Category - Art

Kostis Fokas and his liberating vision on human body

While the topic of the acceptance of ones physic has recently became one of the major themes in contemporary photography, each artist chooses to express it differently. Some use provocative, bold images, other prefer subtle allusions or concentrate on gender identity. Greek photographer Kostis Fokas incorporates all of the above principles in his oeuvre, adding to the mixture a bit of humor and some surrealism. His main aim is to show the true capacity of the human body, the possibilities and the means of expression it could externalize. In order to do so, we should totally accept our own corporeality with all the faults, fears and desires. tumblr_nnp279QC0f1rk27jno1_1280 Kostis Fokas photography shows people in a special state of mind, conscious of their own sexuality while also not taking themselves too seriously. This mentality gives a feeling of liberation by acknowledging ones needs and your fears, and with the help of artist’s creative mind and colorful Greek visual heritage the outcome is quite amazing.

Fokas’s works are unique in their ability to create surreal image by merging the human body, or even just parts of it with the surroundings, digital or natural. A clever game of shadows, shapes and light helps to accomplish this task.tumblr_ob8eetsj1C1rk27jno1_1280-min Frequently there are no human faces in his photos, sometimes eliminating the “humane” factor from it. We just observe bodies transforming into weird forms or mimicking with the environment. Moreover, the faceless images helps viewing the human body as an endless source for self-expression and creativity, which is accessible to anybody who is willing to liberate themselves.tumblr_n6vggsAe8n1rk27jno1_1280-min

tumblr_ntwkmgKnVl1rk27jno1_1280-min Kostis Fokas photography is erotic and sexually-charged, but at the same it is very warmhearted and tolerant, pushing us to create and be creative, to accept and be accepting. He offers the viewer a surreal reality with the main focus on physicality, but his touch on this topic has a revealing quirkiness and humorous note. His subtle approach to such serious and controversial theme is a unique example of photography that manages to construct surreal realities while successfully reflecting serious social issues. This valuable and rare skill proves Fokas’s oeuvre to be a fine example of contemporary photography.

Embroidery as a new black: revival of an old craft

In the craze of today fast-moving world and our modern click mentality, occupations that require time, patience and diligence have fallen out of favor. Therefore we do not often see embroidery as a common artistic technique on the modern art scene. It is certainly a quite demanding medium to work with, but as we will see  – also rewarding one.weaving Embroidery, due to the nature of this technique, merge beautifully with different materials. Even with bread. In 2016 Slovakian artist Terezia Krnacova presented a mixed media project “Everyday Bread”, where each day was represented by a slice of bread with incorporated embroidery of different design. The seventh slice remained plain in order to honor the tradition of the Sabbath, the one day that supposed to bee free of work and dedicated to worship and rest in Christianity and Judaism. Unique compilation between two seemingly irrelevant materials shows the vast potential of the embroidery as a contemporary artistic tool compatible with almost anything.

bread-5 Embroidery also serves as a powerful intertextual medium. Besides the ability to simply hold together two pieces of fabric, it can actually connect different historical periods. Mana Morimoto uses this concept in her time-travelling works, intervening old photographs and illustrations with her ubiquitous stitching. This postmodern twist turns metamodern from time to time as she tambours images that depict other fiber-related processes. It also shows a digital potential of a medium, creating stunning GIFs and animated pieces. Old craft revives 2-d imagery bringing a new light to the usual art form.newton-min paintings-min However, embroidery can embrace not only history, but also our contemporary realities. Russian-based artist Lisa Smirnova explores the possibilities of this medium in her illustrative and fashion-related works. She uses stitches as a substitute for inks or pencils, thus creating special visual works that highly resemble illustrations. Her interest ranges from modern tattooed hipsters to artistically interpreted portraits of famous people, or animalistic motives.Smirnova_01-min Smirnova_07-min

Her work also includes embroidery on clothes which resonates with the latest fashion trends; particularly interesting is her collaboration with designer Olya Glagoleva in a fashion line that is decorated with carefully embroidered paint splashes. Outstanding skill mixed with creative thinking turns into a perfect execution of fresh ideas.Olya_03-min

tumblr_o13u1rGV6J1rselyro9_1280-min As an outcome we have a newly reinvented artistic technique that has yet to reveal its true potential.

Sewage Popsicles?

The summer heat often has us reaching for something sweet – whether it be a glass of lemonade, an ice cream cone, or a popsicle. But a group of art students in Taiwan have put together a strange collection of summer treats to raise awareness for a growing problem.

polluted-water-popsicles-1 Collecting sewage water from all over Taiwan, Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui, and Cheng Yu-ti, three students from the National Taiwan University of Arts, turned the sewage water into “popsicles” for a project entitled “Polluted Water Popsicles.”

Visiting dozens of locations across Taiwan, Hung and her team collected samples of water containing all sorts of contaminants, including dirt, bugs, plant material, and even trash. Hung placed the samples in a freezer to produce the “popsicles,” and encased the unusual treats in a polyester resin to preserve the samples.

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At first glance, the popsicles are visually pleasing. Once the viewer moves closer, however, it becomes easy to identify mold, bits of plastic, bottle caps, and even wrappers. The carefully crafted aesthetic of Hung’s work conceals the destruction caused by pollution.

Hung’s team also designed wrappers for each popsicle, concocting a “flavor” named after the source where the sample (and waste) was collected.

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Hung said she hopes Polluted Water Popsicles will help raise awareness about water pollution, which is a large problem in Taiwan. Hung added that the popsicle motif was chosen because they are translucent, and because popsicles are associated with something sweet, not something as unsavory as pollution.

According to an article in designboom, “each popsicle reveals the impressive contamination of the water through their wasteful flavors complete with plastic, metal, arsenic, mercury, and other harmful materials. The project generates a polarity between how good they look, how awful they may taste, and how damaging they are.”

All in all, Hung’s team made 100 popsicles. They recently put Polluted Water Popsicles on display at an art exhibition in Taipei, the capitol of Taiwan.

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