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.”
Croatian-Austrian design studio Numen/For Use has built a large string supported jungle gym that is described as a “prototype of a self supporting inhabitable social sculpture.” Known for their large-scale tape and netting installations, “String Prototype” represents the studio’s first “large geometric inflatable object” installation. Thin ropes are tied on opposite sides of the form’s volume, keeping them parallel. When the object is inflated, the ropes are pulled and tightened into a structure that can support multiple human bodies. “Bodies entrapped in 3D grid, flying in unnatural positions throughout superficial white space, resemble Dadaist collages. Impossibility of perception of scale and direction results in simultaneous feeling of immenseness and absence of space.” (via my modern met)
The project is currently installed in the Viennese countryside, where it is still in development.
Performance artist Millie Brown uses her body in an uncomfortable way in order to create bright splashes of color on canvas (and sometimes clothes and people). Brown mixes colors into soy milk before regurgitating the milk onto her preferred canvas, akin to the drip-color style of Jackson Pollock. The artist first began experimenting with this method in 2005, and has since performed this act in many places, including for Lady Gaga’s 2006 video, “Excorist Interlude.” Brown, a vegan, only performs this body-exhaustive piece once per month. She fasts for 2 days before each performance so that her stomach is empty and her regurgitations purely the color of the milk she’s ingested; she can drink anywhere from one pint to four liters of liquid depending on the type of performance. The result of her performances are works of bright colors that are not obviously the products of puking.
Responses to her work have varied, ranging from laughing to crying, declarations of love, and even death threats, but Brown maintains that art is supposed to inspire powerful emotions in people. “I have an inherent desire to push my own boundaries within my art… By creating art from the very depths of my own physical being I am able to challenge people’s perception of beauty, expressing raw elements of human nature and in turn challenging myself both physically and mentally.” (via daily mail)
Where I See Fashion is a blog created by Milan-based fashion design student Bianca, who pairs fashion photography with related images that correspond to the aesthetic found in the fashion image. The corresponding images depict anything from landscapes to architecture to fine and conceptual art. She began the project this past summer, inspired by the multitude of beautiful photographs found on Tumblr. Her juxtapositions illustrate the inspiration to be found in fashion and the world around us.
“Sometimes a fashion picture reminds me instantly of something and I go look for it, sometimes it’s a random picture that makes me think of an outfit or editorial. Occasionally it happens that by chance I see two pictures near each other on my dashboard or in a random blog that perfectly go together. Also I have A LOT of photos that I saved on my computer because I found them interesting, it’s like my personal archive and I use it a lot to make matches.” (via we the urban)
Adam Lister combines geometric abstraction, cubism, minimalism, pixelation, and popular culture to create his vibrant watercolor paintings. Through visual abstraction, Lister is able to render familiar images from film, television, and the art world, combining various nostalgic representations. In a collaboration with artist Isaac Budmen, Lister also creates 3D sculptures of these 8 bit paintings by using a 3D printer and sandstone that are available for sale.
Lister explains to The Washington Post, “Having grown up playing Atari and Nintendo video games, this broken-down, angular method of processing and displaying information became an interesting guideline for me to translate and selectively restructure some of the most famous paintings in the world.” (via neatorama)
French digital artist JC Debroize has created an unsettling font called “The Human Type” using modeling clay and digital effects. Debroize completed this project as the creative director for the graphic design studio Kerozen. After using modeling clay to render the shapes of the letters, Debroize took photos of both the letters and the faces of the 7 Kerozen team members. “Then I made a mapping of skin textures on the letters with Photoshop and added the hair and the eyes,” Debroize elaborates. “It was not a problem to show an unflattering image of us. We laughed a lot making this.” (via laughing squid)
Tony Matelli‘s realistic “Sleepwalker” sculpture has created a bit of controversy among students at Wellesley, where the sculpture was installed outside of the college’s Davis Musuem. For Lisa Fischman, the museum’s director, the sculpture addresses the boundary of what we expect from art inside a museum versus the outside. Junior Zoe Magdid, the student who initiated a petition to have the sculpture removed, disagrees. “We were really disappointed that she seemed to articulate that she was glad it was starting discussion, but didn’t respond to the fact that it’s making students on campus feel unsafe, which is not appropriate,” Magid said. “We really feel that if a piece of art makes students feel unsafe, that steps over a line.” More than 300 students have signed the petition so far.
While I can see how Wellesley students could find the sculpture threatening or triggering, I am curious how they would have reacted if Matelli’s female sleepwalker sculpture were installed instead. Most students would probably not feel as threatened by its presence, but that sort of perception would only perpetuate the idea that men alone embody a physical threat, though women are also capable of sexual abuse against others.
However you choose to perceive the sculpture, Matelli’s work provokes viewers and asks them to consider not only the absurdity of a “schlumpy” man sleepwalking campus in his underwear, but also how certain bodies and genders are perceived inside and outside the art gallery. Some of Matelli’s other sculpture work can also be perceived as creepy, but they all seem to address notions of boundaries and gravity, and the defiance of particular expectations. (via gawker)