Jason Mena lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and uses cameras, scanners, airplanes, and whatever he can get his hands on to examine his surroundings. His work explores city life, traffic, politics, and relationships in creative and funny ways. Check out more of his work at his site and hit the jump for more work including his great “Meaningless Work” where he records himself moving around furniture aimlessly.
On a recent visit to The Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York I had the pleasure of viewing the works of Justine Reyes. A series entitled Vanitas included photographs reflecting old Dutch still lifes in a similar vain but with a most sharp and contemporary air that was both refreshing and humorous.
Do ever wish that you could take a little piece of the earth with you wherever you go? Well, Colleen Jordan allows you to do just that with her tiny, adorable wearable planters. This seed of an idea started while studying Industrial Design as a student. Naturally having a green thumb, she was inspired to construct creative and convenient ways for people to carry around plants. Now, this is exactly what Jordan has created! Fusing together jewelry design and gardening, she creates small pots in a variety of shapes and colors filled with dainty flora, which are attached to a cotton cord so that they can lie safely around your neck. Other vases function as magnets, fashionable pins, or decorations that attach to your bike.
Jordan’s wearable planters range in style, as some of the pots are a more organic shape with earthy tones, while others showcase a more modern, geometric style with pastel colors. Amazingly enough, all of her miniature plants are generated from a three-dimensional printer. This 3-D printed nylon plastic is later hand embellished and dyed by the artist. The question is, how long can a tiny plant survive while being carried along during your travels around your neck? Although you have to supply the plant, Jordan supplies her customers with what kind of plants grow best in the small vases and also how to keep them alive and thriving. Her unique and beautiful accessories are perfect if you want to keep a little piece of nature close to your heart! (via Ignant)
These four artists are interested in exploring nature through crystals, minerals and natural stones. Toronto-based Carly Waito makes small oil paintings (about 5×6 inches) of crystals and minerals. Inspired by the natural world Waito is interested in geology, geometry and light. With a sense of wonder and curiosity, Waito explores via paint tiny mineral specimens, revealing the beauty and magic nature is capable of creating.
Seattle-based Debra Baxter uses stones and minerals, and their contrasts or relationships to investigate human interactions. To address notions such as human power plays, vulnerability and gender differences, Baxter plays titles like You have to believe we are magic (barf bag), 2010 off visual displays of ceramic, minerals and reflective acrylic. Her sculptures become small visual metaphors replete with symbols and juxtapositions that form ideas and narrative.
Amy Brener works by layering resin, glass and Fresnel lens to create light sensitive sculptures that resemble large crystals or minerals. Brener’s process involves mixing and pouring pigmented resin into wooden frameworks. Only able to control certain aspects of the process, Brener embraces the surprises that happen along the way. The process gives her sculptures a quality that exists between the geological and the man-made.
Jonathan Latiano’s Points of Contention, 2011, was an installation at School 33 Art Center in Baltimore. The piece was made out of plastics, resins and polymers and appeared to be exploding out of the floor. Meant to address the effects the sculpture’s materials have on the geological landscape, Latiano’s work is a visual reminder of our impact on nature.
Like its real-life counterpart, this coral reef is alive in a way. Organized by the LA based non-profit organization, Institute for Figuring, the reef was lovingly constructed by many hands. According to the Institute for Figuring, the institute is “an organization dedicated to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science, mathematics and engineering”, and certainly does this with its Crochet Coral Reef.
The public is invited to participate by crocheting different organisms that are added to the larger crochet habitat. The reef has grown to become one of the largest participatory science and art projects in the world. It does much more than organize a community to engage with visual art and craft. It brings attention to the biology of coral reefs, emphasizes their importance, and reminds us of the danger they’re currently in.
In a surreal and slightly disturbing series titled Running Gag by the Hamburg-based studio POP. Postproduction, they imagine what it would be like if shoes teeth to accompany their tongues. POP specializes in photo-retouching, and manipulated the images has the loafers, boat shoes, and Converse sneakers laughing and grinning. Some have a gap tooth, others a gold grill, while some have hardly any teeth at all.
There is some correspondence with the teeth and the shoe. For instance, the pink canvas shoe with decorative laces has a mouth full of braces, so we’d imagine they are a teenage girl. The gold-studded loafer is an “alternative style” to the preppy shoe, so its gold lip ring feels appropriate.
Despite being slickly-produced and brightly-colored series, the Running Gag is subtle, and it’s only after more than a seconds glance that you realize there are teeth in these shoes. It’s POP’s Photoshopping skills that add to the believability of these characters, and they look liked they’d be right in place in a horror film. (Via Design Taxi)
With spring around the corner I can’t help but think about flowers, which led me to consider Anna Schuleit’s installation Bloom, 2003, a site-specific installation at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston. Though now over ten years old I feel the idea that art and beauty can heal is a powerful and ever-relevant concept. The installation consisted of over 28,000 flowers, 5,600 square feet of live sod and recorded sound that played over the old public service announcement system. The flowers and sod filled four floors of the historic building and the basement hallways.
The building, which was slated for demolition, had a long and complicated history, having hosted thousands of patients and employees over the years. Struck by the absence of both life and color after visiting the site, Schuleit conceived of BLOOM, reinvigorating the building with an impressive display of flowers and transforming it into a fantasy world for four days. After the installation Schuleit had the flowers donated to half-way houses and psychiatric hospitals throughout New England. As she said of the installation in her interview with Colossal, “I wanted these flowers to continue onward, after the installation. Bloom was a reflection on the healing symbolism of flowers given to the sick when they are bedridden and confined to hospital settings. As a visiting artist I had observed an astonishing absence of flowers in psychiatric settings. Here, patients receive few, if any, flowers during their stay. Bloom was created to address this absence, in the spirit of offering and transition.”
Both artist’s work share an obtuse unearthly charm as a common language, and their work promises to have an energetic and productive conversation in their upcoming exhibition.
Great show up at FFDG in San Francisco right now. Eric Shaw and Henry Gunderson spent a couple weeks on the beast coast cooking up some vibey abstractions for us and now they’re ready to be seen! Both artist’s works definitely play off each other really nicely, and if you’re out in SF, this one is not to be missed. See more from the show below.
Images courtesy of FFDG.