Stephanie Herr is a German artist whose topographic sculptures speak to humanity’s interaction with the natural world and dissociation thereof. Painstakingly cut by hand, her mapping of sausage and chicken breasts in styrofoam reference our pursuit of complete knowledge and control of the world at large, charmingly jabbing its warped products through her topographic style. This isn’t to say her works are merely didactic condemnations of mankind’s imperialism, her work is as critical of it as it is inspired by its imagination and absurdity. Political or not, Kerr’s work is a real pleasure to look at. (via)
German artist Lorenz Potthast recently developed a helmet that turns the world around you into slow motion. While we still can’t quite control reality enough to actually slow the passage of time, Potthast’s helment which lets us control our perception of it is as good as we’ve got right now. Not only does it, as the video says, make the wearer aware of the time they occupy, but it makes them interact with the image world as it relates to time, which is amazing. The christmas these begin appearing under trees will be the beginning of the future we have been waiting for. Watch a video of the helmet in action after the jump. (via)
Bert Löeschner among the artists with the spirit of animators who anthropomorphically instill life in the objects they choose. His object of choice is the ever-present and thereby invisible lawn chair. Löschner uses them to make charming characters and sculptures of equally ubiquitous objects– lovers, vagabonds, pedestrians, swingsets, etc. Next time you’re bored or down, just anthropomorphize the objects and plants around you and the world will be a much friendlier place. (via)
Eric Johnson is a brilliant carpenter who designs and builds furniture out of completely salvaged materials. Armchairs from boat masts, rocking chairs from milk crates, lamps from moped scraps. A lot of “recycled” product design can end up looking not too different from the garbage it started out as, but Johnson does an incredible job of using clean, shrewd designs to make objects that stand on their own regardless of their history. The combination of his intelligent designs and recycled materials is inspiring in its own right too, quietly encouraging us all to see the potential in the mountains of discarded objects that overwhelm our modern lives. So kudos on three levels, Eric. Keep your eyes on Mr. Johnson, I smell a bright future.
Yuichi Hirako is a Japanese artist whose paintings and sculptures blend humans, the city, and the forest together into in alternate, animistic realities. The works feel like they’re made by someone who feels life around them as one unified force and doesn’t envision a cataclysmic end to humanity, but just a change in how our form of life is expressed biologically. In Hirako’s work, it’s as though a nuclear catastrophe had dissolved the boundaries between all life forms on earth, leaving behind husks of cars, trees that grow houses, varicolored trees and rivers, and people who have very literally become one with nature. It’s interesting to think about alternate possibilities for life on earth, and if humanity does decide to use all our nuclear weapons, I hope we end up in Hirako’s paintings.
Alex Da Corte is an artist who makes incredible sculptures and images out of what looks to be the items he finds in the dollar store. They’re reminiscent of Daniel Eatock‘s sculptures, but with more of a fine-arts bend as opposed to Eatock’s design/humor approach. Not that Eatock isn’t a serious artist, or Da Corte is humorless, they’re just two ways of interacting with similar materials, both of which produced phenomenal results. Rozalia Jovanovic gives a great description for the Gallerist:
“Mr. Da Corte’s work revisits the objects and fascinations we’ve left behind by using low-cost items the way Jim Hodges uses bodily fluids. However, while Mr. Da Corte references Abjection, and artists like Mr. Hodges and Eva Hesse, the approach is different.
“It’s kind of that romanticism with objects,” said Mr. Sheftel, “but in a different way. Rather than bodily fluids, [Mr. Da Corte’s] looking at things like shampoo. Shampoo is a really intimate substance. We put it on our bodies, it seeps into us. It gets under our skin. So it’s not really abjection, but it’s related—it looks at the things that are close to us now. It’s a different conversation when Alex is going to the dollar store in Philly and using that as his art supply store and looking at off-brand soda, shampoo, and low-level items that engage in a conversation about class and race.”
“I am attracted to these items for their accessibility,” Mr. Da Corte told Gallerist via email. “Despite their common place, they offer promises of escape and pleasure through smell, color and texture. Framing shampoo, removes its utility, allowing me to reconsider it as a voyeur and scientist.”
Mr. Da Corte’s upbringing also heavily informs his work. “There’s a Philly bent too, I think,” said Mr. Sheftel. “Looking in Fishtown, Philadelphia. He grew up in Camden and went to Philly for school.” Mr. Da Corte, who divides his time between New York and Philadelphia has an upcoming solo presentation at its Institute of Contemporary Art.”- Gallerist NY (via)
Sakir Gokcebag is a Turkish artist who creates elegant installations from the most ordinary objects. Coat hangers, toilet paper, wicker baskets, levels, and jewelry are a few of the many objects he plays with to make his charming studies of form and materials. They’re reminiscent of how in the menial jobs we all have at one point or another, we keep ourselves sane by making towers, sculptures, and patterns out of the objects around us, and in doing so re-discover their formal elements–this chocolate bar is a rectangle, that coat hanger is a bow, these salt shakers are kind of like Kokeshi dolls, etc. Gokcebag takes this impulse and runs with it, turning it into some great visual poetry. (via)
Ilona Szwarc is a photographer originally from Poland who now lives in the United States and has rightfully fascinated with American Culture. American Girls, named after the doll series, is a study of said culture that investigates gender,beauty, and identity in the context of decks with cadillac barbecues, country mansions, and skyscraper porches. The style of her photographs is, like the our culture encourages us to be, perfect, too–styling the girls exactly and directing them to look as expressionless as the dolls they cherish. But the images aren’t condescending, exploitative, or preachy–they just express a genuine interest in the hyperbole that is American gender culture. Still in the SVA already with a body of Diane Arbus quality work, keep your eye out for great things to come from this girl. (via)