What do you get when you combine underwater sea creatures with elegant and sophisticated lighting? You get the weird and whimsical octopus chandeliers of artist Adam Wallacavage. The Philadelphia based artist uses traditional ornamental plastering techniques to create working chandeliers in the shape of octopus and fantastical sea life. Each chandelier is created from a wide range of materials such as epoxy resin, iridescent powders, spray paint, and glitter. His inspiration and ideas come from a very eclectic range of sources such as flashy church decoration, tales of underwater adventure, and, not surprisingly, taxidermy. His absurd style is both gaudy and Victorian while still being absurdly fun.
Wallacavage’s childlike imagination turns a seemingly normal object into wonderfully gaudy and kitschy chandeliers full of shiny colors and tentacles. Each chandelier Wallacavage constructs is unique with their wide array of pastel, glittery colors and their endless ocean-life motifs. These include green seashells, purple tentacles, pink pearls, and even big, round eyes starring straight at you. Some of his chandeliers seem to be inspired by the pastel colors and ornate design of the Rococo period, while his other chandeliers have a louder palette with strange faces and eyes. His octopus creations create a surrealistic atmosphere as each sea monster is suspended from the ceiling, reaching out its tentacles, which happen to hold the chandelier lighting. After seeing Wallacavage’s highly imaginative and extravagant chandeliers, you realize how much chandeliers already looked like octopus! Not only can you find the artist’s octopus chandeliers in several New York City galleries, Wallacavage is also an accomplished photographer. He even has a book published on his photography titled Monster Sized Monsters available in many museum stores.
Art duo Grönlund-Nisunen (Tommi Grönlund and Petteri Nisunen) have been working together since 1993. Technology, sound and light are the base materials of their work. The artists examine issues such as space and physical phenomena. Their sophisticated installations often play with the physical laws of nature and explore sound and space in a modest, low-tech manner. Originally trained as architects, their examination of urban/social space and nature still makes up a large part of their work. In addition to numerous solo and group exhibitions, they have also completed major commissions in public spaces.
In their new piece titled Unstable Matter, several thousand steel balls have been placed on a 150 x 150 cm large metal surface, which subtly tilts from one side to the other. Depending on the inclination angle, the balls begin to roll to the lower edges, continually forming changing patterns. The natural sound of the steel balls rolling back and forth creates a zen like sound of waves moving in and out of the ocean, reminding us all that life can be calm at one moment and yet shift at any given moment. (via)
If you are lucky enough to be in Los Angeles you can catch their antics next month at “Legacy IIX”. The mysterious show opens April 3rd at Synchronicity Space and runs until May 1st. Your guess is as good as mine what might happen. Flyer for the show and other works after the cut.
In a series titled Volutes (Curls in English), French photographer Gilles Soudry captures the haunting images of smoke frozen in time. Set against a black backdrop, the jets and coils unfold hypnotically, creating eerie, translucent shapes that take the likeness of strange creatures: aliens, ghosts, deep-sea invertebrates, and parasites come to mind. The indistinct shapes allow the viewer to make his or her own interpretation of what the smoke has manifested. At once ephemeral and static, it’s like an otherworldly dance that transcends the logic of space and time, or as Soudry describes it, “an aerial choreography [. . .], outlining an imaginary figure which is freezing into crystalline transparency before it scatters” (Source).
Trained as a photoengraver, Soudry’s work is aimed towards the “photography of matter, surface effects, [and] transparency” (Source). He is interested in shifting outlines and fluid dynamics, combining the fixed nature of the image with figures of immateriality and transience. Volutes captures beauty, mysticism (and indeed, a dark sentience) where otherwise there would just be a thin haze. In this way, Soudry fosters an awareness and appreciation for the beauty and forms that occur on the periphery of materiality and awareness.
The house is a shape everyone has some form of relationship with. Whether it symbolizes comfort, global financial crises in housing market, cookie cutter mediocrity or family, the house as a mundane symbol or object has been elevated to captivating experimental art and high art on several occasions. This weekend we share with you a selection of significant works that adapt houses into art objects.
Urs Fischer‘s Untitled (Bread House), constructed of bread, bread crumbs, wood, polyurethane foam, silicone, acrylic paint, screws, tape and rugs leaves every ingredient exposed. Stepping inside this large sculptural work recently at MOCA had the effect of walking inside a decaying fairytale, as the work is naturally allowed to crumble and decompose in exhibition. Stepping over piles of crusts of cinnamon raisin bread amidst dirty rugs and peering up at the bubbled polyeurythane foam that seeps between boards and rows of old bread, the viewer may feel any combination of wonder, amusement and fear- much like Grimms Brothers Fairytales.
An Te Liu‘s Title Deed evolved from the Leona Drive Project in Toronto where a number of vacant tract houses were offered to artists to be reinvented as artistic installations. As this project took place in 2009 in the height of the housing market crash, the artist observed that the simple shape of the existing house represented the 20th century iconic Monopoly board game house pieces. The simple, yet flawless execution of Title Deed situated within a functioning suburban neighborhood carries comical yet heavy implications.
Here’s another brand new artist series Pillow for you to rest your head on. This time we’re featuring an Aya Kato graphic called Flowers taking inspiration from both Japanese Scroll painting and Art Nouveau. Find out more and see detail shots of Flowers as well as our other pillows on the B/D shop.
Not only was Brad Elterman always present at the right time and the right place, but he also has a story to tell about every moment he captured with his camera. From nearly getting beaten up by Robert Plant’s roadies for getting a shot of the singer in his briefs playing soccer, to the moment Joan Jett flicked him off and thus allowed him to get one of the most quintessential late 1970’s images of rock n’ roll. He’s still shooting like crazy and if you follow him on Tumblr, where he’s quite the sensation, you can check out all of his great photos of yesterday as well as today. Brad Elterman’s photographs will also be on display at Kana Manglapus Gallery in Venice Beach from June 28th – September 10th.
To be a visual artist is to also be a researcher. It is observing, questioning, and ultimately drawing conclusions that are reflected in a body of work. Not surprisingly, Alex Roulette begins new series with research. He gathers a large collection of source materials, including found images like vintage postcards. He photographs environments. They are all incorporated in his landscape paintings, which explore a place that is quasi-nostalgic for many of us – the suburbs. Roulette’s hazy, dream-like atmospheres allow us to draw upon our own memories and remember a time when things maybe weren’t so complicated.
Roulette’s paintings are of quiet moments. He’s depicted silent meetings, teenage hijinks, stormy nights, and more. They are meticulously detailed and his technique is reminiscent of Old Master paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries. While this type of rendering is not the most innovative approach to painting, Roulette’s obvious skill and talent for crafting a narrative make it hard to take your eyes off these paintings.
The longer you look, more details present themselves. You begin to question the intent of them, guiding your mind beyond what is painted. Where does the road in Crossroads (directly above) lead? What is down in that lake? Furthermore, what is inside the colorful structure in Backdrop (below)? We are supposed to ask these questions. Roulette wants us to find these images subtly uncanny. It’s not just in those strange details, but in our vantage point. He’s composed the compositions in a way that makes us the voyeur. We spy on a woman from a motel as she sits in a parking lot. Our view of swimmers is obstructed by plants, like we are seeing something shouldn’t be. It feels exciting and a bit strange.