Sometimes I forgot how beautiful simple things can be. I think that is one of the best things about art; it can really remind you of the beauty that exists in the simple things and the mundane parts of life. That’s what I love about this series by the German-born photographer Michael Wolf. Shot on the streets of Paris, the work shows little more than the shadows of trees set against the buildings of the street. Yet in his composition and his high-contrast black-and-white he manages to find something effortlessly beautiful in something so banal.
Wolf’s work is frequently interested in contemporary city life. His images of modern cities often feel far less inviting than the work shown here. Through his lens buildings reach near abstraction as they dominate everything around them and themes of voyeurism, privacy and detachment are often seen throughout his practice.
Wolf doesn’t offer an explanation to the meaning behind this work. Considering his previous projects one might view it as an exploration of natures challenged role within the city, or perhaps it could be seen as a study into the small traces of the natural world that remain within our busy cities. Personally I prefer to take a more romantic view of it and see it as a simple celebration of the mundane. For me, these images serve as a reminder that there exisits simple pleasures in the world and its important to take the time every-now-and-again to stop and appreciate these simple things.
You can see more work from Wolf on his website.
I had never heard of Jerko the Gowanus Water Vacuum until discovering these excellent photos of it. Taken in 2011 by the LA-based photographer Elizabeth Weinberg, these images show the Jerko on its madden voyage. The vessel is an incredible two-story houseboat which boasts its own homemade rain-harvesting system as well as solar panels and a composting septic system. It’s a pretty incredible construction! I hope the city still continues to make space for people and projects like this!
Weinberg’s photographs capture the energy that this vessel seems to have brought to the area; despite it sailing on one of New York’s most environmentally disturbed waterways – Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. While I can’t seem to find any information about the Jerko after 2011, I think it’s great to see people making a real effort to be energy efficient in a city as large and as polluted as New York.
You can view Elizabeth Weinberg’s full series of images on her website.
When visiting an unfamiliar city it’s always fascinating to see it through the eyes of a local. A resident of the city has an ability to show you the special places, avoiding the cliché destinations and nonsense that interests the common tourist. This is the feeling I get when I’m watching this beautifully shot short film, Paris Through Pentax.
Maison Carnot frames the video through the viewfinder of a Pentax 67, an approach that makes for an incredibly different way of looking at things. We’re all so used to taking photos with our phones these days but the viewfinder of the Pentax has such a romantic feeling to it. It’s both active and full of life but antiquated in a lot of ways. I also like that you can see the photographers hands in each shot which gives it a human element. Every now and then you see the hands keeping the focus on the subject. A subtle touch that adds to the feeling of it all.
Take me to Paris.
One of the founding principles of art is understanding the balance of light and dark and how the two define shape. Once you fully understand these primary elements making art becomes easier… especially if you happen to be color blind. This the case with Kilian Schönberger, a German photographer who is both color blind and has a fantastic grasp of contrast.
Kilian’s type of photography is exactly the kind of photography I love most. The dramatic shifts between black and white make for such impressive photos. His choice of scenery doesn’t hurt either, whether it’s a leafless stretch of fogged out trees or a spooky Bavarian church. You’re drawn because of their dynamic lighting and textures. The lack of color doesn’t detract one bit.
Illusion. Reflection. Vulnerability. These are the things I see when I look at God’s Mirror, a photo series by Maria Svarbova. The images are dreamy and surreal with nude figures floating amongst a dark and cloudy sky. Yet there’s something off with each of the figures. Look closely and you’ll see that each person has an extra limb or a reflect face which distorts the body. Maria claims the effect isn’t done in Photoshop so whatever technique she’s deployed here is quite impressive.
Of all the images my favorite has to be the one at top with the man and mirror. Love how surreal it looks. Almost looks like it could be a painting, not a photo.
All of Maria’s photos are quite impressive, I suggest you take the time to go through all of her series on her Behance page.
Lookbooks for fashion brands must be tiring to make year after year. Most consist of moody looking models against a wall in alley or something variation of the sort. Levi’s Made & Crafted, the sub-brand that’s much edgier from a fashion perspective, decided to pair up with nature-centric magazine Wilder Quarterly for their Fall/Winter 2014 lookbook. Together they’ve presented the latest collection with a mix of classic product shots, interesting interviews with makers, and profiles on beautiful places and phenomenon.
The collection is a well-made mix of classics like leather jackets and denim paired with some pieces made with soem really interesting patterns. It also seems like the collection is extremely comfortable looking, like you could put on any number of these pieces and feel like you’re ready for the winter to come. Peter Stolz, LM&C men’s designer explains the inspiration for the collection.
The title that we gave the collection for Fall 2014 is The New West: Outdoor. We are constantly excited by the West Coast as an eternally inspiring and pioneering land. We were influenced by how we connect to the outdoors in a modern way. It’s about getting away from the urban hustle and connecting with nature––while also staying connected to the modern world. By contrast, we were also inspired by an increasing grassroots support of local foods, farms, farmer’s markets and local, seasonal ingredients and materials found in cities.
Overall I think Wilder Quarterly has done what they do best, which is creating interesting stories around makers and their crafts, as well as writing stories on star watching and seeing the Northern Lights. The stories and features complement the fashion well and creates a cohesive feeling when you visit the site. You can easily imagine the site as a print experience but I’m glad it’s not. Translating an aesthetic to the web can be difficult but I think Levi’s has done it.
Back in October of 2011, a small group of filmmakers, photographers and musicians travelled to the remote countryside of Iceland to document their experience, titling the film Outliers, Vol. I: Iceland. The film features photographers Tim Navis and Kim Holtermand, as well the electronic composer Deru – who composed and curated an original score based on field recordings from the trip. Now you can watch their experience in it’s entirety, which they’ve posted on Vimeo, and which I’ve embedded above.
If you enjoyed the film you should also check out the soundtrack that Deru put together, which features his original compositions as well as music from other great artists like John Talbot, Shigeto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Son Lux, Asura, Heathered Pearls, and lots more. It’s only $9 on Bandcamp, totally worth the price of two fancy coffees.
Gonzalo Sanguinetti is an accomplished portrait and fashion photographer, yet what caught my eye were these photos he shot of recycled paper. The color and texture, paired with the lighting he created, made me feel like these were rocky crags and caverns and not scraps of disused paper scraps. It’s a convincing illusion that takes a moment to recognize. Looking at a project like this it shows that finding inspiration can really come from anywhere.