If you think your dog sweaters or home cooked dog food doesn’t quite express the extravagant love you have for your dog, you might want to take a note from Kenya Hara designing and building a house specific to their size and aesthetics. Hara is a japanese art director, designer, and architect who commissioned eleven architects from around the world to design tiny structures based on the personalities of individual dogs. I love these. Partially because it’s reminiscent of the fact that humans effectively designed all these dog breeds themselves, but mostly because it is always fun to see dogs’ complete disinterest to things people have spent huge amounts of time designing for them, like presenting newborn babies with the socks you crocheted for their feet–just having no idea what caring even is, much less to care about whatever this thing on or around you. Yet the elegant maze does seem Papillon-esque and the geometric dome like a neurotic pug. Tons more day-makers after the jump. (via)
The student artists Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi of Musashino Art University in Japan recently unveiled a series of portraits of X-Ray and CT images of embracing couples. One might expect images devoid of flesh, readable facial expressions, and color to read as clinical and sterile, but the photographs are strikingly human: “X-ray images usually show the finite nature of our bodies composed only of matter. But these couples’ portraits reveal a pulse that isn’t normally seen,” the artists explain.
Indeed, the images do convey ambiguous and subtle degrees of intimacy rarely seen photographically. The two individuals, positioned side by side, become hard to differentiate; the transparencies and densities of muscles and bones causes the two figures to fuse, touch, and pull apart in unexpected and haunting ways. While their bodies are flattened in space, forced to overlap, the bones themselves become separated by dark spaces, complicating the idea of what it means to be truly intimate.
The series also succeeds in conveying something more paradoxically permanent about intimate love. As mechanical process of photography and X-raying is offset by the delicacies of fingertips and craniums, the fragility and mortality of the human body is revealed. Yet the portraits, because they are X-rays and not typical fine art images, carry a forensic quality. Intentionally or not, they use a visual language normally associated with medicine and anthropology, and they are therefore poignantly removed from the confines of time and space, grounded only in relation to one another. Like two human artifacts, they invite viewers to dissect and analyze their bond. The couples appear as if held under a magnifying glass or fixed in stone, intwined in a decisive moment forever. Take a look. (via BUST, Spoon & Tomago, Daily Mail, and Bestposts)
I love these playful photos that escalate the idea of hand puppets to new and surprising heights. If you’re not familiar, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vanoodh Matadin are a photography duo from the Netherlands known for their high fashion photography and artworks. This series is coquettish/seductive, masked/revealing all at the same time.
Heidi Voet lives and works in both Brussels and Shanghai. She creates sculptures based on minor alterations that comment on society and history. In 2010 and again in 2011 she produced large “Tapestries” made with thousands of digital watches. Presented as carpets these physical fabrics of time are vibrant representations of household staples. Maya Kramer explained one work in an article entitled ‘Beautiful because it is brief‘ stating that “Is six afraid of seven/ ’cause seven, eight, nine/ I’m about to lose the pieces I find is an elaborate carpet woven together from over four thousand, multicolored watches all set to the exact time. (…) at intervals throughout the day, the watch alarms simultaneously ring in a symphony of digital chimes. Over the course of the exhibition, the watches will inevitably malfunction, losing their synchronicity and eventually sounding like an out of rhythm and out of tune orchestra. Thus, as the title of the work implies, the march of time is subtle yet unceasing and its cumulative effect results ultimately in dissolution and increased chaos.” (via)
Mid-seventies basbeall dudes by Brooklyn based illustrator Paul Windle.
Working in the tradition of landscape painting, South African artist Philip Barlow creates these ethereal, abstracted oil-on-linen paintings that give the illusion of blurry, out-of-focus photographs. The landscapes he paints are often figurative and full of city life, evoking both a familiarity and strangeness. Using this blurred effect, Barlow leaves much to the imagination of the viewer, hinting at forms and shapes and using the play of light and shadow to explore the line between the physical and the spiritual. Barlow notes, “The figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them. Bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality.” (via Biritim)
Charles Clary, a paper artist, has begun a body of work calling to the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s. Taking VHS boxes from old movie favorites and the containers for childhood games, like Operation and Monopoly, he cuts into the cardboard and weaves through a layered paper sculpture.
The concept is interesting although it is not absolutely clear what purpose the paper layering is serving in reference to the found items. While I find Clary’s work to be provocative and unique in most of the settings he has explored, in this specific scenario, the nostalgic entertainment pieces and the paper formations seem more to detract from one another as opposed to enhancing or adding to the viewer’s experience.
As explained in his artist statement:
“I use paper to create a world of fiction that challenges the viewer to suspend disbelief and venture into my fabricated reality. By layering paper I am able to build intriguing land formations that mimic viral colonies and concentric sound waves. These strange landmasses contaminate and infect the surfaces they inhabit transforming the space into something suitable for their gestation. Towers of paper and color jut into the viewer’s space inviting playful interactions between the viewer and this conceived world.”