Back in March B/D teamed up with Toyota Prius to bring you the Future Perfect Project. Due to certain circumstances beyond our control we couldn’t consider submissions from international artists. However that didn’t stop hundreds of loyal international B/D readers to send in work. We figured that the only honorable way to approach the situation would be to feature all of these artists day by day in a short series. For day numero uno we bring to you Tom Dorkin, a 21 year old illustrator from London who is quite creative when it comes to showing off the natural detail in decay. Maybe the only way our future will be perfect is if we realize our commonality in being decaying mammals and that we must seize the day rather than waste away.
Beth Scher‘s “Female Soldiers” series depicts women in the military adorned with embroidery and other decorative elements. Scher’s mixed media paintings explore ideas concerning femininity and strength. Her images feature women in a variety of military contexts – Scher’s embellishments of her female figures recalls the idea of a “decorated” soldier while also referring to the art of craft and embroidery, concepts normally found within in a domestic setting. In images that include a bulls eye or target image, Scher conceals the women’s faces with black thread, evoking a sense of expendability that must inhabit a conflict-heavy environment. Scher explains, “In my paintings, I portray them as young women who intentionally seek to display their sexuality and vulnerability, yet are trained killers, in a position of power and placed in serious conflicts. I wonder what the consequences are in a society that must deal with this dichotomy.” (via lustik)
Brad Spencer doesn’t just build things out of bricks, he also sculpts them into existence. Much of his work is large-scale and features human figures or elements that appear to emerge naturally and seamlessly from this solid medium. Bricks are normally used architecturally to build structures with 90 degree angles. Spencer challenges this conception by creating fluid shapes from this recognizable form. He uses a relief technique – starting with unfired clay, he sculpts the walls and figures into a brickwork pattern. He then fires the pieces separately, and assembles the entire piece on the day it’s set to display. Spencer says,
“Brick sculpture can be dated back to ancient Babylon but remains a fresh and interesting enhancement to any building, wall or environment.
Projects may include bas (low) relief, high relief, full dimension free standing and often a combination. The brick medium has all the same characteristics of durability and low maintenance as a brick building, blends well in settings where other brick construction is present, looks good with landscaping and has a familiarity which is comforting to people. Brick sculpture adds intrigue and interest to a commonly understood material as viewers try to figure out the techniques by which it was created.” (via my modern met)
Although Gowri Savoor experiments with dozens of different mediums, ranging from drawing and painting to mixed media sculptures made from fabrics, woods, her Seedscapesseries might be the most immediately powerful. Taking various plant and fruit seeds which are pinned against boards like butterflies, in more geometrically-challenging patterns and formations, the sculptures resemble other natural forms, such as waves, sound-waves and snow or sand dunes.
The Leicester, England-born artist currently lives and works in Vermont, USA, where she gathers the various seeds used as materials in her metaphorically ephemeral works (including pumpkin, apple and sunflower). Says Savoor of her loaded-material choice, “In themselves they’re very fragile. No matter what I do, the pieces will continue to decay. There’s a human sadness as well, that everything will eventually die.” (via junk-culture)
A drive in movie theater and its silver screen. The scene looks real: parked cars, dim-lights, sunset and in the background a celebrity playing her best role. Andrew Valko is fooling us. The scenery could have been mistaken for a photography of a painting representing a celebrity. The artist is used to depict fragmentary narratives in hyper realistic paintings. Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Amanda Seyfried, Angelina Jolie or Anthony Hopkins are taking part of this set up.
Andrew Valko creates a glowing contrast between the portraits and the surroundings with details meticulously painted. Playing with the flare and shadows of the street and car lights accentuates the expressions on the faces. Each painting represents a different parking lot with a different background. The feeling of nostalgia due to the context is palpable. There’s a will to go forward, represented by the contemporary actors. Yet the old school drive-in scene is taking us back to the past.
In the artist’s paintings, our eyes take turn alternatively as viewers and voyeurs. We start off as being the viewers, as if we were participating in the scene, comfortably watching from our car. And we quickly become the voyeurs; standing afar from the whole scene, watching the viewers watching the movie. This juxtaposition is interesting in the work. Clearly Andrew Valko manipulates us until the end. Therefore we could investigate and go as fas as wondering if the use of Hollywood stars is a pretext to entice us into the paintings. (via Design Boom)
Mike Simi is an artist whose sculptures seem almost more like jokes than they do “art” (in a good way). Every one of them is funny, playful, and but also informed, like the products of an MFA student tired of everyone around taking art way too seriously, whose peers then applaud his efforts at subverting their academic approaches.
Amy Douglas is an English artist who restores old Staffordshire figures into eccentric recreations. Staffordshire figures were found throughout British homes in the 19th century, often bought at county fairs and collected as “toys” for the mantelpiece. When they arrive to Douglas—broken and eroded away by time—she modernizes the pieces by adding touches of present-day quips and scenarios. Each one has been given a title that makes them humorously unique; for example, “I Lost My Head” depicts a beheaded man joyously swinging a wreath decorated with various craniums; “Chicks Rule” features a chicken-headed figure riding a horse with a human face.
The humor of Douglas’ work is often subtle, fostered in the cultural disparity between past and present. Part of the fun is also tricking the viewer into believing they are seeing a bizarre original work. Douglas works with the destroyed objects to seamlessly blend modern relevance with a traditional, domestic art object. “Many of the techniques, materials, and recipes I use have been in the hands of the craftsman for centuries,” she writes on her About page. “In our more increasing, intangible, fleeting, [and] modern existence, I think people do not look properly and do not acknowledge the craftsmanship of work. I like the idea of making people look twice” (Source).
Mymo of My Monsters is an artist currently working in Berlin and New York.
From her about page: “Mymo’s works are conceived using methods of free association similar to Surrealistic procedures; that is to say, the figures have the closest possible relationship to their surroundings.”