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Francis Upritchard’s Technicolor Mystical Figures

Francis Upritchard - modelling material, foil, wire, paint, wood,Francis Upritchard - modelling material, foil, wire, paintFrancis Upritchard - modelling material, foil, wire, paintFrancis Upritchard - modelling material, foil, wire, paint, wood,

Artist Francis Upritchard sculpts, paints, and conjures up different figures and artifacts. Alluding to different ancient tribes and cultures (Native American, Maori) Upritchard creates objects soaked in sentimentality. From wrapped mummies and robed shamans, to shrunken heads and mysteriously worn down relics, her objects belong to a time of tranquility, of sensitivity and purity.

Her effigies have painted faces, triangles woven into silken robes, draped scarves hang off their fragile frames. They often have strange markings and are accompanied by personal artifacts or offerings. These not-quite-humans hold up their hands, not in protest but in some sort of ritual. We seem to have stumbled in half way through a sacred process. Lunge, Archer, Sneaky – all these titles suggest a movement that is half way through completion. She says of her new figures:

I wanted them to be really close to Dungeons and Dragons figures. Fantasy alongside the sentimental, nostalgic and idealized – or perhaps I mean stylized. Almost like dolls.

Upritchard scours flea markets and second hand stores looking for vases, hockey sticks, cookie jars, anything that can be turned into some sort of relic. Using real teeth, human hair, silks, wood, and natural rubber from Brazil, boiled with different pigments, her work is immensely tactile, and immediately old.

Her work is a glimpse of a time that either has happened, is happening, or will be happening. It is an idea of a modern day Utopia, one of subtlety, and quiet power. This is the new Voodoo.

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Pawel Althamer

r02 Polish artist Pawel Althamer explores the fragility of the body through his sculptures, videos, and performances.  His latest installment is called the Brondo People in which he portrays his rendition of Auguste Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais (circa 1889).  His life sized sculptures represent himself and his family members.  Althamer constructed Brondo People from hair, straw, intestine, and cloth-visceral materials. He is currently showing at the Gwangju Biennale.

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Jessica Snow

jessica snowJessica Snow is an artist from San Francisco, California. Her beautiful abstract paintings are vibrant and fluid. Jessica feels that “each of [her] paintings expresses a new possibility, an opening into a new direction where meaning is continually at play and in flux. The most interesting pieces are those in which something has been left unresolved; its reason for being has not been entirely spelled out for the viewer or even for the artist.”

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B/D Best of 2010 – Kandace Wilson: living canvas photography project

Elyse painting Max

Elyse painting Max

I don’t particularly consider myself an artist and certainly not a painter. But last week, I had the opportunity to be both when photographer & fashion designer Kandace Wilson invited me to participate as a collaborator in her ongoing horse painting project. Kandace grew up at the track, always around horses -the  underlying inspiration behind building this body of work. The end products are a portfolio of stellar images of the painted horse, textiles created from the painted imagery, and fashion designs using those textiles. There were a host of constraints and challenges in the process that make the experience one-of-a-kind: time is your biggest challenge as you’re working with a large furry animal that gets bored quickly and requires both entertainment and breaks; the fur, in both color and texture provides a challenging canvas to work on; working on location requires a certain degree of spontaneity and creativity… but beyond the challenges came some sweet and unexpected rewards both in the finished product that begins to take on a living, breathing life of its own, and in the experience of working with this majestic animal. Kandace continues to search for, and looks forward to connecting with willing participants, artists (and horses) of any variety who would be interested in future horse-painting collaborations.

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Dan Graham And Four Other Artists Who Use Mirrors In Their Artwork

Dan Graham

Dan Graham

Alyson Shotz, Mirror Fence at Storm King

Alyson Shotz, Mirror Fence at Storm King

Ryan Everson

Ryan Everson

David Atmejd

David Atmejd

A visually interesting and literally engaging material many artists are drawn to mirrors and other reflective surfaces for their visually interesting qualities.  Based in concept, Dan Graham’s “pavilions” blur the line between sculpture and architecture.  Toying with perception the pavilions employ two-way mirrors and glass to engage a viewer and disorient his sense of space.

Inspired by artists like Graham, Danish artist Jeppe Hein is interested in illusion and turning passive visitors into participants.  Hein uses mirrors and other reflective surfaces in his work.  Finding the place there art intersects with architecture, and technical inventions, Hein often adds an element of humor to his pieces.

With similar interests Alyson Shotz also investigates issues of perception and space by using reflective materials.  Often Shotz’s works become visual representations of concepts from theoretical physics (string theory, dark metter, etc).  Other times her work exposes changing surroundings.   Shotz says of her works such as Mirror Fence, “I’m interested in making objects that change infinitely, depending on their surroundings. The light at different times of day, the weather…what the viewers are wearing, all these are just some of the variables that will make the piece different every time one comes in contact with it.  For me an ideal work of art is one that is ultimately unknowable in some way.”

Ryan Everson is a multimedia artist who reveals the sentimentality often associated with an idealized natural world.  As he explains, Fear addresses the “abstract emotional states stirred up from specific self reflective moments.” Sometimes apparent, and sometimes camouflaged, Everson’s Fear creates a deeply rich symbolic metaphor for the feelings evoked by fear.

David Altmejd employs mirrors in his works to help him, and a viewer, explore a fantasy world that puts reality into perspective.  Depicting mythical creatures, Atmejd blurs distinctions between real and perceived.

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Pomme Chan

Experimental typography, playful illustrations, and a nice mix of hand drawn and digital wizardry by Pomme Chan.

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Hirotoshi Itoh’s Humorous Stone Sculptures

Tokyo based sculptor Hirotoshi Itoh learned the art of stone carving through his family business of Stonemasons. However he take the ancient art  and puts a modern and humorous twist to it using the found stones natural forms to create clever images that make you question the history of the material and laugh out loud all at once. (via)

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James Mollison’s Poignant Photographs Of Children’s Bedrooms Around The World

james_mollison_children_bedrooms_03 james_mollison_children_bedrooms_04 james_mollison_children_bedrooms_05 james_mollison_children_bedrooms_06 james_mollison_children_bedrooms_07 james_mollison_children_bedrooms_08

English-born photographer James Mollison was asked to come up with an engaging project that was powerful enough to bring awareness to Children’s rights. Given this thought, Mollison was compelled to capture the more private side of children all over the world- he photographed their most personal and private possession, the place in which they sleep.

“It occurred to me that a way to address some of the complex situations and social issues affecting children would be to look at the bedrooms of children in all kinds of different circumstances”

Where Children Sleep, a book in which he published these photos along with an extended caption that tells the story of each child, shows a variety of space and a variety of children – some are living in abject poverty, lacking basic food and sanitation, while others are more fortunate by being born in a country where those things are guaranteed and usually taken for granted.

“From the start, I didn’t want it just to be about ‘needy children’ in the developing world, but rather something more inclusive, about children from all types of situations.”

You can purchase the book here. (via Pulptastic)

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