The series Hipster in Stone was captured by photographer Léo Caillard and retouched by Alexis Persani. The series’ premise is simple: classical statues don a hipster wardrobe. The effect, though, is amusing. A simple change or addition of clothing seems to transform each figure’s timeless grace to a modern boredom. Subtle expression becomes cool aloofness. However, the photographs do draw a strange similarity between ancient figures and modern models. A preoccupation with appearance and appreciation for (or obsession with) physical beauty seems to never have left us entirely.
Vietnamese paper artist Nguyễn Hùng Cường creates origami pieces in a style that is distinctively his own. His pieces often begin with dó paper – a unique paper, made from the bark of the rhamnoneuron balansae, that is traditionally made throughout many of Vietnam’s villages. Typically striving to create his work from only one sheet of paper, he has been known to often fold work from a single bill of Vietnamese money. Nguyễn has been working in origami since he was just a small child creating his first original piece at ten years old. [via]
The paintings of Korean artist KwangHo Shin are most certainly portraits. Though they depart from many of the elements of typical portraits they’re instantly recognizable as such. Shin uses charcoal to build the underlying structure – parts resembling hair, neck, shoulders, and ears. The faces aren’t so much painted as formed by gobs of oi paint. Hints of facial features such as eyes and noses may be ambiguously implied in each piece. However, its really the inner person Shin is after, the echoes of which linger for a moment on the face.
Lisa Rienermann‘s Type the Sky series is reminiscent of the big city tourist’s point of view. The tops of metropolitan buildings squeeze in the sky to form a unique alphabet. Rienermann uses the negative space, the small patches of cloudy sky, between roofs to as the structure of a fun typography. The font has been understandably popular. The series received an award from the Type Directors Club New York. It was also used by Mercedes and Renault for respective advertising campaigns.
Iconic Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei has never shied away from political ideas in his art. His contributions to this year’s Venice Biennale are no exception. Bang utilizes 886 stools to create this sprawling installation. Such three legged stools were traditionally handcrafted and a common item in many Chinese households. They had numerous uses and were often passed down through generations. With the onset of the Cultural Revolution and modernization such stools soon disappeared. The enormous structure seems to have grown uncontrollably but organically – much like the explosion of growth in population urban centers, and consumer products.
Straight addresses the tragic 2008 Sichuan Earthquake and specifically the thousands of children’s lives claimed by the disaster. Ai Wei Wei straightened 150 tons of mangled steel rebar and neatly stacked in the project space. While bringing to mind the suspicion of shoddy school construction the installation also serves as a vehicle to mourn, remember, and address. Straight reflects Ai Wei Wei’s desire to straighten out the complexities and problems surrounding the massive casualties. [via]
YouTube user brusspup blends science, illusion, and art into double-take inducing videos. Sand is used to create amazing patterns that are called Chladni figures. Brusspup pours sand on a metal plate that is connected to a speaker and tone generator. Various frequencies create different patterns of sand on the plate, higher frequencies creating more complex figures. Different portions of the plate do not vibrate with each frequency. The sand naturally accumulates in these areas of no frequency, creating a visualization of the sound traveling the metal plate. [via]
The artwork created by the Japanese art collective known as Three creates work with a political subtext as powerful as it is subtle. Three often uses common food objects such as fish shaped soy sauce packets or candy. For example, the installation Eat Me uses 7,000 wrapped candy pieces hung from the gallery ceiling in the shape of a house. Visitors are encouraged to pluck candy from the installation and toss the wrapper in a corner set aside in the gallery. Slowly throughout the day the ‘house’ of candy is transformed into a pile of trash – a symbolic recreation of the overwhelming destruction of homes by Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Romanian artist Mircea Popescu‘s series Head Stock unravels the typical portrait. These obsessively detailed pieces are linocut prints – the image etched, inked, and impressed on paper. Portraits often become stand-in’s for the sitter they identify. Instead, Popescu’s faces float independent of bodies and clear facial features. The images seem to be piled with countless layers hinting at a physical face and pointing to something deeper behind it. The complexities of the Popescu’s faces reflect the intricacy of identities behind portraits.