Australian artist Alexia Sinclair looked to the 18th-century French royal court for inspiration for her latest photo series, "Rococo," currently on view at Black Eye Gallery in Darlinghurst, Australia. For the series, Sinclair created opulent images that evoke the pleasure-seeking ways of Marie Antoinette and her ilk. Models lounge on beds that Sinclair constructed by hand from fresh flowers. They luxuriate in elaborate fabrics that seem to melt off their bodies. There's certainly an erotic element in the work as Sinclair plays with the conservative, high femme costumes of the era, juxtaposing ruffles and lace with exposed skin.
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.
South African designer Justin Plunkett’s “Con/struct” series has more in common with the digitally-fabricated renderings of speculative architecture than documentary photography, but it illustrates an eerie collision of both formats. The images are built from a combination of photography, 3D modeling and substantial post-production editing, to form street-level perspectives of futuristic urban fantasies.