Jason John paints extraordinarily detailed scenes of dramatic narratives. These stories touch on the ephemeral side of a serendipitous coincidence – that cold forbidden zone of the wandering brain. More after the jump!
There’s a new attraction in Mallorca, Spain just in time for the summer hoards to experience and emerge themselves in. Architecture duo who work under the moniker A2arquitectos have been specializing in designing luxury urban oases for a while now, and have done it again with their latest project. They have dreamed up an immersive, super-size kaleidoscope-inspired installation at the Hotel Castell De Hams on the holiday island. In what used to be a children’s playground, the team have built reflective tunnels reaching 29 feet long and 6.5 feet wide and unreal spaces that visitors can explore their way through.
Strange doorways and circle cutouts in walls open up to larger spaces decorated with colorful patterns and infinity mirrors that spoil your sense of perspective. Staircases disappear into patterned gaps that appear around corners. A larger room has been painted hot pink with white dots of varying sizes with desks for people to rest at. The outside environment is also utilized to feed into the space inside – light, movement and color are all manipulated to produce an Alice In Wonderland effect.
The architecture team of Juan Manzanares Suárez and Cristian Santandreu Utermark enjoy building, urban planning, interior design, furniture design, and renovation. They specialize in project related to the tourist sector and have undertaken a project at the Hotel in Mallorca in the past. They created a Smile Pool for guests to swim in and laugh at. Basically, a neon yellow smiley face, it stood out in it’s surroundings and grabbed everyone’s attention for the right reason – making sure everyone there knew it was time to relax and enjoy themselves.
Masters of relaxation – A2arquitectos are a team to keep watching what they will come up with next. They have an interesting collection of images from past projects and dream projects on Pinterest here. (Via Yatzer)
Laura Swanson’s “Splices” series mixes and matches various parts of two peoples faces to splice together the “perfect” face.
“Splices” recognizes an absurdity in comparing overt physical differences. I am fascinated with a contemporary phenomenon: overindulgent, politically correct driven behavior of pointing out obvious differences to avoid seeming ignorant or biased. Often, this ends up as condescending towards the person who is the “different” one. In “Splices”, it is apparent the eyes are not the subject’s, but what is it about a blunt splice that makes one so quick to notice or point out the obvious difference? Ultimately, I am interested in the idea that something can become too different to bear – to the degree where one cannot refrain from pointing it out. -Laura Swanson
Sara Angelucci’s intriguing series titled Aviary recalls the past to create strange portraits of birds that are superimposed onto anonymous nineteenth century cartes-de-visite (small, business card sized) photographs. It began by the artist studying the American Victoria area, and she connects its cultural, social, and ecological aspects conceptually to her work.
The nineteenth century was the United States’ colonial era when there was unprecedented expansion, exploration, and an interest in science and art. Family photo albums and commemorating memories were something new, as photography became increasingly common. The collection of cartes-de-visites were like trading cards, and the urge to collect didn’t stop there. People had cabinets of curiosities that included things like taxidermied birds, an interest that lead to the extinction of the passenger pigeon. Angelucci explains in a statement about the work, writing, “Made by combining photographs of endangered or extinct North American birds with anonymous nineteenth century cartes-de-visite portraits—they portray creatures about to become ghosts.”
She goes on to muse:
So how do we read these strange human-birdlike creatures? One could at once see them as manifestations of their time: a hybrid crossover of faith in science with a belief in otherworldly beings. As W. G. Sebald writes in Campo Santo, “[photography is] in essence, after all…nothing but a way of making ghostly apparitions materialize by means of a very dubious magical art.” And, what would it mean to embody another creature: Could one then see, feel, and understand its desire to live? Might we then imagine the Aviary portraits as chimera suspended in a state of empathy, and wonder what our treatment of other sentient beings might be if we could feel what they feel, or see what they see? (Via Observer: Design Observer)
Penny Byrne is a Melbourne-based artist who creates porcelain figurines laden with bold—and often grim—political messages. We featured her earlier work in 2013, which delved into slavery, the war in Iraq, and dolphin slaughter. Her more recent pieces follow along similar themes, unpacking violence through images of militarism and animal cruelty, while also focusing on more specific topics such as the Occupy Movement and the conflict in Syria.
What makes Byrne’s work both shocking and persuasive is the clash of a domestic medium with a charged topic. Wounded, disfigured, masked, or strangely ironic, the figurines embody narratives of pain, suffering, and hypocrisy that resonate with the viewer on uncomfortable and visceral levels. Porcelain dolls are usually treated as the coveted relics of a sensitive, “non-violent” culture, locked away in a glass case as objects of delicacy and curiosity. The fact that they are blooded, armed for war, or marked for plastic surgery creates an incongruity that subversively transforms the figurines’ object-status into social, political critiques.
Byrne’s exhibition list is impressive, including the The Fine Art Society in London and Fehily Contemporary in Melbourne. Her new work “Hurt Locker,” an armored figurine made of Murano glass and mild steel, is currently being shown at the Venice Biennale exhibition GLASSTRESS, which runs until November 22nd, 2015. (Via Sweet Station)
A beautifully shot short by Andresen M Studio that was created entirely from cut and animated book pages. Watch the full video after the jump.
Looking like a set of architecture models for a Gaudi building, Richard Sweeney‘s paper sculptures are organic, poetic, intricate, and mostly made without the aid of glue or tape. Taking his inspiration from the shapes and forms that occur in nature – like clouds, mounds of snow, he folds paper into beautiful geometric pieces. Not confined to working on a small scale, Sweeney also constructs wonderfully complex forms that hang from the ceiling to the floor.
He was recently part of a show called Above The Fold, and is a part of a group of talented modern day origami masters. Taking the ancient art of paper folding to a new level, Sweeney and his contemporaries are redefining the limits of what can be done with paper. Biological structures, and the essence of form and function are Sweeney’s inspirations. He talks to Design Museum more about what motivates and inspires him:
As I have mentioned, architecture is a great inspiration to me, but aside from the man-made, I am also inspired by natural forms. It is not so much the organic shapes, but the means by which they are generated that interests me. It makes great sense to borrow from elements from biological structures, as these forms demonstrate the pinnacle of material, structural and functional efficiency. (Source)
Like a true designer, Sweeney is giving the humble piece of paper new life and function. You can even attempt his paper folding technique at home by watching this short tutorial here. (Via Exhibition-ism)
Black Hole is a project by Stockholm-based artist, Orestes Grediaga. A feeling of “void” and “emptiness” had struck the artist almost instantly – a feeling he had yet to experience. That day, the artist was drawn to a large piece of paper, on which he drew a black hole. “When it was dry, it seemed to absorb all of me as I looked at it. Inside, there were no thoughts nor feelings, no memories, no physicality, nothing. It was like a black hole. At that moment a sense of abiding calm came over me from inside, from the very same place this enigmatic void was coming from.” – Orestes Grediaga