Living and working in Baku, Azerbaijan, artist Faig Ahmed distorts and deconstructs the patterns and shapes of traditional Azerbaijani rugs, incorporating modern motifs — glitches, melts, spikes — to create mesmerizing optical illusions. A graduate of sculpture from the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Art, Ahmed and his merging of traditional and experimental textiles are a very real carpet ride.
Slavs like tracksuits and they like to squat. That squat to chat, imbibe, appreciate art. They squat in submarines, on skis, under car hoods — invariably in a tracksuit. Here, a near-endless gallery of squatting Slavs in tracksuits. They are, of course, an internet sensation...
Part shoe designer, part inventor, Benjamin John Hall produces highly conceptual footwear — in London, by hand — that challenges traditional notions of cobbling. Following shoes that self-destruct, his latest avant-garde venture is Laboratory 12, a seven-piece collection of experimental shoes, each highlighting a covert tactic used by the KGB and other secret police.
French photographer Charles Fréger is in search of adventure — adventures in costumery. For his ongoing Wilder Mann portrait series, he visits all corners of Europe (19 countries and counting) seeking the mythical 'wild man,' specifically what he might have worn as a glimpse into what he might have thought.
Fréger researches and cosplays various European masquerade traditions and popular imagery with the ultimate aim of dismantling the notion of the prehistoric caveman as savage and unintelligent. "We now know," he points out, "that our Homo sapiens DNA contains 5% of Neanderthal genes."
With her hand-carved paintbrushes, Rebecca Szeto is getting a handle on great women of art history. As a faux-finish painter, the San Francisco artist collects only humble, end-of-life paintbrushes, which serve as both means and end.
The slow pace of whittling down the handles gives Szeto time to reflect on each individual and individual brush — a tribute to the Old Masters.