Art & Pop

For Lady Gaga’s fourth album, Artpop, the pop icon teamed up with art provocateur Jeff Koons to collaborate on striking visuals and sculptures to encapsulate the album’s transcendence, metamorphic vibes.

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Utilizing Koons’s signature “Blue Gazing Ball” sculpture, Gaga sits spread eagle with her secret garden obstructed by a reflective blue orb. “One second I’m a Koons, then suddenly the Koons is me,” she sings in 2013’s “Applause.”

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Koons rose to prominence in the mid-80s as an art world troll who explored the meaning of creation amidst a saturated market of hoitey toitey commercialism. The pair met in 2010 at a fashion ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as Koons recounts, “Gaga did a fantastic performance. Afterwards I was introduced to her and it was amazing. She grabbed ahold of me and gave me a big hug around my wasit and said, ‘You know Jeff, I’ve been such a fan of yours, and when I was a kid just hanging out in Central Park I would talk to my friends about your work.’ I was thrilled. It was very meaningful.”

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Explaining the significance of the orb, Koons noted, “What was beautiful was the accessibility of the ball – that reflective ball that many people have in their yards as a symbol of generosity to your neighbors. But when you’d look at it you’d feel this transcendence where the ball would become everything and it would be about a mass dialogue about what possibilities are for humans.”

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“With the cover, I wanted to have Gaga there as a sculpture, a three-dimensional type of form with the gazing ball. [Seeing] this aspect of reflection, when you come across it, it affirms your existence. And then from that affirmation, you start to want more. There’s a transcendence that takes place and eventually it leads you to everything.”

This isn’t the first time pop and art have coincided harmoniously, take Andy Warhol’s work with the Velvet Underground, Grace Jones with Jean-Paul Goude, and Björk with Nick Knight. Hopefully in the future we can see more art takeovers with music as a driving force. Gaga herself is a work of art, god bless.

– Logan Benedict, someone who lives for the applause

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Double exposure: The most beautiful type of ghosting

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Source: Christoffer Relander

Christoffer Relander, an award winning Finnish photographer, is known for his gorgeous multiple exposure photographs of people, animals, and landscapes.

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Source: Christoffer Relander

Originally, the technique was used with film by exposing a frame, rewinding, and exposing it again. Hayden Williams uses strictly film in her photography, but enjoys using the double exposure technique to create images the beauty of youth in nature. The technique is done in camera and created this piece, which is titled “Like Cotton Candy.”

Like Cotton CandySource: Hayden Williams Photography

But many examples of double exposure that you see on the internet today are done in post production. Using layers and tools in Photoshop, photographers join two or more images and can manipulate them in many ways that are not possible in camera. PSD Stack has a tutorial with pictures for combining three images into one that creates a look similar to double exposure photography.

doubleexposure       Source: PSD Stack

However, Relander does not use either of these methods for his images and shoots in digital. He uses multiple exposure mode in his camera to create his pieces. Not all DSLR cameras have this mode, but for those that do, the setting allows the photographer to merge multiple images taken by choosing a base photo and shooting on top of it. The second image will fill all of the dark space in the base image to create this unique style.

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Source: Christoffer Relander

I have been a fan of this style since being introduced to it by a friend during my senior year of high school. One of my favorite things about this technique is I see it as a means to show the visible soul of a person in a portrait. By putting an image inside the person, the viewer will associate the two things together and create a story and a connection between the two.

Cecilia Beckmeyer

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Pop Art’s Gay Forefather

In the dangerous, AIDs-stricken, homophobic climate of Reagan’s 80s America, a lot of queer people were silenced in fear of rejection or hate. But some artists and photographers thrived in this time of loss, turning ashes to glitter. The king of pop art himself, Andy Warhol, was no stranger to documenting New York’s gay underworld and thank god he did.

While Warhol is known for his vibrant paintings of Marilyn Monroe and soup cans, he left behind a trove of gay artifacts and artw0rks that were recently rediscovered and put on display alongside Robert Mapplethorpe’s work in a show for the Wadsworth Museum of Art.

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While Warhol and Mapplethorpe couldn’t be any more different – Warhol, a quiet, eccentric, asexual observer and Mapplethorpe, a leather-clad, BDSM devil with a boyish charm – the museum reminded the art world of Warhol’s queer voice. Amongst the new treasures were Polaroids, drawings and paintings of friends, lovers, and fellow queer artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat (bisexual).

Warhol used his camera to document not only the nightlife of New York’s counter-culture art world, but also the bodies of other men. These photographs contain an innocence, a naivety, intimate moments of gay love in a horrendous time for gay life in the public’s eye.

Warhol’s queer art shows us a sense of pride that wasn’t voiced loud enough when it was needed most. If more artists and people were more visible and out in the public spreading the truth about what it means to have a gay identity, the world would’ve understood better. I applaud Andy Warhol for showcasing gay love in a time of political unrest and a dangerous love and I am forever inspired by his impact on the art world.

Warhol’s 30th year death anniversary was a few weeks back and the world still feels a bit empty without his soul. Rest easy, you beautiful gay weirdo.

-Logan Benedict, a semi-beautiful completely gay weirdo

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Creating Dream-Like Photos Without Photoshop

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With only a camera, a ziplock bag, and maybe a marker or two, Photographer David McGrady can make a normal setting seem marvelous.

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To create this effect, McGrady first takes a sandwich-sized ziplock bag and rips off the closed end of it. He then simply puts it over the lens, making sure some of the plastic is visible through the camera.

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This technique makes the image seem hazy, giving it a “light leak” look. This can help the photograph give off a dreamy, mystical vibe, without having to spend a large amount of time editing the photo.

David McGrady takes this technique even further, however, by using a marker or pen to color the edges of the bag visible in the image. This gives what looks like a retro lens flare to the photo, adding to the fantastic element of the image. While these photos were obviously edited in post, the streaks of color in the photographs are completely authentic.

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Learn more about this technique

Learn more about photographer David McGrady

 

Brenton Wiseman

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“Reflections”

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In Tom Hussey’s series “Reflections” elderly people look back at themselves in their younger years. Hussey, a commercial advertising and lifestyle photographer, created the series for pharmaceutical drug company Novartis’s Exelon patch, an Alzheimers medication.

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Hussey was inspired by a World War II veteran who said, “I can’t believe I’m going to be 80, I feel like I just came back from the war. I look into the mirror and I see this old guy.” Hussey wanted to show his subjects in their natural surrounding while completing their everyday tasks and reminiscing about their earlier lives.

scientistTo capture his images Hussey hired a team of dopplegangers that had a 40-50 year age difference and dressed them in retro uniforms to match the subjects profession. Hussey said it was most important to have both subjects at eye level to each other so it would appear they were looking back at one another and sharing a moment.

nurseFor his series Hussey won a Gold Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation and was featured in Communication Arts 2010 Photography Annual. Hussey has done other work with veterans including his Masters of Fine Arts thesis exhibition about understanding veterans in the Vietnam War Era, titled “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You.” He also works with the Vietnam Veterans of America, a nonprofit organization that serves the needs of veterans.

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Click to see more of the series 

-Ashley Webb

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James Presley Ball

James Presley Ball Sr. was a photographer, abolitionist, and also a businessman. He has taken portraits for P.T. Barnum, Charles Dickens, members of the family of Ulysses S. Grant, and even Queen Victoria.

James was born in Frederick County, Virginia in 1825. He lived his life being considered a free man, and learned daguerreotype photography from a man named John B. Bailey, who was from Boston.

James would eventually open up a studio after this type of photography, which involved a photographic image on a polished, silver-plated sheet of copper, and was sensitized with iodine vapors. Also, it was exposed in a large box camera, and then developed in mercury fumes, and stabilized with saltwater.

James also wrote books including one that gave a gigantic, pictorial tour of the United States. Also, ones that dealt views of the African slave trade, Northern and Southern cities, cotton and sugar plantations. Plus on several rivers, such as the Mississippi and Ohio.

 

by Anthony Quinndouglas ball ball2

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Lorna Simpson

lorna-simpson-507345-1-402The photographer I chose was Lorna Simpson. She is considered the most acclaimed artist of her generation. She was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1960 and attended High School Art of Design and the School of Visual Arts.

After earning her BFA, she traveled Europe and Africa, shaping her skills for her photography. She wanted to reach the viewer in ways that was not done before, therefore she earned her Master’s of Fine Arts Degree from the University of California in 1985.

She developed a signature stye called “photo-text”, in which graphic text is inserted into studio-like portraiture, bringing new conceptual meaning into the works.

Through the 1980’s and 90s, she worked on solo work all over the nation. She was awarded such merits as the 1985 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the 1989 Artists’ Space Board of Directors, the 1990 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation,. 1994 Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work, College Art Association, and 2014 Shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 for her self-titled exhibition in Paris.

 

by Anthony Quinn24a6bc6963c950db7195f0ee91002190 85838ded425f4a9b6130 lornasimpson_inst_geuter_08_630x355_01

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