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After Danish photographer Keen Heick-Abildhauge moved to Russia in 2009, it wasn't long before he fell in love with the vast diversity and beauty of the Russian people he encountered every day. Contrary to the stereotype of Russians as "unfriendly and cold" that Heick-Abildhauge had encountered across Europe, he found his new neighbors, friends, and acquaintances to be just as complex, varied, and full of life as any group of people. With the goal of portraying the Russian people in a positive and contemporary light, Heick-Abildhauge created One Hundred Years: the Russian Portrait, an ambitious project that features the stories and faces of Russian individuals ages 1 to 100.

Over the course of nearly three years, Heick-Abildhauge met more than 230 people to photograph them while learning more about their personal narratives. The result is…

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Though, year after year, we've featured her surreal photos on My Modern Met (see here and here), we had no idea that for the last 14 years of her life, photographer Brooke Shaden has been suffering from fibromyalgia. Over 5 million Americans are affected by this condition that causes chronic muscle pain, fatigue, insomnia, headaches and tender pressure points on the body.

"When I was 13, I started having pain in my left knee. I got a knee brace, but soon the pain shifted to both knees," she said. "When I started alternating how I wore my knee brace, people at school began to wonder if I really had any pain at all. That was my first experience with…

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Moscow-based photographer Katerina Plotnikova consistently produces gorgeous portraits of young women cradling exotic animals as if they’re pets. Since we last shared her images that featured the likes of giraffes, elephants, and elk, she’s created more stunning photos. Beautiful figures donning flowing dresses cuddle with wild creatures in picturesque locales.

Recently, Plotnikova has leaned into the winter weather and shot some of her photos in the snow. Subjects wear long, white dresses and nestle against foxes, bears, and wolves. Sometimes, they’re without their furry companions and pose alone against stunning backdrops. Plotnikova still adds a touch of magic to these pictures by creatively including flashes of snow. And in one warmer-weather photo,…

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For over 30 years, every since his days as an NYU film student, Robert Herman has roamed the streets of New York City with his camera in hand to photograph the sights and people of his urban home. The New Yorkers, shot from 1978 to 2005 on Kodachrome color film, is his collection of candid photos captured as the city underwent major changes to become the sprawling metropolis we know today. Many of the images depict the vibrant life and energy that defined New York in the '70s and '80s—gritty, loud, marked by colorful graffiti, as dangerous as it was thrilling. As neighborhoods like Soho, Little Italy, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, and the Lower East Side were transformed by gentrification, the New York City that Herman grew up with all but disappeared, making this photo series a nostalgic documentation of the past as well as a beautifully cinematic visual…

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Clever Pictogram Images Show the Values We All Live By

If you could boil down the values we all live by into simple, easy to understand images, what would that look like? London-based designer Genis Carreras's latest series answers this very question. Carreras first came under our radar with his Philographics project, where he took complicated philosophical theories, like Existentialism and Idealism, and turned them into simple shapes. Philographics became UK's most funded graphic design project ever on Kickstarter, earning £65,217, which was well over its goal of £15,000.

Now, Carreras plays with the art of pictograms, turning universal values like Love, Creativity, Curiosity and Friendship into cleverly designed cards. The Values deck is a set of cards that makes…

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These beautiful turntables are made from cross-sections of trees, turning state-of-the-art hardware and black walnut wood into rustic record players. The creative, minimalistic designs are produced by Kent Walter and his father through their Seattle-based company, Silvan Audio Workshop. The pair recently started selling the products and raising money for workshop upgrades through a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. They’re sending turntables to supporters who offer $750 pledges.

The record players, with feature transparent glass platters to show off the rich wood bases, are intended to be conversation starters. To the creators, intriguing design matters just as much as sound quality. “The music that we like is unique, it’s got life, it’s…

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All families are different, but at the same time, they're connected by the universal bonds of love and kinship. For the past few years, New York-based photographer Michele Crowe has explored this concept through her portrait series The Universal Family, which features diverse imagery of families around the country. From families of mixed heritage, to same-sex couples, to single-parent households, to multiple generations living under one rooftop, each intimate portrait represents a family of the new millennium.

"The Universal Family is a portrait series made to unite the human race through the spirit of family," says the photographer. "Everyone has a family in some shape or form, and I believe that support system to be one of the most important things in the world. A family can be big or small, blood related or not, same sex oriented or not…

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Adam Tran’s exquisite origami models of prehistoric creatures look just like realistic models from museum exhibits. The artist uses textured paper and intricate folds to create leathery figures of dinosaurs, insects and entire skeletons frozen in poses of convincing motion. He achieves shapes that seem impossible given the material. With his touch, pieces of paper transform into jagged teeth, spiny bones and sharp claws.

The Vietnam-based artist creates many of the models for nationwide origami exhibitions designed to preserve Vietnamese traditions and to raise awareness about the art of origami’s rich history.

Adam Tran's website
via […

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The world's most famous street artist, Banksy, returned to Palestine to create a series of powerful new works. In 2005, he made several paintings on Israel's West Bank barrier wall. This time, the artist goes undercover, making a satirical travel advertisement for Gaza. The 2-minute film shows Banksy entering an underground tunnel carrying cans of spray paint. "Make this the year YOU discover a new destination," the video starts off by saying. "Welcome to Gaza."

The must-watch video spotlights the devastation caused by last summer's conflict between Israel and Hamas militants. "In 2014 Operation Protective Edge destroyed 18,000 homes," the video caption says. This refers to the Israeli military operation that targeted Hamas militants who were firing rockets into…

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At first glance, these clothes looks like your average suit, hat, scarf, and hoodie. Once a camera flash hits them, though, their secret weapon is revealed. The garments ruin flash photographs by blowing out the pictures with excessive reflective light. DJ Chris Holmes designed the apparel as “anti-paparazzi clothing,” and he calls the line Flashback.

So, how does this technology work? Pieces in the Flashback collection look like typical gray-colored clothing in normal circumstances, but the fabric is actually coated with “gazillions of glass nanospheres.” They’re energized by camera flashes and bounce light back, causing photos to look underexposed. Holmes first got the idea for this line while on tour with Sir Paul McCartney. He noticed that pictures from his performances were getting ruined because of this reflection. While frustrating, Holmes…

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Italian artist Alessandro Diddi uses his creative talents to draw mind-bending illusions. The playful anamorphic works trick our eye into thinking that his pencil renderings have come to life. A firm handshake, a bird spreading its wings, and a fire-breathing dragon all pop-off the pages of Diddi’s fantastic illustrations.

The artist plays with light, shading, and perspective to make these 2D sketches become 3D characters. He'll also strategically fold or combine separate sheets of paper to construct the illusions. This requires him to carefully plan out how the two pages will intersect so that they seamlessly blend into one cohesive image. Sometimes, Diddi even interacts with his works to further the idea that they’ve got a mind of their own. The results are…

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What's a party without a photo booth? At Vanity Fair's Oscar party, while photographer Mark Seliger was on hand capturing striking celebrity portraits, another camera was snapping up sweet moments between Hollywood's famous couples. Channing Tatum, Ethan Hawke and Apple's own Jonathan Ive were just some of the men who brought their significant others into Vanity Fair's minimalist photo booth. With just the words "Vanity Fair" branded above their heads, couples were given the full freedom to express themselves. While some hilarity ensued, for the most part, couples shared endearing moments which came in the form of a small snuggle or a full blown kiss.

Above: Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara…

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While the Lunar New Year is traditionally spent with family and loved ones, five elderly Chinese women from Weinan, Shaanxi Province chose to spend the holiday taking care of over 1,300 stray dogs, just as they do every day. Six years ago, Wang Yanfang established a dog asylum as a way to save strays from the pound, where they could be euthanized. Since then, the 60-year-old and four other volunteers—all in their 60s and 70s—have gotten up at 4AM every morning so they can prepare 400 kilograms of food for the hungry pups. The shelter, which is supported solely by donations, makes sure that these animals are fed, cared for, and even groomed regularly.

Despite their good intentions, local media reports that the elderly women have faced other challenges like being bitten by dogs who are less tame than others. But in the end, it's all worth it to a…

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Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard are inspiring examples of what can happen when you decide to take the leap and follow your dreams. Two years ago, the couple were living in Los Angeles working as an engineer and an executive assistant for a movie studio to make ends meet. Guillaume had always loved photography, and Jenna wanted to become a writer, so they decided to quit their jobs, build a tiny house to travel the country in, and pursue travel journalism while embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.

The couple sold almost everything they had to fund their project. After exactly one year and over 1,000 hours of extensive work, their dream home was finally complete, and they were ready to hit the road. Together with their dog Salies, Guillaume and Jenna have spent the last five months criss-crossing 10,000 miles across the US in their…

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New LEGO Recreations of Banksy's Famous Street Art

"My favorite thing about Banksy's street art, and all of his other work, is how witty and thoughtful it is. He mixes clever humor with serious issues in a perfect balance." It's been almost a year since photographer Jeff Friesen first came out with his original series Bricksy where he recreates Banksy's famous street art using ordinary LEGO bricks. Friesen has just released a second batch of Bricksy works, and this time he's incorporated Banksy's New York residency pieces like Sirens of the Lambs, that slaughterhouse delivery truck carrying 60 squealing stuffed animals. Lucky for us, he's debuting that second set right here on My Modern Met!

"The series pretty much picks up where the first series left off," he tells us.…

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Experimental artist Tomas Libertiny joined forces with 60,000 bees to create this splendid wax-and-metal teapot sculpture. With sunlight filtering through the cheerful yellow wax, the sculpture looks like an invitation to enjoy nature’s bounty.

As creative director of the process, the Rotterbam-based artist collaborated with Dutch beekeepers to guide the meticulous insects into filling the metal frame with perfect hexagons of beeswax. Libertiny noted that his job was to “direct [them] to create a fragile and valuable object – like a pearl. This takes time, and time creates value.”

The sculpture was commissioned by a high-end French silver manufacturer as part of a unique advertising campaign. Whether representing a company or standing alone as a beautiful sculpture, the teapot is the perfect blend of manmade art and nature’s wonders.…

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World's First Carbon-Positive Pre-Fabribated House

This amazing prototype, rolled out by green architectural and manufacturing firm ArchiBlox, is billed as the first pre-fabricated, carbon-positive house. The one bedroom, one bathroom unit ingeniously generates more energy than it uses. The first model was recently installed as an exhibition in a public square in Melbourne, Australia, but the company plans to make more for resale.

Designed to face north, the small unit harnesses natural forces to minimize the manmade carbon footprint and actually gives back to the environment. Underground tubes help cool the house, and “airtight building envelope” technology keeps energy from escaping wastefully. The roof features solar panels, which power the unit, plus green space for growing herbs and vegetables.

The unit is not only environmentally friendly — it’s resident-friendly, too. The sleek, clean design offers living spaces…

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Los Angeles-based photographer Blake Little covers the human body in honey and captures the sweet, sticky results. The series is titled Preservation, and it features images of nude or barely-clothed models that are coated from head to toe in the amber-colored liquid. This simple act seems to transform the subject from an animated figure to a sculpture frozen in place.

After pouring buckets of honey onto the models, Little allows the substance a moment to flow and dribble. The viscous goo cascades from its forms and creates long, elegant drips that both exaggerates and elongates the figures’ poses. Since honey is a shiny liquid, it encases the bodies so that while we still see the people, they are often unrecognizable as the glossiness diffuses the finer details. Watch the video below to see how the images were created (this contains some…

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Photographer Edy Hardjo humanizes superhero toys in his hilarious, on-going series of images. Using high-quality action figures, the Indonesian creative poses characters from the Marvel and DC-comic universes into picture-perfect situations. The Hulk, Thor, Spiderman, and many more are seen playing hopscotch, giving each other haircuts, and taking selfies. Hardjo’s delightfully-arranged compositions offer a fun insight into their secret lives.

Before this project, the photographer never liked action figures. It was only after this new generation of ⅙-scale figures (from brands like Hot Toys, Enterbay, and 3A) that he changed his mind, because they look like the actors from the movies. Hardjo then began collecting them and telling stories through their poses. In an interview with…

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Happy Birthday, little Sam! Photographer Kate T. Parker just sent word that, two days ago, her nephew Sam had just turned the ripe old age of one. We introduced you to this adorable baby boy, who was adopted by Kate's sister and brother-in-law, last July. In her series Blended, Kate shows us intimate moments between Sam and his new family, including playing or cuddling with his cousins or Kate's own beautiful daughters Ella and Alice. Though at first it may seem that Sam is the lucky one for having been adopted into such a loving home, the whole family feels as though they're the ones who have been truly blessed.

As…

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