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So Mermaid School is a Thing

In the heat of the New York summer, Gothamist associate editor Rebecca Fishbein and videographer Jessica Leibowitz spent a day in Coney Island, Brooklyn visiting the World of Swimming‘s Mermaid School. The skilled instructors at the school teach the students how to swim like a mermaid, a feat that requires a great deal of core strength, and in doing so, encourage self-confidence and pride. Ummm ok, sure…it’s all fun and games until someone drowns. Merman…Merman! 😉

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Bryan Sansivero – Abandoned New York Mansion

Bryan Sansivero captures an abandoned lavish mansion with a secret past

Just outside New York City, there’s a sprawling, 57-room mansion sitting on 6 acres and equipped with a bowling alley, indoor tennis court, two bars, a library, opulent interiors, with spiral staircases and chandeliers. It is also entirely abandoned. Built in the late 1930s and last inhabited in the 1970s, the neglect is allegedly down to an owner who would buy lavish mansions and leave them to rot. While the building itself is in need of repairs, the collections within it remain untouched and have been beautifully captured by photographer Bryan Sansivero – there are dolls, old photographs, plastic flowers, paintings and two pianos, stark reminders of a privileged life from the past. Fascinating stuff! 🙂

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Carl Burton’s Mesmerising GIFs

Carl Burton creates stunning animated gifs that play with colour & light

We love this selection of animated GIFs by Carl Burton, a designer and artist based in New York, who creates unique and slightly haunting atmospheres with a beautiful use of light and colour. Fantastic work! 🙂

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Andy Kennedy – Slow Wave

Andy Kennedy imagines your dreams with surreal short film 'Slow Wave'

Brooklyn NY filmmaker, animator, and musicianAndy Kennedy imagines what your nights look like while you’re dreaming (or having nightmares) with his surreal and mesmerising animated short film ‘Slow Wave’. Awesome stuff! 🙂

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Steven Siegel – New York in the 80s

Steven Siegel captures a decaying & apocalyptic 1980s New York

Steven Siegel is an American photographer who captured New York from the 1980s in very raw, almost apocalyptic, images. Through his fascinating photographs focused on urban decay, wastelands, and abandoned spaces, Steven Siegel reveals a time when New York City was a much more dangerous and broken-down place – risky, dirty, and chaotic yet somehow had a sense of honesty, openness, and freedom which according to him was lost after 9/11. You can check out all of Steven Siegel’s work on his Flickr account. Amazing stuff! 🙂

Romain Laurent – One Loop

Romain Laurent creates awesome new animated GIFs

Romain Laurent: We love this selection of new animated GIFs from talented French artist and photographer Romain Laurent, who continues to create awesome portraits using the technique of cinemagraph – photographs with a small animated loop. Fantastic work!

Michael Murphy – ‘Perceptual Shift’

Michael Murphy creates impressive suspended sculptures

Michael Murphy: We love these fascinating suspended sculptures by Brooklyn, NY artist Michael Murphy, who uses hundreds of suspended elements to create one final image visible from a single point of view. His latest creation, ‘Perceptual Shift’, is made up of 1200 black spheres, forming a perfectly shaped eye if you’re in exactly the right spot and is currently visible at the I.M.A.G.E. gallery. For more of Michael Murphy’s amazing creations, we suggest a visit to his website. Awesome stuff! 🙂

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Donna Stevens – Idiot Box

Donna Stevens photographs children watching TV

Donna Stevens: We love the work of New York based, Australian photographer and artist Donna Stevens, who through her ‘Idiot Box’ series, photographs children while they’re watching television, capturing the mesmerised faces, passive and slightly zombified, and exploring the relationship we all share with technology and the media. Fantastic stuff! 🙂

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Hot Dogs Gone Wild. Just Because…

Hot Dogs captured in the most unusual situations and places

Hot Dogs: This strange yet interesting ‘IDK about these Hotdogs’ series, created by an anonymous photographer from New York, captures simple hot dogs in the most unusual situations and places, leaving the door open to the most absurd and funny interpretations. Mmmm delicious – Happy Friday! 🙂

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Alejandro Durán – Washed Up

Alejandro Durán creates beautiful yet shocking installations from garbage

Alejandro Durán: We love the amazing ‘Washed Up’ series by Mexican artist Alejandro Durán who organises the discarded waste he finds in nature into beautiful and yet somewhat terrifying art installations. Alejandro Durán does not remove or add anything, but simply rearranges the garbage he finds on site. Alejandro Durán was born in Mexico City in 1974 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He is a multimedia artist working in photography, installation, and video. His work examines the fraught intersections of man and nature, particularly the tension between the natural world and an increasingly overdeveloped one. About his current work, Durán comments “In my current project, Washed Up, I address the issue of plastic pollution making its way across the ocean and onto the shores of Sian Ka’an, Mexico’s largest federally-protected reserve. With more than twenty pre-Columbian archaeological sites, this UNESCO World Heritage site is also home to a vast array of flora and fauna and the world’s second largest coastal barrier reef. Unfortunately, Sian Ka’an is also a repository for the world’s trash, which is carried there by ocean currents from many parts of the globe. Over the course of this project, I have identified plastic waste from fifty nations on six continents that have washed ashore along the coast of Sian Ka’an. I have used this international debris to create color-based, site-specific sculptures. Conflating the hand of man and nature, at times I distribute the objects the way the waves would; at other times, the plastic takes on the shape of algae, roots, rivers, or fruit, reflecting the infiltration of plastics into the natural environment.” To view more of Alejandro Durán’s work, we recommend a visit to his website.

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