Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monkeys & White Dog

Monkeys & White Dog

WonderfullyStrange on Flickr has a photo gallery that lives up to the name.

She finds the strangest antique photos: tintypes, postcards, cabinet cards, stereopticon photos and such.

Also, her captions are often amusing.

Of this piece she writes: "From an antique cabinet card. On the back of the mount it states that they're pantomimists and animal impersonators.

The two guys in the monkey suits aren't all that convincing but the guy impersonating a dog is FANTASTIC!"

Photographer presumably unidentified.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Huckle Murry resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

His photos are often imaginatively staged nightmares.

But they remain works of imaginative, if expressionistic, portraiture.

He leans towards the surreal and the humorous, but also often creates portraits which are erotic in the best Bretonian sense.

He has a number of photographs in which the subjects of his portraits are rendered doll-like or unreal.

Sometimes the viewer can't tell whether there's an actual human under the costume or mask.

And that ambiguous sense of presence/absence often leaves the viewer with an uncomfortable shiver--but a memorable artistic encounter.

Day 75 / Are You Lonesome Tonight

Day 75 / Are You Lonesome Tonight

MiVidaHechaDeCuadritos (no real name given) has a Flickr gallery that lives up to his pseudonym.

It is a daily photojournal, showing us the artist's life "made of snapshots."

The photos are quite various in their inspiration and genres.

I found myself remembering this photo a month after I had first seen it and had to go back and snatch it to share it with you.

It reminds me of some of the best "artifice" toy photos--like the best of Arthur Tress.

Body talk: alone feet

Body talk: alone feet

Moreno Serino is Milanese.

His blog is here and very sexy.

His photographs often pit the body's realities against the soul's aspirations, giving his photographs a palpable tension.

Sometimes this is erotic.

Or sometimes it is the body testing its limits, as in this photograph.

Perhaps the body is wondering why it is not an angel and cannot fly.

When it so often feels "that way."

Monday, November 22, 2010

christine country

Originally uploaded by chourouge
Kim Kielhofner's artistic productions span the visual gamut.

Her drawings have been published widely and she is well-known as a performance artist and experimental filmmaker. .

Kielhofner is also a musician/composer of experimental and aleatoric music.

Kielhofner authored one of my all-time favorites, a livre d'artiste in which guinea pigs, other small animals and humans pondered their cages on the same pages.

While I wouldn't call the strange humor in this photo typical of Kielhofner's sensibility, which is usually bleak yet lyrical at the same time, I love its unsettling irreality.

Why does the main subject remind me of Crispin Glover here, that giddy otherworldliness of his?

Also, I wanted to share one of her self-portraits.

I'm not quite sure I ever saw an electric lime green shadow before this photo.


RSD Body Pic 4 with Swollen Breasts Covered with Permacath RemovalBandage - Veins Exploded from Swelling

RSD Body Pic 4 with Swollen Breasts Covered with Permacath Removal Bandage - Veins Exploded from Swelling

Melanie Miller struggles with a severe neurological disorder known as transverse myelitis.

She struggles with several other very serious illnesses at the same time, and is often disabled.

I don't remember how I found her site. It was probably when I saw one of her paintings (she works in many visual media) and ended up learning about how she deals with this disease through her photo journaling.

I suppose loved ones are assisting in the photo taking, so I apologize for not knowing whether this was a tripod shot or whether she had someone assist with the photo.

It doesn't really matter, does it? Because what's important about the work is not who is taking the photo here, but who is in it.

And what she's dealing with.

Miller writes of this photo:

RSD Body Pic 4 with Swollen Breasts Covered with Permacath Removal Bandage - Veins Exploded from Swelling.

The title says it all. Carrying an extra 21 pounds of RSD flare-up swelling that has invaded my entire body - mostly my face, arms, and chest - this horrific band of blue and purple veins (varicose? spider?) exploded over a week ago and continues to darken. I can't wait for the IV Ketamine; I wonder if it will turn my skin back in time...or if my breasts will return to their normal 32D/34C from what I would guess to be a 34D or E. Hmmmm.

No bras for's order. Let the big boobies bounce (ouch) in the wind.

Notice the fresh manicure? Last weekend my 6-yr-old niece and I got mani-pedis together. She picked out the color - fluorescent pink."

She documents most of her medical trials and you can see her earned jubilance at successes and her honest reactions to the tragic setbacks.

I consider her very brave for sharing this work with others.

Illness, like death, is often forbidden as conversational (or photographic) subject matter in contemporary culture.

It's shunted off to the sidelines and hidden whenever possible.

Even with today's obsession with reality t.v. shows, when these subjects are addressed the human toll is nearly always sanitized for the viewing audience.

Miller doesn't treat her life like a reality t.v. show. She treats it like the reality it is. And this dignifies the struggle to survive. And I'm hoping it makes friends of strangers for her as well. I'm betting it does.

Because the artist in her is showing us how to give form to something which all too often seems hopelessly formless and void when it comes upon us.



John Lindegaard's bio runs:

I'm John!
I live in Denmark.
I am 22 years old.
I love good ol' rock 'n' roll.
I am a designfreak.
I am into experimental photography.
I am living in Århus.
I am studying architectural engineering.
I dream a lot.

His photos are often playful and always impeccably designed.

This one was shot with a Canon EOS 450 D.

He often appends interesting studio/productions notes to the photographs.

I like the way "color interjection" in black and white can be used for such diverse effects.

Here, red interjects a funny note.

This should be joyful, but joy is deflated.

This photo achieves a rather Chaplinesque effect.

The photo is funny and slightly sad at the same time. This amalgam of emotions is a mystery to the viewer--an engaging mystery.

That's because Mr. Lindegaard is clearly a very canny actor as well as an astute photographer.

But again...about this device...of color interjection in black and white...

I can't help but remember Spielberg's Schindler's List, and how different an effect the director achieved using this same device--with the little girl in the red coat we follow throughout the movie...until only her coat remains.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Originally uploaded by *nausika*
Nausika Bongard-Bonjour resides in Geneva.

But she seems to move about Europe like a lightning bolt.

This is appropriate, since many of her photos appear to be throwing lightning into the eyes of the viewer.

The photographer is just as likely to hurl curses or cast spells as she is to completely seduce with a sudden turn towards sweentess. She is a self-professed witch, sorceress, and it is fascinating to read the extensive comment chains under her photos on Flickr. Because one realizes how many men (and women!) she has completely ensorceled with her intense, autobiographical work.

While her sexuality and sensuality are things which Bongard-Bonjour is completely comfortable sharing with us, she doesn't exploit them. Her technical skill and strong graphic imagination are what strike the viewer first. Any smittenness is incidental.

I particularly love this photo.

It speaks to this artist's desire to drink life to the lees.

Let's drink Coco this winter to keep warm.

Chanel drove the poet Reverdy mad. Or rather his own desire for her drove him mad, and drove him into a stringent Catholicism.

I suspect Nausika (her nom de Flickr) has driven her fair share of admirers to distraction...or further.

The death of me.

Cristina Arrivillaga lives in Guatemala. I see by her profile she just joined Flickr in October, 2010.

The artist writes: "I had a hard time getting that thing up the stairs all by myself while my dog was barking non-stop at me, maybe it was the dress that made him act like that because I NEVER wear dresses.

"Got those outfits in Megapaca for less than 3 dollars, awesome :D

"My face still burns, although soaking it in Aloe Vera really helped to ease the pain :) "


Originally uploaded by Iaia Cocoi
"Iaia Cocoi is a designer who works in a broad range of activities, including graphic and visual design, interiors and product.

"She graduated in Architecture studying between Milan and Berlin.
She likes a lot taking indie&naive pictures, making collages and all the DIY movement.

"She currently lives, works and plays around Madrid and Rome dividing her time between her self-generated projects and commercial commissions."

(From the artist's Flickr profile.)

She does a lot of Poladroids too, I saw.

This is funny, because I was drawn to her Photostream when I saw a picture that was not a Polaroid or Poladroid.

Maybe Poladroid makers are attracted to one another.

Maybe there are Poladroid pheromones and we are like Flickr moths or something.

Anyway, I love the perversely beautiful sense of color in this piece.

This piece makes me smile expansively.

Le cordon ombilical

I wanted to include an example of Fromont's Poladroids.

This one was just posted.

I love the way the umbilical cord pulls a trompe l'oeil.

We must ask ourselves, "to whom does this connect?"

Is it the Divinity that was so often the crux (literally) and center of Renaissance art?

Or is it the tradition which connects Fromont's Poladroid of this evening to the art of centuries past?

The Belgian Fromont has this interesting credo on his profile:

Le hasard crée l’original
L’original crée la copie
La copie crée l’original

Chance creates the original.
The original creates the copy.
The copy creates the original.

This strange anti-syllogism leaves one to wonder if logical deduction is safe, in a universe where even chance may be only a copy.

Big brain : last sigh

Andre Fromont, also anagramatically known as Fernando Mort, is one of my favorite creators of Poladroids.

While this isn't one of his Poladroids, it packs a whallop.

For me, that goldfish's eye is every bit as compelling as Janet Leigh's in Psycho after the knifing.

This unworked photo is the exception for Fromont, who loves to work and rework his Poladroids, photos and other artwork, often inflicting damage until beauty inevitably results.

Why should beauty result from constant damage?

That's one of the Sacred Mysteries of his art for me.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Simon Guzman

Originally uploaded by les photos
I found this guy because I was searching for "Icelandic gay" and then ended up unable to leave his Photostream.

Too mesmerizing.

And then here are photos that appear to have ended up as a cover for one of Dennis Cooper's books.

Why should that surprise me?

Awesome photos and graphic work here.

Lots of photos of Grizzly performing in Paris.

I'm not sure if one is a close-up of Maculay Culkin or not.

It looks like him.

Great stuff.

Very few views?


Is Simon Guzman a nom de Flickr?

Simon Guzman (when I Google it) brings up an early, high-profile victim of the AIDS epidemic.

But then it's probably not that unusual a name?

deitch fly

deitch fly
Originally uploaded by les photos
Simon Guzman.

Does it for me.


Totally ukiyo-e.

Presumably, this is a photograph taken at one of the Deitch Projects.

Did they end in summer 2010?

Yoko Ono was one of these!

100 trees growing out of 100 coffins.

That would be Ono's beautiful optimism.


Originally uploaded by les photos
Simon Guzman.

Everything I need in a toy photo.

tea party paris

Originally uploaded by les photos
Simon Guzman.


Originally uploaded by kidmohair
Julian a.k.a. "Kidmohair" (see stamp on photo for link) has a wool bondage fetish.

One of the great things about Flickr is that whatever your fetish is (or fetishes are) there are probably many groups dedicated to it.

The artist has a funny Flickr profile.

I believe he is German.

His fetish is for wool and mohair and bondage with these soft materials.

You might agree this fetish leads to some great photos, whether or not you share the specialized interest.

The outdoor winter photos are pretty classic.

Is he selling it? Well, if you visit the site you'll get the answer to that real fast. And the answer is "Hell Yawl."

Or should we just say he is "working it?"


Originally uploaded by gliss.gliss
The artist is not very forthcoming with personal details in her profile.

I believe she is Russian. City not identified.

This is from a series the artist did based on Alice in Wonderland.

This is an example of a genre of photograph very popular on Flickr: the clone photo.

In other words, she's not a twin. But she's twinned herself for a number of her photos.( I found some of these photos in one of the Cloning groups.)

Many of her photos spice up the Carroll classic (which was actually adapted as a softcore porn film several decades ago).

The artist also has several gorgeous landcapes in her Flickr collection.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why the Caged Bird Sings

Lucky Fordyce's doll tableaux have all the nightmarish force of the best sculptures and combines of the golden age of surrealism.

Fordyce has countless props (or should I say characters). Most of these have been reverse-engineered for appearances in dreams.

And these dream photographs are utterly mesmerizing.

As one moves through Fordyce's much darker version of Toy Story (perhaps Toy Story told by the Brothers Quay? Or David Lynch?) one encounters aliens, droids, serial killers, clowns...and...quien sabe?

The question mark is King in Fordyce's world.

And that is what makes his photographs so compelling to me.


Originally uploaded by robertfgross
Robert Gross often uses gay icons or iconic gay images, characters or poses as armatures for his photographs and mixed media works.

The artist is very aware of nuances that go into gay image-making.

Note the way the figure's left arm (on our right) is placed in classic gay "holster reach" position.

Several icons combine in a sizzling dissonance in this work titled Icon.

The crucifix. Possibly one of the Egyptian cat divinities (Basht comes to mind). And then there's the gay poser from the mags or films.

The beautiful despoliation of the surface makes the object that much more ornate, ironically.

I like the way the work seems to mix the sensibilities of art brut with the iconographic black of an artist like Tapies.

It's sensuous, erotic, androgynous and disquietingly spiritual at once.

Much of the delight of the image is in what it won't reveal about itself.

Our new chaise longue!!!!!

A self-professed "40 year old child," the artist lives in Schwelm, Germany, and creates fascinating domestic scenes of (usually idealized) gay life.

Her dolls can really achieve trompe l'oeil close ups; I'm certain viewers have surely mistaken some of these dolls for "real people."

The artist seems to delight in the soap operatic dramas that take place in her dolls' world--betrayal, flirtations and indiscretions seem to be as rampant there as here.

Are her pictures satire on the commodification of desire?

Are they making the point that we get so drawn up into the lives and dramas of celebrities (whom we will never know) that we might as well be playing with dolls when we follow their lives?

Or are these photographs idealized portraits of the lives of our time, touched up in the same way Holbein or a portraitist of his time might "elevate" a subject? Is it just a way of looking closely at ourselves before we and our loves and trinkets disappear, are shuffled off the stage to make room for the next frivolously beautiful constellations of fashion.

Birds Love McDonalds

Originally uploaded by DomasT
Domas Tamulionis lives and photographis in Vilnius.

Something fascinates us in the Muybridgean way the sparrow's wing motion is stopped for our inspection.

How deftly and brazenly the creature enters the dangerous human world here.

The photo is an arresting mix of distortions and clarities.

And the funny trick of survival.

We humans never tire of watching that.

Because it's our trick too.

o rly?

o rly?
Originally uploaded by Kelly Ichinose
Kelly Ichinose is amazing. Some of her photos wander into Cindy Sherman territory, but others are pure Ichinose.

The artist has a talent for creating hilarious archetypes (see especially her series of food goddesses).

I see her cereal divas as funny, contempo manifestations of goddesses like Ceres (or Demeter, if you prefer the Greek).

This troll like creature here is pure spite, all malevolence and contradiction.

The fingers almost seem to turn into Medea's snakes growing out of the creature's head.

A bravura performance as well as a great photograph.