The installations of artist Travis Rice crush you with their intense, waves of color. Made from thousands of pieces of shredded paper, his installations resemble cascading rainbows as they explode from the ceiling and swallow up their surroundings. Each installation of his is a 3-dimensional painting, using colored paper as paint. Rice uses these tiny paper strips and applies them like paint suspended in the air, adding an element of motion to his work. Being interested in mark-making, this artist uses a balance of order and chaos to form such complex installations. The color-strips are grouped together in his work to create a larger body of color, using the chaotic and unpredictable part to construct the larger whole.
Rice’s installations roll like waves of water from the ceiling to the floor in beams of color. It is as if they possess a life of their own, becoming living organisms that seem to expand and consume everything in their path. Many of his pieces form hills and ripples, resembling landscapes and bodies of water. The thousands of pieces of paper imply a constant motion, even though the installation itself is static. Travis Rice further explains his artistic process and what inspires him to use such a tedious, yet dynamic method in his work.
I am interested in the most fundamental element of the graphic arts, the mark. I am currently exploring the idea of marks as objects and modules that repeat and evolve into larger forms. My installations explore marks as modules that accumulate to create ordered masses. The approach is similar to that of the impressionist painter but the brush stroke has been replaced by individual thin strips of paper that are the resultant product of a mechanical shredder.
Alexandra Levasseur’s complex paintings are filled with emotion and beauty. With heavy brushstrokes dripping with color, she creates scenes of tormented women in a strange world filled with golden halos, burning asteroids, and melting faces. These faces depict a deathly pale beauty that is often transformed and altered by thick globs of color or all encompassing flora. Levasseur explores themes of love and fear, anguish and unsatisfied desire in her body of work.
I am interested in depicting both the solitude and the bipolarity of the existence of the human being, through the representation of memories. I question the relationship between physical comfort and peace of mind, and how the environment around us can affect this state of mind.
Her women are set in scenes of rolling hills of flowers and palpable paint amongst other wilderness. However picturesque the setting may seem, there is a sense of distress and loss. Some of the women lie in a lush, colorful sea of flowers, but still have a look of distress on their face. There is repeatedly a flaming asteroid in the background, implying an impending doom. Levasseur beautifully portrays these women full of emotion, with an inevitable tragedy behind their eyes, if they even have eyes at all. Many of the faces have eyes hiding behind strokes of color, or holes where their eyes used to be. Each woman, beautiful in their own right, is lost and being engulfed in her equally as beautiful surroundings. All of the seeping colors, crushing flora, and heartbreaking women become meshed together in Levaseur’s paintings. She represents this world as a single organism, blending color and form.
Alexandra Levasseur’s solo exhibition Body of Land is on view now at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco.
Imagine using your wildest imagination to create your dream fortress. What would it have inside? Scott Hove has taken a fairy-tale, dream-world created entirely out of what appears to be pastel sweets and turned it into an reality. His sickening sweet installation, titled Cakeland, uses sculpture, installation, and paint to construct a dramatic scene of cake-like decoration with a rococo flair, only instead of stucco molding, this sugary paradise is composed of delicately placed oranges, strawberries, and swirling, white icing. His elaborate work completely fills the building that holds it, which is labeled with an appropriate bright, neon sign displaying the word “Cakeland.” I cannot decide if Hove’s work is so alluring because of its fluffy, pastel details or the fact that it looks exactly like it is made up entirely of delicious, edible cake!
Hove explains that his process involves taking dark undertones and transforming them into something inviting and beautiful…and what is more pleasant than a place that surrounds and engulfs you in this never-ending, candy-colored comfort food? Hove’s artistic process uses endless imagination and creativity to allow his ideas of Cakeland to come to fruition.
I walk around my house, and see imaginary pieces on my wall, and then pick out the ones that I would most like to actually see hanging on the wall. Then I use every and any type of material to scratch the piece into existence. So much about making a piece of art is creating problems and solving them.
Photographer Cameron Bloom captures the innocence and love in the unlikely friendship between a boy and his bird. His son Noah had found a baby bird alone in the wild around their Australian home. The bird being without a mother, the family decided to take it in and raise it themselves. This bird, affectionately named “Penguin,” was found right after Cameron’s wife, Sam, broke her back. This crucial and difficult time in the family’s life was met with an unforeseen visitor and friend for life. While both Penguin and Bloom’s family was coping with life’s hardships and struggles, a connection between them began and continues to grow into something extraordinary.
Bloom has documented intimate scenes of tenderness between his son, as well as his entire family, and their unique companion. Each image holds radiating warmth that can be felt by the viewer. It is amazing to see a bird share such a strong bond with humans, in a way that we might expect a dog or a human to have. Bloom shows Penguin sitting on Noah’s head, eating at the family’s kitchen table, and even snuggling with them in bed. Each moment is a glimpse of a magical friendship that has been shared with us through the beauty of Bloom’s photography. Beginning this series in 2013, we can see the relationship and closeness grow along with the three sons Rueben, Noah, and Oli. Although Penguin has the freedom to fly out into the wilderness away from her family, their connection is so strong that she never fails to return home every time.
If you love Penguin as much as I do, make sure to follow his Instagram account!
The intensity and electricity in Mickael Jou’s photography can only be matched by his equally immaculate dancing skills. In his series Air Through my Ashes, Jou captures the precise positions of his dance through the lens of a camera. Each movement, leap, and bend is shown being done not on a stage, but through city streets, in breathtaking nature, and even in a grocery store. Jou, now living in Berlin, was trained as a dancer, and started out dancing through the streets of Paris. He got the idea to photograph himself after so many tourists began taking pictures of him as he danced. He then taught himself how to use a camera and turned his dancing into frozen moments in time where he can levitate and defy gravity.
Jou’s dance positions are turned into still statues that pulsate with energy in each photograph. The incredible scenery of the images is almost as breathtaking as Jou’s suspension in mid air. The series has a kind of magic to it that transports the viewer into a world where your feet never need to touch the ground. What makes each composition so dynamic is not only the sheer power felt in the dancer’s stance, but also the addition of a scarf in the dance movements. This scarf that often appears adds color and balance to the rhythm of each photograph as it floats alongside this multi-talented dancer. Jou combines these two art forms harmoniously to create ethereal and graceful photographs. He explains how using these two mediums further his creative vision and expression:
My self-portraits help me express the emotions that I feel while dancing. Dance is a very powerful art form, and I try to translate my emotions into my photography.
Lee Bul’s transformative installations pull you into a fractured space of infinite mirrors. The Korean artist, both well versed in illustration as well as installation and sculpture, forms complex, maze-like structures with interiors made of mirrors that reflect in all different directions, creating a disorienting effect. Bul takes seemingly small, secluded spaces and magnifies its size by making the space seem never-ending, keeping you exploring each layer of the multi-faceted structure. The highly industrial installations create such intricate depths and perspectives that allow you to fall into a place of vertigo. Each fractured mirror bounces back color and light in a way that transforms and bends the space around you into an intense kaleidoscope. Bul’s interactive artwork gives way to a fractured universe of distorted shapes and space.
The artist, being multi-talented, mixes elements of architecture in her work to design the sleek exteriors of her installations. Adding to the lustrous, reflective surfaces of the interior walls are the reflective floors of the exhibition, creating even more confusing space perception. This unique work creates a range of emotions from the anxiety caused by the ambiguity of depth, to the overwhelming awe from the beauty and sublime of the endless space around you. Each installation is a portal to another world, absorbing you in its abstracted images that include your own reflection. This unearthly theme is present in much of Bul’s work, as her illustrations often include unknown beings and aliens. Bul’s stunning mirrored labyrinths are now on view at the Museé d’Art Moderne in Saint –Eitienne in France. (via Design Boom)
Missing the cult classic post-punk musicians that changed the course of music history? Never fear! They are back in action…but as superheroes! Illustrator “Butcher Billy” has taken your favorite Post-Punk icons and transformed them into Marvel superheroes. Each legendary musician becomes an ever-popular hero by giving them just a few character essentials like a spandex outfit, bold lines and color, and a catchy comic title behind them. If these unforgettable musicians weren’t already your heroes, they will be after you see them on these specially created comic cover mock-ups that cleverly match each icon with their appropriate superhero counterpart. These incredibly on-point mash-ups include bright, eye-catching titles displaying various infamous lyrics such as “I don’t care if Monday’s blue,” from The Cure or “When a problem comes along” from Devo. After seeing these re-imagined icons, you realize how much they already looked like superheroes, or perhaps villains.
Mixing together cult classic comic characters with equally popular musical icons is genius. Not only do they both have “super powers,” whether it be possessing super strength or being a lyrical genius, but also often adorn themselves with spandex clothing. The best part about these hybrid hero/musicians is that us super fans or comic nerds are not the only ones that love these illustrations. Shown is a photo of Morrissey wearing a shirt showing himself in full hulk form, and another includes Siouxsie Sioux proudly displaying clothing with her own superhero alter ego, complete with her audacious hair and signature make up. (via Shortlist)
Artist Romain Crelier has transformed the already ornate and beautiful interior of Bellelay Abbey with reflective pools of used motor oil. This unique and unlikely installation is created by pouring pools of motor oil into an extensive and organic-shaped vessel that holds the oil into its form, brilliantly complimenting the architecture. This Swiss Abbey contains intricate and ornate 12th century architecture, including Baroque style monasteries and elaborate stucco paintings. The dark, glossy oil is a stark contrast to the bright, white interior, creating a harsh but remarkable juxtaposition. The already dramatic interior is complimented by this reflective source, mirroring not only its complex architecture, but also the viewer.
Motor oil is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an attractive, shiny material. This is definitely not your traditional installation. Normally thought of as a messy material, the deep, sleek liquid creates a deep impact on the viewer, full of mystery and awe. The church is often a place of reflection, where you can go to experience a sense of stillness or tranquility. Crelier furthers this experience by giving you a literal reflective liquid to gaze into while you roam this space. The wonder you might feel by entering such a monumental place is magnified through this installation, moving you to a place of awe. This installation has a seemingly simple concept, but results in an immeasurable effect on the viewer, creating layers of visual possibilities. Romain Crelier’s installation, titled La Mise en Abime, is just one of the incredibly colossal installations the very talented, Swiss artist has under his belt. (via MyModernMet)