Friday, September 11, 2009

Fairytale Fashion

Photographer Viona Art illuminates creature couture with surreal imagery of ladies adorned in antlers and antiquated dresses alike. Ms. Viona reigns over each dramatic shoot with the interloping eye of someone looking through a peephole that peers into the landscape of Legend.

Viona also coordinates lavish medieval and Victorian inspired extravaganzas that range from baroque folks strolling the grounds of Kasteel van Gaasbeek in the Netherlands to Neo-Romantic picnics.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

High Fashion at Low Tide

It's 8:11 P.M. on a Tuesday night. It’s dark and silent. There's a cold, dead body-a single red shoe.

I am not embroiled in a Raymond Chandler boiler but rather the mysterious world of photographer, Melanie Pullen. Pullen is a self-taught photographer inspired by vintage crime scenes culled from the archives of the L.A.P.D.'s Coroner's Office. Ms. Pullen painstakingly re-creates crime scenes using models that lie listlessly on city streets and hauntingly hang from ceiling rafters. The model's exposed limbs hint at their heinous demise as well as a fashion sensibility bearing such name brands as Prada. Ms. Pullen has been profiled in the New York Times, Elle and Vogue Magazine and was mostly recently exhibited at the Ace Gallery in Los Angeles. Her photography series entitled High Fashion Crime Scenes is published by and available through Nazraeli Press.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Own Private Kansas: The Art of Lori Nix

As a child, I created diminutive dimensions using miniature figurines that I collected in a Mason jar. Each day, I would place a strange assembly of characters under my grandmother's bonsai trees. Each potted plant served as a separate universe. Tiny farm figurines with weathered faces of chipped paint would commune with crackerjack creatures. Eventually, my miniature settings developed into an entire world that sprawled out into my grandmother's Zen garden of pebbles, ceramic bridges and mountains of rocks that lay beneath an old oak tree. Suddenly, my minuscule world became enormous. Working with the small enabled me to see the larger picture. The same is true with the incredibly stunning work of artist/photographer, Lori Nix.

Nix creates dioramas of deconstruction that thoughtfully capture the tranquility of post-apocalypse and the banality of midwestern abandonment (typically set in Nix's own childhood Kansas). Inspired by the "gods hand of nature", Lori Nix fabricates landscapes of catastrophe ironically painted in Norman Rockwell-esque tones and then photographed. The combined element of miniature artifice and photography feel like a crime-scene commentary of America. Nix's dioramas feature crumbling metropolises and lost highways guided by silent satellites. One can easily see Nix resurrecting Chernobyl out of tiny plastic animals and aluminum cans or capturing the eerie absence of humans in Alan Weisman's exploratory tale, The World Without Us. Lori Nix combines the decay of landscapes with the embodiment of human mystery in dioramas of locales where anything can happen and then be silently forgotten.

Ms. Nix's photo series have been featured in the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas and at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Villainous Victorian Films

Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.

The upcoming release of The Wolfman scheduled for release February 12, 2010.

Sherlock Holmes is scheduled for release December 25, 2009. Jude Law plays the loyal Watson and Robert Downey Jr. portrays a herculean version of Holmes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TearDrop Memories Tells Tales

Gertrude died in 1890 and was buried in Austria. As was common back then, they buried her in the church graveyard, let her mold out. They painted her up real pretty and they put her in an ossuary where she's supposed to spend the rest of her days. Well, it didn't work out that way for old, Gertrude. Unfortunately, phrenology became real, real big at the time. To be a phrenologist, to be a real good one, you had to have a real skull. If you were the only phrenologist in town and you stole a skull, you were going to get busted. So, long story long, they'd break into these crypts, steal the skulls, make a plastic cast of it, paint it up and replace it. This is Gertrude's replacement skull. It's actually much more rare than a real skull-certainly much more expensive.

So begins Greg Christiano’s invitation to explore his eclectic collection housed under TearDrop Memories. “It’s not your mother’s antique shop”, he continues in his signature storytelling tone. Appropriately, TearDrop Memories is a unique antique store with a funerary bent located in the historic town of New Hope, Pennsylvania.

The treasures of TearDrop Memories have been placed in the Smithsonian and Getty museums as well as being featured in prop displays at Saks 5th Av, I.B.M. Bill Blass, Victoria’s Secret and Vogue. Customers are a diverse group ranging from installation artist Hernan Bas and Bucks county Painter Larry Chestnut to The Hartz Mountain Group and The Kingdom Of Morocco. TearDrop Memories also specializes in Victorian bird cages which make an appearance in Salma Hayek's film; Cirque du Freak.

Photos by Optivion