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Japanese designer Keiko Otsuhata has brought a new dimension to the popularity of fish as food by turning the sea creature into a functional-out-of-water zip bag. In Japan, fried fish (especially mackerel) is often seen on bar menus, and is prepared by splitting the fish through its stomach and frying it flat. The sight of fried fish is common visual vocabulary in Japan, but Otsuhata was curious about what the fish looked like in its pre-fried state, so she bought one from the grocery store, took photographs, and made it into a zip bag.

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Anja Wulfing adds large animals into the black and white scenes of found vintage photographs, turning the attention away from the somber faces of its subjects and to the creatures that pose quite naturally behind their backs. The surprising inclusions are painted in by Wulfing, and often take the form of birds—such as crows, owls, ducks, and the occasional rooster. The animals either join the members of the photograph or merge with its occupants, sometimes replacing the heads of those posing to create hybrid and humorous creatures.

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Brooklyn-based photographer Ben Zank has an eye for the unusual. Strange juxtapositions, awkward inconveniences, and often the ongoing struggle of life itself are all expressed through his surreal photography. Zank often portrays figures (some of which are self-portraits) as physically encumbered with faces obscured or turned away from the camera, seemingly in the throes of personal conflict. Yet despite the adversity in each photo, the element of humor seems constantly present. It’s hard not to laugh and smile at the absurd predicaments he conceives of for each shot, reminding us all to take a step back sometimes and just laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

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If you have a late-night hankering for some felty gefilte fish or a bottle of fermented fabric, be sure to stop by 8 ‘Til Late, the newest temporary installation by British artist Lucy Sparrow known for her felt recreations of everyday objects. Located in Manhattan at The Standard, High Line, the bodega is filled from floor to ceiling with thousands of objects you might find at a typical corner store from breakfast cereals, a deli counter brimming with meats, frozen foods, and spirits—all made from felt and a bit of paint. And just like a real store, every last thing is for sale.

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Copenhagen-based artist Johan Deckmann examines the complications of life through clever titles painted on the covers of fictional self-help books that appear to tackle life’s biggest questions, fears, and absurdities. A practicing psychotherapist himself, Deckmann thoroughly recognizes the power of language in therapy and possesses a keen ability to translate his discoveries into witty phrases. “I like the idea of distilling words to compress information, feelings or fantasies into an essence, a truth,” he shares. “The right words can be like good medicine.”

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