While he works primarily in advertising and editorial photography, Richard Burbridge has a vision that’s distinctly his own, no matter who the client is. The photographer has been based in New York City since 1993 and has shot a slew of covers and fashion features for the likes of Italian Vogue and Dazed & Confused. Though he photographs models in luxurious couture, Burbridge throws traditional beauty conventions out the window. He often alters the models’ faces and bodies with surreal props — bondage masks, baby doll heads, food, foam and anything that will give his sitters an otherworldly appearance. Unafraid to violate the models’ pristine hair and clothing, Burbridge confronts viewers with the beauty within the ugliness (and vice versa) and creates images that challenge our expectations.
Emerging NYC-based artist Lala Abaddon’s journey through the art world started with analog photography and poetry. The idea of creating works that carry more than one story always fascinated her, and Abaddon felt like she found the answer when she wove her first piece. Interested in the process of deconstruction and reconstruction, she decided to cut up multiple existing photographs and weave them into new images.
You might get a jolt of déjà vu looking at Brazilian artist Lucio Carvalho’s photographic work. Significant images in his portfolio feature monuments of culture – a towering Tate, a sinewy Bilbao Guggenheim, a sun-reflected Louvre – contemporary institutions that have proved integral to the architecture of a city’s art scene. However, in each of these images, something is a little off – the usual foreground and background are hijacked with paraphernalia (shopping bags, STOP signs, yellow plastic chairs) that reveal no explicit tie to the museum or gallery. The images are both familiar and unfamiliar, not so much a trick of the eye as a trick of our cultural systems.
Though she is known for her work in fashion photography, the fine art photography of the Madrid-based Rocio Montoya offers a interesting new look at her skills in portraiture. Montoya’s subjects, generally young women, are captured in moments that range from intense euphoric emotion to still, deadpan gazes. In some images, the faces of the subjects are obscured, adding a sense of aloofness and mystery. Her works are predominately in black and white, but Montoya uses a range of effects such as double exposure to make the images more vivid. Through her techniques, Montoya brings a new vision into the images she captures.
Though he shot it 10 years ago, Phillip Toledano’s 2004 photography series “Hope & Fear” still rings true a decade later as a diagnosis of our collective fears in 21st-century America. While the artist’s recent work, though highly stylized, is mostly documentary, “Hope & Fear” presents a nightmarish fantasy though its elaborate costuming and staging. In each surreal portrait, the sitter becomes subsumed in a substance or object that represents a specific societal problem or common anxiety taken to the extreme.
The work of Taiwanese photographer Yung Cheng Lin (aka “3cm”) is a sensitive and surreal observation of the female condition. Sexuality, menstruation, maturity and birth are all running themes in his photos, an ongoing larger body of work. His critics take two sides; most praise his abstract, personal take on a woman’s experience while others rejects it as objectification. 3cm rarely, if ever, grants interviews or interpretations of his work, so we can’t defend either. He wants his audience to look at his photos without interference. Take a look at 3cm’s latest work after the jump.