The Pig Farmer: A Tragic Tale of Drugs, Foxy Nudity and Bloody Violence!

The Pig Farmer: A Tragic Tale of Drugs, Foxy Nudity and Bloody Violence!

The Pig Farmer is a wickedly clever short animated film by the award-winning Canadian filmmaker/animator Nick Cross. It tells the simple story of a wayward soul, awash in an ocean of tragedy and regret. The Pig Farmer offers plenty of pleasantly sick cartoon fun, chock-full of bizarre drug hallucinations, foxy nudity and full-out bloody violence!

The Pig Farmer: A Tragic Tale of Drugs, Foxy Nudity and Bloody Violence

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George Condo: A Mind Where Picasso Meets Grotesque Looney Tunes

The Stockbroker, 2002

The French Maid, 2005

Spiderwoman, 2002

Mary Magdalene

Jesus

George Condo: A Mind Where Picasso Meets Grotesque Looney Tunes

George Condo is a prolific painter whose career spans almost three decades, creating characters who inhabit a grotesque, comic, baroque and sinister world. His work presents surrealist-style figure paintings, where humor abates tragedy and our inner demons are realized on a canvas. Condo’s work has been described as the visual embodiment of our mental states, and the first major American survey of his work has just opened at New York City’s New Museum, aptly entitled George Condo: Mental States.

Condo Painting: A Documentary on the Work of George Condo

Slide Show: George Condo/A Mind Where Picasso Meets Grotesque Looney Tunes

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A Theater of Manners: Portraits of the Wealthy, Social Nobility and Politically Powerful

Jim Dow, “The Dining Room, Morgan Library, New York City” (1999 / 2010)

Jim Dow, “The Library, Metropolitan Club, New York City” (1999 / 2010)

Jim Dow, “The New York Society Library, NYC”

Annie Leibovitz, “Queen Elizabeth II” (2007)

Martin Parr, France. Paris, “Haute Couture” (2007)

Daniela Rossell, “Paulina with Lion, Mexico”

A Theater of Manners: Portraits of the Wealthy, Social Nobility and Politically Powerful

Portraits and Power: People, Politics and Structures is a collection of photographs showing the seldom seen hidden lives of the wealthy, social nobility and politically powerful persons of our times. The collection is currently on exhibition at The CCCS, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, in Florence, Italy. The images portray the representatives of a social class that normally exercises careful control over the circulation of pictures of its members, whether in the form of family photographs or of official portraits.  The photographs unveil the game of social roles and attitudes conducted by the subjects, a veritable Theater of Manners, which demands enough sensitivity on the viewers’ part for them to focus on those details in the pictures that render hidden and non-immediately obvious features visible.

In addition, many of the photographs present an authentic and rare view of the architecture, furnishings and frameworks of some of the most exclusive private circles of New York City, circles that have a long and significant history, such as the renowned Metropolitan Club. Though there are over twenty such circles of this kind in New York City, outsiders will very seldom notice their presence. Presently, an increasing number of politicians and businessmen are choosing to meet in these secluded rooms, which public opinion often perceives as places of intrigue and the setting for various kinds of secret appointments. The photographs give a face to these exclusive meeting places, inviting viewers to  admire the timeless opulence of their rooms.

Portraits and Power: People, Politics and Structures

Slide Show: Theater of Manners/Portraits of the Wealthy, Nobility and Politically Powerful

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Luminous Cities: Creative Explorations of Architectural Structures in Urban Landscapes

Edward Steichen, The Maypole, Empire State Building, New York City, 1932

Andreas Feininger, New York at Night, c. 1940

Eugene Atget (France), Coin de la Rue Valette et Pantheon, 5e Arrondissement, Matinee de Mars, 1925

Stephen Thompson, Grande Canale, Venice, c. 1868

Henry Hart (England), House of Parliament, London, c. 1847-1857

Luminous Cities: Creative Explorations of Architectural Structures in Urban Landscapes

Luminous Cities is a fascinating collection of photographs, which have been selected from a delightful exhibition of photographs of the built environment on display at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. The world’s great cities have always been vibrant centers of creativity, in which the built environment is often as inspirational as the activities of its citizens, and since the nineteenth century photographers have creatively explored the idea of the city.

The exhibition enables the viewer to examine the various ways photographers have viewed cities as historical sites, bustling modern hubs and architectural utopias in the 19th and 20th centuries. Through the work of a range of photographers, Luminous Cities leads viewers on a fascinating journey around the world, into the streets, buildings and former lives of some of our greatest international cities.  The many fine photographs presented here, and in the remarkable slide show, include works by renowned photographers Eugene Atget, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Berenice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Lee Freidlander and Grant Mudford amongst many others.

Photography in the City: Contemporary Urban Atmospheres

Slide Show: Luminous Cities/Architectural Structures in Urban Landscapes

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Andy and Zach: A Heartfelt Film about Friendship

Andy and Zach: A Heartfelt Film about Friendship

Andy and Zach is a deeply touching narrative short film directed by the young New York filmmaker Nick Paley, which was named an Official Selection for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In the film, two young men are faced with a fairly clear understanding that the ending of their time together as roommates is something that needs to happen. When Zach decides to move out, his roommate Andy awkwardly begins trying to set up a new life without his best friend.

Although each in his own way tries to mask painful feelings about the impending loss of their close friendship, in the face of their sometimes mutually contentious stances a real tenderness shines through, especially as the suave, socially competent Zach begins to worry about Andy, his socially misfit roommate.  In dealing with Andy’s dual feelings of abandonment and annoyance at the infantilizing worrying of Zach, as well as with Zach’s recognition of his need to move out, while still caring for Andy, the film beautifully and subtly depicts the ending of a particularly empathic kind of relationship.

Andy and Zach: A Heartfelt Film about Friendship

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Hezarfen: A Turbulently Thrilling Saga of the Astonishing Feat of First Human Flight

Hezarfen: A Turbulently Thrilling Saga of the Astonishing Feat of First Human Flight

Hezarfen is a joyously slapstick three-minute 3D animated short film by Tolga Ari, Romain Blanchet, Chung-Yu Huang and Rémy Hurlin, who are recent graduates of Supinfocom Arles. The film takes place in 1632 in Turkey and presents the trials and tribulations of Hezarfen, a citizen of Istanbul who folklore credits with having attempted to make the first human flight with artificial wings in the history of aviation. Legend claims that Hezarfen actually took off from atop the 183-foot tall Galata Tower near Bosporus and landed successfully at Uskudar, almost 3 miles away from the Galata Tower.

This film focuses primarily on how Hezarfen managed to jump from that lofty, truly sky-high tower. As he prepared to jump and launch into flight, a large crowd of townspeople stopped their work to gaze up at the tower, watching with astonishment at the sight of Hezarfen perched on top with flimsy wings attached. In short order, many of them ended up actually getting drawn into the breath-taking drama, as an unforeseen chain of events rapidly began to unfold. The initially courageous-seeming undertaking soon became a turbulently comical misadventure, a wacky escapade that demonstrates the high price imposed by attempts to execute schemes that are really peculiar and strange. Such offbeat strivings for bizarre pioneering achievement can so quickly degenerate into absurdly sparkling calamity.

Hezarfen: A Turbulently Thrilling Saga of the Astonishing Feat of First Human Flight

Photo-Gallery: The Thrilling Saga of Hezarfen’s Astonishing Feat of Human Flight

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Rock Photographer Autumn de Wilde: The Decemberists in Polaroid

Rock Photographer Autumn de Wilde: The Decemberists in Polaroid

Rock photographer Autumn de Wilde and The Decemberists have teamed up with The Impossible Project to create a deluxe box edition for the band’s new album, The King Is Dead. Autumn de Wilde was joking when she first offered to take a couple thousand Polaroid shots of her friends in the folk-rock band the Decemberists. But they called her bluff, and a few months later she’d accumulated more than 2,500 single- and double-exposed photos of the five band members, which were taken during recording sessions for the new album and around their hometown haunts in Portland, Oregon. All of the pictures were taken on Polaroid Type 100 peel-apart film provided by The Impossible Project, a group of former Polaroid employees who banded together in 2008 to rescue the beloved instant cameras from total obsolescence.

Here’s a video-montage of de Wilde’s Polaroid photographs, accompanying the band’s new song from their album, Down by the Water. Then take a look through the slide show presenting more of de Wilde’s unique and dramatic Polaroids.

The Decemberists: Down by the Water

Slide Show: The Decemberists in Polaroid

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