In the endless patterns of mandalas, one can find tranquility through its sacred geometry. You can find this peace in the spiraling colors of the mandalas artist Alison Moyna Greene creates. However, things are not always what they seem in her work. What is mesmerizing and calm at first glance is actually rough and defensive up close. The artist constructs her mandalas with individual cactus spines that jut out of the surface at the viewer. The process of using such a harmful medium by hand does not only take an intense focus, but also can be physically harmful. However, this meditative process of picking this material, painting them individually, and placing them onto their surface is a practice of care and love. Greene takes something painful and turns it into beauty.
The incredibly metaphor for transformation and healing is realized through this intricate series. The artist explains that her work acknowledges the coexistence of light and darkness and explores the balance of both necessary elements. The mandala is a traditional symbol of harmony. In this harmony, we find brilliant colors and winding patterns. However, we also find sharp, unsafe objects that make up this symbol. This contrast makes Greene’s work even more beautiful as she finds comfort in the amazing transformation of suffering into serenity.
This series of artwork uses thorns and cactus spines as a metaphor of changing pain and suffering. The process of hand plucking, hand painting and hand placing speaks about the transformation of pain into beauty and fear into love.
Inspired by the beautiful wildlife around her, artist Marine Coutroutsios cuts and constructs intricate, abstract birds out of colorful paper. Relocating from Paris to Sydney Australia, where she currently lives and works, Coutroutsios’s work is heavily influences by her environment. This series of hers titled Australian Birds contains patterns and colors that are found in the Australia native species she sees in her everyday life. With names like Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo and Pale Headed Rosella, it is no doubt that the artist has named them after the individual bird species that each piece aims to resemble. It is interesting that although these pieces do not resemble the shape of a bird, nor do they possess a beak or even a head, we can still see that they are unmistakably birds. Resembling a target shape, it is almost as if the bird has been flattened into a nearly symmetrical circle.
Throughout childhood, Coutroutsios was always creating something, whether it is through embroidery or origami, which accounts for her incredible skill in paper cutting. Always feeling a connecting with nature, she also creates her own environments with her paper installations full of brilliant colors and shapes. She does not only pull inspiration from nature in the sky, but also nature in the water. Make sure to check out her Ocean Series where she takes her circular shaped method of sculpture and applies it to swirls of cut paper, creating whirlpools of color. (via BOOOOM)
“Through my travels I’ve realized how much I feel connected with my environment. It keeps me grounded and humble regarding our place in this world. With my work I’d like to inspire and engage you to reconsider the value of your surroundings. I think beauty is everywhere and it’s a powerful source of energy.”
With his work engulfed in geometric shape, the artist known as “Moneyless” creates infinite patterns of triangles and circles that seems to multiply endlessly. The Italian artist having talent in both two and three-dimensional work, his murals and paintings on wood are cosmic bound, mesmerizing and hypnotizing you with its fluid shapes. Originally a street artist, his influences from graffiti is apparent in his work on walls, with their bold color schemes and intense movement across the spaces they inhabit. This breakdown of text based graffiti into more non-representational, abstracted forms and shapes allows for more contextual freedom.
These murals and wall pieces are reminiscent of a kaleidoscope or a Spiro graph, with repetitive circles turning his compositions into large-scale Slinkies. Moneyless’s works on wood contain the same depth and intricacy created from his geometric perception, with an excellent eye on negative space. Staring into these works will have you lost in their unbelievable intricacy and rhythm. Each line is so thin and delicate, but make up a larger part of the stronger whole. This series is brilliantly symmetrical, forming a central focal point that pulls us into the space. The artist sees the triangle shape as the root to life, making up our existence along with everything around us. The reoccurring theme of geometry represents the foundation of life itself.
The artwork of Audrey Kawasaki is completely irresistible in its portrayal of stunning technique and beautiful women. Her skilled illustration using ink, oil paint, and graphite is a sharp contrast to the natural grain of the wood panel in which she paints on. The warmth of the wood combined with the reds and oranges found in her work create a soft glow that radiates from her work. Each of her women contains an iridescent aura that invites you in, pulling you closer into the frame. There is an unmistakable seductiveness in their eyes, or in one case, the third eye, that is both intriguing and mysterious. As you examine Kawasaki’s work, something begins to feel peculiar. The beauty of her women blinds us before a strange, bizarre element creeps up on us. We slowly realize something is off, when we see things like pink, glowing rabbits circling around the figures or even a snake skeleton sprouting out of the roots of a woman’s hair.
Kawasaki flawlessly offers us women of quiet beauty that leaves us questioning each situation. She pulls her inspiration for her gorgeous paintings from both the distinct style of Manga comics and the swirling, elegance of Art Noveau. The enormously talented artist will have work up at a group show starting this June on the 26th at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Her work is included in the exhibition, Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape.
Romanian artist Bogdan Rata’s highly psychological sculptures contort and mold the human body. Using polyester, synthetic resin, paint, and metal, he forms hybrid realism in his mutated versions of our anatomy. Where skin usually holds a warm glow, his work exhibits a pale, lifeless aura. Limbs sit detached from the body, or even more disturbing, emerge from an unnatural place, like the face. Both unsettling and intriguing, Rata’s sculptures twist and contort, making us feel uncomfortable and suddenly very aware of our own bodies.
The sculptor’s deformed misfits reflect on the imperfection felt about our own bodies and appearances. Our own insecurities are met and reflected in Rata’s psychologically surreal artwork. His work is not only hard to look at due to their grotesque qualities, but the positions many of the sculptures are in appear painful and awkward. Each piece seems to be uncomfortable in its own skin, uncertain of its own body and what to do with it. This is a feeling we can often relate to, as becoming confident in our bodies is often a difficult part of life. Rata hints at the confusion and difficulties brought on by self-identity issues in such works as his bust of a man with no face. His distorted figures are lost, looking for acceptance. Although they at first seem misshapen and horrifying, a strange beauty and compassion can be found in Rata’s fascinating work.
Capturing monumental beauty in the little things in life, artist Pyanek photographs captivating images of everyday objects up close and personal. In his series Amazing Worlds Within Our Worlds, he photographs ordinary objects like cornflakes, book pages, and soap foam. However, these seemingly mundane objects do not look so ordinary when they are taken in Pyanek’s close-up photography style. What was once a familiar object has now become unrecognizable through the artist’s lens. The images are zoomed up close, and dramatically cropped to the point of abstraction, with Pyanek referring to this technique as macro photography.
The incredible detail shown in this series goes beyond what the naked human eye can see. We are shown tiny worlds where a grain of white sugar appears to be a diamond and a kitchen sponge looks like a strand of DNA. These stunning photos reveal every texture and color in the commonplace objects that we overlook everyday. We are able to examine every fiber of the stalk of an apple or the page of a book. Pyanek reminds us to stop and notice the small things in this remarkably beautiful series. If you are hungry for an even more dramatic, striking photographs of ordinary objects magnified, than you are sure to love the video compilation of the series Amazing Worlds Within Our Worlds, which was edited and scored by the artist himself.
What would a television see if it could look back at us? Artist Donna Stevens reveals images of children hypnotically looking into a television screen in her series titled Idiot Box. Each photographs captures the entranced look on a child’s face as they gaze on with a zombie-like stare, complete with the glow of the screen lighting up their face. Although this series is somewhat comical, as the children have their mouths hanging open or a silly grimace slapped on, there is a heavy darkness to it. Stevens’s aims to question the role of technology in our society and explore the effects it may have as children are exposed to it at such a young age at such a high volume. Although we can benefit from technology, what is lacking in our lives because of it? Although Idiot Box includes fairly simple images, the affect the vacant eyes have on the viewer is enough to make you stop and think.
Stevens’ incredibly memorable photography explores themes of identity and hardship, as she is interested in people’s journey to find their place in the world. Humanity’s struggles can be found as a theme in her work, both in Idiot Box and in her series Thirteen. In the latter series, she poignantly captures the anxiety and uncertainty that comes along with becoming a woman. Stevens’ ability to encompass such strong emotions and themes in a single portrait is apparent in each photograph. Originally hailing from Australia, the photographer is currently based in Brooklyn, where she continues to create her sharp, thought provoking work.
If you think your jackhammer and motorcycle make you look tough, just take a look at Theresa Honeywell’s knit accessories! What says “macho” better than tools and guns made out of knit fabric? This Washington D.C. native takes traditionally masculine objects, and gives them a feminine edge by creating them with knit and embroidery. By using methods that have previously been labeled a “feminine craft,” she sparks a dialogue on the masculine and feminine and what it means to align objects with these social constructs. Studying sculpture at university, she combines her talents in three-dimensional art with her interest in combining art and craft. The dichotomy between feminine and masculinity paired with art and craft challenges our pre-conceived notions of these themes.
It is interesting that knitting and embroidery have traditionally been perceived as feminine, when masculinity is often associated with labor-intensive tasks. These two techniques are in fact incredibly time consuming and require a lot of labor and skill. You can see the astonishing details includes in Honeywell’s work while examining every stitch and bead in her work. The artist even included the brand name of the jackhammer, and the pink and purple motorcycle is actually life size! Her intricate, delicate sculptures really show us the softer side of these “masculine” objects.