The Vintage Chic Illustrations of Riikka Sormunen

I’m completely blown away by the illustrations of Finland based Riikka Sormunen. Her delicate lines, amazing earthy color schemes, and dense patterning make me want to stare at these forever. I also love the subtle influence of Japanese woodblock prints that comes through in some of the works. (via)

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Paola Pivi’s 360 Degree Rotating Airplane is Airborne But Flightless

According to a famous anecdote, three pioneers of modern art Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Duchamp, and Fernand Leger are said to have visited the 1912 Paris Air Show. Observing a propeller, Brancusi said, “Now that is what I call sculpture!” A hundred years later, Paola Pivi’s How I Roll suggests that the modernist romance with industrial design lives on.

Pivi’s sculpture (made possible by the Public Art Fund) incorporates an entire six-seat plane that has been specially modified, enabling it to rotate through 360 degrees while held aloft on its wing tips. The artist’s transformation allows this Piper Seneca to be seen in an entirely new way. Airborne but flightless, its steady circular movement is mesmerizing. The shift of context from airport runway to New York City plaza is equally dramatic. It creates the striking and surreal experience of a familiar object seen in an unexpected place doing a very unfamiliar thing. Like a child’s dream come to life, How I Roll is typical of the artist’s bold and playful imagination. Watch a video of the sculpture in action after the jump. (via)

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DALeast’s Unraveling Street Art

Chinese street artist DALeast studied sculpture at the Institute of Fine Arts and began doing art on public space at 2004 under the alias DAL. He is inspired by the way the material world revolves, how the spiritual world unfolds, life’s emotions and the infinite space around us. His massive murals resemble thousands of strands of yarn or thread that are continuously unraveling and coming together to create incredible sweeping imagery. (via)

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Kansas City Library Parking Garage Transformed Into Giant Books

Located in the heart of Kansas City, this project represents one of the pioneer projects behind the revitalization of Downtown KC. The iconic book bindings clad the outside of the parking structure for the new downtown library and help solidify the building as the cornerstone to the new Library District. Designed by Dimensional Innovations, local residents got to vote on which books would appear on the libraries facade. (via)

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Robbie Porter

The works of Scottish illustrator Robbie Porter have a charming simplicity to them that pulls the viewer in.  Each illustration feels as if it’s been pulled out of a vintage mystery novel that you just can’t put down.

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Six Million Catholics Make A Yearly Pilgrimage With Religious Shrines on Their Backs

Mexican photographer Alinka Echeverria’s The Road to Tepeyac , for which she won the prestigious French prize HSBC Prix pour la Photographie is a typology of the backs of three hundred Mexican pilgrims on their journey to the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico city. This yearly pilgrimage is undertaken by approximately six million devout Catholics on the anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531 to the indigenous man Juan Diego. This journey is a manifestation of the iconic power of the Virgin, whose image was miraculously imposed onto Juan Diego’s cloak. Belief in the apparitions and their evidence, the ‘sacred image of a miracle and a miracle of images’, marks a turning point in the struggle for power of the Spanish conquerors, for whom evangelizing was imperative to the success of the empire. They successfully conquered the imagination using imagery as a tool for acculturation and domination in an already extremely visual indigenous culture.

The pilgrims photographed, carry their own reproduction of the Virgin – paintings, sculptures, posters or cloaks of the icon, taken from home and shouldered on their backs to the place of the apparition. The journey is an arduous one, a physical and spiritual undertaking with each pilgrim bearing their own evidence of devotion whilst enforcing their own personal relationship with the Virgin. Echeverria takes each portrait separately, which is then cut and transposed onto a plain background. This de-contextualisation is intended to raise the subject above the corporal world, making them appear like an isolated icon.

Seen as a series, each portrait creates a dialogue with the others. A narrative of interconnecting personal missions removed from the rest of the elements originally in the image. The sheer number of portraits helps to create a visual maze of similarities and differences. With the surrounding landscape removed we are struck by the contrasting richly colored Virgins and muted tones of the pilgrims.

See more of Alinka’s work at Eb&Flow Gallery and in a group show at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles from July 14th-August 25th.

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Linda Ford’s Somatic therapies BDSM Masks

Linda Ford’s drawings and collages were informed by hear early experiences of visiting the Worcester Insane Asylum where her father worked.

“My recent work is informed by Somatic therapies and BDSM practices. as well as other turn-the-century pseudosciences such as Phrenology. Early experiences of visiting the “Worcester Insane Asylum” (as it was called in the 1800’s) where my father worked during my childhood, as well as my own employment as a mental health counselor have had lasting affects on my preoccupation with bodies that transgress boundaries. Experiences with somatic therapies, which focus on mining bodily sensation in order to “release” traumatic experience, led me to research the early innovations of Wilhelm Reich. Reich proposed that mental states have a corresponding “physical attitude” that is expressed in the body as muscular rigidity or “body armor”. In his view, a response that begins in childhood as a defense against overwhelming anxiety or trauma can become an “emotional and physical straightjacket” in adulthood. By drawing on these disciplines, I am accessing the body as a sculptural object whose meaning and content is manifested in its skin, muscle and bone.

This work reconfigures the unified portrait, to investigate the fragmented nature of identity and self-knowledge. In the “Self-Discipline” charcoal drawings and their digitally dismantled and refashioned collages, I correlate female desire, monstrosity and excess. The family portrait collages, juxtapose turn-of-the-century photographs with hand-rendered self-portraiture elements, to merge contexts and time periods and explore the constricted body language of subjects uncomfortable in front of the camera and perhaps within their own skins. By creating “Composite Portraits” like those invented in 1881 by Francis Galton (the founder of eugenics) for the purpose of identifying physical, mental, and social deviance, I seek to excavate somatic inheritance as a tool for self-understanding. The play of outer and inner; surface and depth; what is hidden and what is revealed – is at the heart of my use of animal tissue as covering (armor/clothing/skin). The “Body Armor” series of altered fetish-wear, sutured from hog gut, identifies psychological/somatic accumulation in the body and fantasizes the ways in which internalized control, trauma and marginalization may be recuperated.”

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Alain Vonck’s pixelated Wallpaper

I’m absolutely loving the 80′s retro graphics of recent design school graduate Alain Vonck. His graphic wallpapers  with imagery and icons from the early era of the world wide web have to be my favorite, making me want to cover every single square inch of my home with pixelated roses, hourglasses, and type!

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