For his “Travelers” series, French artist Bruno Catalano sculpts human figures that contain missing pieces. Many of his bronze sculptures are missing a good portion of their torsos, asking the viewer to visually complete the sculptures using the space that surrounds them. The effect of his work varies with the location – a viewer could fill in the figures’ gaps with a variety of images the depend on the sculptures’ surrounding space, from the gallery to the park. Catalano creates an optical illusion, confronting the viewer with an image of impossibility that turns into intrigue. As a former sailor, Catalano has always been interested in the figure of the traveler. He says,
“I have travelled a lot and I left Morocco when I was 12 years old. I felt that a part of me was gone and will never come back. From years of being a sailor, I was always leaving different countries and places each time and it’s a process that we all go through. I feel like this occurs several times during life and of course everyone has missing pieces in his or her life that he wont find again. So the meaning can be different for everyone, but to me the sculptures represent a world citizen.”
Ten of Catalano’s sculptures can be found at the Port of Marseilles. (via the daily mail)
Stacy Kranitz focuses on the multidimensional character of Leni Riefenstahl, whose focused vision and murky set of morals greatly inspired Kranitz. These grey areas spoke to her desire to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs. evil.
During Pennsylvania’s yearly reenactments of the Battle of the Bulge, Kranitz portrays Leni Riefenstahl and behaves with soldiers as she would. Kranitz examines how the photograph documents and shapes history, since much of our conception of history is based on images. The 500 reenactors base the authenticity of their looks on images and, in particular, on Riefenstahl’s film Triumph of the Will. Kranitz focuses on how these historical images have been filtered through both the media and propaganda, becoming history as generations pass and memories fade. Photographs and film become the dominant forces that shape the public imagination.
In the late 1930s, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) brought his imaginary creatures to life, sculpting them out of wood, mounting them on the wall, and imbuing them with a haunting realism by incorporating real animal parts. The remains of deceased animals came from his father’s workplace, the Forest Park Zoo.
After their construction, the creatures, bearing delightful names like the “Andulovian Grackler” and the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” were sold as a collection under the title “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy.” After living in a child’s bedroom, the pieces were retired to an old barn and resold in 2004. The Chase Group later made resin copies of many of the works. Some of these pieces are available for sale on eBay.
Each sculpture stays true to Seuss’s touchingly earnest connection with the imaginative realm of childhood. The animals, though mounted on a wall, maintain a poignant emotive ability; the marriage of raised brows and mellow smiles with the antlers of genuine beasts makes the works magically vital, communicative— and somehow— real.
The profound soulfulness of the work is only enhanced by its hints of morbidity. In what is perhaps a critique of taxidermy practices, the prolific artist chose to present these fantastical creatures within the context of human domination, forcing viewers to reconcile our desire to believe in magic with the knowledge of environmental destruction. In this way, the aging of the works has not detracted from their potency but has serendipitously heightened it; years after the prolific author’s death, we are asked to search these faded faces for indicators of bestial personalities and traces of the beloved artist’s hand. Take a look. (via This is Colossal and the world’s best ever)
In the photographic series Processed Views, valleys of Fruit Loops surround a lake of milk, while marshmallows create a hazy, pillowy landscape. Shot as a collaboration between Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, the photographs interpret the frontier of industrial food production as the line between science and nature grows thin. In a statement about the work, the pair writes, “As we move further away from the natural sources of our food, we head into uncharted territory replete with unintended consequences for the environment and for our health.”
These photographs are simultaneously appealing and disgusting. Ciurej and Lochman have set the scene and produced grandiose, often idyllic looking landscapes that mimic splendor you’d find in the natural world. However, when you remember that these a mixture of real food and unpronounceable chemicals additives, it’s hard to find them as attractive. The crashing waves of syrupy sticky Coca-Cola is not somewhere that I’d like to visit.
The style of Processed Views references the work of Carleton Watkins (1829-1916). He is famous for his photographs of the American West, framing it as a land of endless possibilities. Ciurej and Lochman go on to write about the photographer, who was commissioned by the corporate interests of the day including the railroad, milling, and mining industries. “Watkins embodied the commonly held 19th century view of Manifest Destiny – the inevitability of America’s bountiful land, justifiably utilized and consumed by it’s citizens,” they write. Now seen as the land of excess, the series is a metaphor for the manifest destiny of processed foods. (Via Makezine)
Self-described daughter of an eccentric mechanical engineer and a stiff-upper-lipped British nurse, Canadian artist Bonni Reid specializes in exploring the spaces between worlds through her works. The Vancouver-based painter mixes together dapper gents and lovely ladies of old with exposed – and sometimes floral – anatomy, surreal landscapes, and a bit of humor at times. Her well-crafted curiosities have been shown in Los Angeles’ La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, and several spaces in Canada, among others. Take a closer look at her work after the jump.
eL Seed is a Tunisian artist who writes graff in arabic. His work is often socially aware- he recently completed a large piece in his home country that translates to “Oh humankind, we have created you from a male and a female and made people and tribes so you may know each other.” The phrase, a verse from the Quran, was used to “convey a message of mutual respect, tolerance, and dialogue in a country brimming with countless possibilities.” And last November, he did a wall that read “this is just a phrase in Arabic” as part of a commentary on Western prejudice and misunderstanding of Middle Eastern culture. Pretty solid skills to top it all off as well.
Conceived by creative strategy consultant Richard Smith, the Dollar Re-De$ign Project seeks to breathe new life into US currency. The last time our currency was dramatically changed occurred back in 1928, so Smith believes that it is time to update our currency to represent modern America and its values. Every year since its initiation in 2009, the Dollar Re-De$ign Project takes submissions for currency proposals from around the globe. Hopefully one day the US treasury will actually consider taking one on!