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Kevin Appel’s Screen Series

Los Angeles-based artist Kevin Appel‘s Screen series shows trivial nature photography layered with coloured, transparent materials in different graphic shapes. Appel uses a range of media – acrylic, ink, enamel and print – to achieve this effect, in order to distort the photo by adding a ‘screen’ of new material. More images from the series here:

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Marco Cuevas

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A’ Design Awards & Competition – Call For Entries

Geometric Landmark Illustrations by Ben Grib

Geometric Landmark Illustrations by Ben Grib

Honeycomb bookshelf by Seyed Mohammad Mortazavi

Honeycomb bookshelf by Seyed Mohammad Mortazavi

The Fruits Toilet Paper by Kazuaki Kawahara

The Fruits Toilet Paper by Kazuaki Kawahara

The Fruits Toilet Paper by Kazuaki Kawahara

The Fruits Toilet Paper by Kazuaki Kawahara

With the motto “Ars Futura Cultura” i.e. Arts Cultivate the Future, Arts for the Culture of Future, A’ Design Award was created as a platform to highlight, advertise and advocate groundbreaking design and designers A’ Design Award. Their yearly award attracts aglobal audience of creatives from all design related fields who compete for the top slot. More than just an award A’ Design Award is recognized worldwide as a certificate of Excellence and proof of quality, invention, and out of the box thinking. Nominate your design Here.

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Yoo Young Wun

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Young Young Wun transforms newspapers, advertisements, handbills, and other media paper goods into these monstrously distorted caricatures. (Above, in case you can’t tell, is Lady Gaga) They remind me of pinatas in the way they take pop cultural stars, Spiderman, Homer, Elvis or other mass-produced icons and turn them to cheap tzotschkes, frightening and hilarious in their new forms.

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An Imaginary Ferocious Tale Of Brave And Hopeful Little Girls Is The Magnificent Story Of Author Henry Darger

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Henri Darger left 15,000 pages of stories and more than 700 pages of illustrations created in the dark. A fantasy tale blending horrific scenes of war and colorful innocent boys and girls all drawn with penises as the main characters. A world full of meanings and feelings where the silver lining is survival.

In order to understand the illustrations painted by Henry Darger, we need to understand his story. His mother died while giving birth and his father sent him to an asylum where he was allegedly abused at an early age and from where he escaped at age sixteen. He spent the rest of his life working at Catholic institutions by day, secluded in his room by night where he would secretly enter his imaginary make-believe world, a pen in his hand. A self-taught man, he learned how to draw by collecting advertisements, newspaper illustrations. He made collages, layering and tracing the outlines of his precious characters. 

The interpretation of the drawings, lets us inside of Henry Darger’s inner turmoil. The heroines are the Vivian girls, blond cute little girls defying furiously and heroically adults, the Glandelinians. They appear dressed up with colorful outfits or naked with a penis. They lead armies, hide, and spy on their opponents; crossing fields of strangled, disemboweled and dismembered children’s corpses.
Suffocation and awkwardness emerges from the scenes and let us feel a glimpse of the strong harsh almost cruel and unbearable emotional state the author endured.

Henry Darger says in his autobiography, In the Realms of the Unreal that he hated the perspective to watch himself become an adult. He never wanted to to grow up. The chaos of his narrative, combined with his violent drawings all turned against adults are the terrifying trace of his past. Never able to recover, he chose to shut down this part of his spirit to any kind of other human beings only to let it come to life as pure art.
He demonstrates the powerful reason to be of art: to express with any kind of means the distress trapped in a human’s soul into something beautiful.

Henry Darger’s illustrations are currently shown at Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris until October 2015.
© Eric Emo / Musée d’Art Moderne / Roger-Viollet

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Seokmin Ko Camouflages Reality With Mirrors

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The Square is a series of photographs by Korean artist Seokmin Ko.  Someone in each photograph can be found holding a mirror toward the camera.  Given, the mirror is more easily found in some photographs than others.  Still, the mirror in somewhat hides the person holding it, the reflection blending in with the background.  This is essentially a camouflage that works by imitating its surroundings.  Ko alludes to this in his statement, and draws similarities to social situations.  Peer pressure for conformity and social norms compel people to use such a social camouflage.  That is to adopt behavior that mimics surrounding groups in order to hide a person’s individuality.  Still, fingers peek from behind the mirror – perhaps an allusion to the persistence of individuality.

Of course there are several ways to read Seokmin Ko’s work.  Like a mirror it reflects interpretations singular to each viewer.  Ko’s most recent solo exhibition illustrates this.  Interestingly the curater presents an entirely different approach to the series.  In part, the gallery statement brings out:

“Ko is an artist of his own time. The mirrors and reflective glass make more sense as portals to other dimensions—dimensions perhaps similar to ours or radically different.  The patterning reflected in the mirror is never a seamless match with the mirror’s immediate surroundings; these works are not about tricking the viewer. In Ko’s images, the human, as the carrier of artifice, is a kind of discrepancy and belongs neither in the natural world nor in the constructed world. This is obvious in the architectural photographs where the human presence disrupts the dehumanizing machine-made grid. Ko’s is a humanist vision amidst a world that has become foreign to its inhabitants as creators, but as Einstein famously said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Ko’s disruptions offer hope.” [via]

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Azuma Makoto Installs A Dazzling, 13-Foot Floral Tower In The Middle Of The Ocean

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Off the coast of Hinoba-an in the Negros Islands region of the Philippines, artist Azuma Makoto has constructed a floating, 13-foot-tall bouquet of Heliconia flowers and banana leaves. Shimmering against the ocean horizon in stark contrasts of red, green, and blue, the installation rises like a paradisiac mirage. Entitled “In Bloom #2,” the project juxtaposes terrestrial environments with the sea, bringing art and floral life where there would otherwise be open space. The following artist’s statement describes the construction and context of the art-island:

“A 4-meters long botanical sculpture consist[ing] of approximately 10,000 red Heliconia [was] installed on a simple raft used by the local fisherman. With nothing block[ing] the harsh sunlight, blown by salted water, the sculpture of flowers quietly floated in the cobalt blue ocean. The ocean accounts [for] 70% of the surface of the earth, and therefore it created [a] magnificent stage for the project.” (Source)

Following “Exobiotanica” — an exceptional project wherein Azuma sent boticanical arrangements into the stratosphere — “Bloom #2” demonstrates his creative goal to explore the visual and thematic effects of putting flowers in “environments where nature does not allow them to exist” (Source). The result is a detached form of beauty. Azuma’s work brings up questions of nature and place, and, by doing so, fosters an appreciation for the Earth’s harsh, disparate, and yet ultimately connected environments.

Click here to watch the video documentary of the construction of “Bloom #2,” and be sure to check out Azuma’s website to view more of his projects, including a collection of beautiful flowers embedded in ice, which we featured earlier this year. (Via Spoon & Tamago)

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Jayson Mussons

How long has Barack Obama been in office? It may seem like years considering the fact that he may not have slept since his inauguration with all the progressive advances weve made; from international relations to stem cells to releasing our beloved hostages from our torture camps. Is it really that farfetched to associate our new president with the 2002 Flaming Lips Album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots? I dont think so. Jayson Mussons investigation of President Barack Obamas International status ranges from nieve exploration to something that Al Jolson might have drawn as a child. Nonetheless, 1st amendment bro: important.

 

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