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In 2011, artist Jessamyn Lovell was at the gallery SF Camerawork discussing her upcoming show when her wallet—and, eventually, her identity—was stolen by a San Francisco woman named Erin Hart. When Lovell started receiving mysterious bills, parking tickets, and even a summons to appear in court on theft charges, she realized that she was a victim of identity theft. Furious and frustrated, the artist decided to channel her frustration into Dear Erin Hart, a project that stripped away Hart's anonymity in an effort to piece together a portrait of the criminal who had disrupted her life.

Lovell hired a private investigator to track down Hart, who was in jail on an identity theft conviction. Waiting in a car outside the jail, Lovell photographed the woman as she was released, and eventually began following her and…

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Just what goes into taking glamorously surreal photos? If you don't think there's that much planning that goes into taking a shot or two like this, you'd be absolutely wrong. Miss Aniela recently took a trip to Iceland to capture these images. She and her crew had to brave cold and icey conditions in order to get these spectacularly surreal shots. In her own words, here she is explaining the idea for the shoot, her set of challenges, and how she feels about the end result.

Photo: Chris Seid

Photo: Chris Seid

The Idea for the Shoot

"We first visited Iceland in April 2014 where we saw some amazing places. We run the Fashion Shoot Experience where a group of photographers from around the world join us on adventures, and this time it was an expedition in Iceland, traveling together…

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Mike Mezeul II is a Texas-based photographer who's used to shooting everything from professional sporting events to music concerts. It's when he positions his camera up to the sky, however, that the real magic happens. The photographer isn't afraid to chase huge thunderstorms or surreal-looking mammatus clouds. Over the last fifteen years, he's traversed thousands of miles to get the perfect shot.

To him, the parts of the storm that are visually intriguing are the clouds.

As he states, "I was always the little kid staring up at the clouds, whether it was lying on the picnic table at recess or just out the car window, the sky has always fascinated me. When I got my first camera at the age of 15, I wanted to take pictures, of course, of the clouds. So I photographed every sunset and sunrise I could, but then realized I could learn how to photograph…

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We’ve seen some great series that juxtapose the landscapes of the past with how they look in the present. But, this one turns the idea on its head. Damien Hypolite compares the modern-day Paris with photos of it from 1789 to 1799… well before the invention of photography.

So, how did he do it? Thanks to Hypolite’s computer knowledge and gaming enthusiasm, he printed out screenshots of the video game Assassin’s Creed Unity (which is based during the French Revolution) and then held them up around the city. This involved him spending an afternoon playing the game in HD with a map of Paris nearby, and he virtually visited famous spots in the city and took their picture. Afterwards, Hypolite printed out the screenshots on photo paper and biked to their real-life locations. These combinations were taken on his smartphone and uploaded online.

The clever…

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Blu's newest mural is adding a dash of personality to the bustling streets of Rome, and it's looking at you.

The mural covers former military warehouse Porto Fluviale, transforming windows into eyes and walls into stunning faces. The entire three-story building now features a kaleidoscope of hues and a myriad of minute details. Contoured lines and gradient colors create the illusion of rich texture and depth.

The recently completed project spanned two years. It was never officially authorized, but residents of the Porto Fluviale building paid for it.

The building of faces is Blu’s largest work since he appeared on the street art scene circa 1999. Although the artist is widely recognized by his pseudonym, his identity is unknown. Blu typically gravitates toward pieces with political and social messages, but the Porto Fluviale project appears devoid of any such…

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Artist Ra Paulette has hand-carved elaborate and awe-inspiring caves deep into the rock faces of New Mexico for more than a decade. Making a daily trek into the sandstone mesas of New Mexico, Paulette crafts these magnificent caverns completely on his own with only simple hand tools. To adorn the walls, he blends his own unique infusion of organic-looking shapes and abstract, interlocking patterns. These forms come to life by the natural light streaming through channels dug into the ceilings and walls.

Paulette began digging caves as commission work, but he has since started working on his own and is currently engaged in a single ten-year project. Describing the exercise of carving as "the dance of digging," he sees not only the space as expressive, but also the process. At the end of each year-long work, Paulette leaves us with labyrinthine halls he hopes will…

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Adorable Book Sculpture of Matilda, The Roald Dahl Story

Su Blackwell, the London-based artist who we previously featured here and here, has just come out with a book sculpture and it's absolutely adorable. Commissioned for a client whose mother was instrumental in bringing Matilda the Musical to the stage, this work is cut from pages of Roald Dah's book and incorporates the illustration of Matilda by notable illustrator Quentin Blake. In it, you see Matlida standing on top of a large stack of books, reaching high in the sky for even more books. Love how she incorporates the trees and the lit house.

Matilda 2014 © Su…

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More than anything, we here at My Modern Met seek to show our audience what's happening behind the scenes. Every once in awhile, a photographer comes along that's willing to share his or her story. Jake Olson is a photographer who we featured this past March for his adorable photos of children set against the beautiful Nebraskan countryside. We didn't know it at the time but we soon found out that Jake found his calling to become a photographer only after struggling with an alcohol addiction. In his book reFramed, he shares this story in hopes that others can bravely face their own challenges and ultimately realize their dreams.

To date, Jake's…

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The winners of the Society of Biology's 2014 Photography Competition have been announced! Over 800 amateur photographers competed in the categories Photographer of the Year and Young Photographer of the Year (18 and under) for cash prizes. With the theme of "Home, Habitat and Shelter" this year, the competition pulled in some spectacular entries, ranging from a vibrant shot of a sea turtle eating a jellyfish to a fascinating look at wasps building clay pots to protect their young.

Billy Clapham, 20, took home the title of Photographer of the Year 2014 with his image of a blackbird in his back garden. Judge Tim Harris, from Nature Picture Library, says, "Billy's image of a female blackbird in a suburban garden captures a familiar subject in a bold and fresh way. Gardens provide valuable habitat for wildlife in an increasingly urbanised world, and this delightful…

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Dakar, Senegal-based photographers Omar Victor Diop and Antoine Tempé put a unique African spin on iconic Hollywood films in their series [re-]Mixing Hollywood: ONOMOllywood, exploring what famous works of cinema might have looked like had they been filmed in Senegal. The film revamps are instantly recognizable, yet contain intriguing twists—a white dress instead of black in the Breakfast at Tiffany's image, the use of lush green foliage instead of rose petals in the American Beauty remake—to represent the local cultural scene in Dakar and Abidjan.

According to the duo, focusing on cinema as a theme allowed them to merge their respective photographic specialties—for Tempé, documenting the local performing arts scene; for Diop, merging eclectic fashion and narratives through portraiture. The photographers wanted to celebrate…

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What’s costing your country the most money? A graphic recently published by The Washington Post’s “Know More” blog attempts to quantify the total economic cost of different human-created social burdens like alcoholism, air pollution, workplace risks, and more. The numbers rank the fiscal impact on a scale of one to 14, with a lower number indicating a higher financial strain. This chart was drawn from a recent report about combating obesity by consultancy McKinsey & Company, and it includes data from the World Health Organization Global Burden of Disease database.

The graphic is an eye-opening look at what issues have different-yet-considerable effects around the world. In the United…

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Winter temperatures can cause ice to do some unexpected things, and Reddit user odstane can definitely attest to this. He recently shared a series of photos from his frozen backyard pond, and the now-block of ice created some unusually beautiful effects. Concentric circle patterns cover the surface, and they resemble the lines you’d see on a topographic (elevation) map or even in a Japanese rock garden.

Bold white “outlines” highlight different shapes in the ice, and they trace around rocks that stick out of the pond. There are brilliant, multifaceted colors and crystals that are visible depending on your vantage point. And, when photographed up close, the pond sometimes resembles an abstract work of art rather than frozen water.

The Reddit post doesn’t reveal how this phenomena occurred (there are only educated guesses), but we’re glad that odstane shared this bit…

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What would everyday objects look like as the most minimal possible outlines? Berlin-born sculptor Thomas Raschke has dedicated his Wire Frames project to answer precisely this question. Using 3.8 mm steel wire, Raschke spends about six weeks molding and soldering each 1:1 scale sculpture. Even more impressively, each piece is patterned directly off of the object it models, with a sketch completed only after the sculpture is completed.

Raschke's inspiration to embark on the project came from the simplicity with which computer renderings captured shapes and forms. To reproduce this blueprint-like look, he challenged himself to employ the minimum essential number of strands needed to represent an object. This combination of economy and craftsmanship creates what Raschke describes as "drawings in space," bringing the simplicity of sketches…

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Miniature Paper Architecture That Moves by Charles Young

In his spare time, Edinburgh-based Charles Young creates these miniature paper scenes that move. With a Bachelors and a Masters in Architecture from Edinburgh College of Art, he studied the way buildings are constructed for six years. Though he's been using different materials and techniques to form his miniature models, he always comes back to watercolor paper. "In my design projects I used model-making as a way of sketching and developing ideas," he said.

Collectively, he calls these models, Paperholm, a growing paper city. His project was started in late August, as a way for him to make something every day. Depending on how complex his pieces are, they can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to make. "Over the last three months I really got to know the material that I'm working with a lot better," he tells us. "By trying to make different shapes…

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Towering 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) above the ground, The Kelpies consists of a pair of enormous horse head sculptures installed by artist Andy Scott in Falkirk, Scotland. Scott spent a total of nine years designing and then assembling the sculptures on-site, crafting steel parts into intricate busts that allude to the legendary Scottish water spirit that takes the form of a horse.

When we first shared news of The Kelpies ten months ago, the project was still undergoing construction in The Helix park, but as these stunning shots by photographer dswain show us, the canal site has been transformed completely to…

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New York

Light glints off New York, Paris, Baghdad and fourteen other cities in Black Scalpel Cityscapes, the latest series by renowned UK artist Damien Hirst. These canvases may look black and white from a distance, but they're actually collages of steel surgical instruments and found metal scraps on black paint. Portrayed from a bird's (or drone's)-eye view, each image casts intricate metropolitan systems and patterns into sharp, shiny relief. 

Damien Hirst–the richest living artist in the world–made his way to fame by pickling whole sharks in formaldehyde, encrusting skulls with diamonds and filling museum rooms with thousands of live butterflies.…

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Iceland Goes Underwater in Surreal Series, "Siren Songs"

Having worked as a digital artist for George Lucas' Academy Award-winning motion picture visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, San Francisco Bay Area-based Sam Breach was happy seeing her name on the big screen for such movies as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean, but knew in her heart that she wanted something more. She found it much more thrilling to be involved in a creative process from start to finish, so she stepped into the world of photography. When she learned about Miss Aniela's photography workshop in Iceland, she was determined to be one of the sixteen photographers to experience it. We were lucky enough to go one-on-one with the photographer to learn more.

Can you please tell us about your trip to Iceland? Why did you go there and what was it…

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A team of archeologists led by Professor Kutalmış Görkay of Ankara University recently unearthed three ancient Greek mosaics in the Turkish city of Zeugma near the border of Syria. The excavation project, which began in 2007, was spurred on by flooding in the area due to the construction of a dam. Fearing that the ancient treasures of Zeugma would be lost forever, archeologists rushed to excavate, protect, and conserve the relics of the past, including the remarkably intact glass mosaics that date back to the 2nd century BC. Although part of the city is now submerged underwater, excavations continue in the hopes of uncovering more historical artifacts.

According to Görkay, the colorful mosaics were integral parts of homes millennia ago. Depicting various mythological figures such as gods, goddesses, and ancient heroes,…

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In photographer Kevin Horan’s series Chattel, he poses a question: what would it look like if his ungulate neighbors came into the studio and asked to have their portraits made? The Langley, Washington-based artist captured hoofed animals (also known as ungulates) that are on and around Whidbey Island. He depicts an up-close and personal view of the creatures that are part of farmland and nursery rhymes.

Horan’s subjects are set against a dark background, and his limited color palette washes the animals in warm gray tones. It gives the images a timeless feel and also highlights incredible details. Mounds of thick, textured fur and imposing antlers look unexpectedly stately, and when alone, their unique personalities shine. Horan presents these creatures in ways that we don't normally see, and he's removed them from places like a petting zoo to…

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Japanese graphic designer and architect Yusuke Oono is a favorite here at the Met, and with good reason - his laser-cut storybooks are incredible! One of Oono’s recent creations is a dramatic retelling of Jack in the Beanstalk that’s depicted in a stunning 3D object. It can be fanned out in a full 360 degrees, and this allows you to explore the narrative in multiple ways.

Cut from bright green paper are a giant’s hands, winding vines, and of course, Jack. The center of the book radiates to form a complex and intricate beanstalk that highlights a path to the sky. Jack’s silhouetted figure is seen racing towards the ground as a large set of hands try to catch him. In addition to the main characters, Oono added other great details like birds…

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