About Nathaniel Smith

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Tokujin Yoshioka’s Prismatic Installation Created With 500 Light Reflecting Crystals

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Tokujin Yoshioka is one of the more famous contemporary artists today, even if his website’s bio modestly (or jokingly) claims His works, which transcend the boundaries of product design, architecture, and exhibition installation, are highly evaluated also as art.” His current career retrospective at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo is titled Tokujin Yoshioka_Crystallize, a play on both the artist’s tendency to utilize both light and crystals in his work, as well as the idea of the alternate definition of crystallizing, meaning to give form to.

The exhibition, which is Yoshioka’s largest solo show to date, consists of well-known and previously un-shown pieces, though certainly centers around the immersive sculptural installation, Rainbow Church (pictured above). The installation is forty feet tall and consists of 500 light-refracting crystal prisms which  project rainbow hues in the gallery space.

In a description of the piece for Fast Company, Margaret Rhodes describes the work, “The spare aesthetic doesn’t make it easily apparent, but Rainbow Church is influenced by an experience from his early 20s, when he visited Henri Matisse’s Rosaire Chapel in Vence, France. “I had a mysterious experience of being filled with overwhelming light and vibrant colors,” the artist says in a press release. “A dream to build architecture like this chapel came up to me strongly.” In a departure from the tangible materials he’s used in the past–foil for chairsfeathers for a snow-themed art installation–he’s building with light, the most ephemeral material of all.”

Other works also utilize the ethereal qualities of refraction, such as Ray of Light (below) also emits a rainbow glow, this time via a transparent crystal structure. The gallery walls are again activated by the light, as the gallery space is changed by the sculpture itself. (via designboom and fast company design)

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Michael DeLucia’s Incredibly Mechanical Geometric Drawings Are In Fact Hand Drawn

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Michael DeLucia draws with a scary talent for hand-rendering intense geometric grids and patterns. The Rochester born, Brooklyn-based artist (whose sculptures were previously featured here) creates drawings that reference shape, geometry and intersecting lines to create familiar and affecting moiré patterns. Utilizing carefully spaced lines, which intersect and diverge in different points, gives the work an almost meditative quality for the viewer, and more than likely for the artist during their creation. 

Perhaps unsurprising when considering the strength of depth and field in the drawings, DeLucia has received more attention for his sculptural work than the works on paper, though both quite obviously inform each other. Several sculptural works (Partial Sphere and projection for example) echo the same skill and detailed work as the drawings, and exist as both independent and linked artworks. (via butdoesitfloat)

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Alexandre Ciancio’s Nostalgic-Tinged Collages

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For a trained architect, Alexandre Ciancio has taken an unexpected step in what to negate with his collage work series, Walkabout. By removing buildings, objects and landscape from the majority of his works, Ciancio manipulates the image so that the people photographed become objects themselves, a new visual architecture based on space, place and environment.

The Walkabout collages keep the black and white photographic qualities of an often wholesome, idealized past, and replace negative space with a soft pastel pallete, reminiscent of the same era. Depth is simultaneously given a flat quality, while figures are given a new background and environment, of their own creation. Ciancio poetically describes the series

“A walkabout, ie a multitude of people gathered in one place can be characterized by a container (location) and content (the crowd). With this definition it is thus possible to establish rules of the game: design images where all the spatial data are erased in favour of flat colours highlighting the different crowds and their relationship to space.

This rule is applied with six old black and white photographs, the various inhabitants of the images are highlighted by the lack of spatial information and the bright colours used to give depth to the images while giving them a degree of internal consistency .

These images are assembled diptych opponent whenever a frontal pose to pose in perspective. This dualism invites us into the image space and observe each of their people, their expressions, their eyes…”  (via mutantspace and the jealous curator)

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Rosanna Jones’ Overpainted-Photoseries ‘Skins’

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The photoseries Skins by British photographer Rosanna Jones has all the necessary elements of alluring art; a distinctive and unique perspective, inventive technique and haunting imagery. Describing herself as a fashion and portraiture photographer, as well as a mixed media artist, Jones currently studies photography at Falmouth University in Cornwall, UK. Created as part of her Final Major Project, Jones began the series investigating how the face many of us present publicly ends up being the front which conceals our true nature from ourselves. This perspective is particularly poignant for a fashion photographer, who no doubt has seen firsthand an industry which is quite openly based on hiding and disguising imperfections. Says Jones, “…my theme was Concealment - looking at concealing ourselves until we’re no longer recognisable.”

Jones’ work was also inspired by another photographer known for obscuring the human form, Rik Garrett and his Symbiosis series. Garrett explains his artistic goal in the over-painted photos as “erasing the boundaries of the human body. By applying paint directly to the surface of photographs, I have actualized an impossible dream…” a process that when paralleled to Jones’ Skin series creates a unique bond between the two photoseries.

Jones is intentionally vague on the specifics of how the over-painted and (possibly) collaged images are created, which only adds more allure to the shrouded and obscured works. Says Jones, “A few people were confused when seeing them in real life about what they literally were – the more mystery the better I say – but they’re digital photo collages which are then overpainted”, giving each work both emotive beauty and metaphorical weight rarely seen in conventional fashion photography.

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Otoniel Borda Garzón’s Tornado-Like Wood Sculptures

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Otoniel Borda Garzón is known for his use of repurposed wood to create intricately twisted installations that dominate their gallery settings. The Bogota-born Garzón creates shapes which resemble naturally destructive environmental forms, those which upset life and cause death and destruction. The insinuations of hurricanes, tornadoes and twisters is amplified by the use of splintered wood, which recalls the damage after extreme weather conditions. However, his choice of using wood is important to these piece’s message. Just as the tree’s death gives humans and animals a material to work with, Garzón continues this cycle by using wood that has also ‘died’ or lost its purpose, creating a metaphor for the constant cycle of life and death and reinvention.

This series of installations, which the artist calls Reserva, involves site-specific construction and a reaction to each individual exhibition space. For the Bogota International Art Fair, Garzón built a 40 foot high tornado (pictured above and below). The installation, which took almost three weeks to build, with an additional week to disassemble, both reminds the viewer of the instabilities of destruction, but also the possibilities of life. (via colossal and behance)

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Seon Ghi Bahk’s Cascading Sculptures Created Out Of Charcoal

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There is something intrinsically fascinating about seeing the ordinary created in new, surprising ways. Artist have long used this technique to make their viewer contemplate new connections and possibilities, and the internet has proven to be a particularly useful tool in spreading this type of work. South Korean artist Seon Ghi Bahk is an expert at this method. Using charcoal and other natural materials en masse to form familiar objects, Bahk reminds of us the connection between man-made goods and their source.

Bahk’s precision is absolute, meticulously hanging large groups of charcoal at specific heights to collectively echo architectural and building elements, such as stairs, columns, shelves and planters. Using translucent nylon thread to hang individual pieces gives each installation a floating quality, further separating them from their everyday inspiration.

In an interview with the Korean Art Museum’s Korean Artist Project, Bahk explains how he came to use charcoal in his installation work. “I first used stones as materials for the installations…but the supporting structure and installation became unnecessarily large and overwhelmed the stones so I replaced the stones with charcoal. Since I spent my childhood out in nature, I wanted to embrace natural things in my work. I found that my favorite things in nature were wind, mountains and trees. But it was difficult to express wind or mountains in my work, so I chose trees as an alternative, and charcoal comes derives from that…now I seek natural encounters between man and culture…I emphasize the materiality in its poetic shapes.”

(via mymodernmet)

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Marcos Montané’s Incredibly Intricate Wire Sculptures That Reference Science

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Marcos Montané is a Buenos Aires-based Art Director who says he is “experimenting in the fields of procedural design, generative graphics and visual music.” His work is expressed in typography, visual design and audio-reactive visuals for VJ sets. Perhaps his most striking work is what he differentiates as some of his ‘still’ works, wire sculptures that recall natural, repeating readouts from a Richter scale, echoes, orbital fields or cellular biology.

In works like his Flowfields I & Flowfields II (above, and below – grouped and singular), Montané explains his inspiration and process “I was always amazed by the visualizations of flowfields that return some 3d softwares. In this case I used a topology optimization software and export the resulting lines to turn them into wire structures. The final result is a compact mass of wires.” The mass of wires takes on the appearance of sound waves solidified, equal parts organized yet chaotic(-looking).

Montané’s One-Piece Structures (below, with white backgrounds) are generated structures from a single piece of wire. Although simpler in their construction, the One-Piece Structures (which are named and numbered as Variations) equally complicated geometries, such as computer landscapes, GPS-tracking fields or sonar readouts.

You can follow Marcos Montané’s work at his Tumblr and Flickr accounts.

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Jim Hodges’ Chromatically-Mirrored Boulder Sculptures

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American artist Jim Hodges has always had an innate ability to impress ideas of time into commonplace objects, whether using napkins for drawings, silk flowers pinned to walls or collections of broken mirrors. In his work, Untitled (2011), metaphors for nature are again followed by human involvement, allowing for reflection from the smallest material interactions.

Comprised of four boulders which are capped with stainless steel veneers in gold, pink, lavender and blue, Untitled finds each stone arranged into a circular environment that directly invokes the viewer’s sense of space. Light and reflection play a role in the viewing, as colors meld and give the stones a surprising airy and weightless quality. Untitled’s colors were inspired by Hodges’ travels to India, where Hodges was enamored by the intense use of color, as he describes, “this layering, layering, layering of material, to the point where what’s being covered, its identity, seemed to start being erased by the accumulation of color.

Scale is equally important to Untitled, and speaks to themes of change and impermanence. The works are quite massive, with each boulder measuring close to six feet in height and collectively weighing almost 90,000 pounds. Collected in Massachusetts, before being brought to a fabricators in Upstate New York, the boulders were chosen specifically because they were carved and moved centuries ago by the glaciers which covered the North American continent. While the weightless quality is provided by the translucent hues, and the permanence of the heavy rocks is insinuated, Hodges deftly reminds us that nothing is immovable or permanent.

First displayed indoors at the Gladstone Gallery in New York City, the work was then moved to the Walker Art Center’s outdoor grounds to coincide with the Sculpture Garden’s anniversary, as well as an upcoming retrospective exhibition. Hodges retrospective, Give More Than You Take, is currently on view at the Dallas Museum of Art and extends through January  12th, 2014. The exhibition will then travel to join Untitled (2011) at the Walker Art Center. (via walker art center)

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