Portraits of Squashed Commuters in Japan by Michael Wolf

    Photographer Michael Wolf spent 30 days in a Tokyo metro station, capturing the traumatized faces of commuters on their way to work. Their woeful expressions have been immortalized in Wolf's photographic series, "Tokyo Compression". Each photograph is composed of individuals pressed up against windows and doors of the subway train with expressions of discomfort and stress after a hard day’s work.
    The photographs were all taken at one station on Tokyo's Odakyu Line – the only stop where Wolf could get really close to the train windows. "Every 80 seconds a new train runs in," explains Wolf. "When the commuters get in and are pushed against a window, I'm two inches away from that window."
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    Having a camera shoved in their faces didn't make the commuters any more cheerful. "No one was pleased with it," admits Wolf. "My being there made them suddenly aware of how horrible the situation is and they were ashamed of it, but there was nothing they could do. They couldn't move away, leave the train, so some people tried to hide behind their hands. Others had this idea that if they closed their eyes, and they couldn't see me, then somehow I couldn't see them.”
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    [via The Independent, Photojojo]

Hand Paintings by Guido Daniele

    Guido Daniele was born in Soverato (Italy) and now lives and works in Milan. He graduated from Brera School of Arts and he has been painting and participating in personal and group art exhibitions since 1968. In 1972 he started working as hyper-realistic illustrator, in co-operation with  major editing and advertising companies, using and testing different painting  techniques. In 1990 he added a new artistic experience to his previous ones: using the body painting technique he creates and paints models bodies for advertising pictures and commercials, fashion events and exhibitions.
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    The "Handimals" collection originally started when Daniele was hired by an advertising agency to do some body paintings of animals. Instantly he took passion in the idea. "I researched each animal in depth to see how I could transfer it to a hand, and then set about bringing it to life." The first "Handimal" was the cheetah, and to this day is still his favorite. "It turned out perfectly the first time and gave me the courage to complete the rest of the set."
    Most commonly, Daniele uses his son (Michael James, 15) and daughter (Ginevra, 22) as his primary canvases. "If you're spending hours on end holding someone's hand, I'd rather it be the hand of someone I love. There's nothing worse than working with a nervous, unfamiliar model whose hands are shaking." On average the typical "Handimal" takes around three to four hours to paint in its entirety. However the first time Daniele painted the eagle with outstretched wings clocked in at ten hours upon completion.
    Daniele admits that the hardest part is not the painting itself, but rather having to watch his paintings be washed down the drain and disappear on a daily basis. "I'm getting used to it. At least I get to start each day with a fresh canvas."
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    [via letscounthedays]

Paintings by Nigel Cox

    Nigel was born in Newry Co. Down Ireland and grew up on the edge of Dundalk, a small market town in County Louth, just below the border and was educated at Dundalk Grammar School. After graduating from Riversdale College in Liverpool he joined the Transglobe Expedition, led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. This three-year expedition successfully achieved the first circumnavigation of the globe on land, sea and ice via North and South poles along the Greenwich Meridian and changed his life forever.
    During the expedition Nigel would be at sea, on an ice cap or in some remote location for months on end. Spending large amounts of time alone, surrounded by the staggering beauty of vast and often barren spaces had a profound affect and the essence of this experience strongly influenced his painting.
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    For many years after the expedition Nigel lived abroad, painting watercolours and oils, exhibiting and undertaking private commissions. Now living in London, he paints on canvas or linen, building up thin layers of oil paint and glazes to develop depth and detail.
    His love of large open spaces and lack of clutter is obvious but he is also fascinated by detail. These opposing elements are merged confidently in his paintings providing the viewer with a glimpse beyond the clutter of everyday life, conjuring up notions of escape and peace, offering sanctuary from the frenetic world outside.
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    Visit the artist’s website.

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