Cecelia Webber‘s collage work features tessellated figures and limbs of the human body arranged to form images of plants and animals. Webber photographs nude models – including herself – in various poses before she digitally edits the images, cutting and coloring them to form particular parts of the new image. The final product features different bodies and body parts posed in the same positions. Many of the pieces take months to finish, but the longest image – the rose – took her a year to complete because of how tricky the angles were to capture and arrange. Webber creates an image with such a high resolution that they can be printed up to 6 feet tall, a size that would make the tessellated bodies even more pronounced and captivating.
“Each image takes many stages to create. I start by researching photos of the creature or plant I’m trying to create and then sketch poses I want to photograph in a notebook…I never warp my models or edit them to change them – it is important to me to portray real natural bodies. Once I have my photos I start laying out my piece and playing with colour and arrangements…Many drastic transformations take place during this stage, so it’s sort of magical, because so many different variations are possible. I feel many possibilities at once but the true form of my subject slowly emerges.” (via daily mail)
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata has been creating beautiful light art while aboard the International Space Station. Using long exposure photography and a spiral top equipped with LED lights designed by light artist Takuro Osaka, Wakata produces light paintings in an atmosphere of zero gravity. In 2009, Wakata flew as a crew member of the ISS where he first experimented with the Osaka’s spiral top (also pictured here). In 2011, Wakata was assigned as a Flight Engineer for ISS Expedition 38 and the Commander of Expedition 39. Wakata is the first Japanese astronaut to command the ISS. You can check out more of Wakata’s incredible space photos on his Twitter feed. (via i09)
Texas-based artist Adrian Esparza uses nails and the thread from Mexican sarape blankets to weave colorful geometric patterns. Growing up in El Paso, Esparza encountered these blankets on a daily basis. Using his background as a painter, Esparza observed that the blankets contained painterly qualities that he sought to deconstruct. The result is an unraveling of a Mexican cultural symbol into a new form, a multi-dimensional landscape of color and shape. Esparza’s deconstruction and transformation of this cultural symbol reflects the displacement of identity that many Mexican-Americans experience as a result of migration. The wall pieces Esparza constructs from the serapes, though completely transformed, recall macrame and other handcrafts from the artist’s culture. Through his work, Esparza reinvents the ordinary and asks the viewer to embrace the potential for creative transformation that can be found in the familiar and the mundane.
Katarzyna Majak‘s “Women of Power” photography series captures the faces and dress of earth-worshipping Polish women who are powerful among their particular spiritual sectors. The vast majority of Poland’s people (90%) are practicing Catholics. When Christianity was introduced to Poland a few centuries ago, it erased most traces of paganism, witchcraft, and shamanic traditions. The women Majak photographs – ranging in age from their 30′s to their 80′s – represent the very small minority of Polish women who practice alternative spirituality. For many of these women, this series depicts their first public display of power. They “practice a wide range of spiritual paths and spiritual systems. A few are traditional healers (so called ‘whisperers’ who mix religion with primeval superstitions to heal and remove spells using prayers) whose traditions survived on the Belarusian border. Some are women who had grandmothers who could ‘see’ or were herbal healers and who are working to revive what would otherwise be dead traditions.”
Hikaru Cho‘s method of painting could best be described as a physical and unconventional type of doodling. Cho primarily uses acrylic paints on bodies or food to create believably 3D surrealistic effects, and even transfers this skill to stop-motion film and other video work. Her work alters our perspective of seemingly stable universal concepts, creating new forms that demand our engagement using only the special effects rendered through paint.
Jamie McCartney is a multi-disciplinary artist who specializes in sculpture. For “The Great Wall of Vagina,” McCartney casted the vaginas of 400 women, ranging in age from 18-76 years. Casts of mothers, daughters, twins, trans men and women, pre- and post-natal women, and a woman’s pre- and post-labiaplasty are all featured in this large piece. “In creating this work, I set out to alleviate the needless anxiety that is driving so many women to contemplate cosmetic genital surgery.” “The Great Wall of Vagina” book is for sale and features testimonies of over 100 women who took part in the piece. The piece even has an entire site dedicated to it, featuring images and videos and other information about the project.
For “The Spice of Life,” McCartney casted the genitals of flaccid and erect penises, vulvas with closed and open legs,and breasts of a variety of people. “4×4″ depicts a panel of 16 erect penises. McCartney claims that many people have engaged with his work in positive ways, noting the variety and lack of “normality” across the spectrum of featured genitals. People often use pornography to gauge normalcy of their genitals, even though these representations are skewed or exaggerated.
McCartney’s pieces, “Old Glory” and “O Limp Pricks,” feature casts of the tip of the artist’s penis. For ”Internal Affairs,” McCartney casted the inside of vaginas, transforming the vagina into an external, almost phallic organ.
In all of these pieces, McCartney seeks to satisfy our curiosity and asks us to engage with the relationship we have with our own bodies.
What happens when molten aluminium is poured into an anthill, allowed to dry, then excavated and cleaned off? Anthill Art – an anonymous American artist – creates intricate metallic sculptures by doing just that. These forms reveal the depth and styles of various ant species’ hills, mainly from the beds of pesky fire ants. The complex and beautiful systems of these ant beds are revealed through this process, but has created a bit of controversy. People concerned with this method of sculpture work have commented on Anthill Art’s Facebook page, where the artist has responded generally to these concerns.
“I regret every day calling it anthillart. To be honest it was a short memorable name and I went with it. I’m not really a fan of art and would never refer to myself as an artist, I guess I considered the ants to be the artists (and architects). If someone created these themselves and called it art I would call it modern art crap. That the ants created it makes me love it.
I first started doing this just out of pure interest (always having been interested in biology and science). A few of my teacher friends took them to school and camp, the kids loved it and it really seemed to get them interested in science. So, I decided to start the site and try to sell a few.
The fire ant colonies are not abandoned. The justification being that there are so many of them and I need to kill them anyway, with kids and pets around. Plus they’re an invasive species in this area and wreak havoc. Some states have eradication programs. The other ants (usually carpenter ants), I try to find abandoned nests but it doesn’t always work out. Either way, I do it sparingly and the property is still over run with them.”
Jan Huling‘s beaded sculptures are inspired by a continuous fascination with indigenous and popular cultures, as well as world religions and mythologies. Her meticulous work combines found objects with surface design, recontexualizing recognizable objects by adorning them with colorful patterns and infusing them with wonder and whimsy.
“Certain themes continue to resonate for me. The dolls I frequently include in my constructions explore dreams of childhood while removing them from the realm of cherished playthings.” Ultimately, Huling’s work seeks to “transform the mundane and allow us to imagine the magic within the familiar.”