Using hand-drawn paper cut-outs and his imagination, Japanese artist Kouichi Chiba has managed to create fragile worlds teeming with adventure. His tiny paper people are doing all sorts of daring stunts, from hanging out in hammocks to nearly being blown away by the wind, to hanging off a skyscraper. Kouichi’s whimsical photo series is fast becoming a sensation on the internet after being featured on 500px. He currently lives and works in Shizuoka, Japan.
A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe. Kathy Klein is an Arizona-based artist who loves creating flower mandalas in the great outdoors. She calls the pieces ‘danmalas’ which means ‘the giver of garlands’ in Sanskrit. Her ephemeral installations are photographed and then left to be discovered by others. Her creative process involves getting into a meditative state and then gathering flowers and other natural objects while waiting for inspiration to strike. Her danmalas are reflections which points towards life’s abundance and reminds us all to listen to the unheard voice of nature.
Steve Rosenfield is the daring photographer behind the “What I Be Project”. He asked volunteers to write their insecurities on skin using a marker. Often, what they wrote are the unkind labels that society had given them such as ‘homo’, ‘trans’, and ‘fat’. My favorite one is the granny with ‘Hitler’ written in the raised middle finger of her right hand. In an interview Steve revealed that he was touched by the participant’s willingness to share their story and how their labels and insecurities affected their lives and relationships. He said: “The ‘What I Be Project’ is all about honesty. n today’s society, we are told to look or act a certain way. If we differ from these ‘standards,’ we are often judged, ridiculed, and sometimes even killed over them. I started this project in hopes to open up the lines of communication, and to help everyone accept diversity with an open mind & heart.”
Evelyn Bracklow is the artist responsible for the army of ants crawling all over this delicate porcelain tea set. She hand-painted them herself. She calls it “Chitins Gloss”. Evelyn summed it up pretty well when she said: “Fear, disgust, fascination and admiration: this very interplay of feelings constitutes the charm of the work. Furthermore, to me, the ants symbolize all the stories that any formerly discarded piece of porcelain carries with it. Where one once dined and drank, today ants bustle in ever new formations, every single one applied with a great love for detail.”
Style, comfort, function is the trademark of every pair of shoes designed by Kobi Levi. His shoes mimic animals, birds, and objects with humorous results. At around $800 a pair, his work is certainly pricey but definitely worth it. They come in limited editions so you can be reasonably sure that you won’t be meeting someone wearing the exact same pair. Although there are but a few people of have the rare kind of courage needed to strut around in an inflatable-doll-themed pair of heels. Lady Gaga herself wore one of Levi’s creations in her music video for “Born This Way”. Levi is currently based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Martin Hill is an environmental artist with a passion for photography. He became involved with the problem of sustainability in the early 90s. His specific concern centers on the unsustainable design of consumer products. Martin’s award-winning work has been featured in galleries across the world. He said: “By creating and publishing environmental art my message of sustainability by design now reaches millions of people each year.”
Nate Hallinan is an American concept artist who thought it would be a fun exercise to re-imagine the X-Men characters in an alternate medieval reality. Thus emerged The Order of the X, a group of ‘gifted’ individuals in the service of Lord Charles Xavier. “The Order provides sanctuary and protection to individuals outcast by society due to their innate abnormalities. These people are often misidentified as monsters, demons, warlocks and witches.”. Nate currently works freelance but will be more than happy to work in-house when available.
Piotr Lesniak is the artist behind these awesome celebrity portraits. What’s unique about his work is that he doesn’t focus solely on Hollywood celebrities. Also, his portraits have a distinctly woodcut feel about them, and yet each one is utterly recognizable. Among the celebrities whose likeness he has captured are: Jude Law, Jeremy Irons, Haruki Murakami, and Angela Merkel. Piotr is currently based in Warsaw, Poland.
Joseph Ford is the artist behind these creative mash-ups that seamlessly combines aerial photography with textiles. The series was inspired by Joseph’s recent trip to Mauritius, Morocco, and Sicily where he spent his time flying around in a helicopter taking aerial shots of the terrain below. According to one website: “The combination of images creates a fascinating interaction, highlighting the appeal of each image, which would have been less remarkable on their own.” Joseph has a degree in French and Italian at the University of Cambridge. He got his first break as a photographer in 2004 with an advertising campaign for TBWA Paris. When not abroad for photo shoots, he lives in Brighton, UK.
Cancer is no laughing matter. Which is why Bob Carey, a middle-aged photographer, puts on a pink tutu and gets himself photographed in landmarks all over the country. Bob’s wife, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer and in an effort to make her laugh, Bob threw his pants and dignity away in exchange for a ridiculously pink tutu. His undignified but endearing endeavor is not in vain as Linda has been known to say that the more she laughs, the better she feels. Apparently, Linda is not the only one who feels this way as The Tutu Project (as Bob likes to call it) evokes a lot of laughter in the breast cancer patient community.