Jan Fabre is an innovative visual artist whose works explore the realms of psychology, anatomy, and metamorphosis. Throughout his career, Fabre has been particularly fascinated by the human brain—the seat of cognition, and arguably, the spirit—and the way neurobiology intersects with the heart. He studied the brain for over ten years, working in dialogue with neurobiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti. Wondering about the brain’s role in the experience of emotion and empathy, Fabre asks himself and his viewers, “Do we feel with our brains and think with our heart?”
Featured here is a series of Fabre’s Carrara marble brain sculptures, each one bearing surprising elements; insects crawl across the veined surfaces, and scissors and corkscrews protrude in a macabre flare of the surgeon’s table. Fabre experienced being in a coma twice in his life, which caused him to explore the brain as an eerie, post-mortem state (Source). As a result, death is present throughout these works; the brains stand as white monuments not only to our mortality, but to our statuses as both individuals and interconnected human beings. Following this theme, Fabre has also sculpted marble bodies resting on tombs, similarly adorned with insects, which represent the transmutation of the physical and spiritual, life and decay.
Fabre’s work will be exhibited at the Deweer Gallery in Otegem, Belgium, from November 4th–December 20th, 2015. Titled 30 Years / 7 Rooms, the show features Fabre’s decades-long collaboration with Mark Deweer. (Via Hi-Fructose)
London based artist Dan Hillier creates unique, fantastical prints that blend both contemporary and antique styles. With portraits of beings composed of tree branch silhouetted hair, adornments of constellation filled skies, third eyes, and intricately pattered antlers, Hillier’s work is magnificently ornate. Using a steampunk reminiscent aesthetic, Hillier juxtaposes victorian imagery with moments of nature, creating his own sort of mythological, science fiction world. His work takes notes from the Symbolist movement that began in the late nineteenth century, such as human-animal hybrid motifs seen in Fernand Khnopff’s The Sphinx (1896), or the whimsical, grim illustrative style of Aubrey Beardsley. While most of his titles are straightforward descriptions of the image it is paired with, there are slight winks to a following of both psychological and theological threads. For example, the piece Son of the Father depicts a man wearing a mask of a perfectly sculpted face to cover a more complex, dark, geometrical entity, in which another face lurks. The piece titled Pachamama, which can either refer to the Incan fertilely goddess, or acts as the Incan word for the creation of the world, depicts a woman made up of a fully starred sky and a robe created from a forest. The prints are both recognizable, yet manifestly mythical, leaving the viewer in a sort of satisfied state of inquisition. The work is almost pleasantly dark, as if they are images taken from a memory, dream, or story that just cannot quite be placed, yet is yearned to be remembered.
Portrait paintings or portrait embroideries? Cayce Zavaglia wants us to wonder and question the technique she is using. ‘About-Face’ is actually a series of embroideries. And they depict exclusively the artist’s close friends and family members. When flipped around, the portraits become abstract art pieces. “an attempt to show both sides…in hopes of initiating a dialogue about the two sides we each possess: the presented and the private self.’
As a former painter Cayce Zavaglia knows the impact of a brushstroke on the canvas and is therefore able to meticulously transfer the effect onto the tapestries. She begins the process by roughly taking a hundred pictures of her futur subject. She wants to catch the right expression. After selecting just one picture she starts working with one-ply embroidery thread on Belgian linen. She is able to render via fabric and thread the intricate details of blended colors and the texture that imitates oil painting.
The artists wants to create a dialogue between the viewer, the subject and herself. From far, the viewer might perceive the hyper-realist portraits as paintings and that’s ok. Up-close, they realize the mean used is embroidery. And by looking at the reverse side of the piece the viewers can begin to connect with the subject. The back of tapestries were historically never shown to the public. Cayce Zavaglia is making an exception. Because abstraction blurs the boundaries between the viewer and the art piece he/she is looking at and that’s when the dialogue begins to become interesting.
Cayce Zavaglia’s work will be displayed at Lyonswier Gallery in New York from November 5th until December 6th 2015. The artist’s daily process is updated on her Instagram account.
A fairy tale, the garden of Eden and Hell. Hieronymus Bosch was a painter (ca. 1450 to 1516) from the Medieval era representing fantasy landscapes with imaginary and bizarre characters. In one of his most famous painting, ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ he depicts in a triptych, a multitude of religious symbols blended with amusing dark isolated little scenes.
Hieronymus Bosch’s style is childlike and at the same time stern and serious. On the left side of the triptych, a religious scene. G.od is presenting Eve to Adam in the quiet and peaceful garden of Eden. What is looking like a traditional scene seems in fact to represent the beginning of life and its debauchery. The following part of the painting shows the consequences of a story we know too well nowadays. That is, the story of Adam eating the forbidden fruit and sent with Eve to another land. A land where nothing is in order. Birds and fruits are bigger than humans and seem to have dominated. The animals are feeding the humans. Which, from the look on their faces, are acting like zombies. We are looking at submissive and obedient individuals satisfying their primal needs, mating and eating. The last part of the triptych depicts macabre and violent scenes. The decline of corruption through the representation of hell. People are being tortured and murdered by the animals and other hybrid creatures. Knives, swords and arrows are completing the disastrous landscape.
The set of paintings is ultra-detailed and furthermore for an artist living in the Medieval era. This looks from afar like a tale for children. The naive colors and the rounded shapes makes the art piece easy to watch. That was probably the first intent. The second was to maybe address a message indirectly to the viewers. The story of Adam and Eve disobeying from their original paths and its inevitable deadly consequences is shown to the public. The context of the paintings are unsure but what is unquestionable is the talent, vision and beautiful imagination of Hieronymus Bosch.
The triptych, 20 paintings and 19 drawings, will be displayed at Noordbrabants Museum in the Netherlands as part of the ‘Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of a Genius’ exhibition from February 13th to May 8th 2016. (via Juxtapoz)
Midwestern artist Dave Rowe creates sculptures of time worn structures influenced by American landscapes. His work has developed through a means to “explore history,” as he believes that addressing the change and aging of a landscape reflects not only the passage of time, but also has psychological implications about those who inhabited that change. Memories, ideologies, and personal histories are shaped by one’s surroundings. Therefore, a landscape can serve as a reflection of a collective “personal” experience. By capturing one specific physical moment, the artist allows himself to reflect not a universal or personal truth, but instead, acts as a sort of mirroring of a hyper-specific type of development. The artist re-creates recognizable, yet unspecific buildings that allude to an archival, physical space. His sculptures, focusing on geometrical infrastructures, have been shaped by his own upbringing in the American Midwest and have been influenced by the changes in the American landscape. Specifically, his work focusses on the more rural areas, as the relocation of factories have dissolved the need for industrial buildings. He captures how functionality, or rather, a lack of it, can act as a record of topographical transformation. Even his use of color is a reference to time; he pairs “barn red or tar black” along with “brighter colors evocative of graffiti,” in order to reflect the often seen palette of a forgotten edifice. Rowe creates these structures scaled to hit at eye level, allowing the viewer to enter the space emotionally, and hopes to open a discourse for personal reflection.
Hundreds of small metal balls covering the surface of the sculpture series created by Korean, Berlin based Artist Haegue Yang. ‘Sonic Figures’ are geometric abstract creatures that come to life when they’re shaken by a human hand.
Haegue Yang speaks her own language. She has come up with her own vocabulary through abstraction. She doesn’t need the viewers to understand the meaning and influence of her work. She is offering an experience. The Sonic sculptures were created while she was working on another project during her residency in Glasgow. While listening to music, she imagined developing a piece that will ring in unison when moved around.
The artist is used to working with random household items. From that starting point, she produces sculptural assemblage. By playing with the vibrations and the chimes of the bells, she explores what it is to be human. She defies human basic senses such as sight, sound, smell, and touch. A multi sensory and mobile environment where the viewers can appreciate through her art their body and intellect. Focusing on sensory experiences, Haegue Yang not only liberates charming sounds and subtle chills from basic elements, she also triggers the viewer’s will to interact and experiment.
All the comfort foods we dream of eating but that we’d rather watch from a distance to avoid calories. Jessica Dance made it happen! The art director/model maker/prop stylist collaborated with photographer David Sykes for Stylist magazine to deliver perfectly arranged hand knitted fake meals.
A full platter of English breakfast, beans on toasts, a hot dog covered with mustard. And if we need more condiments we can find them next to our cutlery, salt, pepper, ketchup; Jessica thought of everything. Using lambswool and a knitting machine, she fashioned all the foods at home. She says the bacon was the hardest to achieve as she wanted all the fat to be as real as possible.
The colors are of course true to real food colors. But the tones are slightly altered, giving a healthy, non greasy aspect that we should have found looking at the dishes. If it wasn’t for the fact that this was commissioned for an adult magazine we could have thought we were looking at kids’ toys. There’s something warm and gentle in the story. And it’s not just about the food elements. It’s a combination. The way it’s photographed, the set up and the overall look of the food that’s transforming random meals into a grown-up tea party set. (Via Booooooom)
London based artist Rachel Dein creates fossils from everyday objects. She allows herself to preserve tangible pieces of the present as keepsakes for the future. The simplicity of the work adds to its honesty and preciousness. Dien studied as a propmaking apprentice at the English National Opera, giving her quite a extensive knowledge of object creation. Her “fossil” project began with the desire to preserve a sentimental bouquets of flowers. Her process has now blossomed into a practice of creating beautifully adorned tiles. She takes cherished, perhaps fleeting, objects and allows them to exist eternally. Her work is created with a fairly basic form of casting, yet allows her to capture delicate and intricate details. She learned the process from a glass blowing class in art college, during which she was told to press shapes into wet sand and pour molten glass over the impression. After that, she began experimenting with clay, plaster and paint, and found her way to the tile making process she uses today. Each of the molds she creates can only be used once, and therefore each piece is a unique, personalized object. Her work is undoubtedly graceful, and in a slight sense, almost whimsical. The process of casting has a long history, and despite her creating in the preset, her objects tend to feel as if they have come from a deep rooted past, truly capturing the feel of being a “fossil.” (via deMilked)