Jose Romussi creates colorful and elegant embroidery art by stitching thread into old photographs and magazine pages. Embroidering bright colors onto sepia-toned or black and white photography, Romussi designs a sharp contrast that is thoughtful and beautiful. His subjects are often women, the fashion advertisements and models ornamented with floral and other round patterns, the dancers with straighter lines reflecting the strength and precision of form of ballet. For the dancers and ballerinas, Romussi’s embroidered accents highlight movements and bodily forms of the figures. A photograph is of course an inadequate substitute for any live performance, but Romussi’s neatly-placed thread brings a bit more life to these static images. The result is a multi-textured design that becomes immediately more compelling than its previous version.
Romussi has a background in landscape design and didn’t begin experimenting with personal artwork until fairly recently. You can stay current with Romussi’s work by visiting his tumblr page. (via farewell kingdom)
Israeli artist Ronit Bigal transforms the body into a text. For her “Body Scripture II” series, Bigal uses digital photography overlaid with Biblical text (in Hebrew) and floral ornamentation drawn with black Indian ink to create these stunning images of body calligraphy. The body is exposed and abstracted, the text contouring bodily landscapes and capturing hidden textures and unspoken eroticism. Upon close inspection, the text on the bodies is hard to read. It’s small and intricate, but the overall effect creates a visually hypnotic pattern. Bigal places the text so thoughtfully around the curves of the body that it is hard to believe the text was not drawn directly onto the subjects. Her work also leaves me curious about which passages she placed on particular body parts, and if she was deliberate in the placement.
Her Saatchi profile explains that these images “…are almost abstract and enigmatic, arousing the viewer’s curiosity to discover what are the photographed objects, what meanings lies behind the texts; and whether there is a thematic affinity between them or, perhaps are the associations purely aesthetical?” (via my modern met)
These impressive digital sculptures were created by Melbourne-based graphic design student Casey Richardson. Richardson uses 3D software to illustrate installation scenes that could be mistaken for real-life sculptures. Richardson implements simple and oft-used sculptural subjects, but places them in new contexts. His images are bright and cheerfully colored, though the subject matter itself usually conveys the opposite.This creates an interesting juxtaposition of form and content within each scene’s composition. Most intriguing to me is the way Richardson has implemented wall color in each imagined installation. This has me wondering when I’ll start seeing more gallery walls painted as part of a sculptural installation, and how installation design and implementation will continue to be affected by advances in technology. (via art ruby)
French artist Geneviève Santerre‘s body of work is, well, about the body. Explicitly erotic, her work is shocking and provocative. It speaks to central concerns about women’s bodies and sexuality in general. From human-animal-creature genital hybrid sculptures to bronze cast vaginas to a pair of discharge-soaked underwear hand stitched with the words “shit happens” to a tangled and suspended speculum to a performance piece wherein she wears a Niqab adorned with silicon vaginal molds, Santerre is by no means subtle. Her work is direct and compelling, challenging the viewer with something powerfully resonant yet potentially disturbing. Santerre pushes boundaries, asking us to reflect on recontextualized sexual images.
Santerre explains in her statement, “Belonging to a generation that is supposedly open sexually, I wonder why this jubilation is considered taboo. Despite some improvements since the feminist movement in the 1960’s, contemporary society remains patriarchal and regards women as objects, while frowning upon sexually open women.
Finnish photographer Janne Parviainen‘s mesmerizing light painting photography is created manually, with no post-production alterations or enhancements. This type of photography is created using various light sources like colored strobes, flash lights, light toys, or tools specifically designed for light painting, and manipulated during periods of long exposure. While a photograph is being exposed, it can be used like a canvas with light as a tool for painting or drawing. Parviainen’s photographs are usually figurative and evoke a ghostly surreality that is beautifully startling. Parviainen uses Finnish urban landscapes as his canvas, exploring and transforming these landscapes into scenes with haunting apparitions.
Parviainen: “What interests me most in light painting is the ability to draw in three dimensional space and the possibility to alter the reality without post processing programs. I like to use in my photos different kind of figures such as skeletons and ghostly light creatures. By using these figures I can add more humane stories into my photos and alter the cultural learned feelings they cause in the viewer of the photo. I especially like to use the skeleton figure because of it’s strong pre-learned emotional concept and place it in totally different situations and emotional stages than in which it’s usually seen in popular culture. ”
Berlin-based artist Sebastian Bieniek‘s double-faced girl portraits are a little humorous, but they also provoke a more menacing or unsettling feeling. With an eye pencil and lipstick, Bieniek draws a face onto each side of the model’s face, using one real eye for each face. After her hair has been strategically placed around her face, Bieniek photographs this subject in the context of daily routines, thoughtfully using objects that appear in everyday environments. For this series as well as his other work, Bieniek enjoys creating a narrative that contains absurd elements and surprises viewers. Junk Culture notes, ”Bieniek first came up with the idea one morning while playing in the bathroom with his son. He explains, ‘Wet hair covered one of his eyes, soap covered his ear, he looked in the mirror and said, dad look my face moved!’” This creates a manufactured or mannequin like image, with a hint of humanity evoked with one eye.
Bieniek enjoys engaging and provoking responses from his viewers, something his Facebook page of 54,000 fans attests to. He notes, ”Art will be consumed differently, the market is constantly changing. Nearly every day, I make an artwork and post it on Facebook. You no longer have to see art in a gallery or see the original.” (via design boom)
Zim & Zou are a French design studio created by Thibault Zimmermann and Lucie Thomas. In addition to paper sculptures, they also explore graphic design, illustration, and installation work. Rather than use a computer, the duo prefer to use paper to design and sculpt many of their images before photographing them. From a series entitled “Back to Basics,” these brightly sculpted electronic devices represent 80s and 90s nostalgia and employ color schemes that remind me of the Nickelodeon shows I grew up watching. Each item is meticulously sculpted to real-life size and shape dimensions and includes thoughtful details that give the appearance of full functionality. The use of paper to recreate outdated technological objects also confronts the current modern tension between print and digital media.
The duo told Don’t Panic, ”…[A]t first sight it’s a tribute to vintage technologies which marked the technological evolution of the last years, and all the nostalgia of the memories that each have with them. By bringing those ‘dead’ objects back to life, we tried to highlight the very fast evolution of our everyday objects. The devices we use nowadays will, in a few years, be considered as relics too. We wanted to ask a question as well: where will this evolution lead us to?
What inspired us personally for this project are the original objects themselves. Every day we use some of those objects, such as the Polaroid camera and we often play Tetris on the original grey Gameboy.”
Their website has a gallery full of other paper sculpture designs, including paper birds, food, spaceships, and a Higgs Boson. You can watch a time-lapse video of their construction process here. (via unknown editors)
Kate Clements is artist whose primary focus is kiln-fired glass. These delicate icicly glass crowns are representative of many things: power, decadence, excess, and decorum, but the fragility of their forms undermine the seeming permanence of this status symbol. There’s something fanastical and menacing about these glass sculptures. The mythological associations one encounters upon regarding these crowns inspires a sense of wonder and magic, the consequences of which our old fairy tales can never seem to stop reminding us. Of her work, Clements says:
“I construct decorative, non-functional glass headdresses to initiate a new conversation about narcissistic female adornment. Throughout history the cultural construction of feminine identity has contributed to a persistent desire by women to transcend what nature has given them physically. I believe these gestures of transformation are made selfishly and with pleasure, in hopes to achieve a fantasy. The glass headdresses function as a separation between viewer and ‘wearer.’ This distance enables the ‘wearer’ to be transformed into the fantastical creature; however, this distance is only a counterfeit perfection.
I am interested in women’s attempts to fit popular cultural representation and how often this results in a suspension of their critical self-awareness. How women’s efforts to fulfill these representations can lead to feelings of guilt and the simultaneous assertion of individual power and the creation of a ‘feminine mystique.’ Finally I am interested in the adornments of the celebration of the ‘perfect’ woman. These celebrations can include beauty queens, exotic dancers, and ironically in it’s most extreme manifestation: the bride. ” (via my amp goes to 11)