After soaking them for thirty minutes in freezing liquid nitrogen, the New York based photographer Jon Shireman hurls flowers onto a hard, white surface, causing them to shatter into hundreds of pieces. The series, titled Broken Flowers, plays on our assumption that flowers are soft and supple; as an integral part of much still life photography, the blossoms normally symbolize youth and delicate feminine beauty. Under Shireman’s lens, however, the flora is transformed into something cold and hard. Against a sterile white backdrop, they appear sterile and brittle, a far cry from the spring buds that blow in the wind.
Throughout his career, Shireman has maintained a connection with flowers in decay; in other still lifes, he has cataloged the wilting of tulips and mums. This series, unlike those previous, is brutal and instantaneous. Where his other flowers underwent a slow, gradual death, these broken flowers are quickly frozen and violently ruptured. The process captured here is not a natural one but one that necessitates the use of a manmade element.
With almost surgical precision, Shireman’s lens focusses on the fallen flower, and he abandons the moody, romantic lighting he uses elsewhere in favor of high resolution and vivid color. Though flattened, the shattered blossoms maintain their basic structure; the bud, the stem, and the leaf can still be made out. The very veins of the plant are preserved by the liquid nitrogen. In this way, the flowers look like dead bodies in some unusual crime scene, outlined yet robbed of their living essence. Take a look. (via iGNANT, Feature Shoot, and Agonistica)
Tokyo born artist Ramon Todo splices pieces of stone, volcanic rock, obsidian, fossils, books and even pieces of the Berlin Wall with translucent layers of glass. Taking raw chunks of natural material and adding highly polished bits of glass, he creates sculptures that are unstated and surprising. The juxtaposition of the sharp hard glass surface wedged in between crumbling porous rock, or forced into obsidian, or slotted into an old frayed book cover is a quiet commentary on the nature of material. By combining these distinctly different materials, Todo is talking about fragility and stability. He questions the very nature of the objects he is working with, and exploits the properties that we understand them by having. He asks us: what makes a rock a rock?
Todo collects the original stones and fossils while out walking (he is based in Dusseldorf), and initially is drawn to them as artifacts of the culture and the land they come from. By inserting something alien into these pieces, Todo is effectively rewriting their history, and the place that these objects hold in the world. With titles like Artificial Stone of Paris; Bois de Boulogne Paris 2007 #4, and o.T. – Spitz, these art works are like something from the shelves of The Natural History Museum, or the Geology Department at a university. They are definitely objects of curiosity, and you can see more of them after the jump.
One of my oldest friends Drew Liverman routinely blows me away with is art. You may remember Drew’s work from Issue: S where he created 8 exclusive spreads under the theme “Thy Darkness.” Drew’s newest project does not disappoint with a mind blowing, psychedelic animation for Austin, Texas based Over The Hill. . Way to go Drew!
Bryant Park, located about a block East of Times Square in Manhattan, has been home to a several fun contemporary/public art projects recently. Right now, they’re hosting the “Battle of the Brush.” Which happens to include alumni of the Beautiful/Decay Studio Visits: Alison Blickle and Tom Sanford. It’s based around the idea of a civil war reenactment, except instead of the North and South, it’s between abstraction and figuration. Bryant Park was a campground for soldiers during the Civil War, so that’s where the whole Civil War thing comes in. Personally, I just like the paintings… It’s coming down this Wednesday, Feb 2nd, so get over there asap. The show was curated by Corporate Art Solutions.
The colorful skies of Matt Molloy‘s photographs nearly seem built from dozens of chunky brush strokes. However, these photographs are actually a type of time lapse photography which Molloy calls “timestacks”. Molloy shoots several photographs of the same location or image over a specific period of time. He then takes those photographs and merges them into one image. For the timestack photographs featured here, Molloy merges huge amounts of images – up to 500 photographs for only one image! [via]
Artist Akihiko Miyoshi creates amazing abstract work using simple photographic technique. He uses little more than a camera, colored tape, and a mirror to explore ideas of composition and color. While photography is arguably thought of as the epitome of representational art, Akihiko’s images are decidedly abstract. While minimally manipulating his images, they stand distinct from painting counterparts. In a way Akihiko abstracts not only form, but light.
Artist Maximo Reira fuses wild creatures with furniture in his series called Animal Chairs. The hulking, sculpted figures have a realistic styling to them, and beings like octopi, rhinos, whales, all have a place for someone to sit. Their backs have large notches cut into them, and they’re so regal looking they transcend ordinary chairs and are thrones.
Reira’s designs have textures that mimic the real epidermises of these creatures. There are tiny, intricate folds that look like dry, rough skin, and he’s covered them in a natural color palette. From a certain angle, they look as though they could be real. The artist has also kept their defining features, like long tentacles and massive horns. It’s an elegant, unique take on industrial design. (Via Hi Fructose)
Erik Parker was preparing for two solo shows, one in LA, and one in Fort Worth, when I visited his studio in Brooklyn. Parker is known for making large scale paintings that are as comfortable with their roots as they are disorienting with their forms and spaces. First you get a hug, and then a slap. He said he wanted his paintings to still look good 40 years from now. By reorienting Modernist and Pop sensibilities, and then almost using contrapposto to create a balanced but expressive distortion, Parker was remixing some old school classics — like flower still-lives– into something fresh. His LA show is at Honor Fraser and opens on October 30th, and the Fort Worth show is at the Fort Worth Modern and opens on December 5th, and is curated by Andrea Karnes.