The Guardian’s design and architecture critic Oliver Wainwright traveled to North Korea in 2015. Thankfully he brought a camera with him to document the country’s eerie aesthetics!
I had to cancel all push notifications about North Korea this summer because they just gave me too much to worry about. Everything about North Korea is so fascinating yet frightening to me. Perhaps this is why I am so enthralled by Oliver Wainwright’s photographs?
What strikes me the most is how I seem to have the exact same taste in interior design as Kim Jong-un. If I were a dictator, I too would decorate my country like a Wes Anderson-inspired doll house. A marble statue of myself placed in front of a neon pink sunset? *my literal dream*
All images via northkoreaninteriors.tumblr.com
Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde creates fluffy, white clouds in unique indoor settings. In his ‘Nimbus’ series, Smilde has developed a well versed technique that produces clouds, which he then photographs in churches, museums and castles.
Clouds are just about the most universal matter one could think of. But seeing them indoors, with their organic forms in contrast to manmade architecture, really throws me off.
Berndnaut Smilde carefully adjusts the temperature and humidity of his scouted locations. Thereon he produces perfect little clouds using water vapour and a fog machine. The lifespan of his artwork is about 10 seconds – just long enough for the cloud to be photographed.
All images are from http://www.berndnaut.nl/
Romanian artist Dan Cretu creates photomontages of classical statues in contemporary environments. Like Venus de Milo taking the subway. Or Michelangelo’s David having a nosebleed. <333
I am once again obsessed with art that combines the past with the present. So I guess it comes as no surprise that the playful work by Dan Cretu is just my cup of tea.
Images via trendland.
Follow Dan Certu on Instagram here.
I do believe Brazilian art director and photographer Carolina Mizrahi is the answer to all of our prayers. Rooms fully painted in pink or beige is at least all I’ve ever wanted.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, now living and working in London, Carolina Mizrahi art directs and photographs creations that are an absolute dream. Brace yourselves for a heap of pictures because I simply could’t just select a few.
All images are from http://carolinamizrahi.com/
Follow Carolina Mizrahi on Instagram here.
Italian photographer Gigi Cifali has travelled across the United Kingdom capturing abandoned swimmingpools in his series Absence of Water.
Gigi Cifali’s photographs of abandoned public baths are beautiful and eerie. These pools represent the optimism and aspirations of Victorian society. But today they are simply a decaying cultural heritage – and an aesthetically pleasing one at that.
All images are from https://www.gigicifali.com/
Brooke DiDonato is a New York based photographer who’s work I love. Awkward and anxious subjects in pastel domestic settings – or as she herself puts it in her Instagram bio: ‘uncanny eye candy’.
Apparently I am drawn to images where humans pose awkwardly as if they are lifeless props. You can find blog posts about art with similar motifs here, here and here. Anyway. Brooke DiDonato has mastered the art of combining aesthetics and concept to create beautiful pictures with an underlying narrative. Although that narrative is subjective to the viewer, a reoccurring source of inspiration for DiDonato is the antiquated concept of “female hysteria” and women who struggle to align themselves with social conventions.
All images are from www.brookedidonato.com and you can follow Brooke DiDonato on Instagram here.
Photographer Chan Dick stumbled upon the perfect aerial view of a fire station courtyard from the window of his worksop bathroom. And these minimalistic compositions of tiny firemen doing their daily duties are so aesthetically pleasing!
The award winning series Chai Wan Fire Station photographed by Chan Dick came about by pure chance. Who knew that the mundane activities of a fire station could turn into fine-art photography? The pastel color of the courtyard in combination with the bright red firehose… I mean it’s almost a little too aesthetically pleasing for this to be 100% accidental??
All images are from http://chandick.hk/
The great thing about photography is that it can show you places you might otherwise never see. Remote towns in post-Soviet countries such as Ukraine and Uzbekistan would for instance qualify for that list. In 2014 Maryam Omidi visited a sanatorium in the mountains of Tajikistan and was blown away by the experience. She contacted a group of photographers specialising in capturing post-Soviet culture and together they set off to visit as many sanatoriums as their budget (raised on Kickstarter) would allow.
USSR sanatoriums were built as a place of relaxation and rehabilitation so that workers could remain efficient and diligent. At their peak they were visited by millions of citizens across the USSR every year through a state-funded voucher system. Dozens of them are still in business.
The book Holidays in Soviet Sanatariums published by Fuel describes these incredible facilities as “a combination of medical institution and spa, the era’s sanatoriums are among the most innovative buildings of their time.” I personally love the plump, brutalist aesthetics of most USSR architecture, especially if it entails weird indoor swimming pools. Say what you will about Stalin, but you can’t deny that he had a keen eye for some pretty poppin’ aesthetics.
Images via Fuel Design and The Telegraph.
When I first found Ukranian artist Alexey Kondakov’s art on Pinterest a couple years back I went crazy realising that there were no articles written on him at all. Who was this guy photoshopping classical art subjects into contemporary environments?
Now Alexey Kondakov is a lot more recognised and I just love his ongoing series ‘Art history in contemporary life’ and ‘The daily life of gods’. Scenes we usually only see in history books or museums are now taking place on the subway! It obviously doesn’t take a lot to blow my mind – blurring the lines between academic art and postmodernism basically gets you there.
All photos are from Alexey Kondakov’s Instagram or Facebook.