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Haroshi’s Recycled Skateboard Deck Sculptures

 

We first posted the work of Haroshi back in 2010 but we couldn’t resist giving you an update of this artists incredible sculptures created out of used skateboard decks. His creations are born through styles such as wooden mosaic, dots, and pixels; where each element, either cut out in different shapes or kept in their original form, are connected in different styles, and shaven into the form of the final art piece. Haroshi became infatuated with skateboarding in his early teens, and is still a passionate skater at present. He knows thoroughly all the parts of the skateboard deck, such as the shape, concave, truck, and wheels. He often feels attached to trucks with the shaft visible, goes around picking up and collecting broken skateboard parts, and feels reluctant to throw away crashed skateboards. It’s only natural that he began to make art pieces (i.e. recycling) by using skateboards. To Haroshi, his art pieces are equal to his skateboards, and that means they are his life itself. They’re his communication tool with both himself, and the outside world.

The most important style of Haroshi’s three-dimensional art piece is the wooden mosaic. In order to make a sculpture out of a thin skateboard deck, one must stack many layers. But skate decks are already processed products, and not flat like a piece of wood freshly cut out from a tree. Moreover, skateboards may seem like they’re all in the same shape, but actually, their structure varies according to the factory, brand, and popular skaters’ signature models. With his experience and almost crazy knowledge of skateboards, Haroshi is able to differentiate from thousands of used deck stocks, which deck fits with which when stacked. After the decks are chosen and stacked, they are cut, shaven, and polished with his favorite tools. By coincidence, this creative style of his is similar to the way traditional wooden Japanese Great Buddhas are built. 90% of Buddha statues in Japan are carved from wood, and built using the method of wooden mosaic; in order to save expense of materials, and also to minimize the weight of the statue. So this also goes hand in hand with Haroshi’s style of using skateboards as a means of recycling. Also, although one is not able to see from outside, there is a certain metal object that is buried inside his three-dimensional statue. The object is a broken skateboard part that was chosen from his collection of parts that became deteriorated and broke off from skateboards, or got damaged from a failed Big Make attempt. To Haroshi, to set this kind of metal part inside his art piece means to “give soul” to the statue. “Unkei,” a Japanese sculptor of Buddhas who was active in the 12th Century, whose works are most popular even today among the Japanese people; used to set a crystal ball called “Shin-Gachi-Rin (Heart Moon Circle)” in the position of the Buddha’s heart. This would become the soul of the statue. So the fact that Haroshi takes the same steps in his creation may be a natural reflection of his spirit and aesthetic as a Japanese.

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Helle Mardahl

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Helle Mardahl holds nothing back in her work both in subject and materials. Her background in fashion is evident, but her collections are not made for any runway. Start with her show A Royal Orgy Of Consumption which was on display at WAS gallery in Copenhagen, August 2008. Keep exploring; there’s a world of  intricacies and complexities wanting to be seen.

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Izhar Gafni’s $20 Cardboard Bicycle

Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni recently developed a bicycle that is pretty amazing in a lot of different ways. Not only is it made out of cardboard, it’s sustainable, durable, functional, super light, looks like a bike, and only costs 9$ to produce, which means he can sell it for $20 a piece. Everything about it is amazing. Not the least of which is his inspiring determination to realize such a seemingly impossible idea. I’m really crossing my fingers that this goes into mega production and opens some doors for a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the wonderful world of bicycles and transportation. Watch the video after the jump to see his process; it’s a real day-maker.( via )

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The Art Nouveau Sensibilities of Jugend Magazine

 

We’re not in the habit of sharing stuff that’s not contemporary here, but sometimes you come along something that shouldn’t be overlooked, as it seems relevant no matter when it was created, and could use a little more attention. Jugendstil, the German Art Nouveau movement, was named after the late nineteenth century literary magazine Jugend, which promoted the aesthetic within its pages and on its covers. If you’re looking for some fresh typography/design/illustration inspiration, check out this online resource, which contains lots of images from and info on the magazine. There’s even some Impressionistic stuff mixed with the Art Nouveau goodness, but it all comes off as really fresh. I wonder what Jugend, which didn’t make it out of World War II and Nazism, would be like if it were around today.

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Marie Koetje

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Portland, Oregan based Marie Koetje’s dark paintings are chaos interrupted. Her subject matter usually deals with natural/ man-made environments out of control. Incredibly noisy with vegetation, trash, and color that are all suddenly silenced by one striking color of fluorescent lighting, neon signs, etc.

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Ana Bagayan’s Metaphysical Marvels

Originally from Armenia, artist Ana Bagayan studied illustration at California’s Art Center College of Design. Her many paintings and drawings are populated with doll-like youths and human-alien hybrids, showcasing the artist’s special interest in the metaphysical. In particular, many of her hybrid creatures were inspired by the stories told by avowed alien abductees while under hypnosis. Bagayan’s drawings and paintings have been displayed in galleries across the US, including most recently at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, California. Take a look at more metaphysical marvels after the jump.

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Portia Munson’s….Stuff

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Portia Munson turns one thousand garages worth of plastic kitsch and junk into surprisingly beautiful mounds of stuff that both uplift and mock our contemporary consumer culture. Portia will have a new installation at the PPOW exhibition “Debris” opening March 20th- if you are in NYC be sure to check it out.

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Chromosomal visualization

DNA Radio (German experts on biotech) converts the entire human genome to images and audio that will be streaming on the internet 24/7. Isn’t it crazy that figuratively, all we are made up of are these dots? Here’s a little science lesson for you…

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