It’s that time of year again. As each year passes, the holiday season seems to start earlier with Christmas ads appearing before we even have time to put away our Halloween costumes. However your family celebrates this time of year, remember that Christmas never came in a box - it’s a time to remember what’s important in life and spend it with the ones you love.
No other artist has ever captured the sentiment of the holiday season like Norman Rockwell. Rockwell is America’s most beloved early 20th century illustrator. His connection to holiday-inspired art can be traced to his youth, when at the tender age of 15, a parishioner of his family’s church employed his talents for Christmas card designs.
As an adult, Rockwell would become as synonymous with the holidays as Santa Claus himself. He also became the most famous fixture at Hallmark, the greeting card company that continues to market his holiday illustrations. It’s also likely that Rockwell will retain his unsurpassed world record of creating more covers for a single magazine – he illustrated more than 300 covers for The Saturday Evening Post.
He captured life of early 20th century American society in such a unique way that his style his undeniable and easy to recognize. His art shows the wonder and joy of life during a simpler time in American culture, one not obsessed with youth and technology. His art joyfully depicts real people in recognizable situations, enjoying life and love together. Merry Christmas to you and yours from Curious History.
Learn all about his life and work at the Norman Rockwell Museum online.
What would normally be intimate portrayals of couples holding each other close has been transformed into stark, almost eerie portraits by Japanese students and artists Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi. However there is an unspoken passion revealed in these x-ray portraits of couples that transcends any form of traditional imagery. The result is a series of ghostly white skeletons tangled in loving embraces.
Using an actual CT scan and x-ray machine, they photographed four couples revealing something more than what we would see in a doctor’s office. “X-ray images usually show the finite nature of our bodies composed only of matter,” say the duo. “But these couples portraits reveal a pulse that isn’t normally seen.”
Moscow-based photographer Alexander Khokhlov working with makeup artist Valeriya Kutsan manage to capture faces as surreal versions of themselves, inspired by two-dimensional posters, comics, pop art, paintings, pixelated images, and cartoon characters. The project explains: “Valeriya used different techniques of face painting so you can see a lot of variations – from sketch and graphic arts to water-colour and oil-paintings. This is a combination of interesting make-ups, studio photography experiments and careful retouching.”
In the splendid beauty and serenity of the desert in Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III revealed his light based project, Lucid Stead. Composed of mirrors, LED lighting and custom-built electronic equipment, the cabin transforms depending on the time of day.
In daylight, the 70-year-old cabin reflects and refracts the surrounding terrain like a mirage or a hallucination. As the sun sets behind the mountains, slowly shifting geometric color fields emerge and produce incredibly beautiful colors that pierce the night sky.
Smith states, “Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert. When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.”
Incredible Intricate Mixed Media Sculptures
Kansas-based artist Kris Kuksi, previously featured on Curious History, opened his fourth solo show, Revival, at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York on November 21st. Kuksi continues his use of ornate assemblage to create wildly complex sculptures that comment on history, life, death, and spiritual conflict. Revival will be on view through January 18, 2014 and you can see many more pieces from the exhibition in this gallery.
Walking on Stars
Photographer Lee Eunyeol constructed elaborate light installations that appear as if the night sky switched positions with the ground, flipping it upside down. It is based around the idea of inverting the night sky. The glowing stars and planets are now nestled inside tall grass and deep between earthen cracks. The results are incredibly unique and thoroughly surreal. The series titled Starry Night generates a mysterious and magical landscape that juxtaposes day with night.