Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘art’

23 FEBRUARY, 2011

Created Equal: Parallel Portraits of Cultural Difference

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Nearly two years ago, we explored Exactitudes — a visual study of similarity within subcultures. Now, we turn to the opposite: From photographer Mark Laita comes Created Equal — a visual study of diffrence between subcultures.

The stunning series of parallel portraits juxtaposes people from opposite ends of the cultural, ideological or socioeconomic spectrum, offering a subtle reminder of our shared humanity despite the clash and separation of our circumstances.

In America, the chasm between rich and poor is growing, the clash between conservatives and liberals is strengthening, and evil and good seem more polarized than ever before. At the heart of this collection of diptychs is my desire to remind us that we are all equal, until our environment, circumstances or fate molded and weathered us into whom we have become.” ~ Mark Laita

Country Fair Livestock Show Contestant / Cajun Man

Ballerina / Boxer

Homeless Man / Real Estate Developer

Baptist Minister / Ku Klux Klan

Polygamist / Pimp

Gangster / Mafioso

Company President / Janitor

Mariachis / Elvis Impersonators

Fur Trapper / Woman with Dog

Baptist Churchgoer / White Supremacist

Amish Teenagers / Punk Teenagers

Bank Robber / Deputies

Astronaut / Alient Abductee

Completed over the course of eight years, Created Equal captures the poignant polarity of contemporary culture.

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23 FEBRUARY, 2011

Waiting for Hockney: Documenting a Dreamer’s Determination

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Patience and devotion are necessary ingredients for almost all art. But for Baltimore artist Billy Pappas, they exist on an entirely different plane. After becoming obsessed with the idea of drawing the richest, most real portrait in history, Pappas spent eight years meticulously crafting a reproduction of an iconic Marilyn Monroe photograph, pouring up to a day into a single hair of microscopic anatomical accuracy. When he was finally done, he realized it would take a special kind of eye to truly appreciate his feat. So he set out to put it in front of iconic contemporary artist David Hockney, who Pappas came to believe was his ticket to success in the art world. But what happens when Pappas, flying from Maryland to Los Angeles armed with a cake his mother baked for the occasion, finally scores the big meeting?

Waiting for Hockney is filmmaker Julie Checkoway‘s fascinating documentary about Pappas’ obsession, narrated by the artist himself and featuring interviews with his unusually supportive family and friends, revealing the anatomy of an eccentric obsession.

Though about art, Waiting for Hockney, isn’t an art documentary. Rather, it’s the moving and deeply human story of a dreamer’s determination, exploring the extreme end of the same spectrum of single-minded dedication across which all of our aspirations slide.

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16 FEBRUARY, 2011

Jules Verne: The Man Who Invented the Future

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Last week marked the 183rd birthday of iconic science fiction writer and futurist Jules Verne, who coined the term “imaginary voyages.” (And Amazon celebrated by offering a slew of his work as free ebooks, which you can still grab.) Today, we turn to the beautiful mid-century illustration of Peter P. Plasencia for Franz Born’s 1964 book Jules Verne: The Man Who Invented the Future — a light but excellent biography of the great novelist and a powerful primer for his literary legacy.

Jules Verne: The Man Who Invented the Future is currently out of print, but you might be able to snag it from several independent sellers through Amazon or look for a copy at yoru local library — the screen doesn’t do Plasencia’s artwork justice.

via Wardomatic via Right Brain Terrain

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