Picture of the Day

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Tim Hetherington

Picture of the Day

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Jason Nocito

Picture of the Day

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Pentti Sammallahti

Picture of the Day

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Ferdinando Scianna

Picture of the Day & The Weekly Round-Up

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Jerry McMillan

Last Week…

We interviewed Nick Sethi about his work

We went to Kara Walker’s opening at the Domino Sugar Factory

Cocaine sandwiches were a thing

We visited Eric Elms’ studio

and

Brooke Perry was our Muse

25 Grams: Chris Buck

25 Grams is a feature that culls pictures from some of our favorite instagram feeds.

Chris Buck is a celebrity portrait photographer splitting his time between New York and Los Angeles.

He can be followed on instagram at @the_chris_buck

Picture of the Day

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Mary Ellen Mark

Selfish Selfies: An Interview with Nick Sethi

The cool thing about Nick Sethi is that he’s not fucking around. He might trick you into thinking he is, as his photocopied zines full of gritty, funny snapshots employ the same visual language as the guy at the house party with a tall boy in one hand and a camera in the other. But there’s more there; He’s trying to make the drunk skater kids think. Whether he’s photographing poverty-stricken kids living under a freeway in New Delhi or himself posing for the camera at Hollister in the mall, he turns that vernacular aesthetic into a vehicle for deeper concepts about art, identity, and truth, using the style to break down the wall between artist and viewer while retaining all the fun that comes with it. His recent show at Ed. Varie continued these ideas, displaying found self-portraits of women in tanning beds, further blurring the distinctions of authorship and curated individuality. I caught up with Nick to see what was up.

—Christian

 
 

Christian Storm: Your recent show at Ed. Varie was all about “selfies” and your own work, especially your crazy instagram account and your zine, HCO, includes a ton of selfies of you own. What is it about selfies that interests you so much? You seem to both celebrate and also question the ideas they project.

Nick Sethi: Selfies are the highest form of art. Art is the most personal and selfish thing one can create, and selfies embody this to the fullest. Like art, they are put out for others to view, but they are created for the self. They are totally accessible to most people and constantly being created and they ride these lines between self-expression and self-reflection, exhibition and voyeurism, and the true self versus the ideal self, all carefully created yet made to look effortless. To me, they blur art and life and turn it into one constant performance. I love thinking about it because it’s so deep and crazy.
 
Yeah, a lot of your work seems to be about those ideas and the ways in which we choose to outwardly display ourselves and define who we are. Selfies of course, but also tattoos and patches on jackets, et cetera. Often, even your own identity as the artist is apparent, since most of your stuff includes a shot or two of yourself, further blurring the lines. Can you talk a little bit about the role that the concept of identity plays in your work?

I don’t believe there is any sort of objectivity in art. The same way people create and project an identity that they want the world to recognize, all artists inject their views into what they are creating. I am present in everything I create, and choosing to physically put myself in the work avoids any sort of confusion, and allows me to be super blatant about what I’m trying to convey. It’s the easiest and truest way for me to be honest with the fact that I’m commenting on myself, as well the world around me.
 
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Picture of the Day

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David Potes

Picture of the Day

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Jerry Hsu

Buck Shots

A look through Peter Sutherland’s 2007 book featuring photographs of deer in Colorado, California, Utah, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Vermont and New Zealand between 2002 and 2007.

Picture of the Day

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Bill Brandt

Picture of the Day & The Weekly Round-Up

johnny-Cash-Cake

Last Week…

We interviewed Jaimie Warren

We laughed at the ‘cock and balls’ combi bowl

We found the best receipt for a donut, ever

We watched an amazing Breaking Bad tribute

and

Sheila Marquez was our Muse

25 Grams: Jonpaul Douglass

25 Grams is a feature that culls pictures from some of our favorite instagram feeds.

Jonpaul Douglass is a Los Angeles-based photographer.

He can be followed on instagram at @jonpauldouglass

Picture of the Day

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Luke Smalley

Found Photos (pt. 15): Mr. Selfie

Here’s a selection from a zip lock bag full of Polaroids I found in a pile of trash. All Polaroids. All self portraits. I think they’re from the late 1990′s/Early 2000′s

—Dave Schubert

LET US ROAM – Greg Hunt

Leica continues their fantastic short film series about skateboarding lensmen with a 4 minute 20 second profile of Greg Hunt.

Forever in Character: An Interview With Jaimie Warren

For the uninitiated, walking into the current show at The Hole gallery might be shocking and confusing, but give it a second and you’ll start smiling. Jaimie Warren’s brightly painted and Papier-mâché’d world of self-portraits and recreated celebrity internet memes is, on the surface, bizarre and silly (and maybe a little gross), but behind the both literal and figural masks are real ideas about fame, pop culture, art, and social mores. Take for example, her recreation of Fra Angelico’s High Altarpiece of San Domenico in Fiesole, a massive religious Renaissance painting Jaimie remade on video in a Kansas City gymnasium with what seems like hundreds of her friends dressed as her, her mother’s, and her grandmother’s favorite celebrities, singing along to Dionne Warwick’s “That’s What Friends Are For” off-key (which makes it that much better). You gotta see it to believe it. Because she approaches art from such an interesting and new perspective, her work may sometimes have the feel of outsider art, yet it’s anything but. Jaimie takes this silliness seriously, working unrelentingly with a smile on her face, and her art is the most fun I’ve had in a gallery all year. It closes May 4th, so hurry!

 
Christian Storm: Hey Jaimie, the show looks amazing! I was blown away the full Fra Angelico piece. I remember seeing it when it was only one frame. How long did that take you? 
 
Jaimie Warren: Thanks, Christian! The first frame you saw in last year’s VICE Photo Issue, which you edited, and that’s where the whole thing started. I was so incredibly lucky to have VICE‘s support to help me make that piece. It was such an ambitious project, compared to all of my prior work, with over 200 characters in the end. We handmade almost all of the costumes and wigs, and we also shot it not only as photographs, but as a 5-channel music video where all of the characters come to life! I had so much help in making the work, including a lot of my collaborators from the variety show I co-direct, Whoop Dee Doo. Lee Heinemann, Lindsey Griffith, Sara Haug, and several others helped create all of the costumes and wigs, and Matt Roche created a 5-channel audio masterpiece. Where as when you guys got it, it was a static single frame, the full piece is shown as a music video at the Hole, which is a really crazy way to see it. 

In total, it was five shoots and took a little over four months to complete. It was crazy to orchestrate all of these people, but it was made in Kansas City, which has a truly fantastic and supportive arts community, and this piece is pretty reflective of that.
 
 
What was the impetus to place it in the construct of classical piece of art, like a Renaissance painting? I know you tend to look towards pop culture for inspiration and influence more than to pure highbrow fine art, yet this sits squarely within an art historical context.
 
Well, in 2012 I started re-making all of these found Photoshopped images and re-creating them as self-portraits without using Photoshop. I would find them in these strange online contests that are sort of aimed at people who are bored at work. The outcome is often disturbing and/or incredible. I did about a dozen remakes of images where people altered images from art history, like placing Santa Claus in an ancient Egyptian painting or Yoda in a Bouguereau, or painting sexy bikinis on abstract women in a Picasso, so it stemmed from that. This remake of a 15th Century Fra Angelico painting is the first time I tried my own hand at it and created a parody composition on my own instead of using one I found. In the middle panel is myself as Missy Elliot in her giant infamous inflated garbage bag costume replacing the Christ figure dressed in all white. The outer panels have all of my favorite male celebs (including seventeen Michael Jacksons), and the 2nd and 4th panel celebs were chosen by my Mom and Grandma.

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Picture of the Day

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Maurizio Di Iorio

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