GRACIE HAGEN : SECRETOMOTOR PHENOMENON

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Cry·ing  /ˈkrī-iNG/ – the act is defined as a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures.

Chicago based Photographer Gracie Hagen is uses her lens to explore the vulnerable side of human emotions in this compelling and intrusive photo series Secretomotor Phenomenon.

“In an age where nudity is less vulnerable than genuine emotions, I wanted to explore an aspect of peoples lives that are hidden. These are the faces of the intentionally vulnerable. They’re showing you a part of themselves that is usually saved for their loved ones or even sometimes, just themselves. You don’t know why they are crying, but you know that this is a rare look into a stranger’s most personal moments. Things that were private, now made public.”

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HAHA MAG’S TOP 5 BLOG POSTS OF 2013

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ABANDONED AMUSEMENT PARKS
 (132,000+)The response to these haunting pictures taken in abandoned amusement parks by Francesco Mugnai was overwhelming. Most of you thought it was “creepy yet beautiful, scary, cool or wanted to find one of your own to film in.

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ERIN RILEY’S TABOO TAPESTRY (77,000+)Fiber artist Erin M. Riley tackles depictions of female sexuality, drug use, birth control, car crashes, selfies, among others…all on her loom.  77,000 of you think these are some bad ass tapestries – and I agree. Erin had a great year as well. She had several solo shows and was repped’ hard at Pulse NY Fair and Miami’s Select Fair. If you don’t have the dough to pick up one of her pieces – you can still make off with one of her limited edition patches. I’m thinking late stocking stuffers.

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YOU AND ME (25,000+)You folks really enjoyed Zhang Zhaohui’s interactive adult sized metal cut out’s, ‘You & Me’ set up in the famous 798 Art District in Beijing China.

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PARISIAN STREET ARTIST: LEVALET (6,000+) In the midst of the Banksy NYC residency, photos of French Street Artist, Levalet were popping up all over Instagram. His black & white wheat pastes interacting with their surroundings in a way that continued to amuse us in the way Banksy did in the past.

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IZZIYANA SUHAIMI
 
(5,000+) We stumbled onto a gem when we caught sight of Singapore artist, Izziyana Suhaimi who incorporates embroidery into her pencil & watercolor portraits. These quirky mixed media portraits surprise and pop with color and depth – you guys loved how she transformed this traditional form of stitching.

KRIS KUKSI – FANTASTIC REALISM

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“I’m sorry, did a person do that?!

That was pretty much my dumbfounded reaction to seeing Kuksi’s work in-person for the 1st time. As I lay on the floor to shoot pics of the scenes going on underneath this sculpture the realization washes over me that trying to consume the sheer level of detail in these intricate mini mythological universes Kuksi creates in one viewing might cause tiny explosions in your brain.

Kuksi is an architect of worlds imagined, where these modern societies of plastic going on’s take on the turbulent fault of violence and the chaos of society at hand within its structure. And you can see them now at his current solo exhibit happening at the Joshua Liner Gallery /540 W. 28th Street/New York, NY

*Sculpture seen at Joshua Liner Gallery booth / Miami Project Art Fair 2013

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*photos taken by author

FAILE & BAST DELUXX FLUXX ART ARCADE

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MIAMI BEACH – In the nondescript 1064 store front, a hot and stuffy arcade with churning box fans in the corners did nothing but permeate more hot air as the familiar sounds of excitement and joysticks being jammed filed out of the doorway and onto the street. In that stuffy room people were copping some serious nostalgia.

This revamp of the classic arcade was the brainstorm of BÄST & Brooklyn based artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller who make up the artistic duo Faile. Here in their mixed media arcade installation,  iconic video games were morphed into crazy pop culture themed games with hypnotic neon graphics. The classic Indy driving game became a race to steer a dollar bill on a road of cocaine. The Breaking Bad game let you take control of a pair of brass knuckles to beat the snots out of a pinata. The invaders spin off shot lasers out of Peter Pan’s spray can at flying eyes.

The art inspired games didn’t take long to get into – the game lengths were so short that people moved onto the next quickly so there was never really a long wait to play. If you ran through the games too quickly there was always foosball in the black light room to entertain you. Did I mention that the token machines in this joint spit out special Deluxx Fluxx coins…perfection.

Faile & Bast’s Deluxx Fluxx Arcade did not disappoint. If you were on some serious art overload and needed to get away from the fairs – this hit the spot. Shame that its poised to pack-up and leave Miami when the fairs roll out of town too.

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Bollywood Meets High Art in Cinephiliac @ Twelve Gates Art

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There are two weeks left for you to see the Cinephiliac: Art Transcending Technology & Motion over at Philadelphia based gallery, Twelve Gates Art. The cinema themed exhibition has many layers, uniting multiple perspectives to mark the centennial of Indian cinema. Atif Sheikh has curated a show with work from established and emerging artists that employs film iconography to attack a broader sense of narrative, creating a dialogue that explores social identities through art. The strength of the show lie in the artists individual perspectives like Jamal Elias’ printed scenes from Maula Jatt (1979), the six cells backlit with soft light illuminate a film Elias chose to visually converse on the transitional shift in Pakistan’s social and political history and Chitra Ganesh’s charcoal drawings based on film stills from early Indian films. Her piece, Raja Harishchandra (1913) was recently acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Other highlights include Leila Lal’s exploration of female identity in the mixed media piece Peep Show 3 where four iconic Bollywood film heroines are framed in gold leafed shadowboxes that find them displaced in culturally opposite religious architectural settings. Also not to be missed, Karachi based artist, Summayya Jillani, whose 2011 Eastern makeover of Marilyn Monroe ( Baar baar dekho, hazaar baar dekho) turned her into an internet sensation. Pop icons are a fluent theme in Jilliani’s work that play on cultural perceptions of western influence.

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Cinephiliac will run until December 15th.

*photos courtesy of Twelve Gates Art