Jeremy Laffon‘s series of installations are entirely constructed from chewing gum. He painstakingly builds each of his installations with this unusual material. The precision and care he gives to his work is contrasted by the material itself. Chewing gum isn’t particularly strong or sturdy – the lattice work structure buckling under its own weight, or tiled gum easily giving way underfoot. Chewing gum is also associated with casualness, rude to chew in formal settings, spit out when finished with: a pleasant surprise in an often stuffy art world.
Photographer Antonia Basler‘s series Content Aware makes use of a Photoshop tool of the same name. The content aware tool is used to erase objects from images and replace the space with content the program judges to be appropriate. Basler’s series begins with old family photos. She’s highlighted the faces of the photo’s subjects and applied the tool, then highlighted the inverse and applied the tool for a second image. The resulting images are a cyber sort of surreal, like a creepy reality glitch. [via]
Photographer Gabriele Galinberti‘s series Toy Stories is a simple concept revealing a complex story. Over the course of 18 months the artist photographed children throughout the world with their most prized possessions. He would often play with the toys along with the children prior to arranging them for the photographs. It is surprising how much the toys can reveal about each child. Often children would prize toys that reflected the occupations of their parents – a large collection of cars for the son of a taxi driver or rakes and shovels for the daughter of a farmer. Also, Galinberti relates that poorer children’s play focused more on friends and activities rather than possessions. He says:
“The richest children were more possessive. At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them. In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”
Artist Zsuzsi Csiszer’s installation may at first seem massively out of place. An actual subway car emerges out of the floor into the Museum Kiscelli in Budapest. It seems poised to make a stop and move on to its next otherworldly destination. The subway clearly references a journey – one of more significance than just from one neighborhood to another. More importantly perhaps, subway cars transport groups of people. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but the piece is similar to a larger journey we all make. One in which we share with various people who come and go.
Artist Berlinde De Bruyckere‘s installations are disturbing. Horses, apparently deformed or mutilated, are scattered throughout the gallery. Some are draped lifeless; others are seem to be frozen while flailing in panic. The forms are clearly horses, their shape undeniable. However their faces are elusive and missing as if in a nightmare. De Bruyckere’s installation’s inspire conflicting feelings of compassion, disgust, and fear. It should be mentioned that none of these horses were killed or harmed for the art work. Rather, De Bruyckere selected the horses while alive but did not use their bodies until they died of natural causes.
The sculptures of Mihoko Ogaki are deeply felt. Her sculptures often deal with the heavy ideas of life and death. This series titled Milky Ways follows suit. Plastic sculptures of people inhabit darkened rooms. Lit from within, the bodies illuminate the surrounding walls and ceiling with a starry-like pattern. Each body carries a universe within it, projecting it out onto the world around it – it isn’t difficult to draw out a metaphor from there. It is further interesting to contrast the dark unlit plastic bodies in the well lit gallery against the glowing beings alone in the middle of the dark room. [via]
When not attending to his family’s masonry business, Hirotoshi Ito turns a more playful eye to the stones of his work day. Hirotoshi deftly works stone transforming it into sculptures that appear to be anything but the hard material. Rocks look as if they’re thin skinned pouches, melting like butter, and laughing faces. Hirotoshi’s sculptures – their playful forms and use of material – betray the artists sense of humor and a desire to pleasantly surprise the viewer. Indeed, the artist’s statement says that his work welcomes a laugh and a smile.
The installations of Carly Fisher may at first appear to be trash strewn galleries. However, closer inspection reveals that none of the items are actual garbage. Rather, Fisher carefully recreates litter from little more than paper and glue. The meticulous attention she gives to sculpting trash replicas, so to say, may seem odd. However, the familiar international name brands dotting the gallery floor raise the question: do these corporations possibly give the same meticulous attention to the branding of litter as Fischer? As one of her gallery statements puts it, “Perhaps there is a marketing edge to trash?”