Australian photographer Polixeni Papapetrou engages part reality, part fantasy moving through the Australian landscape, using the rich terrain as a backdrop for her narratives about the transitional space of childhood. Papapetrou's art practice has involved an intimate collaboration with her children and their friends for over a decade. As they have grown and transformed, so too have the roles they perform and spaces they inhabit.
In Papapetrou's most recent body of work, The Ghillies, organic figures emerge from the ground, creating an almost symbiotic relationship with the landscape; the figures change color and shape according to the different landscapes and costumes they inhabit. A ghillie suit was originally devised for hunting and combat, and they were taken into the field to act as a decoy, disguised with matter from that landscape in order to blend with their surroundings. Papapetrou's son introduced her to ghillies through his interest in the Call of Duty video game, in which players use ghillie suits in order to become snipers and conceal themselves within the terrain. Photographing her son in the natural Australian landscape, Papapetrou addresses a boy's transformation from a youth into adulthood, and the camouflages he must take on to fit in with his peers and society.
"I wanted to make a body of work that looked at what it felt like to be a boy going through adolescence." ~~Polixeni Papapetrou
Afraid of the Dark, A Venetian Storyis a book project containing Stephan Brigidi's photographs and stories based upon his many sojourns to Venice, and will include his prominent Carnevale series.
Afraid of the Dark speaks of Brigidi's personal spiritual quest propelled by some discovered family mystery with ties to the freemason secret society known as P2. The book is about coming to terms with darkness and fear, exploring those sensations, and accessing the powers of fear. Brigidi's Carnevale series, which has shown in the Witkin Gallery in NYC, the Kathleen Ewing Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Gallery Z in Providence, R.I., will be featured as a centerpiece of the book. This series of photographs taken in Venice exemplifies the mysterious Carnevale festival, taking place the twelve days preceding the Lenten Catholic season, and begun centuries ago as a way of release and pleasure- taking in preparation of the forty days of sacrifice.
Stephan Brigidi is a widely published artist whose work has been exhibited through out the United States and Europe. He lives and works in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Between 2010 and 2011, French artist Charles Fréger traveled to eighteen European countries, from Italy to Poland, Scotland to the Czech Republic, in search of the Wild Man. A centuries-old, legendary figure, the Wild Man continues to be an important symbol of transition associated with festivals that mark the cyclical patterns of life: the changing of the seasons, special religious holidays, rites of passage, life and death. In full-length portraits, Fréger photographs celebrants dressed in traditional costumes crafted from layers of animal skins, local plants, bones and antlers, which visually transform the masqueraders into a wooly bear, a long-horned goat, a demon or man of straw.
The Wilder Mann series explores man's complex relationship with nature and how vestiges of these costumes and past rituals continue to influence contemporary life, even in the digital age.
Russian photographer Katerina Belkina puts the 'self-portrait' phenomenon in a new setting. With unprecedented technical precision, Belkina uses the refined possibilities of digital photography in order to present a disquieting image of the new woman in a postmodern world.
In her work, Belkina shows herself as a distant character in different roles, thus putting her own individuality into perspective, while at the same time addressing the viewer. As a modern, makable creature, the woman is turned into a new heroine in the story which is both recognizable and mysterious. Does she coincide with the archetypal figures from age-old fairy tales and folk tales (Blue Beard, Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Mermaid, Odette, Rose Red and Snow White) in which her role as a woman seemed clearly defined, or does an underlying layer appear, which disrupts this assumed familiarity?
Empty Spacestakes on the form of a metropolis. However, this urbanized world is artificial and purely materialistic and, as a tiny dot in this constructed whole, man feels even more lonely and abandoned. In Belkina's vision, the metropolis has created a new type of human, in which only a hint of consciousness of the connection with the true universe is present.