Model: Kim Hayley
Bryan Lewis Saunders is quite the narcissist considering how, in the past 19 years, he has produced over 9000 different self-portraits, producing one new artwork of his face every day.
You may think that this is the result of the same vanity found in the common selfie addicted adolescent or that perhaps Saunders is a one-trick pony whose artistic ability only extends to the contours of his face. But Saunders’s raw talent and artistic vision keeps all of his self-portraits from being the same thing over and over again.
Saunders takes inspiration from anything and everything that he sees, whether it be his body hair or his most famous inspiration, drugs. Saunders has become incredibly famous for being the guy who draws under the influence of such vices like drugs and alcohol, and these vices have a clear effect on his work.
Saunders sees these vices as a means to bring more color and excitement to the otherwise dull life that we may lead. These vices turn his plain, not-so interesting face into a canvas in which he can law down the beauty of his artwork. It may seem controversial and immoral to some, especially to the extremely conservative; and perhaps it is. But there is something quite honorable to subjecting yourself to harmful drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy in the pursuit of creating something that will make the universe more beautiful, if only in its small way.
Saunders has also been known to subject himself to other dangerous situations, such as plugging up his ears for 28 straight days in pursuit of finding out how music affects his artworks. It’s quite rare for an artist with such innate talent to be so dedicated to his craft, so much so that he is willing to put himself in danger for his work. This type of sacrifice is quite honorable, so it’s quite a shame that people only think of Saunders as the crazy artist who is simply taking drugs for the high that it brings.
Saunders is still painting today, and is currently envisioning new ways to improve his art.
Here are some of his portraits with the type of drug he used below:
The 90's were a time of many great things. We saw the rise of amazing women such as Eileen Collins, the first female shuttle pilot, Destiny’s Child, and the individuals behind the Riot Grrl movement; funny comebacks from The Action League Now, the birth of crazy cool slang words (like all that and a bag of chips, boo ya, scrub); and the infamously amusing Y2K.
However; the decade’s cartoons were arguably the best. There was a certain rawness and fantasy in most story plots during this time and the characters displayed by shows extended their reach beyond and into the hearts of their viewers. They were strangely relatable despite their highly stylized story lines and backgrounds. 90's animation plot-wise was amazing; graphics wise - absolutely fascinating. Televisions lit up with bright colors, quirky cartoon movements, and 2D features. Despite the limited resources to create more complex designs, these things were still able to capture the spunk, angst, and rather multifaceted personalities of the characters. Not a moment was ever bland and boring,. In fact, it was otherwise.
90's graphics is catching well in many media platforms today and it could be inferred that it will dominate almost all platforms as we all carry on to 2015. For now, here are some noteworthy pieces of videos and photos to feed your visual appetite for the 90s. They are totally R A D!
1. the Tord Torpe and Magnus Nyquist video
KHIB Biblioteket brings us to one man who, upon entering a library, is thrown into a universe of sorts. Tord Torpe and Magnus Nyquist did a good job exploring the complex idea of displacement into the unknown with the prominent use of flashing colors, squiggly lines, and chunks of pixels systematically scattered in the right places. Plus, the animated guy looks a lot like Fido Dido.
View the video here
2. ADAM BUXTON: YOUTUBE AWARDS
THIS IS SERIOUSLY ONE OF THE FUNNIEST VIDEOS ON THE PLANET. I can’t even come up with the most precise set of words to describe how good this is. Go on, watch the video.
3. Gwen Stefani’s Baby Don’t Lie Music Video
Stefani’s pink-clad video, which is influenced by The Wizard of Oz’ yellow brick road among other things, is the perfect match to the singer’s catchy song and it seems interesting how this video is different from the usual realistic backdrop that we are all so accustomed to right now. Now don’t you think Baby Don’t Lie may be a fun play of Eiffel 65’s Blue or Technotronic’s Pump Up Jam?
4. Macintosh Plus – Floral Shoppe Album cover or any Vaporwave album art cover for that matter.
This MTV animation from 1993 may have foreshadowed the future of cotemporary aesthetics. Thump.Vice.com elaborates on this: “What is vaporwave? According to commenters in various music forums, it’s “chillwave for Marxists,” “post-elevator music,” “corporate smooth jazz Windows 95 pop,” and (my personal favorite) “better than that witch house shit.”
Vaporwave album art, in a nut shell, is a collection of randomly chosen images such as Renaissance sculptures and busts, Windows 98 graphics, and pixelated 90s arcade games. Japanese characters may also be included.
The 90s were undoubtedly a time when animals (or animal-like creatures) in cartoons spent most of their days dealing with human problems. We have Rocko’s Modern Life, Catdog, and Angry Beavers. A video by the talented Layzell Bros is not different from these. In Graffiti Cat, we see this ninja-like character climbing up ladders, jumping from obstacles, and dealing with the evil nemesis – quite a common scenario in videogames of the era. The Layzell Bros are also known for making anything that suits their fancy, from dark humored short videos to engaging gifs and photos.
Lee Friedlander is an American photographer who primarily uses 35mm cameras as well as black and white film. Probably some of the most notable of Friedlander’s works are his 1960’s Self Portraits. Even before the popular term “selfie” was coined, he took photos of himself in inventive and experimental ways. With the use of everyday lighting, shadows, and reflective surfaces, Friedlander managed to take some outside of the box photos.
What’s great about his works is that even if his own person is the subject and the main focal point, he still incorporates the American social landscape of his generation in his photos. He even accomplishes to include other people in these self-portraits, which is hard to do especially if you want the viewers to know that it is in fact, a portrait of yourself. Because of this, we somehow get to view what the contemporary American culture was like back in the day as well as live Friedlander’s everyday life through his “eyes” (or camera lens for that matter).
His photos are not only innovative, but they also give us interesting stories. When you look at these self-portraits not only are you seeing him in the 60’s, but you are also being given a sense of how people and Friedlander himself lived. This is one of the most important aspects of a good photograph: viewers have to be able to feel and really think about what is going on in the photo. And in this case, you might get a feeling of nostalgia even if you were never around to experience that generation. That’s because he gives us his own personal interpretation on things, places, and people that encapsulated what it was like living in that era.
Personally, I feel like Lee Friedlander is one of the pioneers who brought “experimental self portraits” into the photography scene with his creative framing and composition. And for that, more people should know of this brilliant photographer.
- Reign Gonzales
all photos and other information are from fraenkelgallery.com