Hungarian photographer Bence Bakonyi‘s series Dignity is a clearly personal one. The white arctic-like landscape is contrasted against deep black fields. The inky pools seem to be light swallowing and even begin to envelop a figure in some images. Bakonyi’s photographs are intensely lonely. Referring to the series, he speaks about a distinction between the body and mind as expressed in the photos.
Speaking about struggles between the two he relates, ”It’s so alluring, sometimes as if the will of the body would want to swallow me, leaving my thoughts behind, but then comes the soul to pull me back.”
At least in the United States, subways are often thought of as utilitarian spaces quickly passed through during rush hour. Sweden’s Stockholm Metro, however, is filled with bright colors, mosaics, bas relief, even, installations and sculpture created over the past 60 years. Often considered one of the continent’s most beautiful metro systems, the city takes the underground art very seriously. For the price of a ticket, the system offers guided tours with a Metro expert. Further, the Stockholm Metro hosts temporary art exhibits in addition to its six decades worth of permanent art. Next time your in Sweden be sure to schedule some time underground.
Street art has undergone some interesting developments of late. While not entirely forsaking its aerosol heritage, street art has definitely become more adventuresome in terms of medium in the past few years. Artist MRtoll exemplifies this well. While MRtoll’s aesthetic may resemble that of a stencil or poster artist, his medium is a bit more peculiar: clay. MRtoll works the clay into various images or texts then installs them on walls throughout Brooklyn. He often uses his clay in a nearly painterly manner creating impressive two dimensional work. Other times, his work is text based, seemingly a text or a tweet, playful much like its medium.
Calling the work of Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde ‘enigmatic’ is nearly an understatement. He creates real clouds indoors which only last for a moment – just long enough to be photographed. Carefully controlling a space’s humidity and temperature coupled with a quick burst from a fog machine, Smilde is able to make a cloud materialize which soon disappears. The work, not quite a sculpture or installation, is only made more impressive by its temporality. Smilde, in this way, is able to emphasize the potential of otherwise forgettable spaces.
Artist Jeremy Geddes paints with considerable skill. His highly detailed oil paintings depict surreal, often lonely scenes. Many of his panels picture a lone astronaut in an empty urban landscape. Its unclear whether his subjects are falling or floating, in trouble or asleep. Geddes communicates the haunting silence of each scene as effectively as textures and light. He clearly has an ease of technique and personal aesthetic.
Photographer Wes Naman‘s Scotch Tape series is playful if not a bit creepy. Naman wraps clear tape around his subjects’ heads severely distorting their face. The tape tugs and squeezes lips, eyebrows, and noses making light of the idea of portraits. Slightly disturbing, the portraits resemble smiling car accident survivors or botched plastic surgery victims. Such simple but inventive ideas have made Naman a rather successful photographer winning him clients as diverse as High Times Magazine and T-Mobile. [via]
The work of Italian artist Alberto Tadiello peeks into the vagaries of technology, nature, and their relationships. For example, the first five photos of this post depict the installation EPROM (an acronym for Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory). The installation mounted on the wall consists of music boxes connected to small electric motors, which are in turn connected to transformers. While the tinny notes of the music boxes may conjure memories of childhood at first, the motors and music boxes are soon spinning faster than the mechanisms can withstand. Eventually the motors wear out reducing the ‘music’ to a hardly noticeable noise. Of this event, the gallery statement says:
“Once the pawls wear out the noise slowly becomes less noticeable and even indistinguishable. The high-speed movement is associated with a sort of cathartic event, which relieves the music box interface from bearing nostalgic feelings.” [via]
Chinese photographer Li Wei creates gravity defying work. Li Wei’s captivating photographs depict people floating and flying over cityscapes. At times mystical and other times comical, Li builds on a human fascination with flying resulting in mesmerizing images. Rather than creating his images entirely in Photoshop, Li uses complex rigging systems to suspend his subjects. The harnesses are then Photoshopped out of the images after the photographs have been taken. Li explains his insistence on not creating his images solely through a computer saying:
“There’s a visceral feeling of shooting on location that can’t be duplicated on a computer.” [via]