Phil Hansen Overcomes Career-Ending Injury To Make Amazing Work

Phil_Hansen

Daudi, graphite on cups.  Work made for under $1

Daudi, graphite on cups. Work made for under $1

During his time in art school Phil Hansen developed a shake in his hand.  Interested in pointillism, a technique that involves many many small dots to make up an image, Hansen’s intense attention to detail exacerbated the only made the shake worse.  The problem led him to abandon art for some time.  But missing his calling, Hansen decided to seek an expert’s advice.  A neurologist told him he had permanent nerve damage and would never fully recover.  Deciding to “embrace the shake,” Hansen returned to art using a different approach.  Hansen realized that, “we have to first be limited, to become limitless.”  A creative through and through, Hansen developed projects whereby he would give himself a “limit,” and then figure out how to overcome it.  Deciding to make a work within certain parameters, Hansen came up with ideas such as creating a work of art for under $1, or a work made up of “karate chops,” or work made out of impermanent materials.  Challenging himself and the limits (non-limits) of his creativity, Hansen enjoys the process and channels his ideas into these various projects.

Inspiring by deciding to be inspired by his restrictions, Hansen landed a TED talk (see above).  His current project is a unique collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation.  Hansen is creating art out of individual stories of philanthropy.  You can still submit a story, or read others here.

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Max Lamb’s Artistic Process Involves Pouring Molten Pewter Into Sand . You Won’t Believe What Happens Next

max lamb

max lamb

An excavation artist, if there ever was such a thing, Max Lamb creates beautiful works of art and furniture using Mother Nature as one of his tools.  On a beach in Cornwall, England, Lamb uses primitive sand casting techniques to make his pieces. One of the earliest forms of casting, sand casting requires low-tech materials and systems.  Attracted to this method, Lamb employed this simple technique to create the pewter stool depicted in the video.  His knowledge of techniques, materials and his skill allow Lamb to explore method and medium in a unique way.  There is a sense of adventure to Lamb’s work, which makes his process as interesting as the final product itself.  His practice consists of an artistic honesty and respect for process that induces excitement and surprise.  Watching Lamb excavate his pewter creation from the sand evokes a sense of wonder and an awareness of magic.

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Roger Minick’s “Sightseers” Photos From The 1970s Take You Back In Time

sightseers

sightseers

sightseers

Roger Minick

 

While teaching at the Ansel Adams Workshops in Yosemite National Park in the 1970s Roger Minick began photographing sightseers.  Interested in this American activity Minick wanted to capture the “cacophony of clicking shutters” and waves of tourists seeking photographic proof that they had made it to a famous vista.

Minick’s photographs portray unique narratives of what is mainly America’s middle-class.  Poignant and humorous all at once, the images show varied individuals with intriguing and sometimes seemingly strange stories.  What is interesting is that, so far as a viewer can tell, all the subjects have only one thing in common: their desire to be in famous places in nature.  Sometimes stereotyped Minick’s images successfully portray the American tourist as being wholly distinct.

Moreover, set against iconic backdrops the images become more than just portraits.  They demonstrate a juxtaposition of nature and culture.  As David Pagel wrote in the LA Times in 1997, “these supple works use the discomfort most people feel when confronted by nature’s inhuman scale as a metaphor for the precariousness of culture in a democratic society. Awkward and uncertain, sometimes fun and at other times frightening, this quiet anxiety is a big part of these pictures’ power.”

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Four Fashion Designers / Illustrators Who Create Captivating Sketches

Langley Fox

Langley Fox

Ines Katamso

Ines Katamso

Katie Gallagher

Katie Gallagher

Laura Laine

Laura Laine

Walking the line between fashion illustration and fine art these fashion designers are capable of creating beautiful drawings.  Whimsical and fanciful, each artist is able to transfer images from imagination to paper in a way that is unique and dramatic.

Langley Fox’s beautiful graphite drawings are surreal and poetic.  Sometimes purely beautiful and sometimes borderline bizarre Fox captures her subjects, often times figments of her imagination, with impressive precision and detail.

Intrigued by ancient Greek mythology, particularly the legend of the Moirai, Inès Katamso’s illustrations are enchanting and narrative.  In the legend, the Moirai, or Fates, were white-robed incarnations of destiny.  Clotho (spinner), Lachesis (allotter) and Atropos (unturnable), controlled the metaphorical thread of life for every mortal from birth to death.  Katamso became interested in the idea of the “thread of life” and the line itself.  Her beautiful illustrations capture this interest in the line, gracefully weaving lines together to create amazing compositions.

New York designer Katie Gallagher’s sketches are moody, dark and evocative.  Telling a story that is at once about fashion and something else—something more serious and haunting—they transcend mere fashion sketches and become fantastical stories.

Helsinki-based illustrator Laura Laine’s characters are serious, sometimes frightening, but ultimately incredible.  Each has a distinct personality that exudes attitude.  Her quasi gothic, certainly poignant images are intriguing and lovely.

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Yrjo Edelmann’s Amazingly Realistic Paintings Of packages

Yrjo Edelmann

Yrjo Edelmann

Yrjo Edelmann

Yrjo_Edelmann7

I realize that Christmas is officially over, but to maintain that holiday spirit for as long as possible I wanted to write about Yrjo Edelmann.  Hailing from Sweden, Edelmann worked as a comic strip illustrator for many years until he started to paint.  His “parcels” became his signature and caught my eye as exceptional trompe-l’ oeil images.  At first I thought they were just giant, poorly wrapped presents, but upon closer inspection I learned that they are in fact impressively intricate oil paintings.

Occupying a space between illusion and hyper-realism Edelmann’s paintings pull from the influences of surrealists such as Rene Magritte, Giorgio de Chirico and Marcel Duchamp.  Capturing every wrinkle and tear in the paper Edelmann’s paintings  float a few inches off the wall, furthering the confusion about their dimension.  A viewer might wonder what’s inside these rather poorly wrapped packages, endowing Edelmann’s paintings with a sense of both mystery and humor.

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Sarah Schoenfeld Captures The Results Of Exposing Drugs To Film Negatives

Pharmaceutical Speed

Pharmaceutical Speed

Adrenaline

Adrenaline

LSD

LSD

Fantasy + Ecstasy

Fantasy + Ecstasy

Mostly considered for the way they might make you feel, it is less common to consider what a drug might look like.  Artist Sarah Schoenfeld had this thought while working at a Berlin nightclub.  She converted her photography studio into a laboratory and exposed legal and illegal liquid drug mixtures to film negatives.  She then created large prints from the resulting chemical reactions.  The body of work, titled All You Can Feel, consists of bizarre images of heroin, cocaine, MDMA and other drugs.  The work is meant to explore the relationship between alchemy, pharmacy and psychology, but also emerges as a visually interesting and sophisticated photography series.

The images appear as visual incarnations of the physical effects of the drugs they depict—they evoke bizarre altered states that feel both alluring, otherworldly and dangerous.

All You Can Feel is now available as a book through Kerber Press.  The works also appeared in a group show titled, It Is Only A State of Mind at Heidelberger Kunstverein in Heidelberg through February 2, 2014.  (via Colossal) (via It’s Nice That)

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Walter Niedemayr And Four Other Artists Who Create Artwork Inspired By Winter

Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz, Traveler

Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz, Traveler

Mark Thompson, In My Time of Need

Mark Thompson, In My Time of Need

Walter Niedermayr

Walter Niedermayr

Kim Dorland, Untitled

Kim Dorland, Untitled

There is a special feeling associated with winter, evoked by the likes of The Polar Express, time with friends and family, and adventures in snow-covered nature.  The below artists have all created work that, for me at least, brings to mind that magical winter spirit.

Italian artist Walter Niedemayr’s photographs are winter scenes presenting images of startling beauty.  Upon further study, his works invite contemplation about man’s evolving relationship to the environment.

Though his work is largely about nature and human’s relationship to it, Toronto-based artist Kim Dorland’s phantasmagoric woodland-scapes often have a spiritual feeling about them.  With the right amount of imagination, they evoke the sense of silence and feeling of peace a wintery landscape can inspire.

The miniature worlds created by Walter Martin and his partner, Paloma Muñoz, are surreal little stories encapsulated in a photograph or a snow globe.  Some of the works have a darker feeling to them, possessing a strangeness that inspires a sense of winter wonder—the idea for the work seemingly coming from a bizarre Christmas fairy tale.

Based on memories, Mark Thompson’s paintings are snapshots of times and spaces that became rooted in his mind.   First making a viewer feel an icy chill while imagining herself transplanted into Thompson’s paintings, we then might imagine it being the view while looking out from a cozy cabin, a fire blazing.

Each of these artists carefully constructs a narrative, evoking feelings associated with winter and all its beauty, danger, mystery and magic.

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Anne Lindberg And Four Other Artists Who Transform Ordinary Thread Into Breathtaking Works Of Art

Anne Lindberg

Anne Lindberg

Sébastien Preschoux

Sébastien Preschoux

Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe

Serie

Serie

Anne Lindberg is interested in creating work that resonates with non-verbal primal human conditions.  Seeking to make work that is subtle, rhythmic, abstract and immersive Lindberg finds beauty in creating disturbances by layering materials to create varying tones, densities and pathways.

The architecture and design practice, Serie, created an amazing installation for the Maximum India Festival on the ceiling of the Monsoon Club at the Kennedy Center in DC in 2011.  Incorporating over one million threads the piece is a 3D carpet that was inspired by the traditional flat woven rugs in India (Dhurries).

Gabriel Dawe’s breath-taking, mind-bending large-scale installations are made out of nothing but thread.  The works are created using sets of string that can be up to 50 miles long.  They play with space, dimension and perception.

Brian Wills is also interested in perception and rhythm and the way the brain processes pattern.  His hand-made works are created by individually winding threads around board, or other material.  Creating dynamic surfaces his works are engaging and beautiful.

French artist Sebastien Preschoux makes thread installations in sections of the forest.  Capturing the installations for posterity via photography the results are stunning.  We imagine the works sitting quietly in the forest, as if created by a spider from another world, delicately vibrant against the natural backdrop waiting to be discovered.

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