Russian Artist Dimitri Tsykalov’s incredible Meat series is equally frightening and beautiful. Creating weapons, body armor, and other accessories of war and violence out of raw flesh, Tsykalov’s powerful photos put death front and center.
For Meat Tsykalov used over 150 kilos of fresh meat. He had to work rapidly because the meat had to be as fresh as possible in order to have optimal colour and texture. He sculpted his “meat weapons” at night and decorated his models with them in the morning.
The concept: ‘It is flesh holding meat to shoot flesh’. He brings rifles to life using dead meat, wielded by a human being, live flesh, that will, eventually, die, too. The idea of transience and mortality, that was already present in Skulls, is continued here. Tsykalov made Meat in the aftermath of the war in Iraq, but the series is not a reaction to that war as such. It is a reflection on man’s violence in general, devoid of melodrama and with a sense of humour. But it is not the humour that will strike the spectator most. The life-size prints of naked people holding ‘meat weapons’ make an aggressive first impression. It is only after a while that the poetry, aestheticism and even eroticism become visible. The photos are frontal and highly stylized, even though they may look raw: the clair-obscur lighting, the colour nuances and the texture of the meat and skin, a drop of blood slowly meandering down the body … the images make a lifelike impression, almost as if we can touch the bodies. Still, the uncanny feeling they arouse, is in the mind of the beholder, rather than in the images themselves. -Tamara Berghmans
Los Angeles based artist Brian Cooper’s paintings look like the supply room of a crazed woodworker who has piled building materials from floor to ceiling. Employing trompe l’oeil techniques that dazzle the eye these maze-like piles of wood, debris, tape, and other building materials are chipped away at, cut, torn, ripped, and gnawed at to reveal secret messages and Coopers personal arsenal of hieroglyphics.
“I make paintings that struggle with their function as devices for transcendent harmony. They do their job while acknowledging the disorder and uncertainty from which they come.”
When Cooper isn’t busy in the painting studio making beautiful paintings he is creating supersonic sounds with his band Earth Like Planets. Watch his latest music video for ELP after the jump.
Towering 13 stories above the Des Moines River Valley in Iowa, The High Trestle Trail Bridge is one of the largest foot bridges in the world. Completed last year, the bridge now comes complete with one of the best examples of public art I’ve seen in a long time. Designed by David B. Dahlquist of RDG Dahlquist Art Studio, the steel beams that swirl around the bridge not only accentuates the motion of pedestrians moving back and forth across the bridge but also create a gorgeous op-art effect that makes you feel as though you’re in the middle of a surreal stop motion animation. (via) Nighttime photographs by Homemade Iowa Life.
Pop Pop Bang is a collaboration between creative director Anna Burns and the photographer Thomas Brown. Through the use of various mediums the pair have curated an exhibition that explores the masculine world of B-Movies and juxtaposed it with the traditional British landscape. Using the themes of said movies – girls, guns and explosives – and twisting it against a very British backdrop these two challenge not only the premise of each subject but also the use of their chosen medias. 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 Suffolk Manor house. Watch a video of the works in progress after the jump. (via)
Tokyo based sculptor Hirotoshi Itoh learned the art of stone carving through his family business of Stonemasons. However he take the ancient art and puts a modern and humorous twist to it using the found stones natural forms to create clever images that make you question the history of the material and laugh out loud all at once. (via)
In her work, Isabel Samaras takes us on a tour through Art History populated with characters from Modern Mythology (20th century television characters and narratives.) Referencing timeless themes, Renaissance Art, Dutch genre painting, Persian Miniatures and Victorian Ethnographic photography, Samaras compresses space and time to create alternative narratives for the familiar characters we grew up watching on TV. Painting beloved and known characters from “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Gilligan’s Island” and “Planet of the Apes,” Samaras at times constructs classical tableaus, referencing the Renaissance masters’ use of people, places and stories from Classical Antiquity. She at other times makes references to the intimacy of Dutch genre painting, giving them another chance at a life that could still yet be. Universes collide to create an alternate reality where our favorite characters from different programs co-exist in a world that is at once hilarious and bittersweet. Samaras opens an alternate dimension to address the what if.
I want to do the visual equivalent of whispering in your ear. – Isabel Samaras
See Samaras’ work on view at Varnish Fine Art In SF from November 3rd – December 22nd.
The BERLIN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS is one of the largest and best-known illumination festivals and public events in the world. It takes place each year in October, where for 12 consecutive nights, Berlin’s world famous landmarks, cultural monuments, historical buildings, streets and other locations become transformed through light, projections and events. Extraordinary illuminations, light projections and light objects are presented by many local and international lighting artists. (via)
Sometimes a simple concept can pack a powerful punch. Such is the case with these elegantly minimal photographs of melted popsicles by Australian photographer Will Nolan.
Each piece is a meditation on the fragility of life and a reminder of the everyday delights (such as ice cream!) that we often take for granted. (via)