Ashley Comer’s Poignant Series Documents Meeting Her Estranged Birth Mother For The First Time

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After being apart from her own birth mother for more than 22 years, photographer Ashley Comer decided to meet the woman missing from her life and document the very personal and intense journey. While living in Georgia, Ashley decided to contact the adoption agency that facilitated her very own adoption and found that her birth mother Sheila was living in Florida, a mere 4 hour drive away from her at the time.

Using the excuse of the photographic project, Ashley contacted her birth mother and over several weekends and took some intimate and touching photographs. She managed to capture beautiful scenes of the two of them getting to know one another again, and the similarities in their physical appearance. They not only feature in the photographs together, the images are actually a collaboration between the pair.

It is easy to see the natural bond between the two women in Ashley’s snaps. And even though Ashley has now returned to Massachusetts, meaning they are unable to spend weekends together, she doesn’t doubt that they will keep the newly formed relationship going.

You can see the full collection of photographs from Ashley’s project Meeting Sheila here. (Via Feature Shoot)

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The Handmade Psychedelic Marbles Of Mike Gong Are Out Of This World

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Mike Gong

These beautiful marbles from Portland based glass artist Mike Gong shows us he hasn’t lost his marbles at all – he has definitely still got them and, in fact, wants us to buy them. The talented man hand crafts colorful, intricate marbles filled with psychedelic swirls, bubbles, swooshes, and flecks. Ranging from about 13mm to 50mm, his marbles, which he calls ‘Acid Eaters’ are incredibly detailed and contain amazing miniature worlds within.

Gong’s marbles are full of abstract colors and forms, and he really exploits the materiality of the glass. Only with this particular material – and Gong’s patience and skill – can he achieve the depth, transparency and luminescence we see. You can purchase them here to look at them up close and in depth yourself. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Drew Leshko’s Miniature Buildings Are A Study Of Neighborhood Gentrification

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When Philadelphia-based artist Drew Leshko cycles around his neighborhood, he can’t help but look at the buildings, windows, doors, posters, trash cans and signs around him in a very different way than most people do. For him, they are the beginning of his next project – shrinking them into miniature replicas of themselves on a scale of 1:12. He cuts, glues, builds, layers, and sculpts 3D versions of different store fronts from wood and paper. Leshko says his art form is a way of preserving and archiving the condition of the buildings on his street, the rate and speed of gentrification and also comments on what people consider worth preserving, and what is worth destroying.

His paper sculptures are nostalgic of a time past; a look at his local life when he was younger; a recreation of what was. He has created versions of his grandfather’s camper from the 80s, a local church, a strip bar, a cigarette outlet, a deli, dumpsters, even vending machines. The accuracy of his miniatures and the attention to detail are what make his sculptures as impressive as they are. He even paints rust on over the old gutters or windows and puts acid rain deposits on the footpaths.

Leshko has not only been busy making building facades and details, he has also turned his attention to replicating campervans.

The buildings are huge undertakings and take a lot of time and patience. So I began to think about some smaller sculptures I could make, but most importantly, what type of objects can be constructed of paper? I started to think about tractor-trailers, vans, food trucks, and similar vehicles when I landed on camper trailers. My work has always included commentary on the temporal nature of things, so the transient nature of “RV culture” fits right in to that idea. (Source)

Leshko’s celebration of a particular moment in time is a good reminder to appreciate the way things are in our own neighborhoods – because they will certainly be changing, for better or worse.

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The Dark Wintery Wonderlands Inside Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz’s Snow Globes

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Proving that snow globes aren’t just kitschy souvenirs, artist duo Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz create mini worlds covered by glass domes that are dark, gloomy, and slightly sinister. The scenarios they build are usually set in a stark wintery landscape and feature characters carrying out strange, ill-disposed acts on each other.

Working together since 1994, Martin and Muñoz source different figurines or model making elements, cut them up and re-assemble them as victims or criminals at a crime scene. They use plumber’s epoxy to build the base of the scenes, and cover it in a water resistant resin. Then, they fill up the globes with a water and alcohol solution, to create the authenticity of the object.

Taking inspiration from dreams, movies, and literature, the pair is happy to build on a bizarre or surreal narrative. Their scenes are very dark indeed: A man is caught in the act of dropping a boulder onto another man’s face, or we watch a woman suspiciously planting a dead tree in the snow, or two men vindictively dangling children over a deep dark well, all surrounded by the stillness of snow and winter. They see their snow globes as a celebration of that uneasy feeling you get when you are lost in a crowd, or left alone somewhere uncomfortable. Martin reflects on the environment that he grew up in and those feelings he experienced within them:

I always liked a good snowstorm, and so many of my best memories revolve around those occasions. The water is the thing in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Everything that comes out of it, everything that you can do on it, or in it, is special. (Source)

Their globes and a number of other artist’s impressions of winter were also featured previously in a post on B/D. Click here to check out the different ideas of just what that wintery spirit is all about.

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Artist Writes The Word “Crisis” With €1000 Euro Coins On A Wall In Bilbao; The Work Disappears In 24 Hours

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The current political situation in Greece is on everybody’s mind at the moment. So the installation by Madrid based artist SpY couldn’t be more poignant. Made up of €1000 worth of 2c coins, he glued the coins to a neighborhood wall in Bilbao, spelling out CRISIS in bold, eye catching capital letter. Not surprisingly, given the current financial state across the continent, the passing public helped themselves to the work, and in less than 24 hours, all of the coins had disappeared.

An active urban artist since the 80s, SpY has been long involved in making subtle social commentary for all to see. He often installs large letters or text-based work on the sides of buildings, or creates shapes in ivy on walls; has wrapped up a police car in plastic and has also formed inaccessible areas that make people look twice. He interrupts people’s daily routes to work, or comments on the urban structures that surround them.

The bulk of his production stems from the observation of the city and an appreciation of its components, not as inert elements but as a palette of materials overflowing with possibilities. His ludic spirit, careful attention to the context of each piece, and a not invasive, constructive attitude, unmistakably characterize his interventions. (Source)

No doubt SpY’s techniques are effective – his irony and positive humor draw attention to pressing social matters, and in a non-aggressive way, make viewers think twice about their political and physical environment.

SpY’s pieces want to be a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urban dweller. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. (Source)

(Via Design Faves)

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The Morbidly Peculiar Animal Skeletons Of Caitlin T. McCormack Are Crocheted Out Of String

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The morbid sculptures of Caitlin T. McCormack would fit right in at your next Halloween party. She creates beautifully intricate skeletons of fictional creatures – rodents, seahorses, insects and animals. Not only do they look fragile, macabre, antique, precious and ghoulish, but you would probably be surprised to learn what they are made from. The artist actually discovered that covering crocheted cotton string in PVA glue stiffens the material, producing a bone-like effect.

Her dark, heavenly creatures are usually displayed, sprawled out and pinned to a dark board of some sort. They look as if their skin and meat has been carefully dissected and discarded, leaving their skeletal remains to be gracefully displayed for all to delight in their discovery. Not only does McCormack craft these intricate alien-bone-forms, but also delicate lace work, dramatic dresses that look like they were worn to a ghost’s wedding, and charming little illustrations and plasticine characters that usually reference a well known horror story.

The busy artist doesn’t stop there – her work will be also feature as a part of the group show Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and Vernacular at The Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, New York. Exploring states we experience between waking and sleeping, the show is a journey into altered perspectives, dark thoughts and unknown visions. A combination of historical, ‘Outsider’ and Visionary art, the show promises to be enlightening and entertaining. Running from July 18th – October 15th, be sure to explore the show and bring out your own black magic.

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A Sign Of The Times: Jakub Geltner’s Creepy Installations Made From Surveillance Equipment Are Always Watching You

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The installations, sculptures and street art, of Jakub Geltner is subtle, disconcerting, and very in-sync with the Zeitgeist and hot topic of the moment. The Prague-based artist installs groups, or rather – herds – of security cameras, satellite dishes, and surveillance equipment in different outdoor settings. Drawing attention to the presence of being watched and filmed in some way or another, the groups of equipment is very creepy.

Geltner places the gear in absurd places – screens are tilted to look directly at a brick wall, or to spy on a moss covered rock at the beach. Satellite dishes are clumped together on the side of a church – obviously not much use for anything and cleverly parodies the aesthetic of so many apartment blocks littered with the dishes in our modern day, technology-obsessed cities. The artist explains a bit more about his work:

My project is simply called “Nests” and mimics the random human activity in the urban landscape. I was inspired by the characteristics of several cities on my travels around the world where I often found different unplanned, almost organically placed, elements that interfere with the typical facades of the buildings in specific cities.

Through this project I wanted to point out the extent of these “infections” to show how disruptively absurd as well as interesting the urban space can become. I have been working on these nests since 2011, when I set up the first “Nest 01″ in the city center of Prague. I installed it directly on the waterfront of the Vltava river while I was still studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. (Source)

So maybe next time you are walking on the street around your city, remember to look up and check out just what, where and how many technological ‘infections’ there are around you…..they may just spread their disease to you…. (Via Bored Panda)

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The Futuristic And Visionary Super Yacht Designs Of Russian Architect Vasily Klyukin

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Vasily Klyukin is a business man, architect, charity supporter, space patron and now super-yacht designer, on a mission. After supporting commercial art initiatives and hosting art events for many years, the Russian powerhouse has turned his hand to the world of yachts. And just like his attitude to buildings, Klyukin believes yachts should be individualized, recognizable, and memorable. Luckily for us, his futuristic designs are exactly that.

Drafting up plans for yachts that look as surreal as they do expensive, the accomplished  designer will make you wish you could afford one just to see his ideas realized. He has come up with ideas like a floating Manhattan skyline, an over-sized Swan, a modern Mondrian homage, and a sleek ‘Red Shark’ design that will be sure to impress.

He talks about the inspiration behind his aesthetic:

Even if you would build the largest yacht in the world, there always is the sea lover who is richer than you, and he would beat your record to have the biggest one. But he would be a champion only for a certain period of time. A couple of years more and the garland will float away on the new boat, bigger than the previous ones. I’m not captivated with such a competition. I do not want to compete at all. I just want a special yacht: one of a kind. I do not want its beauty to float away from me when somebody will build its copy. (Source)

Klykin has also put together a 300 page book with publishing house Skira showcasing 50 of his land-based designs. Called Designing Legends, it contains images and ideas for towers, opera houses, museums and office buildings. As an extension of his interest in architecture, Kylkin has also exhibited his first professional sculptural and fine art show in 2013. Be sure to check out his impressive resume and more design work. (Via The Creator’s Project)

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