The Disturbing Yet Familiar Images of Diana Dihaze

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All photographs by Diana Dihaze. Used with permission.

In a dazzling display of imagery that only our hidden dreams  and darkest imagination could conjure, Ukraine-based photographer and image manipulation artist Diana Dihaze brings into existence a world of the bizarre.

A self-taught artist, Diana has created a world that’s somewhat like our own, except darker and at times more frightening, using and combining the familiar elements of our world and turning them into implements of terror or the surreal. And in her world, goddesses walk around adorned with faces other than their own, perhaps of their victims and human sacrifices, and mortal women surrender, as if willingly and with pleasure, to the natural world – whether it be to butterflies, snakes, or ivies – to become one with the earth.

At times haunting, at times downright terrifying, Diana’s images are powerful enough to dwell in our subconcious and appear in our nightmares. And yet, strange at it may seem, they possess a certain kind of beautiful magic that hypnotizes and draws spectators in, as disturbed as they are, for a much closer look before they even realize what they’re about to walk into.

Delve into Diana’s disturbing world, if only for a few minutes, after the jump.

Via Beautiful Bizarre

 

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Animal Visions: Tom Chambers’ Enthralling Portraits of Wild Animals and Children

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All photographs taken by Tom Chambers. Used with permission.

Growing up on a farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, photographer and image manipulation artist Tom Chambers developed a fascination as well as a special connection with animals, both wild and domesticated, in his early years. This curious and almost mystical bond is one that he seems to naturally form with animals carried over into adulthood–and it has become inspiration to and a persistent theme in his fascinating work.

Kids co-existing and interacting in the same small but wildly fantastical space with animals, some of which are predatory and dangerous, seemingly dominate his work, his enigmatic images reminiscent of exotic British India or even glorious Renaissance Italy and subtly but effectively exploring the harmonious relationships between humans and animals.

Tom confronts and explores this theme even deeper in his series, Animal Visions, whose enthrallingly magical images are influenced by the magic realism style employed by early 20th century Latin American artists and feature birds, wolves, elephants, and even a beautiful white Bengal tiger. And while these animals are only composited into the images in actuality, his meticulous skill successfully help him create a sense of realness in the photographs, convincing his spectators on the authenticity of his fabled storytelling.

Magnificent and overall enchanting, Tom’s Animal Visions series will mesmerize even the most unyielding unbelievers. See the photos from it after the jump.

For more of Tom Chambers’ work, visit his website or follow him on Facebook.

Via Feature Shoot
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South Park Takes a Stab at the Photoshop Retouching Issue

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We often see videos and read articles that talk about the perils of the wanton use of Photoshop to create the ideal woman – flawless, skinny, and with tanned legs up to your neck. Earlier this week, actress Ashley Benson had spoken out against it, after seeing an overly-retouched promo photo of her and her Pretty Little Liars co-stars. Earlier this year, skin care company Dove released a Photoshop skin retouching action, seemingly in an effort to discourage its use as part of their Real Beauty campaign.

Image manipulation and retouching has come under fire again – this time, in the form of a South Park episode. In their most recent episode, “The Hobbit”, the writers of the famously brutally honest show tackles how the exploitative use of Photoshop is changing the world’s perception of how women should look like, which creates a lot of pressure on young girls to attain what is, in reality, unattainable.

In the episode, Butters turns down cheerleader Lisa Burger because she was “too fat” for him to date. When an outraged Wendy calls him out on it, he defends himself by saying that “Kim Kardashian is skinny and she just had a baby… I want a woman… who knows how to look good,” and showing her a photo of Kim that was looked like it torn from a fashion magazine. Wendy angrily fires back at his obvious ignorance, “Kim Kardashian is a short, overweight woman who manipulates her image!”

In a later scene, some cheerleaders join a Total Self Image “gym” where they are learn how to expertly manipulate their photos to make themselves look more like the celebrities they see in the media.

While the episode is poking fun at the issue, it has raised some very real points. People, especially young women, today are in a certain mindset that if a woman just a little overweight or has visible flaws on her body, she is not beautiful. And the fashion and movie industries have definitely played a major role in it, turning an ordinary (but powerful) graphics editing program into a notorious tool that could be used to prey on women’s self-image as they scrutinize and erase every little insignificant “flaw” they see on a model or a celebrity’s body so that even somebody as gorgeous as Jennifer Lawrence has to be “edited”.

The episode shows how effect of this trend on young girls can be overwhelmingly appalling. As Wendy pointed out, the images they send out unto the world “make girls feel horrible about themselves…”

See the full episode here.