Esther Honig is an American photographer and journalist who wondered about the different standards of beauty around the world. To get an idea, she sent her photo to a bunch of freelance Photoshoppers from around the world with one instruction: Make me beautiful. The results vary from barely edited to wildly Photoshopped. She said: “(I hoped) that each designer will pull from their personal and cultural constructs of beauty to enhance my unaltered image.” And they did just that. Esther calls the entire project “Before and After”. Esther also added: “Each one is a reflection of both the personal and cultural concepts of beauty that pertain to their creator. Photoshop allows us to achieve our unobtainable standards of beauty, but when we compare those standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all the more elusive.“
Ana Teresa Barboza is an artist who thinks out of the box and decided to elevate the art of embroidery. Her creations are not limited to the embroidery circle. They flow right out and practically begs the onlooker to touch them. Ana uses threads of various colors, sizes, lengths to achieve this effect. She said: “Both embroidery and crocheting are techniques that require time. I use these techniques in order to make a connection between manual work and the processes of nature; creating thread structures similar to the structures that make a plant for example.”
Eiko Jones is an A-list photographer whose work has been featured in National Geographic, TV Hören und Sehen, Diver Magazine, and Hello Canada. He grew up in New Zealand where his passion for photography was ignited on his fourteenth birthday when he was given his first SLR camera. He started capturing birds and other animals in their natural habitat. It was in the early 90s while he was traveling along the West Coast of British Columbia and Alaska that his focus shifted to landscapes above and below the waterline. His dramatic style and unique angles is his trademark in the profession.
Haroshi is a self taught sculptor and skateboarder currently based in Japan. One of his more recent series combine both of his passions: skateboards and sculptures.The unusual appearance of his sculptures are because of the composition of skateboards he uses. The layers of wood create a colorfully variegated design. Most of the skateboards he uses are his own, but he wouldn’t say no to a few donations as well. According to his website: “His creations are born through styles such as wooden mosaic, dots, and pixels; where each element, either cut out in different shapes or kept in their original form, are connected in different styles, and shaven into the form of the final art piece.”
Jodi Harvey-Brown is the talented artist behind these awesome pop-up paper sculptures. It all started when she bought a box of used books at a second-hand shop, after experimentally folding a page to create one of the characters in the stories, she was hooked. She said: “The books that we love to read should be made to come to life. Characters, that we care so much for, should come out of the pages to show us their stories. What we see in our imaginations as we read should be there for the world to see.”. To make her pieces last longer, a layer of protective coating is applied to her creations for waterproofing and to prevent yellowing.
Wires are also incorporated into some of the structures for strength and stability.
Joe Mangrum has spent the last eight years scattering sand around the streets of New York. No, he’s not a litterbug, he’s a sand artist. He draws intricate geometric shapes by hand using brightly colored sand. Sand being sand, his works last a day at most, less if it’s windy or if it rains. His installations strongly resemble Buddhist mandalas but the unexpected mix of geometry and biological elements give it a unique look. Joe said that his ‘paintings are influenced by an abundant world of undersea creatures, carnivorous plants emanating electrical impulses, and cross-cultural metaphors from many years of travels around the world’.
Annie Leibovitz is a world-class photographer best known for taking John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s portrait where the naked John was embracing fully clothed Yoko. One of her most popular series features a mash-up of Disney’s well-loved characters and famous Hollywood stars. Originally, Annie was approached by Disney for their “Year Of A Million Dreams” promotion. The concept was such a hit that Annie is still making the portraits. Her A-list subjects include: Jessica Biel as Pocahontas, David Beckham as Prince Phillip, Michael Phelps as a merman, Russel Brand as Captain Hook, Jennifer Lopez as Jasmine, and Marc Anthony as Alladin – to name just a few.
Jessica Shyba is a photographer, blogger, and mother of three who skyrocketed to fame when she posted pictures of her son Beau and puppy Theo having an afternoon nap together. Puppies and babies are cute by themselves, but combine the two and you’ve got cuteness bursting out of the seams – a time and tested formula for internet fame. Theo is Jessica’s Shar-pei and German mix who she rescued from the local pound. “It was the cutest, most natural thing” – is how she described it when Theo climbed up on top of her two-year old son Beau during his afternoon nap. Their afternoon nap has become an adorable habit which elicits ‘awwws’ all over the world.
Jens Fersterra is a German photographer who has an unerring eye for urban photography. All of his shots capture the grandeur and majesty of each modern-day metropolis. He combines the mood, lighting, and angle perfectly. My favorite ones are those he did in black and white, adding an imposing feel to these modern-day monoliths. Unfortunately, very little is known about the artist himself but I guess the quality of his work speaks for itself.
SpY ha been making street art long before street art became cool. He has been ‘improving’ blank walls, sculptures, and street signs all over the world for over twenty years. His installations are equal parts funny and ironic. According to his website: “His ludic spirit, careful attention to the context of each piece, and a not invasive, constructive attitude, unmistakably characterize his interventions. His work involves the appropriation of urban elements through transformation or replication, commentary on urban reality, and the interference in its communicative codes.” As befitting his name, SpY’s real identity is still unknown.