Posts Tagged ‘photo’


Daily dose of the surreal

January 4, 2012



Dia de los Muertos

November 2, 2010

Much as I utterly love Halloween, I’ve always just been the teeniest bit more intrigued by the Dia de los Muertos, with all the sugar skulls and other trappings. There seems to be a spirit to the holiday that I’d love to experience properly. I love the idea of celebrating one’s ancestors in a fun, humourous way, rather than it being the vaguely morbid affair that the All Souls’ Day celebrations tend to be in other countries.

I also really enjoy the fact that all the scariness is taken out of skulls and skeletons,  and that they’re made into something fun and cartoon-y instead. I’m sure there could still be sinister doings afoot during a Dia de los Muertos celebration (in fact I fervently hope there have been, because that would be awesome) but at the same time the way the decorations are done enures that the atmosphere is festive rather than creepy.

Non-sequiteur point being, I’m a big fan of these photos by  John Rees.  I think the styling of the models is great, and the story of the shoot makes me oh so happy.

I love this one… it’s rather terrifying until you look at it closely and realise what she is. Such a contrast to the warmth of some of the other ones.

Happy Dia de los Muertos!



Inspiration 10.29.10

October 28, 2010

Can you tell I just re-watched Blue Velvet?

David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini by Helmut Newton.



October 21, 2010

Anyone who knows me knows the recipe for appealing to my aesthetic: dark, preferably some sort of urban dystopia, with good lashings of dress-up and make-believe. Tattered finery and all that. Throw in carnival references and freaks of any kind, and you’ve made me a very happy girl.

This is why I was so pleased to come across Steven Meisel’s Neverland editorial in an old issue of Vogue Italia I found while clearing out the junk that’s accumulated in my room over the past 10 years. It’s such a great combination of carny-freak and playing dress-up. I love the grimy setting, I love the colour palette, I love the fact that in a weird way it’s almost believable. A couple of the clown suits aside, I wouldn’t be overly surprised to stumble across a colony of people playing circus make-believe in a junkyard. I could even see myself doing it, with the right group of friends.

(ok, this picture I’m less pleased by… unsure if it’s because I’m irrationally irritated by his juggling, or by the preciousness of his tiny useless scarf.)


I love everything in this photo… the mask, the blouse, the tights. I’d wear them all in a heartbeat. (With a skirt, obvi.)

Ren-Faire warrior bard? This is giving me serious flashbacks to one of my favourite fantasy series from when I was a nerdy young thing.

The fact is, every time I look at this editorial I get the phrase “Lost Boys” stuck in my head while I look for a way to describe it. I think this shoot is a great modern take on the theme.

Of COURSE they have a drum.



I imagine her as the ice-princessy girl who hardly ever speaks, but who everyone is a little bit in love with.

Anyhow, i’m off to pile on costume jewelry and scour my closet for beautiful falling-apart things. Or maybe I’ll just curl up and daydream about fairytales. Regardless, I love this display of the magic and weirdness that can be found in ugly little corners of the world.


She hit pause

April 28, 2010

I bought the picture above at some holiday fair as a Christmas present for my stepfather. He likes the sea, art and pretty girls, so I figured it would be a good match. The picture was duly wrapped, presented, appreciated. Pretty girls + the sun were a win yet again. Done.

For some reason, though, I held on to the photographer’s business card, and kept on returning to his site to look at the shots. There’s something about the dreamy quality of these weathered Polaroids that brings up instant thoughts of half-destroyed vintage magazines and slow-motion summer afternoons. On his website, the shots are described as photographer Matt Schwartz’ “version of the pin-up girl,” and I can’t agree more. Their lazy sensuality is wonderfully captured on film in a sort of Endless Summer. I’d give anything to know the story behind all these shots.

Matt Schwartz for She Hit Pause Studios.



February 14, 2010

I’ve had Matt Hoyle‘s photography on the brain for a couple months now.  The majority of his stuff is hyper-realistic in style, so shiny as to make the subject seem to be out of a vintage illustration for the Saturday Evening Post. His “Barnumville” photos lack the gloss of his  other series, but the colourful subjects made me even more curious about the project.

In an interview about the series, Hoyle reveals that these portraits “were initially just a recording” of the performers, in preparation for a greater thematic project depicting his imaginary town of Barnumville, where sideshow performers live in their time off. I’ve always had a soft spot for the idea of circus performers, so the thought of a fictional sideshow community just about made me jump about in glee. I can completely see these people pictured below retiring to some small town in the Florida panhandle. Scandals abound, outrageous acts are pulled off, but at the end of the day the charming characters spout good ol’ fashioned horse sense, peppered by observations from their crazy experiences. Into stereotyping, moi? Never!

I think the big thing that strikes me about this collection is that it manages to tread a very careful line between strangeness and  and complete normalcy. When I saw the picture above, I gleefully prepared myself for a freak show, but as I scrolled through the shots, I found myself pleased by the fact that these people who are so often fetishized because of their careers are shown as normal people. Some of them, at least. Others are in clown makeup, or are human blockheads (shudder!) so can’t quite tread that line, but I like the contrast. Anyway, check out the shots below.


Minutes to Midnight

October 23, 2009


There’s something about Trent Parke‘s photography that reminds me of David Lynch’s movies, particularly Inland Empire. I think it’s his use of unusual lighting. It gives his photos that sense of normalcy gone terribly, terribly twisted that I see throughout Lynch’s work. Parke’s pictures are wonderfully thought-provoking. I love how he manages to evoke this sense of motion and dreaminess, just through his use of lighting, until the subject becomes almost abstracted.

I’m not going to quote this directly, as I can’t find the source, but I could swear that I saw an interview with Parke where he talked about his inspiration for photographing his work, Minutes to Midnight, coming from a quote about the Australian lack of innocence, and wanting to document the process through which it happened. In order to do this, he took a roadtrip around Australia with his wife (photographer Narelle Autio) for two years, and just took pictures of everything he saw. The results are stunning.

The pictures I’ve put up come from his series “Minutes to Midnight”, “Dream/Life” and “The Seventh Wave”. He started shooting in colour, but I found I preferred the moodiness of his black-and-white photos.

















Find more of his work here and here.