Dennis Worden's whimsical-yet-menacing wooden sculptures

Cartoonist Dennis Worden has been making some great wooden sculptures lately. This one looks like a nightmarish Cootie Bug game mutant.

Yang Yongliang: astonishing dystopian landscape photos

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Over at Vantage, Yang Yongliang's breathtaking dystopian landscapes, each composited from hundreds of his own photos and video stills of the region around Shanghai, China.

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Brazil's amazing, underground hot-air balloon subculture


An exquisitely researched and endlessly fascinating long article tells the history of Brazil's centuries-old baloeiro craft, whereby painstakingly handmade paper balloons are lofted trailing ladders of pyrotechnics and long banners, powered by melted-down candle-stubs from churches and graveyards, cheered on by sometimes violent gangs who labor over them for months before releasing them.

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The Raven's Chamber: a mad scientist's apparatus


Art Donovan (previously) created this amazing, mixed-media sculpture as a commission, called The Raven's Chamber, resembling some arcane astronomical instrument from a mad alchemist's lab.

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Rabbitbox: anthropomorphized dioramas on legs, for companionship


Roshan writes, "Rabbitbox is the world's first dedicated companionship dispenser. Its sole purpose is to provide the right combination of physical presence and implied sentience to allow the experience of companionship in its purest, literal form."

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Art from a Seattle-born painter kept in a WWII internment camp

Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name (through December 13, 2014, at Washington State University’s Museum of Art in Pullman), Roger Shimomura: An American Knockoff offers a crisp look at the recent work of this Seattle-born painter of Japanese descent, who spent some of his earliest years in a World War II internment camp in Hunt, Idaho. Forced ostracization helped shape Shimomura’s sense of otherness, which has found expression in his work since the 1970s. Not surprisingly, some of the most powerful paintings reproduced in the exhibition catalog – which includes an essay by Anne Collins Goodyear and an interview with the artist – depict imagined images from those years. Because Shimomura was just three when he and his family were sent to Camp Minidoka, though, he relied upon translations of his grandmother’s diaries to create pictures of the surreal circumstances of trying to live a normal American life while imprisoned. My favorite, “Classmates,” captures two girls – one with Euro-American features, the other Japanese – holding ruby-red apples and smiling, seemingly untroubled by the barbed wire strung between them.

Other paintings in the book are comic-book-style self-portraits of the artist as iconic characters like George Washington (famously crossing the Delaware) and Superman (his trademark costume covered by a kimono). While these images may appear to be pop polemics designed to poke a thumb in the eye of some of America’s most patriotic icons, the artist demurs: “Sometimes people mistake my usage of them as painting the enemy,” he’s quoted as saying. “But it really comes out of my visual reverence for them.” For the artist, the paintings are conversation starters, as in “Shimomura Crossing the Delaware,” which is supposed to make viewers ask themselves, ‘What if George Washington had been Japanese American?’ In other words, how might a heroic Japanese figure early in the nation’s history have changed our culture? Well, one might answer, the current president of the United States is African American, and that fact has done little in many precincts to further the dialogue about race. But the lack of easy answers in Shimomura’s work is fine with the artist. “If my work is seen as raising more questions than it answers,” he says, “I’d be pleased….”

Roger Shimomura: An American Knockoff

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Molly Crabapple's 15 rules for creative success in the Internet age

To celebrate the release of my new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, I’ve invited some of my favorite creators and thinkers to write about their philosophy on the arts and the Internet. Today, Molly Crabapple presents her 15 iron laws of creativity. -Cory Doctorow

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Scanning your negatives will bring your memories into the digital age: here's how

Your old film photos need an upgrade. Enjoy Dean Putney's guide on how to get the best quality from your boxes of negatives as painlessly as possible.Read the rest

Hidden faces in optical illusion paintings

Artist Oleg Shuplyak arranges the figures and objects in his paintings to reveal the faces of famous people such as Salvador Dali and Charles Darwin.

Alien: The Archive art and photo book

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See the true origins of the Alien xenomorphs through concept drawings along with plenty of other behind-the-scenes photos, designs, and illustrations in Alien: The Archive, a new hardcover art and photo book.

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Vantage: gorgeous new photography publication

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Over at Medium, my colleague Keith Axline (former Wired photo editor) launched a magnificent photo publication called Vantage, with photo essays ranging from astonishing photo microscopy to a fascinating series on long-exposure photography to an aerial photo collection from Dronestagram.

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Invader does Spock

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"Cheers from Vulcan!" says French street artist Invader of his latest Paris installation. (via @invaderwashere's Instagram)

Drew Friedman portrait of Daniel Clowes

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The great illustrator Drew Friedman drew a portrait of the great cartoonist Daniel Clowes. Amazing! 10 prints are available.

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Kickstarting a book of amazing body-painting


Astounding bodypainter Paul Roustan is running a kickstarter to publish a book of his unbelievable work.

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Open call for digital art funding proposals from Thespace

Paula writes, "TheSpace is the largest fund currently dedicated to commissioning and exhibiting digital art. This latest funding call is dedicated to work that considers or responds to the affordances of mobile networked devices - whether that is a phone, wearable, tablet or..."

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