Interdisciplinary artist and illustrator Lilli Carré‘s “Moving Drawings” are simple and abstract and capture, in looped form, the surreal whimsicality to be found in her comic illustrations and animations. Based in Chicago, Carré has created several comic books and is a co-founder – along with her animator husband, Alexander Stewart – of the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation. Carré’s animations are playful, evocative of childhood, and deal with themes of mundanity and transformation. Aware of the way animated gifs command attention and provoke feelings of delight and curiosity, of her gifs, Carré says, “They help me get little images in my head — like a woman incessantly eating flowers — out of my mind and into moving forms. They don’t have to be part of bigger projects; they can just exist on their own and live forever on the Internet. They’re like little breaths of fresh air.” You can find a collection of Carré’s animated films over on Vimeo. (via juxtapoz)
Photographer Thomas Jackson captures every day objects traveling in packs. His series Emergent Behavior features plastic cups, leaves, sticky notes, gathering into swarms. These mundane objects fly through city streets and forests, mostly whimsical but at times menacing. They reference self-organizing systems often found in nature such as herding, swarms, insect mounds, and so on. Regarding this Jackson says:
“The images attempt to tap into the fear and fascination that those phenomena tend to evoke, while creating an uneasy interplay between the natural and the manufactured and the real and the imaginary”. (via)
Aidan Koch, a comics writer and illustrator who’s previously been featured on Beautiful/Decay, has started a new blog entitled Field Studies to help fund an extended period of traveling. Koch, who hails from Portland, Oregon, is drawing intriguing sights she encounters during her travels – often depicting local flora, or a recurring pup named Edie – and selling each original piece for $20 through PayPal. The payments go back into Koch’s travels, thus generating even more field studies.
The studies themselves manage to come off as both timeless observations and, with the focus on plants, for instance, articulations of the zeitgeist. They are austere without being restrained and composed without being constrained. Most usefully, they serve as visual inlets to her larger body of artwork. For those not already familiar with Koch’s comics and styles of drawing, a good place to start is her comic book The Whale published by Gaze Books.
As part of her season of traveling, Koch will be the artist-in-residence at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, during the month of June. As there is a lot of America in-between Portland and Columbus, I suggest checking out Koch’s drawings that are after the jump, then finding one that suits your daily décor needs on her site.
Like its real-life counterpart, this coral reef is alive in a way. Organized by the LA based non-profit organization, Institute for Figuring, the reef was lovingly constructed by many hands. According to the Institute for Figuring, the institute is “an organization dedicated to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science, mathematics and engineering”, and certainly does this with its Crochet Coral Reef.
The public is invited to participate by crocheting different organisms that are added to the larger crochet habitat. The reef has grown to become one of the largest participatory science and art projects in the world. It does much more than organize a community to engage with visual art and craft. It brings attention to the biology of coral reefs, emphasizes their importance, and reminds us of the danger they’re currently in.
Armed with his rake, a rope, an active imaginative and a willpower that will impress you, Andres Amador creates incredibly detailed ‘sand paintings’ around the coastlines of California. Creating designs that can reach up to 100,000 feet, he uses nature and his surroundings as inspiration and starting points for his large scale organic patterns. For the larger geometric patterns, he uses a rope as a compass to steady the design – but in general Amador loves to emerge himself in the act of creating and allows the artwork to grow without too much direction. Starting with a rough sketch in the sand, he makes sure he begins the process on either a full moon or at the very least, a low tide.
He works quickly and efficiently, completing most designs in around 2 hours. Depending on the beach constraints and the tides, he can take longer and can concentrate on perfecting the shapes and forms. Amador says he uses the contrasting shades of the raked sand, and non-raked sand to make designs that can resemble dried mud, honeycomb, flower buds, fern fronds, snail trails or snowflakes.
Used as a means of meditation, solitude, focus and reflection, Amador has been raking sand since 2004 and still finds pleasure in the activity. He revels in the impermanence of the material and enjoys the challenge of creating something so quickly that will be disappear as quickly as he made it.
Something big that comes with this art is the recognition of impermanence. I create with the knowledge of the impending erasure of my efforts, often while I am working. It has turned the artform into a practice of process over product. I am always striving for the perfect photo that I can share proudly. But when I get to the beach I have already let go of that expectation and surrender to the act of creation. (Source)
By photographing emotionally troubled dogs suffering from abandonment and aggression, the artist Martin Usborne chronicles his own painful struggle with depression. His recent series “Nice to Meet You” tenderly traces unknowable canine narratives by carefully placing the animals behind surfaces and materials: a wet glass pane, a cloud of smoke, pressed flowers.
In distancing the viewer from each creature, the artist paradoxically allows for a heightened level of intimacy with each dog; behind a haunting waterscape or transparent white shroud, each set of eyes glistens and each pointed nose seems to poke through the barrier, begging for closeness with the viewer.
In distorting space with long exposure times and unevenly textured surfaces, Usborne also blurs the notion of time; the animals appear ghostly, shadowy, and otherworldly. As each image leads us farther into this ethereal and lonesome dreamscape, we bear witness to the profound confidences of these gorgeous creatures, and they stare back, inviting viewers to empathize.
Ultimately, Usborne’s canine subjects recall our own murky and lonesome pasts, mirroring the dark places that we normally keep hidden within ourselves. In juxtaposing everyday statements like “I’m fine” and “I also work at the bank” with the charged photographs, the artist paints a portrait of isolation; he himself often repeated automatic phrases like “Nice to meet you” and “You look great” when in the midst of his depression. These animals, partially hidden by fog and fabric, serve as surrogates for we who hide behind words. If only for a moment, these vulnerable faces of dogs remind us that we are not alone; in lending us their quiet companionship, they become our confidantes. (via Design Boom)
Designer Outmane Amahou‘s posters seem to need very few words accompanying them. This series is appropriately called Minimalist Art Movement Posters. Amahou glides through art history with a minimalist design style. Icons of art history’s various movements and schools stand elegantly alone at the center of each poster. Warhol’s soup can, Magrite’s pipe, Duchamp’s urinal all act as familiar symbols of their respective styles.
Ben Weiner’s photorealistic zooms and crops of artificial chemicals, paint, and beauty products give us a new magnified view into the materials and products that we surround ourselves with but never truly look at.