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Best of 2011: Taylor Baldwin’s Assembled Madness

Taylor Baldwin’s highly crafted sculptures are filled with hundreds pieces that come together to create a complex explosion of texture, color, material, and sculptural techniques. From representational wood carvings to computer assisted laser etched drawings, Taylor combines anything and everything to bring to life his rich pieces that will have you staring at them for hours.

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Bratislav Milenkovic’s Typographic Illustrations

Serbian designer Bratislav Milenkovic’s imagery sits at the intersection of typography and illustration usually combining the two to create cleaver and playful images. Morre Typography fun after the jump.

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Laid Back Surf And Skateboarding Illustration

Stevie Gee Skateboarding

Stevie Gee Skateboarding

Stevie Gee Skateboarding

Artist Stevie Gee seems to be as laid back as his art work. Skateboards, surfboards, fins, and posters all bear his unique styling.  Gee’s illustration work feels as if it’s pulled from an endless sunset in the middle of an endless summer.  At once retro and fresh, the images seem to be culled from a collective memory of skateboarding/surf culture and its heritage.  His endearing style has won him high-profile clients such as Vans, Nike, and Lacoste.
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Tony Feher: Container Art

595_1228183235In applying vibrant colors to discarded containers, Tony Feher’s objects become transformed into beautiful and arresting pieces of sculpture. Evoking lanterns or hummingbird feeders, these majestic works have a meditative mood, and, although constructed from manmade materials, present a relationship with nature. A personal favorite is the tower of green fruit baskets. Appearing fragile and ephemeral in its airiness, the piece hints at architecture and minimalism. With a strong interest in transparency and suspension as an aesthetic tool, Feher provides a

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Beautiful Installations Created With Ornate Gowns

mary sibande installation9

mary sibande installations11

mary sibande installations 5

The work of South African artist  Mary Sibande is complex much like the identities it addresses.  Sibande creates life size sculptures, primarily of black women.  The sculptures are arrayed in large ornate dresses which, rather than shed light on the subject’s identity, complicate it.  The dresses seem to be a perfect blend of Victorian upper class and a maid’s uniform.  Sibande’s grand installations efficiently comment on gender, class, colonialism, and beauty.  To further underscore these issues, Sibande arranged for huge photographic murals of the installations to be displayed throughout Johannesburg.

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Daniel Patrick’s Continental Cocktail Lounge

Daniel Patrick - Installation

Poetic installation by Daniel Patrick.

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Mikie Poland: Do What You Love

 

Mikie Poland does what he wants, and that is awesome.  Some might read this and think that it’s juvenile, but in a world where most people play a passive role in their own lives – I’m truly inspired by someone who is willing to pursue their passions with everything they have at their disposal.  Poland is on the road about half the year touring with one of the two bands he plays in (Giving Up or State Champion), and spends much of his remaining time working odd jobs and helping to promote Sophomore Lounge Records in whatever way he can.  As the web manager, primary art director, and right-hand-man of the label’s creator (Ryan Davis) you might wonder where he finds time to do much else.  As it turns out, there is a good amount of “downtime” in the van in between gigs, and Poland often spends this time productively.  Whether he is drawing posters for upcoming shows or clever illustrations referencing everything from Jazz to Dracula – Poland stays busy.

The nature of his practice could force a comparison to Raymond Pettibon, but Poland’s aesthetic is very much his own.  There is certainly a gritty quality to the work, but his quick wit and keen understanding of texture and mark making have an intentionality to them that belies the crude manor in which many of his illustrations are fashioned.  Having a fine arts degree from a conceptually oriented school like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where Poland received his undergraduate degree) often leads one down a path of pretention that can be hard to escape, but Poland manages to keep things in perspective.  His observations are honest, the tone is real, and I enjoy looking at the work.  If you scroll through these drawings and at least one of them doesn’t put a smile on your face I think it might be time to re-evaluate how seriously you take yourself.  Giving Up will be on an east coast tour this June, and if you like what you see below I encourage you to check out their shows and pick up one of Poland’s expansive zines at the merch booth.

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Helmut Smits’s Sculpture Turns Coca-Cola Into Water

Helmut Smits - Sculpture

Helmut Smits - Sculpture

Helmut Smits - Sculpture

Helmut Smits - Sculpture

Helmut Smits’ repertoire of sculptures mostly consists of mundane objects such as pieces of bread or a candle stuck in a lamp, so it may come as some surprise that his most recent sculpture is somewhat of a reverse miracle. Most of us have heard of water turning to wine, but Smits has collaborated with Martien Wurdemann to turn Coca-Cola into water.

Coca-Cola is an icon that many artists have addressed over art history. What’s interesting in this idea, is that Coca-Cola is a corrosive substance, used sometimes even for cleaning car engines, and yet the artist is still able to extract the nutritional substance of the beverage. It’s clear that the water to original Coca-Cola ratio is low, which makes a lot of sense, and it also seems obvious that, of course, there would be water in Coca-Cola. Still, I’m impressed that it can be separated from whatever other questionable ingredients are floating around in there.

The sculpture is simple in its design, title, and concept. The title, ‘The Real Thing’ points to the idea that water is the real sustenance, at least as far as I can interpret. Can’t agree with you more, Smits! (Via Dezeen)

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