What if our world was empty ?

Silent World is the remarkable project of two photographers based on Paris : Lucie and Simon.

How would be the biggest cities in the world if emptied of everything ? The two artists attempts to answer this strange and quite chaotic idea with erasing all forms of urban life (almost) in the cities we know as lively and crowded places. I repeat, almost. Indeed, there is on each picture few silhouettes in the vastness of the empty cities.

©Lucie&Simon

photo credit

©Lucie&Simon

photo credit

All the amazingness of this project is based on the presence of a few characters on the pictures because they remind us that these places are not fantastic, that they are not coming from a fiction movie, yeah, that would be too easy.

This makes us more think about places abandoned, where time is suspended. These pictures could have been taken 50 years ago, or 30 years later because each picture represents a symbolic place, most of the time with monuments which have been there for a long time. Thus, we do not really know what to think of these characters …

It’s oppressive, almost scary because we don’t even know what reality is. There is a strong confrontation between the real and unreal in this project. Are they the survivors of a post-apocalyptic event in which life would have be erased but cities but would have remained intact? Or maybe they are the ones who are responsible of this situation? Indeed, on the other hand it’s true that they look quite calm, they seem to know where they are going.

In any case, they represent all humanity. A topic that makes sense in a world’s situation where we wonder a lot about our world and about the future of humanity. The current ones are, as everyone knows, 2012 and its the possibly apocalyptic events to come which might lead to the end of our world.

At the end, Lucie and Simon created a disconcerting and thought provoking project but also a beautiful journey through the world.

©Lucie&Simon ©Lucie&Simon ©Lucie&Simon ©Lucie&Simon ©Lucie&Simon

©Lucie&Simon

photo credit


Savages, a plate of noodles.

The only savage thing about the new movie realized by Oliver Stone seems to be its title.

Savages_poster

photo credit

Strength and anger, that’s what I love from Oliver Stone ! All this seems to have disappeared .. Where is his genius of the provocation, his ability to create powerful movies ?

Ben and Chon are two friends who grow marijuana in Long Beach. Ben is a pacifist and Chon an ancient soldier who is quite violent. Both of them are involved in a love triangle with Ophelia. A Mexican drug cartel is interested in their business and wants to buy all their marijuana (which is the best in the country). They refuse the offer and the cartel decides to kidnap their common girlfriend. Ben and Chon are going to try to retrieve her, at all costs…

First, the scenario is a bit effete with predictable characters. A man who is violent at first sight but who is going to be discovered as a sensitive guy, the other one who is cool and ready to everything, and a sexy girl for the audience but who is a bit clueless for the cinematic effect ? Come on.

serena

photo credit

Also, the film takes too much time to set off with a progress of the story sometimes too slow… The film could have been reduced so we could avoid many unnecessary parts. I was feeling asleep during most of the 40 first minutes of Savages.

Yet, it could have worked in the light of a cast which was very trendy, with some actors like Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson… But it would be good to remind to our little Stone that “cool” is not everything, and “cool” might give a film without any interest…Ophelia for example lacks of charisma and she’s a bit too overrated, so we can’t consider her as an endearing character.

And the end ! When the film is just beginning to get a little interesting, the director decides to destroy everything with an “happy” end. He doesn’t have the courage to choose only one end to his movie .. Damn, after so many years of career …

Hum, well okay when re-reading my review I feel like I may have been a bit too hard. Oliver Stone delivers us a movie which is not horrible but I’m so disappointed. I was expecting more from such a good director. It’s nothing very innovative.

Let’s say that Savages is like a good plate of noodles straight out of the microwave. 


Do you want to take the subway ?

Michael Wolf is a German photographer who grew up in USA and spent ten years of his life in China. Famous for his series on the architecture of Hong Kong and Chicago, the artist is also one of the first to use Google Street View for a photographic project between Paris and New York.

But his series, for me, which is the weirdest and most fascinating is undoubtedly Tokyo Compression, perfectly showing the flip side of Japan, the country which had a rapid economic success those last years but also the one which has the largest world population.

compression 2

photo credit

compression 1

photo credit

compression 4

photo credit

compression 5

photo credit

I’ve been astonished when I saw this series of pictures with hundreds of Tokyoites who were photographed at peak hours when they were literally half crushed and compressed behind the windows of the subway, just before the train departs. Impressive photos of Japanese who are exhausted, and who finally are the ghosts of an huge anthill…

The height of the work done by Michael Wolf is seen through the physical expression of the people photographed, he managed to catch each face in its deepest intensity. They seem totally absorbed in their thoughts, what is indicative of this inferno which is daily and to which they “get used”.

However, I don’t see this work as a description of Tokyo, of course it is but not only. These images can be interpreted as the Japan cliché, but it depicts a real issue, the issue of all the big cities of the world, the example here is the subway but it could have been something else. When watching these pictures I just feel like we are all rotting away to small fire, because of the human’s folly of urbanization becoming more and more oppressive. Nobody realizes how much absurd it is to live in such a jungle.

At the end of the day, a very good work from Michael Wolf which raises the issue of the place of the human in megacities.


Joe Fenton spent 10 months on a single drawing

Why try to use computer technology when we know amazingly illustrate with a pencil ? 

Joe Fenton is an illustrator/writer/sculptor/designer from Brooklyn. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture from the Wimbledon Art School. Impressive, isn’t it ? But today, it’s on his drawings I want to focus because they are completely crazy (even if he has been drawing for two years only!)

With a 0.5 mechanical pen, the artist creates works on which you can spend a lot of time to see all the details.

joe fenton

photo credit

In addition to his talent for drawing, it seems that his imagination can’t fit in a basic paper size. Last year, Fenton has engaged himself in a huge project. Joe Fenton worked ten hours a day, seven days a week for ten months for a single drawing, A drawing which extends on a five metre tall and 2.5 metre piece of paper. And all this with the only use of his pen. You said insane ? I would rather say ambitious and talented. However, it’s true that it’s hard to imagine how this artist has been so patient…

joeee

photo credit

solitude-drawing-joe-fenton-3

photo credit

To arrive to this final art work, Fenton has first worked on each element of the drawing on a small scale, afterwards he pieced all images together like a puzzle by tracking his line drawings into the final piece of paper. Then, he completed the drawing with acrylic and ink.

The artist said that his surrealist inspirations come from the 15th century (with Hieronymus Bosch) but personally, the fantastic and dark side of his work made me directly think to the style of Todd Schorr.

The main theme of his project is his constant fear of death and all the unknown things which are all around us. That’s why that even if he doesn’t believe to any religion, Joe Fenton wanted to include a lot of religious symbols for experimenting what it could offers to his project. Thus, you can find in the drawing some symbols as a ganesh-like character, a grinning buddha or a crucifix… Concerning the rest of his work he has been mostly inspired by asian mythology, northern renaissance art and contemporary pop culture. However, there are also a lot of details for which I still don’t understand the meaning, maybe you will !

Anyway, “SOLITUDE” is the name of the project and it’s seriously the most amazing drawing I’ve ever seen.

(as you can see below)

solitude final work

photo credit


Draw something to John Mayer

Quiet for a few years, the singer and guitarist John Mayer is back with a brand new album. The official clip of the first song, Queen Of California, has been released but the visual is not very good in my opinion. The singer walks for all the duration of the video, nothing too exciting. Actually, it just makes me think about a failed version of the great video from The Verve, Bitter Sweet Symphony.

Fortunately, Brainbowinc has patched it up with a great art work. Indeed, the team of this design organization has decided to create a new video using Zynga’s mobile game Draw Something.

As a reminder for those who don’t have a smartphone (yeah my iphone was stolen two months ago and I’m surviving with a first generation phone, so I am compassionate), this is an addictive application where the goal is simple : there is one player who draws an image and the other one guesses what it is. In short, it’s a new way to waste time when you’re bored at work. At least, it’s creative.

Draw Something knows a dazzling success on App Store and Brainbowinc had a simple but brilliant idea. They decided to make a new version of the videoclip using the application.

“There is something really charming about the medium — the strokes — and I love the anticipation when you watch someone’s drawing being revealed,” Jimmy Thompson of the design studio Brainbowinc told Mashable website.

The principle is simple: A fixed image of the phone and lyrics shown under the form of the drawings which are conducted in rhythm with the song of John Mayer. There is a large variety of images that correspond with choice lyrics : the queen (of course) but also birdcages, a rainbow, a drum kit, an American flag or even a drawing of John Mayer himself with his long hair and new cowboy hat.

A video clip they did without any budget but which doesn’t lack of originality and even looks better than the official one. This video is not an official collaboration with the singer, but she has done so much buzz that even Mayer posted the video to his official tumblr, adding “A must-see. So great.”

A peaceful atmosphere on a geek background. What else ?


Being bald and wet

The amazing sculptures of water created by Heinz Maier seems to have inspired Tadder Tim. This american photograph usually works with marketing campaigns but he turns to be very creative during his spare time. His last personal and freaky project ? Well, he decided to stage a few bald models to make them wear liquids wigs… Yes, liquids ! How is it possible ? A good camera, balloons filled with water, some fluorescent lights effects, and of course models who are not afraid of water !

chauuve

photo credit

As you are going to see, this collection of photos is not perfect, I think the expressions of the models are sometimes too predictable but I find it interesting in the sense that Tadder Tim brings us into a world which we can’t see with the naked eye. It must have been a mad’s preparation to manage to capture the explosion of the water at the good moment. In the halo shots, for example, the assistant reached up behind the model’s head, which hid the stick, and popped the balloon. Moreover, the studio was immersed in complete darkness for all the time of the photoshoot for the water to be perfectly caught by the camera (just with the light of the camera’s flash), so it must have been a bit awkward and dangerous for both (model and assistant).

The result is funny, I almost want to be bald for trying one of these ephemeral hair wigs ! (I said almost).

tim tadder 5 tim tadder 4 tim tadder 3 tim tadder 2 tim tadder 1

photo credit


Banksy’ successor is on his way !

Banksy, you should be careful, your successor is on his way !

Indeed, I just discovered one of the best street artist I’ve ever seen. Remember this name : Smug One. Australian-born, he moved to Glasgow a few years ago, a city where all the walls he touches become amazing.

 

smug one

 

photo credit

Smug has his own style which is very realistic and particular, sometimes at the limit of optical illusion. This type of work, called anamorphic art is a technique that uses mathematical continuation of perspective to give the illusion of depth and of three-dimensionality to the surface worked on. His color gradients and surreal hints are awesome. Also he spends a lot of time on every details, leaves nothing to chance to reach a kind of perction. This artist seems to have reached a new gear of awesomness in Street Art.

He works on very large areas (sometimes 10m x 10m) and creates impressive work on a large choice of subjects. Human body (Especially women), babies, famous characters, and humorous scenes are his favorite themes. It goes without saying that his mastery of painting (all entirely realized with spray) is amazing, the walls actually look like paintings. Thus, he gives a life to his characters.

The result is crazy. Here are some of his art work, just for the pleasure of your eyes…

smg on

 

photo credit

smugg

photo credit

smug onee

photo credit

smug-one-street-art-11

photo credit

smugggg

photo credit

smuggggg

photo credit