The Sydney Living Museum recently made public a series of mugshots taken from the 1920s. Yes, I know, I know, Australia’s always had a rep for being an island of criminals, but these mugshots are actually super cool. The collection comprises both male and female convicts, posing artfully in both close up and full-body shots.
The pictures make me wonder what these men and women did to get arrested int he first place. Taken out of context, they could be inspiration for the latest J. Crew or Madewell collections. The photos are part of a collection of more than 2,500 images the museum has archived. Explains the collection’s curator, Peter Doyle:
“Some subjects were repeat offenders, and we find their names in police records and newspaper reports again and again, sometimes over many decades. A small number achieved notoriety in their time. But, generally, the subjects of the Special Photographs make only one or two fleeting appearances in the records. Some have left little more than a single amazing photograph. At the time these portraits were taken personal identity was a fluid, indeterminate thing. People drifted in and out of the lives and affairs of others, often never to be heard of, or from, again. Names were freely invented and changed. An individual’s origins and history could not be easily checked and, indeed, perhaps were not often sought. The sense of trustworthiness that a man or woman communicated in the flesh counted for much, and if you could fake that, as they say, you had it made.”
Check out a few more after the jump! [The Phoblographer]
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If you find T Magazine‘s Model-Morphosis as utterly transfixing as I do, then prepare to be stunned: photographer Leland Bobbé’s incredible new portraits will blow your mind. The ongoing series depicts men who masquerade as women as one dichotomous (and, it must be said, beautiful) persona — half masculine, half feminine, neither male nor female. Says the artist, “My intention is to capture both the male and the alter-ego female side of these subjects in one image … These are composed in camera and are not two separate images joined together.” The result is a powerful and welcome addition to the conversation of gender and a segue into Nietzche’s overman, “the man that goes beyond, who is beyond.” I’ll drink to that! Click through to check out the full series. Fair warning: there are many. [Refinery29 via Vogue Italia]
Imagine reaching into the fridge for a soda and finding an ultra-bendy human being in there. In this totally-not-at-all-Photoshopped pic, Zlata, the most bendable woman in the world, shoves herself into a moldy fridge. Zlata can twist herself up into virtually any shape, and has done tons and tons of porn-y fetish-related magazine shoots. This is one of the few “safe for work” (but perhaps not “safe for the squeamish”) we can show you. Zlata got to be, um, Zlata, because her cartilage hasn’t developed like normal, and is still as flexible as a baby’s. Oh, and check out a video of Zlata doing her crazy contortion thing, too. [Animal New York] Keep reading »
Photographer Holly Norris says on her website, “Rarely, if ever, are women with disabilities portrayed in anything other than an asexual manner, for ‘disabled’ bodies are largely perceived as ‘undesirable.’” To combat that perception, Norris has chosen to spoof the highly identifiable American Apparel ads, which the company claims feature “real women,” though only real women who fit a very specific look — young, thin, and uber-sexual. In her series “American Able,” Norris has photographed Jes, a disabled woman, in American Apparel clothes and in the style of AA ads, in order to “reveal the ways in which women with disabilities are invisibilized in advertising and mass media.” Norris’ photographs are beautiful and I love the positive and forward-thinking mission of the work, which doesn’t just criticize mass market thinking but also presents an alternative. As for Jes? Her photographs have more personality than all the AA ads I’ve ever seen put together. Take that, Dov Charney.
Check out a few more photos after the jump and then check out the entire series on Norris’ website. [Holly Norris] Keep reading »
Photographer Jordan Matter’s new coffee table book, Uncovered: Women In Word and Image, was just released, and it features more than 80 New York women baring their breasts in public (legal in NYC). The project came about after “Nipplegate” — when Janet Jackson “exposed” her nipple on the Super Bowl halftime show — and, “I got to thinking about our culture of covering up.” In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Matter says, “The book became less political and much more about the empowerment that the women would feel. The photo subjects found the option of not covering up to be incredibly liberating.” Matter chose a wide variety of different women with different body types and breast sizes for the project, which makes the images especially compelling. [Amazon] Keep reading »
Call me a snoop, but I’ve always been curious about couples’ lives together. Yesterday’s New York Times featured photos of couples in bed together, giving people with prying eyes (like me!) a glimpse at intimate moments in the bedroom. Taken by real-life couple James Frank Tribble and Tracey Mancenido, the “Pillow Talk” series might make you feel a little like a peeping Tom. And it make you want to head over to Bed Bath & Beyond for some new sheets. [NY Times] Keep reading »