French photographer Nadege Meriau uses dark backgrounds and dramatic lighting to create images of food that combine the visceral and the sublime. Olivier Richon, artist and head of photography at the Royal College of Art describes her work beautifully: “If in fairy tales, houses are made of sweets, Nadege Meriau does the reverse, transforming the edible into a dwelling, making architectures of fibers, vegetables and porous matter. This is an architecture of the digestible, made of curves and unexpected textures, that recall the art of the rocaille, or when a grotto is endowed with a viscosity that reminds us of a digestive apparatus”
"The Scribe’s House" is an installation by Argentinean artist Pablo Lehmann, created for the Rockefeller Center Anthropologie store in NYC. Crafted entirely from found paper, the small studio apartment has a bookcase, a collapsed bed, curtains and a floor carpeted with torn book pages. Lehmann's use of literature as his medium is representative of the artist's desire to create new ways of interpreting the written word and what it signifies.
Between 2001 and 2005, photographer Richard Hooker visited various bus stops across London to capture those little moments which happen spontaneously, when the meeting of individuals is completely left to chance. Speaking about the project Richard said, "In transient, with time to kill, and often amongst strangers, each collection of these individuals proves completely unique from the next. The way people take ownership of the space, how they congregate, is often better than anything an art director or photographer could ever deliberately replicate. Each collection provides a little insight into London’s incredible diversity, how we relate to our sur- roundings, and each other."
London-based artist Clinton De Menezes mounts large crowds of toy figures on textured canvases to create striking visual patterns. De Menezes’ installations illustrate the personal and collective drama of human migration and are strongly influenced by a youth spent in South Africa among the rapidly changing socio-political attitudes and historical shifts in population dynamics. Speaking about his work De Menezes says, "My practice is based on a vast system of themes and references relating to the politics and poetics of space and to the processes of regeneration and degeneration. "
Netherlands-based artist Victor Sonna creates unique bicycles made with recycled parts which are are odes to the founding fathers of modern art, with all their distorting, meandering, brilliant concoctions. The abandoned bicycles Victor Sonna salvages are like leaves raked in from the street and transformed into compost, to make the land fertile. According to Sonna, "We are increasingly inclined to trim down damages, holes and obstacles in our lives. By contrast, it is my intention to leave these ‘faults’ or ‘failures’ in my work, both structurally and formally."
Spanish artist Javier Riera uses the medium of projection art to create light and geometry interventions on landscape. His work investigates the relationship between nature and geometry, the latter being interpreted as "the language which precedes matter and is capable of interacting with it in a subtle resonance revealing hidden qualities in his workspace." Speaking about his work Riera says, "My interventions are ephemeral and don't leave any tracks upon the landscape, they happen and they disappear."
New Zealand artist Peter Trevelyan creates complex geometric structures meticulously crafted from graphite pencil leads. Trevelyan builds his ‘three-dimensional drawings’ gradually with great patience and precision. He fuses the delicate pencil leads together into triangles which become the basic unit of the structure; the whole surface is made up of hundreds of triangles.
Illustrator Ed Fairburn utilizes the multicolored, patterned surface of road and subway maps to create large-scale ink and pencil portraits that echoes the complex textures found in the human form. Fairburn says, "The work I produce is largely figurative, and through the exploration of the human form I examine the patterns and structures which exist across the body. Emphasis is placed on the ‘fragmented’ texture of the skin, a process which has encouraged my work to evolve from its occupation of plain paper to the potential occupation of other, pre-fragmented or pre-patterned surfaces."
Designed by brothers Ben and Daniel Dratz, of Germany–based firm Dratz&Dratz Architekten, this temporary workspace is a 2,045-square-foot pavilion made of 550 bales of compressed paper recycled from local supermarkets. Speaking about the project Daniel said, "Rather unexpectedly, we passed by a
recycling station and saw these bales of used paper. We were fascinated by the structural variety and by the fragments of compressed information – like traces of society. Later we discovered that these bales could be layered and stacked to form monolithic walls, and we recognized the potential for architectural projects."
Our most popular posts this week featured a series of portraits of stuffed animals that have been ripped battered and bruised from years of play, delicious looking candy handguns that are actually made of tinted resin and glass, dysfunctional objects produced by different factories from around the world and the 37 Ingredients that go into making a Twinkie photographed by Dwight Eschliman.
Evan Robarts is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates complex sculptural assemblages from found objects. Some of his pieces include sculptures made from contorted metal, elastic bands, gas canisters and old basket balls. Robarts work addresses the interplay between science and art, looking for new relationships with material, form, and identity.
Netherlands based graphic and audiovisual designer Rogier Wieland created this impressive stop motion animation using video stills transferred to cardboard cutouts that were then animated on location. The final result is nothing short of amazing!
After learning last week that Hostess, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread could go out of business, we decided to pay tribute to the hugely popular spongy treat through an interesting project by photographer Dwight Eschliman titled "37 or so Ingredients". Eschliman photographed each of the 37 ingredients in a Twinkie separately so you can see exactly what's inside. "I love the idea of taking any object and deconstructing it down to its component parts" he says, "Essentially, I find great thrill in lining things up and photographing them."
Artist Darren Lago reimagines some of the most iconic American handguns as lusciously saccharine inert objects. His show, titled “Sugar” at Davidson Contemporary in New York City, consists of a series of delicious looking candy handguns that are actually made of tinted resin and glass. "Their harmlessness is evident, and the declawed machismo of steel weaponry is transferred into gaudy yet seductive pastels and fruity hues."
"Much Loved" is a series of portraits by Ireland-based portrait photographer Mark Nixon, documenting aging stuffed animals that have been ripped battered and bruised from years of play. "The well-worn toys show battle scars of being the prized possessions of children and cherished companions that have seen many a repair as different parts start wearing down." the artist said, "They may look hideous to our eyes, but each one is beloved by its owner." There are thirty portraits in total and each one has an accompanyingstory which can be read at Nixon’s site.
For his latest project called "Erratum", British artist Jeremy Hutchison commissioned different factories from around the world to produce an incorrect version of the product they make every day. 17 dysfunctional objects were produced, including a cheese grater with no holes and a saw with its teeth at the tip of the blade. Speaking about the project Jeremy said, "It's about an invisible global workforce, and their connection to the relentless regurgitation of stuff. It's about Duchamp and the readymade, but updated to exist within the context of today's globalised economy. It's about the rub between art and design, the mass-produced and unique, the functional and the dysfunctional." Erratum will launch on December 5th 2012 at a pop-up boutique at Paradise Row, 74a Newman Street, London.
European photographer Jessica Hilltout has documented the “rag balls” found all over the world where young people have a passion for soccer, but no soccer balls. Hilltout, featured in the New York Times a while back, spent 9 months traveling the back roads of Africa, documenting through photography the passion for soccer that is virtually a religion throughout Africa. "I have always been interested in the poetic character of the small, seemingly unimportant things." Jessica says, "To me, there is hidden beauty in the ordinary and great beauty in the overlooked."
"Portraits of People Balancing Things on Their Heads" is a series of photographs by Rhodri Brooks that are not so much traditional portraits, but rather evocations of the balancing act young people face at the age between childhood and adulthood. Rhodri explains; “The reasoning behind the objects on the head is that the whole series is portraits of people around my age; late teens and early twenties, which is the age when you’re entering young adulthood – which can be horrible, the realization of all the responsibilities now facing you. So the formal style and the serious, earnest look on the faces of the people represent this new adulthood, where as the objects and the ridiculousness added to the portraits are a link to the silliness and fun of childhood.”
"Monobloc" by Bert Loeschner is a series of plastic chairs that have been modified using heat. With no concern for functionality and comfort, Loeschner has transformed commonplace plastic products into a strikingly diverse collection of sculptural seating. The project is about the 'infamous garden chair' and its role in design culture.
When you think of bread, you probably envision the plain and unexciting bookends of a sandwich. Perhaps that's because you've never seen some of the finest breads in the world transformed into amazing sculptural experiments. These beautiful images were created by Omar Sosa and Ana Dominguez of Apartamento magazine with the help of photographer Nacho Alegre to make what can only be described as the most amazing homage to bread ever conceived.
As part of Abu Dhabi's fourth annual art fair, Japanese artist Tadashai Kawamata created a round tower made of thousands stacked chairs. Called "Chairs For Abu Dhabi", the approximately 20-foot tall sculpture took Kawamata about five days to build. The artist has installed previous versions of the piece in France, but the Abu Dhabi artwork is very unique. "This time it's not a specific chair at all," he said. "It's more of a mixture of all kinds of wooden, metal, colorful chairs - everything. An empty chair is waiting for people to sit down, and then a chair is connecting to other chairs," he explained. "So it's really like a waiting spot, open for everybody to sit down. That's kind of the metaphor we're using."
Italian-based artist Noumeda Carbone creates enigmatic sculptures made out of thousands of empty pill capsules. The series titled "Disease", exudes a technicolor lightheartedness from afar, however upon closer inspection it reveals the dark side of prescription drug abuse, which is symbolized by the black void inside.
Photographer Dominique Vankan first came up with the idea for a fully functional DIY camera while trying to replicate the Autochrome Lumière color photography process developed by the Lumière Brothers back in 1907. After a few prototype trial designs all the pieces of the puzzle finally came together and Dominique was able to build a series of fully functional cameras made out of cardboard, duct tape and a few bits of LEGO.
This beautiful time lapse by British photographer Rob Whitworth takes you through the crazy traffic and goings-on of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The video titled "Traffic in Frenetic HCMC" was created by capturing 10,000 RAW images of the city's relentless energy and pace of change. "Everyone who has visited Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam knows part of the magic (love it or hate it) is in the traffic." Rob says "Ever since I first set foot in HCMC I have been captivated by the cities energy. Saigon is a city on the move unlike anything I have experienced before which I wanted to capture and share."
From Nov 9 through January 13 the Guggenheim Museum is presenting an installation by Mexican artist Gabriel Orzoco titled "Asterisms". The show features thousands of objects Orozco collected from the wildlife reserve Isla Arena in Mexico and the Pier 40 playing fields on Manhattan's west side - including glass bottles, lightbulbs, buoys, tools, stones, and oars. This monumental sculptural carpet is accompanied by 12 large-scale gridded photographs of the individual objects in a studio setting, organized typologically by material, color and size.
Our most popular posts this week featured a series of shell-like structures made from thousands of matchsticks, impressive figurative sculptures made from broken glass, a tongue-in-cheek (and very controversial) photo series that pokes fun at religion and sexual politics and a series of installations that explores the masculine world of B-Movies.
Acrobat-turned-photographer, Isabelle Wenzel creates images that focus mainly on the physical form of the human body. She often depicts the female body in the most impossible positions. Her series titled "Building Images", is an homage to the boredom one may feel working in an office environment all day. Speaking about the project Wenzel says, "I have never worked in an office and found it fascinating to see how functional and minimal the movements of people are in such a space. It made me wonder how long I could keep sitting still."
For her series titled "Pests", Toronto-based artist Amy Swartz created a series of highly detailed and meticulously crafted miniature sculptures made by combining taxidermy insects and toy figurines. Her work explores the idea of obsession — not only in the practice of art, but also in humanity’s perceived control over nature, life, and death. As R.M. Vaughan wrote, “Swartz makes even the tiniest deaths meaningful (and, yes, morbidly funny).”
Arizona-based photographer Ernie Button creates wonderful miniature landscapes using primarily breakfast cereal. His work is based on the shapes, colors and textures of the southwestern desert and the large man-made structure created by ancient civilizations. Ernie places enlarged photographs of actual Arizona skies in the background of the cereal landscapes giving the final image an odd sense of reality. "The project started out purely aesthetic, I have no ill will against cereals or the companies that make them," Button says, "that stuff tastes great but the older I get, the more I’m like, should I be eating this?"
Kenya Hara's "Architecture for Dogs" is a series of structures built for man's best friend based on the philosophy of DIY. Hara commissioned breed-specific constructions from some of the biggest names in Japanese architecture, including Shigeru Ban (papillon), Konstantin Grcic (toy poodle), Atelier Bow-Wow (smooth-haired dachshund) and Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA (bichon frisé). The easy-to-assemble structures will allow owners to see eye to eye with their canine companions — literally. Via the NYT, "Through the Web site which goes live this month, dog owners will be able to download free blueprints of each structure, along with directions and how-to-build videos that allow customization."
Inspired by the cell-like shape of soap bubbles, the "Bubble Chandelier" by New York-based design studio Souda, is made from post-consumer soda bottles through a partnership with Sure We Can, a Brooklyn based non-profit organization that runs the only homeless-friendly can redemption center in New York City. The entirety of the plastic bottles used to create the Bubble Chandelier are post-consumer bottles, collected on New York City streets by homeless individuals and people who collect cans.
Inspired by the glass shards found in his home after hurricane Andrew hit Miami in 1992, New York-based artist Daniel Arsham has created a series of sculptures made entirely from shattered glass. The artist says of the work: “After witnessing first hand the dramatic and destructive force of nature, I was inspired to transform the devastating energy I observed in the storm and reform it to a new and imaginative purpose."
For their collaborative project titled "The Book of Mormon Missionary Positions", Portland-based photographer Neil DaCosta and art director Sara Phillips created a tongue-in-cheek photo series that pokes fun at religion and sexual politics. According to the Latter Day Saints Handbook, “Sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, are sinful and undermine the divinely created institution of the family." Speaking about the project Neil said, "We wanted to create a conversation with a younger creative audience and to question their view on the position of the Church and same-sex marriage."
A collaboration between creative director Anna Burns and photographer Thomas Brown, "Pop Pop Bang" is a series of installations that explores "the masculine world of B-Movies". Using the themes of said movies – girls, guns and explosives – and twisting it against a very British backdrop, the duo created a wall of umbrellas displaying elements of the classic B-Movie and located them within three landscapes – one being the forest, then London’s docklands and finally the grounds of a Suffolk Manor house.
Colorado-born visual artists and twin brothers Ryan and Trevor Oakes create enigmatic shell-like structures made from thousands of matchsticks. Like much of the their work, these assemblages are as much experiments as creations. Speaking about their creative process they say,"Iterative structures abound in the physical world around us. Simply strolling down the block reveals that many things repeat. Brickwork, fence slats, sidewalk tiles, blades of grass, even one's footsteps occur in repetitive succession. In our work, we seek to embrace this engrained repetitive tendency in the activity happening in the physical world."
Job van der Molen's "Insect Armies" is a collection of battle-ready taxidermy insects fitted with high tech weaponry. Taking inspiration from some of nature’s most ingenious engineering, the artist has created a series of mechanised insects that examine the convergence between technology and biology.
Montreal-based artist Shelley Miller uses edible icing to adorn city walls with ornate scrolls and decorative motifs. Miller takes graffiti’s decorative techniques to an extreme, adorning urban surfaces and crumbling walls with swirling arabesque scrolls inspired by mosques. Most recently Miller has created an outdoor ceramic public art commission for a new AMT commuter train station in Montreal as well an outdoor sugar installation in downtown Toronto for Nuit Blanche called Throw-Up.
Designed by Florian Dussopt and Julie Girard from Anna Gram studio, this clever Citrus Clock runs on the energy of a lemon, which powers it for a week or longer. The project is a kind of shortcut intended to remind ourselves that nature, in spite of the various transformations to which we subject her, is still our direct energy source. The somewhat magical dimension of the operation is in fact simple electrolysis, like a conventional electric battery.