Controlled Burns is a series of imposing images by the American photographer Kevin Cooley. Consisting of large, swirling clouds of smoke, these photographs are as beautiful as they are dramatic.
For Cooley, these images serve as a metaphor for opposition. “Fire is a powerful natural force that we harness for greater good” he says, “it is the only Classical element that we can create on demand, yet when out of control it has the potential for grave destruction”. At the heart of this series lies a simple duality – we can create fire and yet fire brings destruction.
Riitta Päiväläinen is a Finnish artist based in Helsinki, a place that I imagine to be very cold. I don’t know what I would have to wear to be warm there but I imagine it would be a lot more than the shorts and sweater usually donned in Southern California: Finland is a long way climatically from where I am. Her makes this known very clearly as she studies clothing placed against stark, clear snowy backdrops. They are photographed and always appear frozen, stiff and caught in limbo between falling and flying: they are transitional. The objects in the image represent former wearers and the way she presents them emphasize said lost pasts. Who knew freezing clothes could mean so much?
“These are stories of possible scenarios in which different living species are modified to better fit our environment as well as to adapt to new human desires.” That’s the idea behind Vincent Fournier’s newest project, Post Natural History. He’s tweaked and modified animals an insects to survive in our modern day world, such as being drought resistant, enhanced senses, psychics, or even used to do remote surgery.
This striking series of photographs comes from photographer Daniel Seung Lee. Entitled Corolla, the work consists of simple still-lifes yet by removing the colour in each of the images they become far more interesting and engaging. “[Corolla] is a study on the texture and form of flowers” says Seung Lee and through these dark and subtle pictures he highlights the beauty that exists in each of these plants.
It would seem that Romain Veillon has a thing for deserted places. The French photographer’s website is filled with stunning shots of desolate buildings and his eye captures the haunting beauty that can be found in the many secret places that lie abandoned in our world. His series “Les Sables du Temps” (The Sands of Time) is one such example and it’s absolutely beautiful. Shot in the ghost town of Kolmanskop, these surreal scenes show the interior of buildings slowly being swallowed by the desert.