Ben Zank seems like one of those who goes all-in on one hand. At least, that’s the impression he gives. It’s his very persona the one that lays in the middle of a road or appears deep in frozen water since he started expressing himself through images at the age of 18. His pictures have all the same thing in common: a kind of surrealism that mixes the unsettling, a feeling of danger and that something was going on just before and will continue afterwards. His images are oniric, as in those nights when you find it hard to digest your food and that last gin&tonic can take you both to a marvellous world or a Roland Topor film. We like him very much, we do.
We can’t help but feeling a kind of inner joy, a shiver down the spine, everytime we come across someone like James Ball aka Docubyte. It’s like drinking the first sip of Coca-Cola that one day of the year you feel like having one without adding whisky to it or feeling like a sugary rubbish addict.
James Ball is bold. He’s not scared of making the background the protagonist of the compositions he creates; the central objects that, one would think, should take up most of the space, sometimes get lost in plastic lively colours in Ball’s work. And he does is too right. With his amazing visual taste, photograpy and retouching combo he’s been published nearly everywhere you’d like to be published in the UK. So, yes, let’s follow Docubyte.
In every primary school classroom there’s always a kid in the last row, being all shy and picking his nose, nibbling on the eraser or his own tshirt collar and that goes into 404 Error everytime he hears “Physical Education”. This kids are usually the “freaks” and they get to extreme conducts in their adulthood due to their uniqueness: they turn into KKK members, drug addicts or in geniuses.
We’re not sure if Clayton Cubitt was one of the weird ones chewing his shoelaces, but it’s obvious witnessing his work that he’s a genius. Nudes behind curtains, albinos, horse-women fashion shootings or a whole book dedicated to Die Antwoord are some of the ingredients that feed the imagery of this more than well known American photographer. Going on his web is a references slap on the face. Clayton Cubitt, you’re entering the La Monda Olympus!
Besides having the coolest name, thing that we love, Melchor Bocanegra has won our hearts with his “Pink Ladies” series in which we portrays characters in that dirty-pastel-rotten-pink wonderful colour. Here we can see a completely new modality of fishmongers cheap bling, ladies painted like hoes and a sort of Virgin Mary crying what it looks like milk. You know which one of the Three Wise Men we’re choosing, right?
Hellen Van Meene has that kind of hype style for which many would cut the arm they hold the camera with; she knows how to take pictures as everyone would wish to and plays with light better than Christmas tree lights. Van Meene can capture, with a big dose of mystery, the beauty hidden in all women in the world. The colour contrast she masters in her work makes her discourse stronger, making us suffer from an insatiable anxiety to buy all her prints and fill the walls in our little castles with her beautiful images. Hooray for Van Meene and the girls.
Photographer Hubert Crabières comes from Paris and he is not the gray tone kind. His characters pose in the strangest, least attractive and more bizarre ways they can. What’s the use in complication. He places them in front of the camera and they show pure untidiness and little shame, creating moments as cheeky as excellent.
Crabières has a sinister but delightfully grotesque touch that turns his images into something more than just portraits of a generation; they are examples of rejection to beauty, which, at the same time, makes them more appealing. For Hubert, colour and composition are basic when shooting. He has no fear of over-using flash if needed and generates such a weird athmosphere that makes us want to know what’s going on behind his pictures.
Fashion photography, a world full of roses, thorns, bramble surrounding, resistant weed, slugs, snails, the moss, the little pastor and the whole Nativity scene if you scratch a little bit. Where looks are deceiving, retouching lies and expectations shock.
Like Pierre Debusschere. There’s the everything, and then there’s Pierre Debusschere. There’s the Big Bang and Pierre Debusschere. This multidisciplinary photographer that explores the world of fashion image and video is a usual contributor for Dazed & Confused, has worked for Raf Simons, Nowness, Numéro, Maison Martin Margiela, Vuitton and has had his own project in Colette, Paris. With his mixture and craftiness in post-production, he is able to portray what it seems that actually is beyond models and concepts surface, conferring the images with a halo of irreality that, at the same time, grants them with more veracity. Take them to the other side to make them more approachable. With Debusschere, scratching is worth it.
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.