I love Paul Blow‘s witty and pithy illustrations (such as this obviously confused cat). His sense of humor relays a story without trying too hard. His illustrations have appeared in the likes of Business Week and the Boston Globe, giving him the opportunity to play around with popular culture and politics.
Chinese artist Lu Xinjian has been inspired by maps and cities for years, often collected in his increasingly large-scale acrylic on canvas series City DNA. But his newest work City Light expands on these inspirations, taking the flat abstractions and mounting them onto the wall with neon.
Using Google Earth images of the artist’s current home, the sprawling metropolis of Shanghai, Xinjian renders the map loosely in his abstract style. The resulting plans are rendered in neon on a solid black background, and run on a flash program which controls the timing of each area’s lines being illuminated. Starting with a small, centrally-located blue square, the rest of the surrounding area follows, until the entire piece is lit. Representing the rapid growth of the modern metropolis, the network of neon light tubes takes the language of city communication and visually abstracts the idea of rapid expansion. (via alwaysinstudio and designboom)
Stockholm, Sweden based artist Joakim Ojanen works in mediums as diverse as sculpture and zines. His paintings, however, particularly standout. Familiar snippets of cartoon characters, body parts, and shapes congeal as a hallucinatory mass. Normally lighthearted characters appear to be in a paranoid panic or a manic giddiness. Eyeballs peek from oddly placed holes or simply roll on the ground. Ojanen’s portraits don’t seem to depict monsters as much as characters mutated by abstraction.
Today I was reminded of one of the coolest sculptures I’ve ever seen, Matt Johnson’sThe Pianist (after Robert J. Lang). I saw this piece at the Hammer Museum a couple of months ago and was completely floored. Have you ever seen something you thought was truly amazing and your face starts to get all big and bug-eyed, and you feel tingles running down your back, and you start saying things like ‘whoa, dude, oh man!’ Well that was me at the Hammer that day, and maybe I looked like a fool, but it was totally worth it. Johnson’s work is full of warmhearted humor, and when an artist is able to rekindle that sense of childhood wonderment in your imagination, you just have to stop and savor the moment.
For anyone who has received one of Facebook’s virtual gifts from a lover, or a sultry, romantically-inclined message from a high school crush via Myspace, check out the upcoming exhibition “My Lover The Server” at the Concrete Store, Amsterdam. Digital artists Champagne Valentine, above, have created a series of looping animated wallpapers that explore the notion of internet romance, drawing on real digital communications with web stalkers, strangers and actual lovers, inviting the public to remotely interact with the artwork. The exhibition, as Carrie from Sex and The City might type onto her 90’s Mac, can’t help but wonder…..Are .gifs the new bouquet of Roses?
“My Lover the Server” opens October 16th next week, and runs until October 31st.
Kate MccGwire’s feather sculptures are awe inspiring in their detail; they are the type of thing that is marveled. Gathering, peeling, and layering are just a few ways she constructs her work. The materials, vibrant colors, and tactile quality gives them an uncanny feeling. Seeing layers of feathers, we expect a winged creature attached. Instead, MccGwire has created organic yet indistinguishable forms. Her sculptures wrap around themselves, like the ouroboros, eating their own tail. Like infinity symbols, they are never ending. These forms feel powerful, and the feathers play a large role in it. Their volume, combined with a high level of craft, make us do a double take and demand our full attention.Yes, MccGwire’s winged creatures are kept under glass so they won’t escape. But wait! They were actually real. This uncertainty is exactly what MccGwire wants. From her artist statement:
Kate MccGwire’s practice probes the beauty inherent in duality, exploring the play of opposites – at an aesthetic, intellectual and visceral level – that characterises the way we conceive the world. She does this by appealing to our essential duality as human beings, to our senses and our reason, and by drawing on materials capable of embodying a dichotomous way of seeing, feeling and thinking. The finished work has a consistent ‘otherness’ to it that places it beyond our experience of the world, poised on a threshold between the parameters that define everyday reality.
While we might try and figure out what MccGwire’s sculptures are supposed to be, that isn’t her top priority. The artist is much more interested in combining our uneasiness of the unknown with the beauty of the natural world. (Via Colossal)