Artist Livia Marin’s Nomad Patterns is a series of classical ceramics depicted in a most unconventional manner. Her representation of the destruction of ceramics is fascinating in the sense that she has chosen to use melted ceramics rather than breaking, chipping, or shattering them in the way they are known to do. In this sense, she has brought a sort of silent, unconventional destruction to the ceramics in her series.
The fascinating aspect of her work lies in the way the ceramics are being destroyed. She merges the ideas of “care and ruin” by making it difficult to distinguish whether the ceramics are being destroyed or put back together.The fluidity of the melted ceramics and the way that the patterns are maintained add a touch of surrealism to the series. The physically impossible nature of her project as well as the aesthetic aspects of her work make for an original merging of physics and art.
In this sense, her work reaches beyond its artistic capacities and underlines the artistic aspects of physics as well as the merging of science and art. Marin’s work merging of the notions of restoration and destruction also provides a reflection on these two notions, which are, in her work two sides of the same coin.
Japanese designer Dan Tomimatsu’s latest project is a short film film entitled O: -les amants d’eau-, based on a poem by fukudapero. It is a five minute surrealist film narrated in Japanese and subtitled in English which provides an oscillating view of different sceneries, places, and objects.
The magnificent simplicity of this film lies in the technical aspects of how it was made: Tomimatsu shot a drop of water through the hole of a 5 Yen coin, through the lens of an iPhone. The coin was stuck to the lens of the phone in such a way that filming through it would allow a close-up of the drop of water. The result is a truly dreamlike sequence of images, which are tinted, filtered, and displayed through the drop of water. The film plays a lot with the notion of movement and the fluid, unpredictable nature of water.
In this sense, the drop of water provided a sort of natural lens for the film to be shot through as well as a new angle concerning the iPhone as a legitimate filmmaking device. His project underlines the role of new media and technology within the realm of filmmaking and the process of creating something simple yet so intricately beautiful as a film shot through a drop of water.
French artist Emeric Chantier’s recent series of plant sculptures provides a strong reflection on the place of human beings in nature, as well as our role as both internal and external elements of nature. His series of plant sculptures depicts skulls, weapons, and human faces amongst others. The striking way he has put together his work in both inspiring and terrifying in the way that it illustrates the gentle balance of man and nature, as well as our role within nature and the struggle of equilibrium between manmade objects and the environment.
His work is put composed of dried plants, combined with industrial and household items held together with molding and glue. His combination of materials makes for a very visual depiction of the merging of man and nature. The carefully knotted branches in the sculptures form winding masses of matter in a way that looks almost painful. His pieces including industrial materials translate the deep melancholy associated with the suffering and destruction of our environment and the ways in which we impact our environment.
His use of the skull and the heart in his work also brings in another level of symbolism in the tradition of still life paintings. Here his work addresses the beauty and tragedy of nature as related to death, as in the ends she delivers, and the ends we bring to her. The three dimensional aspect of Chantier’s work really brings the urgency of our deteriorating relationship with nature into the foreground.
Tokyo-based startup H2L is currently in the process of developing the Unlimited Hand, a virtual reality armband. This armband is designed to merge man with machine in such a way that the user feels like they touching onscreen objects. The armband itself is a slick, discreet white band that can be worn on the users arm. It would allow users to “simulate bodily encounters” with elements in the virtual world. This is possible due to the inner workings of the armband which is composed of a haptic sensor, which monitors and reacts to movement as well as a series of electronic muscle stimulators (EMS) which simulate the feelings associated to touch.
An interesting component of this armband is that it is also meant to simulate the feeling of pain, which would bring up a series of ethical questions concerning the limits and potential of such a piece of technology. The immersive nature of the process ties in well with questions of interactivity and art, and with a device of the sort, the possibility of creating interactive artworks would be expanded on many levels.
The impact of such a device on different art forms is interesting to think about, in the way that it would allow a full immersion of the senses. A full immersion of the senses in the virtual world would be a fascinating combination of science and art and would allow us to push the boundaries of both disciplines.
New Zealand artist Ben Young’s most recent work is a series of hand crafted glass sculptures. Upon first glance, it is immediately possible to distinguish the sea as his main source of inspiration. His work consists of a collection of glass sculptures mainly revolving around the theme of water. The colors, patterns, and shapes present within his work are both in color and in form vivid and depict undulating curves and ridges similar to waves.
The sculptures, having been executed on glass emphasize this and work in perfect harmony with the shades of blue, green, and turquoise of the glass which perfectly mimic the colors of the sea. His work represents a fascinating combination of abstract geometrical forms, topography, and even the human body. Through these sculptures, his background as a boat builder and his affinity for surf shine through.
The lines, ridges, and circular shapes in his work give the sculptures additional complexity and detail. The fluidity and translucence of his sculptures add to the beauty and tranquility of his pieces to the extent that one might get lost in them. The way he has managed to transform the glass makes it almost impossible to remember the fact that it is a solid material. The fluidity of his sculptures is truly stunning to the extent that they almost look like they are made up of water, rather than glass.
Artist Amandine Urruty’s new series of drawings delivers a collection of artworks worthy of illustrating an Alice in Wonderland picture book . Urruty’s new work is mainly done in pencil or graphite and in black and white. She depicts a mildly disturbing combination of children’s book and cartoon characters, monsters, as well as a wide selection of pop culture elements. The way she depicts nightmarish scenes and sometimes works in triptychs is reminiscent of the work of Hieronymus Bosch and, in a way she has delivered a contemporary, almost cute version of his work.
Her work unfolds in the details: she places familiar yet odd items in the backgrounds and in the corners of her pictures and you have to look closely to see the intricacy of her work. For instance one of her drawings includes a Victorian house next to a waterfall with what resembles a hotdog in a boat floating down the waterfall. Her illustrations are also sprinkled with little sheet ghosts which give her drawings an additional Halloween touch. The ways in which she makes use of the shadows in her illustrations give her work a sort of gothic touch. Upon close examination of her work, in one of her pictures, a collection of small cultural artifacts can also be seen: little men in masks with painted chests are huddled around a young girl sitting on a log while their compatriots are in the background holding up a brain with arrows planted in it.
Urruty’s wide eyed, monochromatic characters border the psychedelic, with their dark, blank stares and oscillating bodies. Her use of black and white lines and shading gives her work an extra otherworldly touch, in such a way that it almost looks like it comes straight out of the 1960s. She also says that her works contain a certain number of personal items, which gives her work an added touch of mystery and depth. Her combination of characters, albeit mildly terrifying still have a little touch of playfulness which gives them the potential to serve as illustrations in a children’s book.
In her latest series of ceramic and underglaze sculptures entitled Habitats Collide, artist Crystal Morey underlines the role and impact of human beings on nature in the most melancholic sense. Her work represents human beings with stern looks on their faces “encased” in the bodies of animals. Morey states that the animals she has chosen for this series are either endangered or extinct, which adds to the thoughtful aspect of her project.
She states that her work is inspired by the Byzantine, Renaissance and Ancient Egyptian eras. It also bears a strong resemblance to Native American totem art, due to the visible ridges in the pieces which are designed to look like fur as well as the merging of human and animal forms. Her work, being inherently totem like is thought provoking on many levels beyond its aesthetic composition.
Her representation of human beings as both a part of nature and a problem for nature is in line with many current debates concerning the role of humans as linked to the impact we have had and continue to have on our environmental surroundings. She states that her work seeks to address “current psychological, environmental, and cultural feelings”, which she does perfectly through the facial expressions of the human components in her work. She hopes to create a dialogue centered on technology, progress, and, on a greater scale our relationship with nature.
Artist Tsuyoshi Imamura’s latest series of watercolor paintings delivers a dreamlike depiction of the human body. Through the use of black, grey, and various shades of pink, blue, and purple, he creates an abstract view of the human body as a composition of shapes and forms. His series of darkly colored watercolors depict men and women in various sensual positions and bring another angle to perceptions of rigidly defined beauty.
The watercolors are a series of gradients in which light and dark colors work together perfectly alongside the water that is necessary to their composition.The presence of water in these compositions is both essential to the paint on a chemical level and an essential part of the paintings themselves in the sense that it contributes to the fluidity of the paintings and compliments the gestures the figures in the paintings are making.
The dancing figures are reminiscent of Matisse’s Dance in both their physical form and in the ways their bodies are moving. The simple beauty of these bodies, which are almost water spots make Imamura’s work both stunning and original. The ways in which the light work with the dark in his work gives each painting a dreamlike property and enhance the musicality of the human body in motion.