Sho Shibuya, the founder of Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary brand design studioPLACEHOLDER, thinks so. One of his most cherished pieces of art is a framed plastic bag, and while there are probably stranger things you could hang on a wall, for Shibuya, it kickstarted a project that’s been long in the works for him titledPLASTIC PAPER.
This project focuses primarily on a 144-page book stacked with gorgeous photography of plastic bags with the hope of raising awareness about the waste created by single-use plastics as well as the importance of reusing and valuing these items.
A mother holding a newborn baby is one of the oldest and most enduring subjects in art, a staple of religious iconography and a classic dramatic trope.
But – from the Renaissance through to the glossy magazines of now – the physical effects of childbirth on a woman’s body have always been an aspect of motherhood hidden from public view.
Even in our more open times, frank discussions about the sometimes brutal impact of birth are rare, and instead are still largely dealt with in private, with the media actively celebrating those women who bounce back quickly to their pre-birth figures.
Now, a new advertising campaign from Mothercare that is being trialled across 30 tube stations on the London Underground is bringing a more honest depiction of new motherhood into the spotlight.
Mothercare said in a statement: “Body Proud Mums boldly seeks to normalise mothers’ experiences, spark a positive conversation and help mums feel confident and proud of their bodies. At the heart of the campaign is the belief that all mums are beautiful. After all, their bodies have just performed a miracle.”
Shot by British photographerSophie Mayanne, the campaign comprises of ten celebratory portraits of women who have very recently become mothers. They’re shown holding their babies close and smiling as the kids laugh, gawp at the camera in bemusement, or, in some cases, scream their heads off.
The photographs have apparently been published without digital retouching, and the effects of birth are evident, yet the scars and stretch marks are not the focus of the portraits. But, equally, they’re not hidden. Each portrait is accompanied with the simple phrase: ‘Beautiful, isn’t she.’
A new book, CTY, by artist Antony Cairns brings together dozens of enigmatic images of the ‘megalopolis’, taken late at night in eerily empty parts of New York, Tokyo, London and LA.
Cairns says that because cities are filled with crowds, our experience of the architecture around us can be dulled as a result. Part of his aim with CTY was to explore how architecture feels when people are absent, which means many of his images were shot at unsociable hours. He was particularly drawn to the ‘light structures’ that are common in major cities, particularly in shopping malls where bulbs blaze late into the night despite no-one being around.
“They’re places where they want people to be, but they want you to consume and leave,” he says. “They don’t want you there for hours on end, loitering around. If you’ve been there a while, it starts feeling uncomfortable because it’s so bright. I often shoot late at night as well to get nobody there, and it enhances the feeling of the architecture slightly bearing down on you. I don’t shoot it that way to make it feel negative or positive though, I just record it as a document.”
CTY is printed on slightly pearlescent paper – a reference to Cairn’s practice of printing directly on aluminium when working in the darkroom, which allows the light to bounce off the images. “We wanted to give the same feeling of transparency – a kind of luminescence when you look at it, and it shines back at you a bit.”
Anthony Geracehas a knack for creating images that grab your attention and invite closer inspection. His project There Must Be More to Life Than This is an intriguing collection of tiled collages created using vintage ads. People Living – another collage series – combines photographs and lettering with colourful scraps of paper to striking effect.
Many of McDonald’s recent campaigns, particularly those for France, have had a stripped-back, minimal aesthetic. Now TBWA\Paris has revealed a new set of minimalistic posters, which follow the popular sparkly Open Late campaign, launched just last month.The three posters in this campaign feature just the packaging of the brand’s three archetypal products – the Big Mac, the Nuggets and the French Fries. The brand takes minimalism to a new extreme with these posters which are devoid of any text, or even the actual product; just a few lonely crumbs.
In his new exhibition and book Cartographic Colour, photographerGiles Revell deconstructs flowers to reveal the beauty and the complexity of colour in nature. Working at Kew and the RHS Wisely garden, Revell photographed a selection of blooms which, using a grid placed over each image, he then set about analysing.In each square, Revell created graphic representations of the constituent colours of the flower concerned, revealing that what we might see as one strong colour, is often actually a combination of many. Cartographic Colour is divided in two. A series of ‘palettes’ reinterpret the colours of well-known flowers, abstracted to eliminate the distraction of form. Petals and stems are reduced to accurate graphic examinations of their constituent hues. “The plants were stripped of identity through the process of mapping, with the aim of creating a series of images where engagement is purely through scale, shape and position of colour,” Revell explains. “I was hoping to make arresting interpretations without the necessity of structure and form.”