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Illustrator Benjamin Phillips lives in South-East London with a dog who was born without a tail. He describes his own work as "often cynical and fuelled by contradictions being both sweet and sinister at the same time," and we're especially looking forward to him pitching up his easel to offer live portraits this Dec 8 at York Hall. Alice Hubley, writer and Spinning Yarns DJ asked Benjamin a few questions.  Have you been to the Craftacular before?  I had a stall at last year's fair which I shared with my girlfriend Jazmine...
  The photographer Howard Schatz is renowned for his sculptural portraiture; with heavily contrasted and high resolution images, he is able to capture human bodies in a way that echoes architectural monuments. Through his lens, the human form glistens, morphs into powerful abstract shapes. His project With Child highlights the strength inherent in the pregnant form; he catalogues female bodies right before and right after birth without a trace of the triteness often applied to the subject matter. This same reverence for the female body translates...
  This week the New York Film Academy blog released a study on gender inequality in the film industry, presenting some truly dire statistics about women both in front of and behind the camera. The data is drawn from the top 500 movies of the past five years and comes in the form of a series of infographics that showcase just how unbalanced the industry really is. First there’s the familiar information: women are much more likely than men to be shown onscreen partially naked or in...
Popcorn Venus, 2012. Joyce II. When you think of women photographers who work in self-portraiture, you probably think of Cindy Sherman. The artist has made a career of transforming herself into everything from a bleached blonde spray-tanned socialite to Mae West. Her impressive body of work is such that she appears to be everywhere, capable of metamorphosing into anyone she chooses.    It’s almost impossible to work in self portraiture without being compared to Sherman, and the young and brilliant photographer Juno Calypso often is. Calypso dresses herself...
  Meet Vanessa VanDyke, a twelve-year-old academic superstar at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, FL. Vanessa is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and she also enjoys wearing her hair naturally. She explains that her hairstyle “says that [she’s] unique. It’s puffy and [she likes] it that way.”    Unfortunately, much of modern society still insists upon conforming to Western beauty ideals, and natural African-American hair is misunderstood and disturbingly deemed “messy” or “unprofessional” both in schools and in workplaces. Some of Vanessa’s peers bully her...
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