In Warner Bro. Pictures and Legendary Pictures new movie Pacific Rim, Director Guillermo del Toro, takes us to a future where mankind is on the brink of extinction at the hands of a race of monstrous creatures called the Kaiju. Millions of humans have lost their lives to these monsters and humandkind is embroiled in a mounting apocalypse. Legions of monstrous kaiju came from the sea, starting a war that would consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju.The fate of the world rests on two unlikely heroes who will man a super-robot weapon and try to tip the scale back into humankind’s favor.
The Pacific Rim trailer is chock full of enough giant man-made weaponized robots and Godzilla-inspired monsters to thrill any action adventure science-fiction fan.
American artist and architect Paul Laffoley’s work is usually classified as visionary art or outsider art: most of his pieces are painted on large canvases and combine words and imagery to depict a spiritual architecture of explanation, tackling concepts like dimensionality, time travel through hacking relativity, connecting conceptual threads shared by philosophers through the millennia, and theories about the cosmic origins of mankind.
Kansas City grandmother Holly Stewart is arousing lots of love and laughs over her current art show at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, featuring intricately crafted penises. Some beaded, some quilted, they range in size and shape, as do those which they are modeled after. Using Kickstarter to fund this show, which is titled “Local Grandmother Quilts Giant Penises,” she has had no trouble drawing in a crowd. Her impetus to create these sorts of pieces came from a past job working in a sex toy factory, where Stewart de-molded dildos. As a painter, she was exploring penis themes when one day she randomly had an impulse to put pins into some foam core in a certain assortment, which her professor told her “looked like a dildo.” And thus craft penis-ing was born.
“Local Grandmother Quilts Giant Penises,” is up now until September 19th at the UMKC Gallery of Art. One reporter spoke very highly of the show, saying:
“Now that the exhibition is up and running, we can officially report that the massive, quilted man parts are more wondrous than we ever imagined. The works are as feminist as they are hilarious, as affirmative as they are transgressive. Sparkly, colorful, big and small, hard and soft, the penises on display truly capture the manifold possibilities of a phallic shape when separated from the shackling confines of human flesh.” (Source)
Australian sculptor, Paul Kaptein creates unusual but skillful wooden sculptures that question our ability to look past missing pieces in the bigger picture. Kaptein, interested in the Buddhist term sunyata (Sanskrit word for ideas of emptiness as a way to achieve wholeness), integrates (and questions) notions of substance, emptiness, and temporality into his highly skilled pieces of wooden work.
By seamlessly incorporating empty gaps (usually long empty rectangles) into busts and entire recreations of human bodies, Kaptein imposes the viewer with questions as to why these pieces are missing. The simple fact that viewers will directly and promptly question this characteristic first, further enables Kaptein’s interest in challenging the viewer’s resistance, and/or apprehension to accept something that is not complete. The main idea here relies on getting the spectator to react to Kaptein’s work for what it is: seamless, beautiful wooden sculptures that happen to be missing a piece or two.
It can also be said that these gaps are indicative of conceptions of time:
I’m exploring the notion of the now as a remix of past and future potentialities. This facilitates a renegotiation of perceptual truths resulting in an expression of things not quite truth, yet not quite fiction.
No matter the type of installation Guiseppe Licari creates, he seeks to encourage direct public engagement in one way or another. For some of his work, he brings natural elements into the gallery space, while other work takes the form of public art. Obviously, most of Licari’s installations should be experienced firsthand, like his ongoing community dinner project Spaghetti Forever, an interactive swing-set Serial Swing, a mobile Illegal Busstop, or his education horticulture workshop, Hortus Publicus.Licari’s work is concerned with creating spaces of engagement that reference nature and the built environment. He lives and works in Rotterdam.
Brecht Vandenbroucke’s paintings use humor to drive home themes of racism, social, issues, religion, and death. He work is the love child of Jules De Balincourt and Chris Johanson’s paintings who may or may not have had a three-way with vintage comic books. In other words, it’s really good!
Yanobe Kenji’s incredible sculptures closely fits a modern Japanese consumer aesthetic. His pieces, often based on robots, appear to be the products of the most modern industrial design: bright colors, polished metal, articulable joints, and shiny finish. However, they betray a fear of nuclear war. Yanobe’s artwork includes brightly-colored hazmat suits and tiny action figures with built-in geiger counters.He has also constructed a steel boat in the shape of a dragon called “Lucky Dragon” which breathes fire to protect itself. These massive sculptures pose the question: Would life after a nuclear war be possible, and if it were, would it be worth living?