South African artist Porky Hefer creates quirky sea creatures that walk the line between furniture and sculpture. Crafted from leather, the giant animals are suspended on rope and hang from the ceiling with their mouths open wide. These fun creatures create a sort of inquisitive space for one to insert themselves, and perhaps relax and read a book. Within he series, titled Deliciosa Volume I, Hefer has developed a series of six designs, each of which has it’s very own personality. For example, Fiona Blackfish, an Orca whale who was born in Cape Town, has a furry tongue, loves animals of all kinds, and hates Sea World. Other characters include Crocodylus Eugenie (a crocodile), M. Heloise (a manta ray), and Dora Esca (an angler fish), Pelicanus Iris (a pelican), and a puffer fish. The artist, who has 16 years worth of experience in the advertising industry and has worked with big wigs such as BMW and American Express, wanted to use this project to step away from foreign manufacturing and product concepts, and instead, display and utilize the traditional processes coming out of his homeland, South Africa. He states, “we have such skilled human beings in this country using techniques not found anywhere else in the world.” This series of aqua inspired seats solely employs the traditional methods of weaving, stitching and splicing of leather and cane. Porky Hefer’s series, both a wink to the environment and his local economy, can be found on display at Southern Guild Gallery in Cape Town until February 5th. (via My Modern Met)
Artist Peter Combe transforms household paint swatches to create stunning 3D portraits. Using the full color spectrum of 1,100 colors, the artist prepares his palette material by manipulating the swatches either into tiny discs by punching or miniature strips by shredding. He often works in series of repetitions, allowing him to recreate the same image with the aim of experimentation. The potential of each renderings is endless as he uses color based on tonality and not on hue and can transform each work quite drastically depending on his choices. Combe is interested in “how the implementation of a single colour, when applied to a small incremental tonal range, can transform a work either subtly or substantially.” His work, formulated through an intense and meticulous layering process, can be compared to a pointillistic method of translating color, tone, and space. His work is also reminiscent of early printers, xerox and copy machines, in which images are built through a separation of color, resolving the picture one hue at a time. Another aspect of the work, Combe explains, “is the constant change and flux that is mostly produced by the viewers changing vantage points, an effect that is difficult to imagine whilst not being present before the work. These artworks do not photographer well. It is Impossible to capture the kinetic element – an element whereby the viewer’s motion or movement dictates the artworks transformative component.” There is a notion of fleeting reality when experiencing the work— just as each portrait is in of itself physically fragile — each image, as it becomes manipulated through movement, light, and space, becomes precious, as the viewers’ experience of the work is consistently shifting, making every interaction with the work unique.
Premier website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up again to bring you exclusive artist features. We show you exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create a clean and modern website. But it doesn’t just help artists create a minimal, mobile-responsive website; Made With Color also allows them to do it in only a few minutes without have to know any coding. Today we’re presenting the work of Los Angeles artist Sherin Guirguis.
An explosion of colors and an intriguing set-up. The work of Sherin Guirguis blends geometric patterns, beams of vibrant shades and see-trough lattice patterns that are carved directly into the surface. Her work is inspired by her hybrid background as a non-Muslim woman born in Egypt and living in the U.S since the age of fourteen. Guirguis’ unique worldview brings together eastern and western references and harmonizes contradictory elements, both formal and social. Guirguis produces work that investigates the frictions between the contemporary and the traditional, the reductive and the ornamental. Her work engages both formal and social concerns by juxtaposing the reductive Western language of minimalist aesthetics with that of Eastern Arabic ornamentation.
Living matter thrives and dies within the intricate linework of Michigan-born artist Christina Mrozik. On large pieces of paper, she uses pen, ink, marker, and watercolor to compose semi-surreal visions of nature that are much different from the usual paintings of serene landscapes and friendly animals. Mrozik’s creatures bustle with a quiet ferocity: cranes perching on wolf carcasses split open with their progeny inside; owls flap wildly, trying to escape a rope of viscera that binds them to the roots below. Full of verdant symbolism, it somewhat resembles a twisted Garden of Eden, but it is important not to let the dark imagery overwhelm us; Mrozik’s vision of life-embracing-death (and vice versa) transcends existential horror, arriving at a depiction of nature that gives meaning to death and joins all living things in a greater life process.
The human perception of “nature” is central to Mrozik’s work. In her artist’s statement, she points out the seemingly contradictory “double perception” we have of nature: “it is either something to be glorified, or something to be dominated” (Source). We relish in its beauty and the idea of “untouched” lands, but we also wish to place ourselves above it, to separate ourselves, defining it as an “other” that can be controlled and exploited. Through her organic forms and the fusion of human and animal imagery, Mrozik’s art seeks to dissolve these imaginary boundaries, exemplifying how a sentience exists throughout all living things. As she concludes: “I feel that the basic stories of feeding, migration, shelter, mating, and self awareness are an essential part of our inner being and affect our view of the world both around us and within us.” (Source).
A new campaign in Brazil called, “virtual racism, real consequences” is plastering Facebook comments that are racially derogatory on billboards in the backyards of their authors. The point of the project is not necessarily to call out anyone or expose anyone, instead, the idea is to create a greater understanding of how these comments actually affect reality. It is far too easy to hide behind the screen. By taking these words out of virtual reality and placing them within a physical reality, perhaps those who write comments such as these will be forced to come to terms with the fact that even their internet selves are an aspect of their real selves, and, that words on social media have an equal effect (if not a heavier one as they reach a wider audience) as words in person. One example of the billboards is a post the states “cheguei em casa fendendo a preto,” which translates to “I got home stinking of black people” (“Preto” is an offensive way to refer to black people, as opposed to “negro,” which is unprejudiced). The idea for the project was conceived after Maria Júlia Continho, the first black weather forecaster on Brazilian prime-time television, was the victim of hateful comments referring to her race, after she corrected another newscaster. The project, headed by the Criola group, a nonprofit that works to defend the rights of black women, uses location tags from Facebook photos to determine what neighborhood the person who wrote the post lives in. The group then buys billboard space in their area, and plasters the post, blurring the name and profile photo. (via Yahoo Finance)
Danling Xiao is a Sydney-based artist who has started Mundane Matters, a project aimed at coupling fun food sculptures and photography with daily insights and philosophies. The bulk of the project can be seen on Instagram, which is updated daily. The objects she creates range from cute to bizarre—such as a zucchini squid and a grinning, beady-eyed apple—but they all exemplify ingenious ways to recreate and re-represent ordinary objects.
“Is mundanity really mundane?” Danling’s artist statement asks. “Perhaps it is our ignorance?” She argues that by seeing something in a different light, and by allowing ourselves to become curious, we can find joy and creativity in all things. Fruits, vegetables, and the objects they’ve been molded into take on new levels of significance. We become aware of design, and how beauty and utility often arrive together. As Danling suggests, “If we look closer, if we slow down our pace and be more mindful about our inner self and surroundings, we can actually discover a wonderland inside every mundanity.”
Each of Mundane Matters’ posts on Instagram is accompanied by a short write-up, usually updating the viewer on events in Danling’s life. These range from descriptions of dreams, daily practices of overcoming fear, and more general wisdom, such as the importance of nurturing our relationships. Danling’s goal is to spread “humor, creativity, positivity, and stories” through her work, and given Mundane Matters’ beautiful photos and growing social media following, there is no doubt that her art and ideas are connecting with people everywhere.
Argentine based photographer Mariela Sancari‘s series Moisés, acts as an ode to the traditional type of portrait taken of men in their 70’s, the age her deceased father would have been if he were still alive today. After her father’s death, the artist and her twin sister we denied the chance to see his body. She was never sure if it “was because he committed suicide or because of Jewish religious beliefs or both.” In the artist’s statement, she refers to a concept in thanatology (the study of death and practices associated with it) which asserts that when one does not encounter the dead body of a loved one, the lack of visual association prevents the ability to accept their death. Hence, not having the definitive proof of said death aids denial, one of the most complicated stages of grief. Referring to the Baudrillard quote “photography is our exorcism,” Mariela Sancari uses her photographs to play out the fantasy of her attached denial — she uses her portraits to create a fictionalized version of her father. She states;
“I once read that fiction´s primary task is to favor evolution, forcing us to acknowledge and become the otherness around us. I think fiction can help us depict the endless reservoir of the unconscious, allowing us to represent our desires and fantasies.”
Once again, Björk has blown our minds. In her newest music video, Mouth Mantra, Björk teamed up with Jesse Kanda (known for his epic collaborations with artists FKA twigs and Arca) to create something truly unique, psychedelic, and well, frankly, a bit horrifying. The concept behind the video is quite literally being inside of Björk’s mouth. While being given a 3D scanned inside look of Björk’s molars, gums, and tongue, the picture plane twists and twirls, distorting the viewers concept of space and reality, ultimately creating something that is outstandingly awesome, yet simultaneously a little hard to stomach. In an interview with Dazed, Kanda explains, “if there’s one thing I’d like for people to take away from this video, it’s the power of vulnerability.” The push and pull in and out of various modes of discomfort and emotional states gets straight to the heart of Björk‘s new album, Vulnicura (meaning “cure for wounds”). Many of the artist’s songs and lyrics tend to do with more open ended and abstract modes of conceptual thinking, however, this album is much more emotionally driven as it is in reaction to her divorce with artist Matthew Barney. There is, along with her other videos released from this album, a true emotional rawness and purity that cannot be denied. Kanda further explains,
“it’s about having the courage to express yourself and seeing yourself in that mirror. Doing something that scares the shit out of you and sharing it, growing from it, spreading love and courage to others and making the world a warmer place to be and relate to each other.”
The intimacy of this work is something to be in awe of. Björk, a master at shock and obscurity, uses each video to take the viewer into her strange yet beautiful and clever world. The intensity of her heart wrenching vocals paired with a montage of visual distress and alien like images mimics a sense of anxiety, confusion, and isolation. Despite her bizarre take on expression, the artist, who is undoubtedly one of a kind, always perfectly gets her point across clearly and profoundly.
Kanda thanks Prettybird UK, Dentsu Lab Tokyo, Rhizomatiks Research, and One Little Indian for helping out with developing the technology used to create the video. He and Björk plan to release a 360º version. (via The Creators Project)