Lithuanian artist Severija Incirauskaite embroiders everyday metal objects like pans, spoons, watering cans, shovels, and even cars. Incirauskaite drills holes into the metal objects, then uses cotton thread that generally corresponds to the color of the chosen object, emphasizing the importance of the object. She generally uses mass patterns from different hobby magazines, combining popular craft techniques with nontraditional methods of execution. Of her work, she says, “Personally, I don’t like extraordinary situations – I like everyday life. People often think that a situation like a wedding or exotic travels etc are the most important in their lives. I think the opposite, I think that everyday life is more important because it unites all our lives.”
Ben DeHaan‘s “Uncured” series captures the decay of a printed photograph as a result of the removal of the UV light used to instantly dry the ink on the page and cure the image. These portraits appear as if they are melting and evoke a surreal aesthetic, creating a completely unique visual experience that questions the idea of simple replication. In this series, Dehaan also seeks to address the role of machinery and the physical environment in the response to forces that construct the image. (via)
Rosa Borreale is an Italian artist who graduated with a degree in Modern Literature. She’s worked as an actress and performer, but eventually decided to teach herself oil painting by copying the Old Masters. Her work is hyperrealistic and self-aware, depicting layers of thoughts and perceptions. Her paintings that feature street art and images as a background to human activity are her most compelling. These juxtapozed images highlight the contrast of real and virtual worlds. In most of them, she includes a small mouse pointer image of which she says, “The presence of the mouse pointer in the paintings symbolizes the illusion that a click would be enough to change the order of things.”
Stuart Haygarth constructs beautiful sculptures out of recycled and found materials. He typically finds large quantities of one object, like eyeglasses, plastic bottles, eyeglass arms, mirrors, or picture frames, and builds large chandeliers or other functional installation sculpture work. Some of his work that is composed of seemingly random objects has been arranged to highlight the myriad of colors and forms that encompass his sculptures. Haygarth’s ability to recontextualize the mundane into the magical is uncanny. In an interview with Design Museum he says, ”I think there is a certain ‘power’ in a collection of specific objects. A large grouping of a carefully chosen object – be it by colour or form – gives the object new meaning and significance.”
Paul McCarthy creates provocatively whimsical sculptures. Perhaps his most recently well-known sculpture is Balloon Dog, literally a giant inflatable red balloon animal. His other work seeks to assault the viewer’s senses in a variety of ways, either with sexual or violent imagery. McCarthy combines elements from pop culture and images rife with symbolism into erotic or abject displays that are at once captivating and, at times, charming. McCarthy also conflates elements of high and low culture, creating an aesthetic that seeks to challenge fundamental beliefs. His most recent work, WS, is an 8800 square foot installation depicting Snow White’s tale in typical McCarthyesque abject fashion, and on view at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City until August 4th. You can also read more about McCarthy and this work in this New York Times article, published in May.
A chemist by trade, Jon Smith‘s high speed photography captures exploding light bulbs. He first fills the bulbs with various textural elements, such as feathers, sand, candy, dust, and paint. He then sometimes dips the light bulbs into paint before shooting them with a pellet gun and capturing the results. Smith’s method creates photographs that are rich in texture, color, and movement. Back in March, Smith told Flickr “People see and use light bulbs every day. They’re something we don’t pay attention to…by shooting them, having them explode and filling them with different materials creates an interesting juxtaposition that I’m really drawn to.” Known on Flickr as WideEyedIlluminations, you can read more about Smith’s light bulb photography over at Flickr’s blog where he is also featured in a video discussing how photography saved his life.
“It’s Hardly Noticeable explores the world of a character who navigates living with an unspecified anxiety-based mental illness. He negotiates situations constructed to highlight the impacts and implications of his differences on his thoughts and behaviors, and by doing so raises question of normalcy. Through constructed tableaus and metaphorical still lifes, the series reveals the relationship between reality and perception, and highlights issues of pathology while questioning stereotypes of normalcy.
In 2009 economist Bill Gross used the term New Normal to define the American economic landscape of the very recent past. In ensuing years, the term resonated with culture at large and became an umbrella term for changes in cultural and societal practices, identifying a shift in held notions of what is commonly viewed as acceptable.
These images question the legitimacy of applying the term normal in a societal context by prompting a reconsideration of what, if anything, is normal, or at least what is perceived and labeled as such. Is it possible for a society to have a commonly held idea of what is normal, when few individuals in that society actually meet the criteria for normalcy?” – John William Keedy‘s artist statement for this series.
Carsten Höller’s work intends “to trigger the organic responses that underpin the structure of learned behavior, to unbalance the rational mind…Using his training as a scientist in his work as an artist, Höller’s primary concerns relate to the nature of human perception and self-exploration. He has undertaken many projects that invite viewer participation and interaction while questioning human behavior, perception, and logic. His “laboratory of doubt,” embodied in objects ranging from carousels and slippery slides to upside-down goggles, often contains playful, hallucinatory or darkly humorous overtones in order to provoke experience and reflection.” – from Gagosian Gallery. Read more about Höller’s work and his 2011 exhibition at the New Museum here.