerging talent to watch in the art world. Her images of the human body pushed up against the steamy glass of a shower are ethereal in their simplicity, demonstrating the natural beauty and flexibility of the human body. Some of the poses the model adopts are quite extraordinary alone and whilst we are given the occasional glimpse of , excuse my language, an anus, the model’s bareness becomes almost irrelevant as the body, freed from all other distractions, becomes an abstracted imprint of a letter. If this is what Mastrakouli can produce at art school, who knows what will happen when she steps out into the big wide world.

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If you like this, check out Mastrakouli’s Youtube to see what else she has up her sleeve: http://www.youtube.com/user/erannumi

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