THE CURRENCY OF CHANGE
I think it’s important to start this letter by stating the obvious: we live in a world of rapid change. Long gone are the days when you could map out your future for years to come and assess your success on whether you were able to stay on track or not. It’s time to say goodbye to the proverbial “straight line” and to embrace the fact that happiness and success is all about enjoying and adapting to the twists and turns that our rapid evolution is taking us on. The binary system that we inherited is no longer: black or white, male or female, good or bad, strong or weak… those labels are quickly becoming relics as the lines between them are being blurred with every passing day. The same applies to the Arts. While the definition and purpose of art will forever be the same, and as primordial to society as it ever was, the truth of the matter is that the platforms on which art is being showcased are swiftly mutating. Just like industrialization propelled society into modern times, social media will certainly be remembered as a phenomenon that altered media and the arts, and ultimately, altered reality with its inescapable immediacy and relentless timeliness. Reinvention is no longer an artist’s second chance at relevance, but rather an artist’s way of life. It is no surprise that artists are dodging labels and doctrines more than ever. Paris Hilton, once a reality star, is now a business mogul.
Saint-Hoax is counter-intuitively shifting from digital to traditional art. Del Kathryn Barton is venturing into the art of filmmaking and Signe Pierce… well… she pretty much changed the game, pun intended, by branding herself a ‘Reality Artist’. I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that while the notion of change still triggers most of us, change is no longer something that we can attribute to a certain moment in time, but rather to our everyday … Brace yourselves, change has come.
— Eli Rezkallah
Saint-Hoax took the digital art scene by storm with his very first series, the eye-catching and controversial “War Drags You Out” featuring world leaders dressed in drag. Since then, he has taken Instagram by storm, garnering almost half a million followers and getting reposted by Hollywood A-listers including Madonna and Diplo. Although he quickly became a poster child for “Insta-Fame”, his work has also been featured in solo exhibitions around the world, cementing his legitimacy as an artist and an activist.
Signe Pierce first burst onto the scene with the release of her 2014 short film American Reflexxx; a performance art piece featuring Pierce herself, wearing a mask and barely anything else, wandering the streets of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, waiting for something to happen. Little did she know that all hell would break loose as walkers by started attacking her both verbally and physically because of her hyper sexualized demeanor. The video went viral and toured galleries around the world, garnering acclaim for shedding light on the overall intolerance that lurks right below the surface of American society. Since then, Pierce has been relentlessly expressing herself on any medium she can find, branding herself a ‘Reality Artist’ and using her body, mind and soul as a platform to incite much needed self-reflection and self-questioning from her viewers.
German photographer Monica Menez’s work is at once elegant, sexy and tongue in cheek. A fan of Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton, she likes to explore the familiar set in the unknown. In recent years, she has become a leading voice in fashion film. Her Precious shows how erotic something mundane as making a pizza can be, while Odditory offers a very naughty music class indeed. And all, of course, in gorgeous clothes!
Under the title ICONS, LA-based photographer Parker Day portrays members of America’s modern day tribes. Urban freaks shown in bold colors, as if in an ad or a cartoon. Mind you, all is not what it seems. Partly staged, these portraits are often a combined effort between artist and model, celebrating originality and individuality, yet reminding us that a mask, any mask, is always but a mask.
Born in 1981, Australian artist Ben Thomas IS fascinated by cities and urban spaces. He first shot to fame with his miniature railway-like images of Tokyo. His more recent series change our perspectives on city life by using color, light and flatness, thus making the real look very surreal indeed. A winner of the 2016 LensCulture Emerging Talents award, THOMAS recently completed assignments for The New Yorker, Sony and Penguin Books.
What started as a hobby during her archeology studies six years ago is now a full-time profession complete with a contract for American Vogue. A 100% self-taught photographer and self-proclaimed workaholic, Slovakian artist Maria Svarbova says she does not like complicated things. She is inspired “by normal people in normal life”.
PARIS je t’aime
A series of images featuring Paris Hilton, photographed by Vijat Mohindra.
Produced by Plastik Studios, Los Angeles, 2016.
Photography Eli Rezkallah
Produced by Plastik Studios, Beirut, 2016.
Australian photographer Alice Hutchison was born and raised in one of Melbourne’s most diverse working-class neighborhoods; an inner city enclave of European and Middle Eastern migrants. Weekend walks presented a smorgasbord of sights and sounds that inspired her young, creative mind. For her latest collection, she drew inspiration from the neighborhood’s kitsch, industrial past, and borrowed props from shops and friends across the city to create “a suspended reality”.
Australian photographer and costume maker Gerwyn Davies stretches the boundaries of camp and fashion to explore the concept of identity. In his latest series Subtropics, he turns his eye to the hundreds of “Big Thing” monuments that lie scattered around Australia to mark tourist spots and entertainment parks: giant shrimps, pineapples, pies and koala bears. Here, in the all too realness of the absurd, his costume creatures suddenly seem a natural fit …
Italian photographer Cristina Coral’s images are not so much a reflection of a reality outside of us, but “come from the depths and mystery that is within each of us". The art of photography is about feeling, not seeing. Her view and way of working has already caught the eye of Vogue Italy and Maison Martin Margiela, and produced two gold medals at the 2014 Prix de la Photographie Paris.
It is a crazy world we live in and many people believe the only way to stay sane is to hold up a mirror and laugh. Young American photographer Olivia Locher is one of them. She is not afraid to use the word “sarcastic” to describe such personal work as " I Fought the Law and How To".
DEL KATHERYN BARTON
If you haven’t heard of Del Kathryn Barton, Cate Blanchett will make sure you will. A two-time Archibald prizewinning artist with numerous solo exhibitions under her belt, Barton is an artist whose body of work stems from her embracing and boldly baring her vulnerabilities as a mother, a woman, and a human being. Each figurative painting is an opulent mosaic of the human condition rendered timeless by its overwhelming minutiae and pristine craftsmanship. Always looking for new mediums to play with, Barton has just released her first live action short film RED starring none other than Cate herself.
Instagramming is art. It requires the three Cs – Creativity, Consistency and Commitment. From photography to illustration, these young artists have colored our daily feeds with exciting visuals that sometimes evolved into work projects and opportunities.
Get your finger on the “follow” button right this insta!