Wolfgang Stiller‘s series Matchstickmen are a depiction of people that are literally burnt out. The sculptures resemble giant match sticks, the the charred match head like a human head, ignited and tossed about the gallery. A play on the phrase ‘burnt out’, the series comments on the unending demand of human labor. Interestingly the installation was created while the German artist was living in China. However, Stiller says of the work:
“I don’t want to see it only as a critique on the Chinese system. Any other system in the world has the same problem. Big companies exploit their employees to make larger profits, all over the world. As long as we have affordable T-shirts or sneakers, we don’t really want to know whether they are made by children in India or not.” [via]
It’s difficult to gauge scale in the work of Petros Chrisostomou. The giant shoes seem so detailed; the galleries look immaculate. If you want to know I’ll spoil it for you…it’s the galleries that are tiny. Chrisostomou uses small mundane objects as the center of his photographs. He places these in the middle of amazingly detailed miniature galleries. Chrisostomou painstakingly gives attention to lighting, scale, perspective, and detail. The realism of his sets force the eye and mind to alternate between small and large scales, doubting each in the process.
Artist Mark Dean Veca opened his new solo exhibit Made For You and Me at Cristin Tierney January 31st and is on view through March 9th. The title of the exhibit is a lyric from the Woodie Guthrie song This Land is Your Land. The song, originally expressing an anti-capitalist sensibility, has since often been appropriated to convey capitalist sentiments such as growth through consumption. Interestingly, Veca’s work often reverses this same process. He re-appropriates corporate images to comment on corruption, consumption, and a generally waning culture. Appropriately the gallery statement calls his work a kind of “Sinister Pop”. This is particularly evident in his piece titled Tailspin. The piece depicts the Exxon-Mobil Pegasus pointing down, blue on one side, red on the other, and spinning. Tailspin subtly references a society’s consumption dependent on energy resources that are exceedingly spinning out of control.
The figures of Korean artist Wang Zi Won seem above all peaceful. His statues are also machines that perform prayers. He mixes Buddhist imagery with autobiographical depictions to illustrate a futuristic mix of technology and spirituality. It is interesting that Wang’s sculpture’s abandon the physical body – in a sense something Buddhism and visions of the future share in common. Indeed, his vision of the future seems to be a bit of an optimistic one. That is, one in which further harmony between man and machine leads to a more complete existence and identity. [via]
These images are from the design studio of the architecture and design firm Choi + Shine. The concept is to transform simple power line pylons into massive sculptures. The firm says, ”Making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed tower design, we have created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable.” The figures would be designed to interact with their function as well as the landscape. Some figures would appear to be climbing up hill. Others would crouch for increased strength as if to bear the weight of the wires on their shoulders. All would serve to enhance the landscape while also serving a utilitarian purpose.
Brazilian artist Vik Muniz created these images of animals using scrap metal. You can get idea of the huge scale of Muniz’ work by looking at the first image – notice the pile of car doors on the left. Much of Muniz’ art is an accumulation of what many would consider garbage to create fine art. He creates huge ‘collages’ from these objects, photographs them, and returns them to their smaller scale. You may recognize Muniz and his work from the acclaimed documentary Wasteland in which his process was detailed. [via]
Korean artist Do Ho Suh has often explored thoughts on collective strength (and perhaps weakness) in his work before. However, his new sculpture Karma addresses a more personal collectivity. This enormous sculpture seems to stretch on perpetually. At the sculpture’s base a man stands with his eyes covered by another man crouching on his back. That man’s eyes are also covered by another man crouching on his back and this pattern appears to repeat ad infinitum. Perhaps a literal visual interpretation of the concept of karma or even the saying ‘history is doomed to repeat itself’.
Luminaria by Architects of Air is a touring inflatable structure. The ‘building’ has made stops internationally since 1992. Visitors to the Luminaria remove their shoes and enter an air lock. Once through the airlock visitors are free to roam the structure. The Luminaria is built of inflated PVC. Sunlight from outside shines through the various colors of PVC creating an otherworldly glow. The highly saturated colors coupled with the gently curving walls and floor give the Luminaria a subtle biological nature. Interestingly one visitor describes the structure as ” Somewhere between a womb and a cathedral.”