Mike Leavitt’s Intuition Kitchen churns out a plethora of playful and multidimensional pieces. From portable homeless shelters to wedding cake toppers and DIY vending machines, his career in the creative world knows no boundaries and ignores all stigmas. He just grabs inspiration and goes for it. For instance, Leavitt pays homage to Christo by shaping his image from polymer clay, a staple at Michaels or any craft supply store. This, and other Art Army Action Figures, embrace a lovely contrast between materials and content in an loveable and pitch perfect manner. It’s not just cheap plastics imported from overseas factories, nor is it about elitism in the commercial art world, nor is it a rebellion against any of it. Each art star figurine is simply built from hand in a limited edition of 10 with a raw passion and appreciation for the entire spectrum.
Working in her studio in Sausalito, CA, sculptor Sophia Collier uses a combination of acrylic block and algebraic function (with a little help from a CNC router), to carve sculptures of wind. The clear, floating relief works look like freeze-frame slices of the water’s surface. She spends a great deal of time replicating the effects that both wind and light create on a large body of water using custom rendering software and sound recordings of the wind. Collier carefully mimics its movements and reactions with a series of digital “brushes” she has created, working to develop unique strings of information to carve out each piece. The sound waves move and fluctuate in the digital space just as they do in the physical realm—and the result is a crystallized portrait of the wind, giving the visual effect of sunlit water. She outlines her entire process here.
It’s Tuesday and time once again for our exclusive artist feature in partnership with premiere website building platform Made With Color. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create gorgeous websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are excited to share the mysterious and surreal photographs of Roya Falahi.
Using the realism of large-format photography, Roya Falahi captures surreal imagery – finely crafted portraits, and narrative ‘tableaux’- that often explore disguise and veiling within the context of recent geopolitical events. With an emphasis on self portraits, Falahi’s works are resonant with visual and psychological impact, layering multiple references to create new and complex connotations.
Informed by her Iranian-American heritage, popular culture and style, as well as hard-rock music, Falahi’s work comprises a compelling investigation into contemporary issues surrounding identity and culture.
Bae Sehwa’s steamed bentwood furniture ripples in airy and sinewy ways to curve around the human body. The precision in each piece is not accidental. It’s acutely planned. Sehwa digitally renders and manipulates geometric forms then returns to the actual physical form, steaming and bending the wood into a mold under a tight watch. The result is functional, organically smooth, and flawless.
According to R Gallery, “Bae Sehwa’s work is derived from the Korean concept of baesanimsu, meaning the back of the mountain and front of the water and he draws heavily from the profound connection to nature in traditional Korean theories of divination. The steam bent wooden frame of this lounge offers a narrative that includes both the tranquil, meditative qualities of flowing water and the strong, comforting silhouette of a mountain.”
Ballroom Luminoso is a wonderfully different kind of ballroom. A series of six chandeliers by artists Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock hang under an overpass in San Antonio, Texas. The chandeliers are constructed from recycled bicycle parts, structural steel, and custom LED fixtures. Shadow patterns of bicycle sprockets paint the surrounding area alongside colorful light. Accompanying the bicycle parts are carefully carved imagery referencing the areas Hispanic, agricultural, and ecological heritage. The artist statement goes on to say:
“The medallions are a play on the iconography of La Loteria, which has become a touchstone of Hispanic culture. Utilizing traditional tropes like La Escalera (the Ladder), La Rosa (the Rose), and La Sandía (the Watermelon), the piece alludes to the neighborhood’s farming roots and horticultural achievements.” [via]
Kevin Francis Gray’s neoclassicist-inspired sculptures are beautifully minimalist. Most of his work is created with leather, bronze, marble or fibreglass resin, depicting a stunning color palette of white, black, grey, brown, and gold. His subject is the human form and much of his work features shrouded figures. Gray attends to the detail and subtlety of the drapery that contain his figures, sometimes with a shocking element. His work exudes a familiarity and universality that is at once haunting and captivating. His work recently appeared in 2012′s Snow White and the Huntsman as a darker version of the mirror man. Gray was born in Northern Ireland and currently lives in London
Artist and designer Haley Ann Robinson has a passion for exploring shape, color, line and simple forms—something that translates well into her hand-shaped wooden objects. She treats some of the smooth, angular sides of each object with a vibrant selection of colors, designed to highlight specific visual planes and grain patterns in each piece. Robinson pulls a great deal of inspiration from geometry and nature, resulting in objects that display a playful engagement with shape, medium and surface.
Ceramicist Matt Wedel continues to make strong headway in the gallery world while maintaining an impressive creative autonomy in Athens, Ohio, where he builds, glazes, and fires each larger than life sculpture on his own terms . . . by himself . . . without assistants.
“Sheep’s Head,” his most recent exhibit at LA Louver, proves to be a wonderful example of what a little focus, patience, and isolation can create. Each cumbersome piece collects to convey a vibrantly glossy world: renderings of a twisted contemporary animal kingdom and its surrounding vegetation.
Of this particular series, David Pagel notes, “Cookie jars come to mind, as do centerpieces for fancy dinners, elaborate candle holders, ships’ figureheads and decorative figurines. So do works by Picasso, Botero and Baselitz, as well as ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan statuary, Cylcadic sculpture, Olmec totems and carved saints from medieval churches.”
From everyday objects to art history and human artifacts, Wedel’s healthy dose of contemporary dreaming bends the familiar into something imaginatively powerful. On view, we encounter angelic mutants who have been hardened over time, perhaps altered by a sorcerer’s wand or depicted to honor one final futuristic freeze. Likewise, while roaming the floor, we meet flora and fauna which structurally blooms in a childlike manner, but not without a bitter taste of science gone awry with color dripping and drooping.
Piece after piece, a creative storybook of bright possibility or dark youthful mystery unravels, and this is exactly why we strive to look deeper- it’s a hoping to engage not only with the work, but with our own innermost children.
Check out the video after the jump to see the artist at work and meet his 3-year-old inspiration.