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Estelle Hanania’s Parking Lot Hydra

More imaginative spectacle by French photographer Estelle Hanania.

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Found Wood Transformed Into Geometrical Musical Instruments

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While Jack Sawbridge was studying architecture at the University of Nottingham, he became interested in sacred geometries and the ratios and styles associated with the form. He often finds pre-existing pieces of wood to use as his starting point before constructing their formal geometries. Sawbridge then integrates light, guitar strings, and/or glass sound tubes, giving these seductive forms a function. These beautiful works are fully operational and patrons are even allowed to experiment with them. Sawbridge’s work articulates the meticulous and delicate balance of architecture and sculpture.

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Mind-Blowing Body Painting Glows Under Black Light

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Fueled by his reverence for the natural world, the Northern Utah-based artist and photographer John Poppleton paints fluorescent landscapes onto the backs of nude bodies with temporary pigments. Photographing his models under backlight, he constructs starry nighttime constellations that conform to the curves of the female silhouette. As a commercial photographer with a passion for fantasy, Poppleton incorporates his masterful painting in this “Black Light Bodyscapes” series. Each piece takes a few hours to complete, and many of them are personalized or custom-made for his subject; one painting includes a teepee to honor its model’s Native American heritage, and the mountainscapes that are visible from Poppleton’s own window make numerous appearances.

Poppleton’s mesmerizing work is both current and timeless. While echoing the electrifying aesthetic of techno raves and the like, it also maintains ancient themes. Like mythologies surrounding the figure of the Mother Earth, the “Black Light Bodyscapes” tie the female to the natural world. In a manner reminiscent of the story of the ancient Greek goddess Gaia, the planet seems to spring forth from a fertile well of female power. Here, as with folklore surrounding the deities of Greece, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the silhouetted woman becomes equated with the moon and the lunar calendar; in darkness, she lights the way, delighting the eye with an irresistible shine. Dotted with radiant celestial bodies, backlight painting may be seen as a sort of divination, reminding us of the splendor of nature that we too often forget in this modern age. Take a look. (via My Modern Met)

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The Surprising Beauty of Yvette Meltzer’s Tumbling Clothes

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When you think of fine art, one of the last places you’d probably consider finding it is in the laundromat. Photographer Yvette Meltzer, long fascinated with the transformation of soiled to clean clothes, first sought to explore her fascination by visiting many different laundromats in Chicago. During these visits, she documented various aspects of the laundromat experience, but it wasn’t until she saw the images of dryers tumbling clothes on her computer that she knew she had captured something beautiful – animal and human forms were revealed to her through the compositions of color and texture being tossed around in the machines. Thus, Meltzer’s “Revolution” series was born, a series that transforms an everyday, mundane image into an experience of abstract mystery. Meltzer says, “What I see is not what someone else does. But people do seem mesmerized by the images and attempt to discern what it is they are looking for. People seem to have such a need for definition and tend to be uncomfortable with the ambiguous.” (via slate)

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Yoon Ji Seon’s Intricate Self Portraits Use Hanging Threads As Hair

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Artist Yoon Ji Seon crafts her collection of self-portraits by intricately stitching photographs with a sewing machine. It’s an ongoing series titled Rag Face, and her facial expressions change with every piece. While they appear to us as similar-looking individuals, Seon changes it up with different colors and hairstyles. Despite these idiosyncrasies, each portrait has the same features. Most notably, these are hanging threads that mimic hair or tattered rags. The multiple layers of colors and stitches give these works a painterly effect, as if they are gestural and loosely handled; Seon obscures her images by working with her materials in this way.

In 2015, the artist will have a show at the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York City. They describe the her underlying concepts:

By sewing the photograph, a second image is generated on the back that is both a reflection of the front and a completely new image. The two images, combined with the original photograph as a third representation, recall the Buddhist theory that an object exists in many forms and there is no true form. Yoon Ji Seon’s work addresses Buddhist ideology deeply rooted in contemporary Korean society and confronts issues such as plastic surgery and suppression of speech. (Via My Amp Goes to 11)

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Top 20 A’ Design Award Winners

Artificial Topography by Ryumei Fujiki and Yukiko Sato

Artificial Topography by Ryumei Fujiki and Yukiko Sato

Double Cross Game Packaging by Mr. Pip

Double Cross Game Packaging by Mr. Pip

The Hex Kite by Wind Architecture Studio

The Hex Kite by Wind Architecture Studio

Heaven is a Place on Earth Swarovski Veil by reginadahmeningenhoven

Heaven is a Place on Earth Swarovski Veil by reginadahmeningenhoven

With a highly respected and influential panel of judges and an award that offers international audiences and recognition, the A’ Design Award & Competition is one of the world’s leading annual juried competitions for design. While design-lovers would be interested in perusing past years’ winners, artists and designers should know: the application period is now open.

The sought after “A’ Design Prize” entails an extensive winners kit including a certificate, a trophy, inclusion in a hardcover yearbook publication and much more, culminating in invitations to an exclusive gala-night in Italy. Winners also receive vital tools for international promotion and marketing such as project translation into more than 20 languages, media appearances through the press partners of A’ Design Award & Competition as well as press release preparation and distribution.

Each year, submissions are judged and winners are ultimately selected by a panel of leading designers, academics, entrepreneurs and prominent members of the press. This diverse group of panelists are selected from a variety of fields for their recognition and, more importantly, their experience and technical knowledge. To ensure fair evaluation, the basis for any proper design competition, the panelists abide by a conflict of interest policy and a jury agreement and judge the submissions anonymously using a rigorous methodology.

Does your work fit in with past winners and panelists’ favorite projects? I may not be a panelist (or even describe myself as “esteemed”), but enjoyed picking 20 winners from past years that especially caught my eye. When the results from this year’s competition are made public, we’ll feature a selection of our favorites once again. Enjoy the collection and best wishes!

The call to entries is now open. Find out more information and register here.

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Li Jikai

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Li Jikai is a Chinese artist who makes wonderfully melancholy sculptures and paintings. And even though he is well known in Asia, I had never seen his work before visiting Dialogue Space Gallery’s booth at the LA Art Show – a massive art exhibition being held in the convention center downtown. His piece “Daydream” of a young boy laying on his back and holding his legs against his chest drew me straight towards it, so I battled the waves of artwork at the convention center to get a closer look. And after inspecting the piece and meeting the gallery’s director, I turned the corner and became totally entrenched in Jikai’s world full of lonely characters and heavy symbolism. Especially one piece that I found most interesting of a boy sitting underneath a giant mushroom, because it existed as both a sculpture as well as a painting. According to some online sources Li Jikai is a member of the Ego Generation – a group of Chinese artists born after 1970 who deal with personal matters in their work as opposed to cultural ones. However, it doesn’t really matter if he belongs to that movement or not, since his work is so powerful at expressing its intentions that it doesn’t need to be lumped into a group.

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MICHAEL VAN DEN BESSELAAR

Michael Van Den Besselaar’s hyper realistic paintings pack a powerful punch, combining retro imagery, nostalgia, pop culture and politics.

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