No matter the type of installation Guiseppe Licari creates, he seeks to encourage direct public engagement in one way or another. For some of his work, he brings natural elements into the gallery space, while other work takes the form of public art. Obviously, most of Licari’s installations should be experienced firsthand, like his ongoing community dinner project Spaghetti Forever, an interactive swing-set Serial Swing, a mobile Illegal Busstop, or his education horticulture workshop, Hortus Publicus. Licari’s work is concerned with creating spaces of engagement that reference nature and the built environment. He lives and works in Rotterdam.
Filmmaker Dave Altizer’s short mini-documentary Porcelainia features Bobby Jaber, an educator, scientist, and artist. After Jaber retired from teaching chemistry, he was able to focus his energies on porcelain work, specifically geometric designs based on molecular shapes. Jaber’s approach to his work is inspired by his scientist/artist predecessors, most notably Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome. Though he’s had a little financial success with some of his work, Jaber is clearly motivated by love and dedication to his craft. Be sure to stick around after the credits to catch Jaber’s priceless reaction to current technology.
Los Carpinteros is an art collective founded in 1991 in Havana, Cuba. They create small and large scale installations that reflect perversions of common, everyday objects. These objects are bent, twisted, de- and re-formed, creating abstract work with recontextualized boundaries. The artists deconstruct these simple forms in order to complicate our experience of them. Stable forms become chaotic, erratic, and fragmented through Los Carpinteros’ manipulation of them, ultimately representing a subversion of structure that transcends the domestic or personal.
Swedish artist Johan Andersson creates hyperrealistic oil paintings that depict subjects who are socially vulnerable, be it politically, economically, or physically. These subjects are often largely dismissed or ignored, rendered almost invisible by mainstream society and culture. Andersson’s portraits capture the beauty and strength borne from this vulnerability, asking the viewer to question representations and relationships of identity across a spectrum of marginalization. Andersson currently lives in Los Angeles.
For Translated Vase, Korean artist Yeesookyung assembles broken and discarded pieces of ceramics into new and contemporary work. According to Yeesookyung, about 70% of ceramic work does not reach the perfectionist standards of many ceramic professionals and masters. From this ceramic trash, she puts these broken pieces together as if she’s assembling a jigsaw puzzle, finding pieces that seem to connect from disparate shards, then covering the seams with 24 carat gold leaf. “While the use of gold lacquer is seemingly related to Japanese traditions of mending ceramics known as kintsugi 金継ぎ for Yeesookyung her choice of gold is based on the Korean homophone of “gold” (geum) and “crack” (geum). She observes, ‘I wanted to add a sense of humor to my work by filling geums (cracks), which are considered as defects, with a valuable material, such as real geum (gold).’” (via)
Torafu Architects has installed an interactive haunted playhouse in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. Paintings move, portrait eyes dart back and forth, and children climb through picture frames installed at the museum. A secret passageway exists within the installation, allowing children to interact with nearly all of the featured art, most of them re-creations of classic works. Museums and galleries are usually places reserved for more serious contemplative reflection, discouraging touching and interaction of any kind. Torafu Architects has transformed this perception, creating a space that encourages engagement and creativity. Be sure to check out our previous post about Torafu’s kid-friendly designer information kiosk here.
Food art. It’s everywhere. Yesterday I posted Emily Blincoe’s mouthwatering candy arrangements and today I’m posting these, well, not-so-mouthwatering photographs of fast food. Jon Feinstein’s Fast Food series is meant to expose the viewer to the repulsive aesthetics of the processed and chemicalized food marketed to us with an opposite aesthetic. Feinstein creates these images by taking still-warm fast food and placing them on a scanner, creating a stark black background and giving rise to a bit of condensation from some of the food. Each photograph is named for the amount of fat grams in each food, giving the series a scientific method of organizing and labeling them. After years of creating these images, Feinstein still craves fast food every now and again, a paradox that is not uncommon among his viewers.“I remember at the opening many gallery-goers responding that while their initial reaction was to be repulsed, something about the images also made them hungry.” (via)
Photographer Emily Blincoe has created a bright, fun, and mouth-watering photo series using a candy color palette. Blincoe’s series features candy grouped by color and meticulously arranged using a background that matches the featured candy’s color. This series provokes a number of sensory experiences related to color and how we perceive the taste, smell, and texture of a candy because of its color. These photographs also bring us back to childhood’s first encounters with the arrangement of candy in sweet shops, and the allure found in shiny unwrapped packages. Some of Blincoe’s other photography also features various neatly-arranged groups of objects. She currently lives in Austin, Texas.