Impossible Photography and Defying The Rules of Physics

As you all know, we love art and especially photography, as even if a picture wouldn’t be worth a thousand words, a good picture, just as a good painting, can transport you to a different world, give you another perspective, change something about the way you see the world or report yourself to it. Art history knows plenty of famous photographers who managed to stand the test of time and become legends in their field. As where as impossible photography is concerned, maybe we don’t use the term correctly, but we have some explanation for it: let’s say that a picture is meant to capture reality. A photo turns immortal a person, a life’s moment, a landscape, a scene, an object and so on. This is why we still use photography as witnesses, as time – standing pylons that prove without a doubt (and in the absence of photo tampering and manipulation) that at some point in time, reality was in a certain way. By impossible photography, we understand those art works that even still capture reality as it is, but which defy the known laws of physics either because they are thoroughly manipulated, either because the artists have a fine skill of playing with our minds. Today we will take a look at the works of two photographers who managed to impress us with their impossible photography skills and let you decide if defying the laws of physics is a matter of artistic talent or just good photo manipulation software skills.

The impossible photography of Michael Rhode

This German artist is the possessor of not only a talent to blow our minds with his photography, but also an interesting background. His art, called by the experts Impossible Perspectives, apparently has roots in Michael’s history of being a homeless and living in all sorts of places in Berlin. The way he “sees” space and objects is definitely revolutionary and the hard work behind all the juxtapositions he did is breath taking. But what is Michael’s impossible photography anyway? According to Katie Hosmer’s article on My Modern Met,

To create the photographs, the artist merged hundreds of individual images into one composition. The space is disorienting and viewers will remain captivated as they attempt to make sense of each arrangement. We are visually led to believe that the foundation of a floor has been eliminated and are thus faced with quite the challenge of deciphering the scene. Objects that normally rest on the floor seem to be happily hovering in a weightless room and Rohde provides us with the unique opportunity to gaze, with ease, underneath desks, chairs, tables, countertops, and even a refrigerator!

We’ll take a look over some of Michael’s brilliant impossible photography and invite you to take a look at a more extended gallery. And if you like his works, you should know that others are challenging themselves with messing up with our perspective on reality too. Another German artist, Menno Aden is offering us also “from above” photos to actually give us a height freight.

Michael Rohde

Michael Rohde

Michael Rohde

The Art of Kaija Straumanis

Kaija Straumanis is a young female photographer who took art and fun to another level and publicly released an impossible photography project where she is captured on camera… being hit in the face by different objects. Now what is amazing about her photos is that they make you wonder how many shots were necessary to get those pictures and… wasn’t she hurt by those objects? Of course, it is hard to believe that somebody actually threw a glass at her and broke it against her temple, but as impossible photography goes in our book, she did indeed mess up with reality. Perhaps these pictures won’t be used in any court of law as undeniable proof, but the fact is that her project may become a source of inspiration for other artists to “manipulate reality” even for the sake of fun and originality.

kajia straumanis

kajia straumanis

kajia straumanis

If you have other examples of impossible photography that sometimes fools the eye and defies the laws of physics, don’t hesitate to let us know. We love a good challenge and let’s face it: a new perspective is always welcome in a world obsessed with selfies and Instagram shootings of breakfast dishes and cats.

Mesmerizing and Grotesque Tire Sculptures by Yong Ho Ji

Modern art has its unique appeal, and there always seems to be an artist that manages to surprise us through unusual techniques, innovative material ideas or simply through the sheer beauty of his/her works. There is literally no limit to imagination. It is possible to create incredible art from used up toiler rolls, newspapers and even matches. A while back we shared the work of Shi Jindian, who has taken sculpturing to a whole new level with his steel-wire models, and the fascinating 3D paper sculptures of Jeff Nishinaka. Today we would like to showcase Korean sculptor’s Yong Ho Ji’s monstrous creations made from recycled tires.

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Yong Ho Ji was born in the year 1978. he completed his MFA fine arts degree at the New York University of Art, and has been making layered tire sculptures of mythological creatures ever since. His art is definitely unlike anything you will ever see, and his collection is already home to hundreds of majestic works. Most of his work is centered around the reinterpretation and representation of magical creatures which are blended perfectly with a near human physical structures. Being around cattle and other livestock during his childhood has strengthened the artist’s desire to make art about humanity’s responsibility towards nature, with the help of recycled materials.

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Yong Ho Ji has managed to put together a stunning series of intense, monstrous sculptures by layering this unusual material into elaborate constructions. To embody the creatures he meticulously cuts stripes of tires which represent flesh, muscles and curves of the body. The sculptures have a heavy, industrial aesthetic with intricate details.

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When you view them from afar, the sculptures seem surprisingly realistic, but upon closer inspection you will see that what looked like a horse, is actually a mythical creature with the tail of a chicken and legs of a dog. The tires may not be the center-piece of his works, but it is through their uneven texture that the grotesque appearance is accentuated.

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How Yong Ho Ji Works

Yong has adopted the tire as his signature material based on his childhood memory of the spare wheel on his family’s jeep. The choice of material is very unusual, and as you can probably imagine, difficult to manipulate. The artist has to mold it over a welded iron or wood frame, compacted with soil to recreate the delicate intricacies of the animal’s muscles. He uses different types of bicycle, tractor, and motorcycle tiers for specific muscles, and to create the effect of skin or fur. Critiques believe that the exaggerated postures and realistic appearance (generated by the mimicking of how real muscles hang on skeletons) point to the influence of 19th century French sculptor Auguste de Rodin.

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Another one of Yong’s sources of inspiration is without a doubt the Darwinian theory on the Origin of species (which emphasizes the need for animals to adapt in order to survive). Combine these influences with the artist’s attitude towards the consumerist nature of our society, where tires are constantly being used, devaluated and tossed away, and the artwork gains a new meaning. Yong Ho Ji has actually described his sculptures as being precarious identities that evoke both the natural process of transformation and the mythical status of hybrid creatures.

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The Mutant Mythos collection includes hybrid forms of animals, people and combinations of the two. Sizes vary from an eleven-inch high dog, to a five-feet-tall goat with horns or 10-foot-long hammerhead shark. The animals are categorized into carnivorous, omnivorous, arthropods, and herbivorous.

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my concept is mutation—mutants. the product is from nature, from the white sap of latex trees but here
it’s changed. the color is black. the look is scary. rubber is very flexible, like skin, like muscles’ (Yong Ho Ji)

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Through his work, Yong Ho Ji clearly expresses his skepticism towards those who try to defy nature by creating entirely new forms of species by modifying the structure of genes. Therefore, he sticks to his science-fiction monsters, alien-like creatures and genetically modified organisms that can be found in legends, stories and films. At the moment he is one of the most successful modern artists.

Art Knows No Barriers: The Incredible Story of Leanne Beetham

If you don’t know by now the incredible story of Leanne Beetham, then pause for a moment and read carefully, as her story proves once again, if it was necessary, that human potential goes beyond physical disability and where nature’s cruelty strikes, the human spirit rises, giving its possessor chances and opportunities never imagined before. Leanne Beethan is yet another example of a person fighting against its own boundaries and winning at a game many non-disabled people tend to ignore and overestimate: achieving the impossible, overcoming limitations, breaking through barriers others don’t have to live with.

But let’s start the incredible story of Leanne Beetham the proper way: with the beginning. Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita is a congenital condition that affects almost all joints in a person’s body, making them eventually incapable to move. Although quite rare, it is a major disabling condition and Leanne was unfortunate enough to be born with it. She has the spine curved and she cannot move either her arms or her legs. Her mother, apparently unable to take care of a severely disabled child, left her in the care Leanne’s grandparents who didn’t have much hope either, as the doctors’ prognostics weren’t so bright.

But the British young girl did not only survived, she became a great contemporary artist, as well. By the age of two years old, she started drawing and painting by holding a pencil in her mouth.

Years have passed and now Leanne Beethan is a true painter and a talented one by all possible standards. According to an interview she gave to Daily Mail not so long ago,

her talent was recognized at 13 when she designed a Christmas card for her school which was featured in the local newspaper and seen by a member of MFPA

MFPA, which stands for Mouth and Foot Painting Artists welcomed Leanne and thus, her career as a painter began. She started painting and drawing nature and animal inspired artworks for charity purposes. She became widely popular in the last years, not only because she turned her talent into a personal success, but because she turned her personal success into a life’s goal to educate the public and to advocate for the abilities and talents of disabled people.

Leanne’s terrible fate was completely changed when she was discovered as a young artistic talent and she received a scholarship and an award for Triumph Over Adversity from the British National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

But the incredible story of Leanne Beetham doesn’t stop here: her lucky star shone bright above her and turned her into a national celebrity, since famous crime writer Frederick Forsyth became one of her fans, together with a wildlife artist known in artistic circles by the name of Shepherd.

Leanne’s own love for animals carried her steps towards the Bishop Burton Higher Education College where she attends applied animal behavior and training classes, but her dedication to art is more powerful.

Can she make a living out of her mouth charcoal drawings and watercolor paintings? She believes so and from the looks of it, she started really well: one of her works made it to Christie’s Auction House in London, marking thus a major landmark in her artistic career. Not only that she was the youngest artist to take part at the auction (organized for charity and fundraising purposes in the benefit of David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation for endangered wild animals), but her artwork was registered at a reserve price of £800 (apprx. $1,304).

What is absolutely great about the incredible story of Leanne Beetham is that despite her incapacity to move, she has a larger than life attitude and the ambition to prove anybody wrong if they dare say to her that she can’t do certain things.

Why Do People Do That? Human Placenta and Breast Milk Art

You may believe it is a very gross thing to do, women eating their own placenta, there is, but the practice wasn’t invented yesterday. Moreover, women in China also have a recipe for cooking their placenta, and if this didn’t make you run outside, then you’re good to go, because on a less gross note, modern medicine and technology found a lot of important uses for this particular part of a woman’s body. Stem cell harvest, placenta freezing, placenta – based processed supplements, they all belong to this modern world where we are still fighting terminal diseases and don’t know how to handle transplant rejections or organ donor incompatibility. But, on the bright side, we have now the power to 3D print organs and save lives and, who knows, we may be the witnesses of curing cancer and AIDS during our lifetimes and put an end to misery and suffering. And all these may be intimately linked to the newborns’ placenta.

…And then, there comes the art, ladies and gentlemen. Women around the world took a step forward and instead of eating their placentas, like any other responsible mother would, or donate it to science, they started creating works of art. And for things to get even weirder, some smart people figured out that breast milk is a solid ingredient for creating art too. You may think breast milk is liquid, but wait for it… So today we will talk about human placenta and breast milk art. Just so you know what to do as fresh mothers. By the looks of it, fathers have nothing to do with this, but it’s best to be updated.

Human Placenta Art

French branch of Slate Magazine start their debate on the subject of “what women do with their placenta” with a very objective heading: Some peoples’ imagination has no limits. Indeed it doesn’t. So these guys found out that American mothers harvest their fresh placentas and use them to make posters, given the fact that it can look like some sort of a tree, together with the umbilical cord. It’s not the actual placenta, mind you, but the traces of the placenta imprinted on paper after pressed carefully against it. The painting can be of course put on the wall to celebrate the birth of the newborn and remind the parents how lucky they are.

But in the world of human placenta and breast milk art, things don’t stop at DIY projects, although there are video tutorials available for women to make their own placenta posters. There are companies who will do it for you. Slate contributor describes Portland as a neo – hippie city by excellence before presenting us with Tree of Life Placenta Services, a company that turns your placenta into a post – modern painting. Isn’t that sweet?

Breast milk art

breast milk jewelry

If you’re thinking something like ice sculptures (as milk seems to be liquid compared to the placenta which is solid), we are talking about breast milk jewelry. And this is old news people. This looks like an old good fashioned British – French cooperation, as somewhere in 2008 some French scientists discovered the recipe which allows mothers with too much breast milk and too much free time imagination  to solidify their breast milk and turn it into jewelry, while The Telegraph described the whole process in detail. You can buy breast milk jewelry, you can make your own earrings and bracelets and necklaces, just to keep close (and forever) the fresh mommy memories.

While some people create all sort of artistic works out of the strangest of materials, and don’t get us wrong, we love art, human placenta and breast milk art seem to be only for the connoisseurs and people willing to make some serious statements.  Best of luck with that!

Photo credits: Slate.fr, Telegraph.co.uk

5 Less Known Books Inspired by Their Authors’ Dreams

One of the most interesting questions you can ask a writer is where did he get his or her inspiration to write a certain book, and given the fact that the history of literature registered so many great works, the answers are infinite and fascinating. And when it comes to world – famous writers and novels, things get even more interesting, as imagination seemed to travel to territories us readers don’t even begin to comprehend. But was it only imagination, creativity, a blend of personal experiences and fictional reinterpretations of reality that made some writers deliver outstanding creations, or was it more than this?

Today we will see five less known books inspired by their author’s dreams, and even you already are aware of titles such as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – which came from Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson’s dream of a man with multiple personality disorder, or Mary Shelley’s dream about what humanity will later meet as Frankenstein, there are other just as famous titles which can be traced back to their authors’ dreams.

5. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

jane eyre

Jane Eyre’s story arc comes from a blend of lucid dreams, night dreams and even lucid visions Charlotte Bronte had and detailed. One of the biggest classic novels of all times, Jane Eyre may not have come directly and perfectly from her author’s hallucinations, prophecies, visions and dreams, but it is a product of them all, skillfully put by Bronte on paper, together with a touch of genius.

4. Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot

salem's lot

Mr. King never neglected the dreams function and inspiring role into the life of a writer. While it is well known that terror / horror masterpiece Misery was inspired by a dream he had on the board of an airplane. The nightmare about a psychotic fan kidnapping a writer was so powerful, King soon translated the images into words, and this is how bestselling novel Misery was born. But King had other dreams, even as a child, and Salem’s Lot is the product of adult and established writer King going back to child Stephen and putting that old nightmare on paper.

3. H.P. Lovecraft’s The Statement of Randolph Carter and all his other works

statement of randolf carter

H.P. Lovecraft is the incontestable father of all things horror and all his works deserve a place in this list of less known books inspired by their author’s dreams, especially if we talk about The Statement of Randolph Carter, a dream the author just transcribed into words, adding some preface to make things clear. But Lovecraft is known for suffering from nightmares since his childhood years and critics safely assume that almost all his terrorizing stories about the Great Old Ones and the monsters he created can be traced back to his troubled dreams.

2. E. B. White’s Stuart Little

Stuart Little

Maybe this one isn’t all unknown to you, but it is still fascinating how one of children’s most favorite characters came directly from the author’s dream. He actually “saw” a young boy acting and looking quite well like a mouse, and here is where it all began. E.B. White confessed to this, but it took him nearly two decades to turn the dream into a story.

1. Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire

interview with a vampire

If Stephenie Meyer did indeed dream about a sparkly old beautiful vampire falling in love with the girl next door, thus becoming one of the most successful Young Adult book (and movie) series in our modern times, back in the day, the mother of the most fascinating vampires that ever blessed literature and cinema was dreaming of blood, death and her very sick daughter, who eventually died of a severe form of leukemia, sending her mother to the edges of darkness and despair. Anne Rice maybe never dreamed about Lestat and Louis, but she did dream something so powerful, so unnatural, that it turned into one of the best and most appraised vampire sagas in all history. 

Surprising or not (and mostly not), in this list of less known books inspired by their author’s dreams, you can fit in almost all Edgar Allan Poe’s works, as he, just as Lovecraft, was a troubled man with vivid nightmares that are plausible to have turned later on in mind-blowing masterpieces, but literature knows many other works that came directly from their creators’ vivid dreams and visions.