The street art and murals of artist Okuda San Miguel drip with color and burst with energy, until they are no longer held on a brick wall, but spilling out into real life, in three-dimensional form. The Madrid-based artist uses a pop surrealist style to create large scale murals that transform public spaces into places of geometric, vibrant color and imagery. His work is so incredibly stunning, that it is almost as if the street walls cannot contain them. Public works like his painted phone booth contain an element that explodes from the piece. Color drips from the phone booth, fusing Okuda’s work with the real world. He often transforms his murals into three dimensional sculptures, creating an even more dynamic and captivating piece. As if Okuda’s mural that resembles a multicolored starburst didn’t demand our attention enough, he has a sculpture piece that brings the mural into the third dimension.
Okuda’s beautifully fractured, geometric style is applied to murals, street art, smaller scale paintings, and sculptures. Whichever medium the artist so chooses, he creates works that are both mesermizing and transfixing. His paintings often use similar imagery, such as velumptuous, nude bodies, animal heads, and skulls. A fascinating juxtoposition is formed when certain subjects of Okuda’s paintings are covered in colorful shapes, while others have a smoother texture rendered in black and white. It is interesting that often the face or head will be full of color, while the more organic forms such as a nude body or a tree branch will be absent of it. Okuda portrays what lies underneath the bright shapes as monochromatic forms, exposing our sameness and human connection below our exteriors.
What if all our food was served sushi style? Would it be more appetizing? And would we eat less if everything was the same size? The artist/design team of Lernert and Sander asks that question and ponders the aesthetic of making food dimensionally equal. In an ambitious project they took dozens of food items and cut them into uniform cubes then photographed the results. The final result is an array of colors which resembles a very large tray of sushi. The different pieces offer an interesting palette through color but the size seems well a bit static. Overall it has a futuristic vibe but is it appetizing? In other words, would you rather eat cherry pie in a cube or oozing with cherries? It probably works better as a puzzle because its display references word and board games. The puzzle at hand would be guessing at quick glance what food group or item you’re eating from. Still only eye candy maybe there’s a chef or game designer out there that can make something else of the food seen here; and attempt to make something more than just the perfect square. (via 1designperday)
That seemingly irrational paranoia of always being watched begins to rise when viewing photographs from Andrew Hammerand’s series, The New Town. The artist, currently based near Phoenix, Arizona, has created a power play in the dichotomy between watching and being watched. He offers us a glimpse into the lives of a small, Midwest town and its anonymous inhabitants by electronically accessing and controlling a webcam on a cellular tower, taking screen-shots of what was captured over the course of a year. This camera, overlooking the town, is appropriately located on a steeple of a church, giving new meaning to “omnipresent”. This camera is watching over the people, not unlike a higher power. The question is who is in charge, who has the power? Do the townspeople have power through the safety gained by being observed, or do we have the power because we are doing the looking? We live in a world of meta-data in which digital snapshots are constantly being taken, whether it is through the lens of literal cameras, or by information given from our Google searches.
One element that is especially significant in this remarkably unique series is the anonymity behind every aspect of it. The artist is unknown to the subjects being watched, the town’s location and peoples’ identity are also a mystery to us. Although we see small hints of each person’s life, what he or she is doing remains unclear. We have no indication if their intentions are malicious or moral. By nature, even the viewer is anonymous to the artist, especially when the artist’s work is being displayed through digital publications like this one. The grainy quality of the photos makes each composition all the more intriguing. We are wrapped up in the mystery, in the unknown story of these peoples’ lives. We see them playing in a park, pushing a stroller, and texting, but we do not know them at all. Even further, many of the subjects seem isolated in spite of being around others. Are we all detached through the lens of a camera, or does the convenience of the digital age connect our existence? Hammerand brilliantly gives rise to a slue of challenging questions and tests society’s progression into a super-digital age. Interconnecting technology, privacy issues, and digital culture, Hammerand’s work confronts contemporary politics in authority.
Have you ever had anything stolen? Perhaps a cellphone, or bag, or bike, or even a car? Well if you have been the victim of someone’s swift fingers, then you will really like this project. Some clever individual has decided to be pro-active and beat the thieves at their own game. After purchasing a brand new VW van, they have enlisted the help of UK based vinyl wrap company Clyde Wraps to avoid being the target of any crime.
With some clever coloring and detailing, they have made their 2014 Volkswagen T5 Sportline look like a rusty old van that shouldn’t be fit to drive around the city. Big rust stains drip down from the handles, the side panels look like they are disintegrating in front of your eyes, and the wing mirrors look like they have seen better days. Of course the actual body of the car is fine – the tires, the lights, and the windows all seem brand new and dent free.
But for someone looking quickly to see whether it is worth the trouble to steal this van, they will look twice. And who knows? Maybe the owner will even be able to leave their vehicle, walk around town and get away with not locking their doors! (Via Lost At E Minor)
Jon Almeda creates miniature glazed ceramics which could easily be misunderstood for a pretend tea set play party, the average size of a piece being 1” scale. He designs cups, pots, tea kettles and bowls that perfectly resemble normal sized items. All the details are there: furrows, textures, handles and lids. In order to attain this meticulousness, he had to come up with the instrument that would allow him to get thorough so he built his very own pottery wheel, which is called “curio wheel”. Despite their fragile appearance, the small ceramics are nonetheless solid and able to resist the high temperature of glaze fusing.
The artist doesn’t seem to care about what’s normal. He prefers to juggle between the extremes; he goes from creating huge ceramics to sculpting macro pieces. The time he spends on doing so is more enjoyable. He compares this time to a meditation cession where he can focus on the creation and nothing else.
Jon Almeda’s inspirations are soothing and flowy. He says he likes to drift away thinking of calm dark waters and luscious flora from places where he spends most of his time. His creativity seems to be coming when his mind is somewhere else, daydreaming and meditating when his hands create beautiful little gems.
Now you can decorate your home/office/studio with wallpaper that strays from the norm. A company called Feathr has started collaborating with artists to make statement with bold wallpaper design that will inspire your daily routine. Definitely staying within the parameters of textile design the company now represents a large group who think outside the box. Some of the collaborators include Peter Judson who takes art deco in his brightly colored patterns to arrive at a striking motif and Russell Marshall who pulls directly from Warhol and uses a gun and the check bought with it for pop effect. Using both abstract and figurative patterns the placement and use of color pushes these new designs just a tad off the grid thus allowing for more free-flowing ideas. By joining up with different artists the company allows for more conversations to occur between design and fine art which references Andy Warhol’s pop and consumer ideal. This middle ground allows more people to see the work of these artists and also show how their ideas can be used in a more commercial sense.
The papers are all reasonably priced and can be bought on the Feathr website. They are currently becoming a cool commodity in the design field. (via designmilk)
Pablo Reinoso recreates a basic park bench into a swirling chaotic knot of line and form, giving a new dimension to a common piece of furniture. By sculpting organic spaghetti shaped wood branches his ultimate goal is to modify the perception we have on simple objects. Those animated random pieces of furniture are meant to create a state of visual suprise, the materials (wood, marble, steel) are becoming living beings; new species of their own.
The artist extends the primal functions of a bench, a frame, a chair, a pillow and a slab of marble to a new dimension, gently associating sculpture and art with nature.
The result is baffling, our notion of space is reset as there is no manual of how to consider the transformed pieces. Pablo Reinoso builds a landscape from marble, an air ventilating machine from pillows, spaghetti roots from a bench and replaces the canvas of a frame with swirled pieces of wood with no other intention than to turn our world around. By reinitializing daily objects and giving them life we encounter Pablo Reinoso’s subtle prediction: “The presence of flora is a message, mother nature is somewhere around. And she could be taking over”.
Pablo Reinoso’s solo show can be viewed at La Maison de l’Amerique Latine in Paris, St Germain district until September 5th 2015. The Breathing Sculptures piece can be viewed at La Maison Rouge in Paris, Bastille disctrict as part of the Buenos Aires artists group exhibition until September 20th 2015.
Olivier Valsecchi is a photographer with an eye for transforming bodies into emotional landscapes of strength and despair. We featured his powerful I Am Dust project last February. The series featured here, entitled Drifting, takes a different approach to human architecture; instead of majestic, stately nudes, we see men and women reclining alone and in pairs, arching their backs against bare tables and chairs with a baroque-style melancholia. The darkness surrounding the figures highlights their pale expressions of death and defeat, lending the illuminated flesh a cadaverous-yet-living quality. The series statement elaborates further on this bodily ambiguity:
“Straying the audience from their grounds of certainty, Valsecchi induces an unsettling doubt on whether his subjects are falling apart or withstanding paralysis. He investigates this tenuous and brooding space between inertia and the urge to go somewhere. His bodies appear to have been submitted to an exorcism, an epileptic trance, or a mutilation akin to a reptile being cut in two pieces — and yet still crawling.”
Drifting also channels the art tradition of still life. Posed to capture the wordless throes of pain and despair, the figures’ perfect configurations make them portraits of emotion. Speaking to the use of the genre, Valsecchi writes: “Still-life was the perfect fit for a post-war atmosphere. Beyond symbolizing the ephemeral nature of life, it relates to the notion of transitioning. I wanted to set bodies into an unfamiliar environment and infuse them with a feeling of disorientation, as if recovering from trauma or stuck in a vertigo.” Despite their static postures of grief and submission, Valsecchi’s tragic nudes tremble on the verge of healing, embodying and enduring the darkness so that they can overcome it.