Ben Foster‘s sculptures almost appear to be comptuterized digital renderings at first glance. An industrial and natural artist, Foster creates these life-sized animal sculptures out of enamel-coated aluminum, often placing them in the natural environments that surround his New Zealand home. The sculptural form juxtaposed against the natural landscape has a stunning effect, appearing to be at once disparate and cohesive.
From his website, “Foster’s geometrical rendering is suggestive of the animal’s inherent connection to, and place within, the natural environment. Characteristically, it relies on the interplay of light and shadow and while the subject matter is ostensibly pastoral, the result is dramatic with the sculpture’s silhouette as commanding as the mountainous landscape it resembles.” (via colossal)
Photographer and grad student Kaija Straumanis has created a playful self-portrait series in which her image is captured right at the moment a random object seems to be thrown at her face. A pumpkin, book, dodgeball, boot, and even a mojito smash into Straumanis’ head, smooshing her face and glasses into an awkward contortion. Despite the impact of the objects, in each photo, Straumanus stares a seemingly unaffected gaze into the camera lens. The collisions are set during everyday tasks and among familiar environments, resulting in a humorous series of striking moments. According to HLN, Straumanis creates the photographs by layering images into a composite and artfully manipulating them until they appear seamless. She practices mashing objects into her face, looking into a mirror to create the perfect pose, then layers images accordingly. “I feel like it’s disappointing that I’m not actually getting beat up,” Straumanis admits. “I’m duping the Internet!” (via bored panda)
Matthew Pillsbury‘s long exposure photography series, “Screen Lives,” largely documents domestic activity related to screens that glow from televisions, computers, or mobile phones. Eleven of those photographs, however, represent a specific time during Pillsbury’s life when he fell in love with a man, left his wife, and came out as a gay man to his friends and family. This event changed the direction of Pillsbury’s project. While initially focused on photographing screen scenes with subjects who didn’t move around as much, Pillsbury’s project evolved once he met Nate. “I think it took the freedom of my coming out to make a picture like the one of Nate in Vegas or Cell Phone on Venice Beach. I was breaking down the very rules I had set for my own artistic project,” Pillsbury said. Documenting movement, intimacy, and relationship dynamics, Pillsbury’s collection is at once haunting and lucid.
The eleven photographs representing this transition are titled “Nate and Me” and will be on view at the Sasha Wolf Gallery in NYC until April 20. (via slate)
Brad Spencer doesn’t just build things out of bricks, he also sculpts them into existence. Much of his work is large-scale and features human figures or elements that appear to emerge naturally and seamlessly from this solid medium. Bricks are normally used architecturally to build structures with 90 degree angles. Spencer challenges this conception by creating fluid shapes from this recognizable form. He uses a relief technique – starting with unfired clay, he sculpts the walls and figures into a brickwork pattern. He then fires the pieces separately, and assembles the entire piece on the day it’s set to display. Spencer says,
“Brick sculpture can be dated back to ancient Babylon but remains a fresh and interesting enhancement to any building, wall or environment.
Projects may include bas (low) relief, high relief, full dimension free standing and often a combination. The brick medium has all the same characteristics of durability and low maintenance as a brick building, blends well in settings where other brick construction is present, looks good with landscaping and has a familiarity which is comforting to people. Brick sculpture adds intrigue and interest to a commonly understood material as viewers try to figure out the techniques by which it was created.” (via my modern met)
For his “Travelers” series, French artist Bruno Catalano sculpts human figures that contain missing pieces. Many of his bronze sculptures are missing a good portion of their torsos, asking the viewer to visually complete the sculptures using the space that surrounds them. The effect of his work varies with the location – a viewer could fill in the figures’ gaps with a variety of images the depend on the sculptures’ surrounding space, from the gallery to the park. Catalano creates an optical illusion, confronting the viewer with an image of impossibility that turns into intrigue. As a former sailor, Catalano has always been interested in the figure of the traveler. He says,
“I have travelled a lot and I left Morocco when I was 12 years old. I felt that a part of me was gone and will never come back. From years of being a sailor, I was always leaving different countries and places each time and it’s a process that we all go through. I feel like this occurs several times during life and of course everyone has missing pieces in his or her life that he wont find again. So the meaning can be different for everyone, but to me the sculptures represent a world citizen.”
Ten of Catalano’s sculptures can be found at the Port of Marseilles. (via the daily mail)
Michelle Hamer hand-stitches pixelated versions of photographs she’s taken of urban spaces, mainly those occupied by text found in advertising, signage, or graffiti. She stitches her images into perforated plastic, transforming flat, static images of everyday public urban life into tactile needlepoints that recall private and domestic spaces.
“I see my work as a type of socio-historic documentation. The images depicted are in between moments that we often take for granted. The obviously slow process allows viewers to become more conscious of these moments which are captured within an instant and consider the difference between the manual and the digital. The in-between spaces (on/off ramps of freeways etc.) where signage can often be found is both necessary for our infrastructure, but also generally not noticed. Similarly, much of the text, advertising signage, streetscapes are so familiar we can fail to focus/really see it, but it’s often reflective of our broader social ambitions, aspirations and edicts.”
French street artist and photographer Etienne Lavie‘s photography series, “OMG, Who Stole My Ads?” envisions the city of Paris without advertisements, replaced by stunning classical works. Lavie photographs the street scenes and paintings separately, and combines them later with digital editing. The result is a beautifully effective and realistic utopian city where people aren’t surrounded by images that encourage conspicuous consumption, but are instead living among masterpieces that decorate their chaotic urban world. (via huffington post)
Laurence Aëgerte‘s conceptual photography series, “Hermitage, The Modernists” depicts staged people and objects in front of classic paintings – by artists like Van Dongen, Kandinsky, Matisse, and Picasso – that were on view at the Hermitage Amsterdam during 2010. Aëgerte’s series complicates the expectation of the experience of iconic works by turning them into photographic palimpsests – the patterns, textures, and colors of the people and objects are juxtaposed against the paintings-as-backdrop that frame the foregrounded subject, elevating the layers of significance of the original painting.
Aëgerte says, “I wanted to investigate our individual relation to art and our perception of iconic artworks. The more the icon is alive in our mind—by means of reproductions and stories around it—the higher is the intensity of the expectation to be confronted with its reality. But what can we really experience of it? When our vision of a work of art is altered, it becomes a reversed mirror—anchored in our present time. By layering the images, I seek the in-between spaces and bits of time that occur in the process of looking.”