we don't often show nipples on super/collider, but it's not often that an internationally-renowned artist simultaneously exhibits two shows based on photographs of porn stars and the surface of Mars. Thomas Ruff's ma.r.s. and Nudes at the Gagosian's two London galleries draw on NASA imagery and internet pornography, respectively, to create blurred, dreamy and abstracted images a step removed from their original sources. according to the press release:
"In the new ma.r.s. series, sourced from the NASA website, Ruff has transformed the raw black and white fragmentary representations of the planet Mars with interjections of saturated color. Astronomy has fascinated Ruff since childhood. In 1989 he presented Sterne, his first images of the night sky based on archival photographs that he acquired from the European Southern Observatory in Chile that were taken with a specially designed telescopic lens. From these photographs, he selected specific details that were then enlarged to a uniform grand scale. Almost twenty years later, he returned to contemplating the universe and its mysteries. The cassini series of 2008 was based on photographic captures of Saturn with its candy-colored moons and rings. Ruff enlarged the images to the point where the image resolution meets its limit and the planet starts to crumble, pixel by pixel into the black void of the galaxy."
above (cropped) and bottom image (NSFW): nudes dr02, 2011 Unique C-Print 104 3/4 x 73 1/4 inches 266 x 186 cm © 2012 Thomas Ruff, courtesy Gagosian Gallery
below: 3D_ma.r.s.03, 2012 C-Print 100 3/8 x 72 7/8 inches 255 x 185 cm © 2012 Thomas Ruff/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona, courtesy Gagosian Gallery