By way of the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center in Maryland comes a series of snow crystal photographs taken by a Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscope. The results are a stunning indication of the intricacies of natural forms sculpted by nature. The images resemble geometric columns and detailed shards that could have been created out of clay or concrete by a master sculptor. “Samples of snow, ice and associated life forms are collected by dislodging the crystals or biota from the face of a snow pit or the surface of the snow onto copper metal sample plates containing precooled methyl cellulose solution. Within fractions of a second these plates are plunged into a reservoir of liquid nitrogen which rapidly cools them to -196°C and attaches these pre-frozen materials to the plates. Due to the low surface tension of liquid nitrogen and the extreme hardness of materials cooled to these temperatures, very fragile samples can be shipped by aircraft, in dry shipping dewars from study sites throughout the US.”(via)
Ernie Button lives and works in Phoenix, AZ. He has an ongoing project entitled Vanishing Spirits in which macro photographs are taken of evaporated single-malt Scotch whiskey. What remains resembles intergalactic microcosms and psychedelic landscapes. In his own words: “The idea for this project occurred while putting a used Scotch glass into the dishwasher. I noted a film on the bottom of a glass and when I inspected closer, I noted these fine, lacey lines filling the bottom. What I found through some experimentation is that these patterns and images that you see can be created with the small amount of Single-Malt Scotch left in a glass after most of it has been consumed. The alcohol dries and leaves the sediment in various patterns. It’s a little like snowflakes in that every time the Scotch dries, the glass yields different patterns and results. I have used different color lights to add ‘life’ to the bottom of the glass, creating the illusion of landscape, terrestrial or extraterrestrial.” (via)
Pavel Maria Smejkal lives and works in Slovakia. From 2009 to 2011 he created a series entitled Fatescapes in which the main subjects are removed from famous photographs and iconic images. What remains is the often eerie landscape in which the event unfolded. From Raising The Flag on Iwo Jima to Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston, these strange images are inherently important and memorable even though the central focus has shifted. In his own words: “In Fatescapes, I remove (using a classic tool of digital work today Adobe Photoshop) the central motifs from historical documentary photographs and the main subject of these motifs, human bodies. I use images that have become our cultural heritage, constitute the memory of nations, serve as symbols or tools of propaganda, and exemplify a specific approach to photography as a document of the historical moment. I explore their purpose and function, and I ask about the future of this magic medium, and about human existence. Aware that their authenticity is not unquestionable, I return to these key images after they have been reinterpreted numerous times from various perspectives, and by manipulating their content I explore their purpose, function, and future.” (via)
Daniel Rozin lives and works in New York City. From his bio: “As an interactive artist Rozin creates installations and sculptures that have the unique ability to change and respond to the presence and point of view of the viewer. In many cases the viewer becomes the contents of the piece and in others the viewer is invited to take an active role in the creation of the piece. Even though computers are often used in Rozin’s work, they are seldom visible. Many of his pieces have video cameras, motors and computers on board and produce a soothing sound as the viewer interacts with them.” (via)
Evan Nesbit lives and works in Nevada City, CA. He has just opened his first solo exhibition with Ever Gold San Francisco entitled Light Farming / Heavy Gardening. From the press release: “A recent graduate of the Yale MFA program, Nesbit’s recent body of work includes mixed media paintings, perceptual objects, sculpture and interactive “space blankets”. Through exploration of painterly materials, visual process and participation from the public, this new body of work will explore the imbrication of patterns and experience that structures ones vision, suspended in doubt, sometimes cured in paint. Through the use of constructed “space blankets”, Nesbit challenges the viewer to interact with this exploration by taking refuge beneath their comfort, only to be immersed in the stereoscopic images produced by pin hole camera effects.” The exhibition is on view through April 26th.
Justin Krietemeyer lives and works in Southern California. His often tie-dyed iconography always emits unbridled glee. Color drenched acid house smiley faces, peace signs, and uplifting text are common in his mixed media pieces. His work has been described as: “…a recontextualization of mid-’90s rave, surf, and street culture presented as paintings, drawings, and mixed media pictures.” The artist himself acknowledges the optimism inherent in his work stating: “It’s important to remember to have fun, I want the experience of standing in the gallery to be so strikingly bright and positive that our guests can’t help but talk about good times and leave with a positive charge.”
Noah Scalin lives and works in Richmond Virginia. His work consists of various skulls created from mundane objects such as wine corks, bed sheets, and tea bags to name a few. His daily creations culminated in the Skull-A-Day art project and blog in which Noah created and photographed one skull a day for a year. His latest skull creation is entitled “Dead Media”. Made from 497 VHS videocassettes, the installation comments on materials that were once considered cutting edge. Scalin’s clever variations on the skull remind us of fragility while inspiring us to see mundane objects as opportunities to playfully manipulate.
Toni Spyra lives and works in Vienna, Austria. He creates alarming sculptures made out of mundane objects. From a canister of pepper spray with a perfume applicator attached, to a clothes hanger with a saw blade; these threatening works immediately announce their inherent danger and allow the viewer to reflect on safety and self protection in our culture.