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Keren Taggar

Keren Taggar

Illustrator Keren Taggar hails from Jerusalem, Israel, where she recently graduated with honors from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Particularly adept at storytelling, Taggar draws mostly thoughts and feelings–things that are deemed “un-drawable.” I really enjoy how her precise lines retain a strange mellowness in spite of serious subject matter.

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Miami Project 2013 Highlights

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Kate Clark’s half-human, half-animal sculpture

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Vanessa German’s Doll sculptures

Miami Project, one of the biggest fairs in the Wynwood district this year, celebrates some of the most sought after artists this year. Most importantly though, as Jillian Steinhauer brings to light in her article ‘The Women of Miami Project’, most of the impressive works here were created by women. Consequently,  most of my favorite works in this fair were created by women too!

Here are some of the highlights at the Miami Project art fair:

Brooklyn based artist Kate Clark creates sculptures that are a lifelike fusion of a human and an animal. The surreal object, almost human-sized, investigates which characteristics separate us within the animal kingdom, and more importantly, which ones unite us.

The unexpectedness of the human face on these animals also evokes curiosity. They are obviously reconstructed yet they are not monstrous, they are approachable, natural, calm, innocent, dignified. The facial features are believable and the skin, which is the animal’s skin, has been shaved to reveal porous and oily features that we recognize as our own. The viewer has an intimate relationship with the face and then identifies with the animal, acknowledging the animalistic inheritance within the human condition.

Vanessa German, a multidisciplinary artist [sculptor, photographer, painter, actress, poet] and advocate for the black female experience,  creates these female figures that are made out of plaster, wood, glue, tar and found objects: hair, shells, old jewelry. They each represent aspects of female experience, power, and her cultural heritage.

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Motoi Yamamoto’s Newest Installation Made From Carefully Poured Salt

Motoi Yamamoto installation1 Motoi Yamamoto installation8

Motoi Yamamoto installation3

Artist Motoi Yamamoto is known for his sprawling installations entirely composed of carefully poured salt.  His newest installation Charlotte, North Carolina’s Mint Museum is titled Floating Garden.  Existing for slightly under a month, the community was invited to ‘dismantle’ the installation.  A huge swirling pattern, one familiar from nature, covers the floor.  Upon closer inspection, the hurricane-like shape is a tight network of neat lines of salt.  Salt is replete with symbolism in Western culture but has special meaning in Japanese culture.  The museum explains:

“Salt, a traditional symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture, is used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches. It is frequently placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. Motoi forged a connection to the substance while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of twenty-four, from brain cancer, and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her.” [via]

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Giant cake attacks Tokyo

Kozue Shimada with GwaGwa

Artist Kozoo (featured in our newest B/D Issue!) worked on this giant cake as a member of small creative unit GwaGwa. The towering confectionary and large eating utensil was stationed in a mix-use complex in Roppongi, Tokyo and truly expressed the creative goals of GwaGwa to express the magic of childhood fantasies and everyday curiosities. Highly preferred over Godzilla.

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Madrid’s Op-Art Christmas Lights

We all love the lights that pop up during the holiday season. Most of the time individuals and local city planners hang the standard lights that we’ve come accustom to or the occasional Santa Silhouette climbing down a chimney. However this holiday season the good folks of Madrids’ Barrio De Salamanca had the smarts to hire Architect Teresa Sapey to push the envelope of cheerful holiday lights. Instead of using the traditional holiday symbols that we’re used to seeing Sapey designed a series of concentric circles that overlap creating the trippiest holiday light display you’ve ever seen. The patterns overlap and become more intense the further you are with colors, patterns and shapes overlapping one another to create a spectacular and optically dazzling new take on a tradition that has been taking place for many decades. Happy holidays to all indeed! (via)

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Andreas Englund Paints a Portrait of an Aging Superhero

Andreas Englund - Oil Painting

Andreas Englund - Oil Painting Andreas Englund - Oil Painting

Andreas Englund - Oil Painting

You might have read countless comics and watched all of the movies, but how often do you see a geriatric superhero? Not much, I’m sure. Arguably, these types of stories are less fun and offer less fantastical possibilities. A lot of stories are action-driven; The less action means potentially less appeal. The paintings of Andreas Englund, however, offer a different perspective. In his series of realistically-rendered oil paintings, Englund highlights mundane, amusing, and the occasional ass-kicking moments by an aging Superhero. We see him eating clementines, watching tv, and choking at a dinner party. And it’s not boring.

Age is the overarching theme in this series. Author Philipp Windmüller’s writes a short essay about Englund’s Superhero and highlights his transition from young to old. He states:

… the character himself needs to face up reality and the aging process. He has to acknowledge to himself that he cannot live up to expectations and that the “perfect life” is nothing more than wishfulness. Englund’s artworks are focused on the maturing process. Even in the old age it is still possible to achieve something valuable although someone’s drive and vigour won’t bluster out explosively. Nevertheless everybody in his advanced age deserves to be recognised and respected for what he has achieved in life.

Recognizing that we live in an ageist society, Windmüller goes to write that we should identify and have empathy for this character:

Every one of us will find himself in the same situation as the “Aging Superhero” anytime soon. Of course, all good things must come to an end but we don’t have to bow to social marginalisation. One day we all will be old and start realise we need to dial it down and stop pushing on harder. In a worldwide society where mostly older people live, we need a survival packet with superpowers in order to make sure that everybody can film his own superhero blockbuster. (Via This is Colossal)

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Josef Schulz

Josef Schulz

Photographer Josef Schulz’s new series entitled “Sign out” focuses on a great variety of billboards in their natural habitats (a billboard tour one could say) during his travels in the States. He has “freed” the large-scale ads of their functions, thereby breaking off all communication and “signing out”. Removed of their contexts, all that’s left are pleasant forms and even more beautiful colors against their blue-sky canvases.

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Nicholas Bohac

Nicholas Bohac creates psychedelic collage landscapes that fuse fantasy with images of urban and bucolic spaces. These landscapes reveal both the natural environment as well as man made structures within those spaces. Bohac is concerned with our current ecological climate and while the role of urban spaces is not overtly problematic, the works represent the struggle of control between man and nature.

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