Remember looking at your parents’ photo album and witnessing all those spontaneous moments of fun; you could tell the story behind the image, you could feel the reality beyond them. Well. Forget those happy, rose tinted times. Spontaneity has gone on holidays and we don’t know if it’s coming back. You are not so sure anymore whether a photo is the exact portrait of what you’re looking at, or if it’s been retouched to make ‘reality’ look better. More… rose.
Kate Cooper was really interested in this idea of how digital photography can make images become hyperreal; she believes that the picture is no longer a representation of the object itself but performs another function. In her video Rigged, we see a billboard size woman in high-definition, changing from reality to a pore-less and hairless body, smoothed of all error. According to Cooper, the digital images of our person are becoming our body doubles, used as a camouflage, a technique of survival. There’s little doubt about how our albums will look in the future; we just need to have a look at Rigged.
We admit that everything that goes in collaboration with ToiletPaper has, untill now, made us level ourselves with the thrill and collective hysteria of a group of pre-teen girls and confused boys on a One Direction gig. This said, we do have to state that they’ve never let us down.
Like on this occasion, in which Maurizio Cattelan (one of the founders of the wonderful magazine), the ToiletPaper team and designer Yohji Yamamoto have merged and made Art. In this new shooting, as they explain, they’ve used perversion as a weapon against boredom. “Perversion is an almost imperceptible deviance from what is considered normal. It provides a slightly shameful, totally guilty pleasure, which is the most delightful kind”, they say. I don’t really know if that’s how it works, or not, but we’re really starting to feel like throwing our underwear to them like now.
If we got a penny (very anglophile of us, considering we use euros) everytime we hear that someone is “reinventing the classics”, we would get to be very rich. Unfortunately, we’re more of the red-number and loose coins in the wallet type; hearing that an artist is renewing the old is daily bread.
We must admit, though, that Chad Wys a whole different ballgame. A new kind of bread. This Visual Culture graduate from Illinois changes Contemporary Art references building colourful little Frankenstein’s monsters. Wys is apparently obsessed with meaning; talking about Dadaism and Conceptual Art, he creates reinterpretations as classic as modern they are, using bright painting, nails and busts. Shape, functionality, repetition and exclusivity have different significance in his work. Besides his art, we have to highlight the collaboration he’s done with English fashion brand Lulu&Co. People like Chad Wys make us gladly hear repetitive descriptions.
Rub your eyes, blink non-stop or get so close to the screen that your retinas burn; you can do whatever you want but it will be difficult to believe it when you realise Elise‘s photography is not render or 20 layer of Photoshop based, but only real sculptures shot in a set using millions of lights. Even though it looks impossible, this colour explosion pills and geometrical shapes are PVC compositions suspended in the air with fishing line and designed to visually hypnotise us. Behind hides, under a mysterious pseudonym, Elise, who dilutes the borders between the two and three dimensions, photography and sculpture. On her webpage you’ll only be able to see the final takes; it’s on her twitter account that everything is revealed and your brain melts. Obviously, the industry has already set an eye on this lady and Elise has already worked for British Vogue, Elle Magazine, Ford and Nokia, amongst others.
Iiu Susiraja‘s self-portraits create mixed feeling. She places a broomstick beneath her tits, looks straight to the camera and puts together a wonderful concoction of confusion and realism. She ties a pair of heels to her thighs with duct tape and shots. It’s distress and it’s raw image; self-portraits fuelled by dark humour, as seen in “Self-Service”, where Iiu holds her belly on a tray. Morbid applause. Her goal is us to feel what she feels everyday.
Everyday drama and awkward situations; Iiu’s pictures talk about feminity and how we treat our body from a very non-sexual way. She hypnotically takes the piss out of it, stating that “in your own work, self-humiliation is allowed, but never humiliating others”. A dogma with an amazing outcome of this Finnish artist that is finishing her Fine Arts MA and plans an exhibition for May 2015 that we can’t wait to see.
Even though photography is, as they say, reality, even with no retouching we can generate new ways of looking at what surrounds us and distorting the world. That’s what Osma Harvilahti, Helsinki University Fashion Sociology and Art History and Aalto Arts University Visual Journalism and Graphic Design graduate, does (and you’re sitting there, happy with your master’s degree).
His first monographic, called “Polychromatic”, was published by Éditions du LIC last year. Harvihlati shows here an obsession for a voluntary aestheticization of the world, up to a point it all gets abstract. With his topics, either plants, people or objects, he achieves a tantalizing harmony and exotism.
This artist knows about colour, pattern and shape. Most of his work is documentary, in nature: vivid shots of people and places taken in his various travels, always visual and full of clichés, but… He who is without clichés among you, let him be the first to throw a stone. Polychromy Wednesdays are happiness Wednesdays.
Those days when you arrived at school and you could see a TV and a video player on a trolley in the classroom where, probably, the best days of your passing through the education system. In that ranking, those heavenly but scarce days of dodgy cartoons and prude moral would be followed by the occasions you had a dentist appointment and you’d leave like “see ya bitches” and the days where certain material was present: that rainbow non-edible paradise, God’s ear wax, the moldable happiness with an unmistakable scent. Plasticine.
Alexandra Bruel must have stored that phase deep down because, years later, she’s the queen of plasticine alongside with Pingu, Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run (come and hug me, useless audiovisual knowledge). Bruel, Art Director and Set Designer based in Paris and a Gobelins school graduate in Graphic Design, applies her plati-fetish to everything. Literally. Works for Vogue, Nescafé, WAD, Bvlgari, Tic Tac, Virgin or Converse included. With an amazing taste, a totally compelling use of colour and emanating plasticity (that’s kinda obvious on my side, I know), Alexandra Bruel has opened a whole new world of posibilities in us.
The second edition of the Donostia Fashion Week is coming and is oriented, at last, to push the Basque fashion sector, that topic we’ve heard quite a lot about but that has never been touched yet. Days 9,10, 11 and 12th of October, San Sebastian and Getaria will turn into the fashion capital cities both national and internationally, opening the doors of the Balenciaga Museum, the Maria Cristina Hotel, the Zorroaga church and the Keler Space to be able to attend talks, conferences, catwalks, shows and so on. We will also be able to eat, drink and have fun (Northerners, aren’t we?). Amongst the guests, names like David Delfín, Diana Kunst, Lola Piña, Amparo Utrilla, IED Madrid oR Sicky Magazine; we’re also gonna be around, so we’ll see you there!
Elise Mesner is from Detroit and the perfect Britain’s Got Talent contestant. She likes illustrating, painting and photography. She’s into styling, everything related to creativity and singing. She also is a composer and, looking at her pictures, we’re sure she’s a good one. Goodbye to those boring shells that decorate our bathrooms, with their boring Nature colour; now we just want them wrapped in spaghetti and diamonds. Goodbye to yellow bananas too, ’cause radioactive green looks much better on them. And ciao to traditional bras, orange-brassieres are here to stay. Mesner is a visionary and she’s got all our support to turn the world, for once and for all, into a super colourful Teletubby place.
Many might be puzzled because of the friendship between Pharrell Williams and Japanese “Andy Warhol” Takashi Murakami. To be honest, it’s quite difficult not to wonder what on Earth singer and artist talk about whenever they go out partying or what has made the musician with the out of scale hat and the Japanese pop art emperor turn into inseparable. All doubt is left behind, though, when you watch the collaborations they’ve been doing along the years and that have seen their peak with Pharrell’s “It Girl” video created by Murakami and presented last week.
The artist, following his usual style, shows off all the Japanese popular culture in a manga character and childish aesthetic bombing exercise in the video, mixing it all up with an 8 bit Pharrell or watercolours. An exaltation of Japanese baroque and horror vacui that nearly leads us to a seizure. We couldn’t expect less from this two, dangerous but profitable liaisons.