Animal Earth is a book which explores the diverse life forms that can be found all over Earth. This coffee table treat makes it clear that each species is an essential part of the ecosystem and protecting animal diversity is protecting the delicate cycle of life that supports us all. Alexander Semenov is the man behind the glorious underwater shots in Animal Earth. He is the Head of the Scientific Divers team stationed at the White Sea Biological Station in Russia. As such, he has free reign to take as many shots as he wants of these shy underwater creatures. I’m glad he did, as I personally don’t want to get close to something with that many legs, no matter how rare or colorful it is.
Jessica Lichtenstein uses the female form to explore deeper themes of power, fetishism, and objectification in an ironic way. The irony lies in the fact that her work embodies the very paradox she is trying to explore. According to one website, Jessica’s work challenges the viewer to: “question whether these hyper-sexualized women are depicted solely to satisfy an insatiable male-dominated gaze, or if such a theory is too narrow, neglecting to address the complex nature of women and their desire to enjoy their sexuality, enjoy their bodies and their desire to be desirable”. Her work is much sought after in the art world and can be found in private collections all over the world.
Werner Dreblow is an uber-talented photographer currently based in Berlin. One of his most recent work feature animals in some of the most adorable poses ever! Only Werner can make a snake look cute. Well, cuter than usual, anyway. Those critters that already have a fair amount of cuteness have it magnified tenfold. The result is an amusing and adorable series we simply couldn’t get enough of. Animal photography is a bit more challenging since you simply can’t ask your subject to pose in a certain way or assume an expression. In Werner’s work, however, it’s not immediately obvious that a whole lot of post-production image manipulation is done before the finished product.
Ron Arad is an Israeli designer who took the concept behind pressed flowers and applied it to Fiat 500s. According to Ron, he didn’t wreck the cars, he ‘immortalized’ them. Each vehicle was compressed to a uniform thickness of twelve centimeters at a shipyard in the Netherlands. This feat was made possible by taking out the engines, seats, and tires. Since it’s not everyday that you get to see cars being absolutely flattened, shipyard workers at brought their families to watch which gave the metal-crunching affair a festive air. Before hanging them up for display, Ron tweaked with his sculptures a bit by putting the flattened tires back in their original positions. The immortalized cars then went on display at the Design Museum Holon in Tel Aviv, Israel. Unsurprisingly, the title he gave the exhibit is “Pressed Flowers”.
Dinner just doesn’t taste the same when it isn’t a piece of art too. Samantha Lee’s kids knows this to be true. Samantha began making pop culture-inspired meals for her eldest daughter to encourage her to eat independently. The experiment was a smashing success, and not just on the dinner table. The devoted mother of two now has more than 300,000 followers on Instagram. She has never taken any formal classes in cooking or art, instead she relies on cooking shows and her own imagination. This is what she said of her creative proces during an interview: “I sketch my designs before I make them into food to stay organized and prevent food wastage. Scissors, knives and toothpicks are my tools. I like to make something practical, something for everyone to be able to follow.”
Harry Whittier Frees is an American photographer who may arguably be the father of the modern LOLcat. Harry began his career in photography when, at a birthday party, a paper hat fell on a cat’s head and Harry took a quick picture. He sold his photo to a postcard printer who asked for more of the same. When Harry realized the demand for animal shots, he started taking pictures in earnest, complete with costume and props. His cats, Rag and Fluff, were his most frequent subjects but he was not above borrowing a few neighborhood pets to complete a scene. He says: “These unusual photographs of real animals were made possible only by patient, unfailing kindness on the part of the photographer at all times.”. He also added that “Speed is essential in securing these pictures, but very often it is impossible to be quick enough. Young animals cannot hold a pose any better than human babies, and the situation is complicated when they are called on to be precocious in situations naturally foreign to them.”
Beth Galton is a New York-based food photographer. She recently teamed up with food stylist Charlotte Omnès to create these luscious series of halved food. Beth kept digital manipulation to a bare minimum relying instead on a couple of tricks like gelatin and food coloring as well as strobes to freeze the frames. The whole series was inspired by a burrito cut in half. Beth said: “Normally for a job, we photograph the surface of food, occasionally taking a bite or a piece out but rarely the cross section of a finished dish.”
Miles Aldridge has a multi-faceted artistic background. He studied illustration and directed pop videos before he dabbled in fashion photography. His shots are often filled with loud colors and glamorous women with blank expressions. Miles’ work has been published in a variety of magazines including some big names like The New York Times, American Vogue, and Vogue Italia. When asked about his subjects’ expressions, he said: “These women aren’t blank because they have nothing to say, they are blank because they’re overwhelmed by their world.” He also added: “To me, the great moments in Hollywood are close-ups of a woman’s face, thinking, and she’s just realized that her whole world is wrong.”
Kazuki Yamamoto is a 26-year-old Japanese barista who has taken the art of latte foam design into the next level. Gone are the days when customers are happy with a simple, flat design on their morning latte. Kazuki’s designs are not only well-detailed, they’re also in 3D. Some of the critters even spill over into other cups like that foam kitty up there eagerly reaching for the oblivious goldfish in the other cup. His art, by its very nature, is temporary and only low-resolution photos like the one above are what remains of his sculptures. He currently works at Cafe10g in Osaka, Japan, but he dreams of owning his own café one day.
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Ben Frost is an Australian artist known for his trademark kaleidoscopic style. One of his more recent works involve empty packs of McDonald’s fries and a few well-known pop icons. Bart Simpson, Elmo, Batman, a Spy, and a pair of Zombies – all of them are incorporated into the fast food wrappers. Ben co-founded the online art portal StupidKrap.com. He lives and works in Sydney, Australia.