Olivier Blanckart’s works are fashioned using every day materials, such as construction paper, cardboard and tape. These non-confrontational, nostalgic, children’s craft oriented materials, alongside the humorous quality of the works, are effective tools of seduction. Once Blanckart reels the viewer in, with his jovial aesthetic, it becomes clear that a darker, disturbed political commentary underlies, canonizing and raising up figures for inspection and in many cases, subversion. It is this two-pronged attack– drawing in with the a unique pop sensibility, then attacking with sharp-witted critique– that makes Blanckart’s works truly compelling.
The intricate work of Nahoko Kojima is created from single painstakingly cut sheets of paper. For example, her newest sculpture, Byaku, is cut from a single giant sheet of Japanese washi paper. Using a simple X-Acto knife like scalpel Kojima tirelessly works to pull the image out of the paper. In order to maintain precision, she is said to change her blades about once every three minutes. Kojima’s multilayered work also inhabitants a playful space between 2D and 3D. At times her work is framed like a painting while other times presented like a sculpture. [via]
I recently stumbled upon this seriously amazing artist duo, Mildred & Pacolli. Their work is AWESOME! I love it. They recently had an exhibition at the Lower Haters gallery in San Francisco called WE ARE US. You should check out some of their work!
Brad Kahlhamer uses his Native American heritage and post punk urban culture to paint large abstract symbols across canvas’ and create his own spiritual dolls. He is interested in culture and identity and through his art is building a world where he fits in. His artwork has an undertone of darkness meets the real world. A “third place” as Brad Kahlhamer calls it, where two opposing personal histories meet.
His paintings are filled with totems, poles, teepees, hawks and weaves combined with images from different cultures. It unveils an obsession for his ancestors and the modern life he is living. He is influenced by rock music and multiculturalism which is reflected in his paintings by the tone of colors and the display of the elements throughout the canvas. The dolls are a logical continuation of the artist’s train of thoughts.
Brad Kahlhamer has decorated the dolls with recycled and organic elements; feathers, bicycle-tire inner tubes, his own hair, discarded clothing, rope, and leather. Originally, the dolls are Katsina dolls, cottonwood carvings of Katsinam, spiritual beings in the Hopi religion. Respectful of the amalgam his pieces might have caused in terms of culture appropriation, the artist, always gave credit to the origin of his influences. The tribe he has created is carefully constructed. Blending geometric shapes, nails and wired legs to the essence of the Katsina dolls, the artist is empowering the individuals and blurring the lines between multiculturalism and abstract modernism.
The portraits of German photographer and art director Sebastian Schramm are proof that you don’t need a complicated process to create striking images. Using the everyday debris of life and dead-on placement Schramm transforms one of the oldest tropes in art into something new, unexpected, and beautiful. More of Schramm’s portraits after the jump.
San Francisco-based artist and designer Wei Li is making tasty treats with unpalatable connotations. Would you lick a cactus? Suck on a virus? Would just the idea of it change your experience of a dessert? In “Dangerous Popscicle” Li makes desserts in the shape of cacti, MRSA, influenza, chicken pox, escherichia coli and HIV from just water, sugar and coloring. To make the popsicles, Li created a series of one and two part silicone molds modeled in Rhino and printed on an Objet 3d printer. She writes on her website bold or italic:
“What will happen when we put these dangerous things on one of our most sensitive organs, our tongues? Does pain really bring pleasure? Is there beauty in user-unfriendly things?
Dangerous Popsicles create a unique sensory experience. Before tasting with your tongue, you first taste with your eyes and mind. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti are enough to stimulate your senses, even before your first taste.”
There are inherent contradictions in this project—the colors of the items look delicious, but the subject is unappetizing, but the surface is pleasingly tactile, but the structure is painful.
Aside from making the molds and freezing the pops, Li is also interested in the social interaction this project fosters. How do people react to the frozen unsavories? Try it yourself—find directions on how to make this project at Instructables. (via The Creator’s Project)