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Joseph Walsh’s Latest Installation Is A Swirling Symphony Of Ash Wood That Transforms From A Desk To A Shelf As It Takes Over An Entire Room

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Entering the studio of Joseph Walsh is like embarking on a vessel of imagination. His “Magnus Celestii” piece begins as a desk and then spirals upwards from the floor to the ceiling to end as a slender shelf. The great heaven; as the title of the piece translates in latin; is taking up the entire space, making the viewer the center of the sculpture wherever he is located in the room. Not only is the piece a beauty, but it’s also made out of ashes of wood. A detail that transports us to the premice of the creation, in the midst of nature, in a magical forest somewhere in Ireland, where the artist is from.

Regarding Joseph Walsh, the barrier between him being acknowledge as an artist or a designer is slim, almost inexistant. The fact that he is challenging the technical boundaries of wood carving demonstrates his talent and love for his passion.
He is a visionary redefining design as art. A piece of furniture created by his hands is a sculpture. He wishes to honor the collaboration man has had for decennies with the material of wood.

Once again through this sculpture he has our head swirling in a dream of wooden ribbons. Over the years, Joseph Walsh has created a language of curves, sensuatity and voluptuousness. There is not one way to appreciate his work. How the lines float and the silhouettes undulate leaves us in an eternal spin. No matter how many times we look at a piece, there will always be a new angle to discover it.The simplicity of the material and the complexicity of the lines are what makes his work so captivating.

Joseph Walsh has new work currently showing at Chatsworth House in Bakewell, Derbyshire, UK until October 2015. 

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Do Ho Suh

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New York based Korean artist, Do Ho Suh, creates beautifully detailed installations where he constantly has us question the identity of the individual in modern day society. Those of you who live here in Los Angeles, might have seen a few of his sculptures at LACMA where he worked with the idea of the clashing of culture and identity most Korean-Americans face by crashing a traditional Korean house into a modern day American house. Inside, traditional Korean furniture spilling into various rooms of the American house, all mixing into one chaotic mess. I have always genuinely enjoyed the way Do Ho Suh communicates his concepts, and his painfully close attention to detail.

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Bill FitzGibbons’s Technicolor Underpass Installation

Using two underpasses at Commerce Street and Houston Street Installation artist Bill FitzGibbons’ Light Channels illuminates a visual barrier between San Antonio’s Convention Center and a shopping center that had minimal foot traffic with a neon hyperspectrum of light.  Light Channels encourages visitors to cross under the highway, through the barrier, opening a new flow of customers moving through the usually dark and uninviting underpass. (via)

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Walter Potter’s Curious Victorian Taxidermy

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In 1850, Walter Potter was 15 years old when he first began experimenting with taxidermy. By the age of 19, Potter had already created his best-known taxidermy tableaux, “The Death and Burial of Cock Robin” which was displayed, along with his other work, at a pub his family owned in Bramber, West Sussex. Potter’s taxidermy dioramas feature anthropomorphized animals acting out Victorian life scenes. During the Victorian era, taxidermy was a popular practice, and in 1880, a dedicated museum building was opened because the tableaux at the pub had created quite a scene. Over time, the interest in taxidermy declined, and the museum was moved before closing down.

Though Potter’s dioramas could be considered morbid, especially by modern standards, there’s something Beatrix Potteresque (no relation) about his work, mostly in its strange and whimsical Victorianism. “Kittens’ Wedding” was Potter’s last tableaux before his death in 1890; this piece was auctioned at Bonham’s (along with most of the collection) in 2003 for £21,150 (around $35,500). Among those present at the auction were artists Peter Blake, David Bailey, and Damien Hirst, who reportedly bid £1 million (almost $1.7) for Potter’s entire collection, but it was rejected by the auctioneers. This caused the owners of the collection to sue Bonham’s because they believed such an offer should have been immediately accepted in order to keep the collection in tact. In 2007, Hirst told The Guardian that “Kittens’ Wedding” was one of his favorites of Potter’s work: “All these kittens dressed up in costumes, even wearing jewellery. The kittens don’t look much like kittens, but that’s not the point.”

The Telegraph notes, “To a modern eye […]these ‘freaks of nature’ appear eerily macabre. Indeed, some Victorian viewers were outraged by the grotesquery and criticised Potter for abuse of animals, despite a museum disclaimer stating that no animals had been deliberately killed for the collection.”  But then they later explain that not all of Potter’s tableaux were sourced ethically. Before neutering was commonplace, freely roaming farm kittens would often be killed off. Potter had an agreement with a local farmer who provided the kittens; this would explain the high number of participants in his tableaux.

The accompanying images are sourced from Dr. Pat Morris and Joanna Ebenstein’s book about Potter and his work, “Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy,” released earlier this year. Ebenstein says that she’s interested in “the context that creates these things, and why certain things come to be seen as bizarre to us, when obviously they weren’t at the time.” (via telegraph)

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Yuto Yamasaki’s Hand-Carved Wooden Plants Might Trick You Into Watering Them

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Don’t have a green thumb? That’s alright. Japanese artist Yuto Yamasaki hand-carved these wooden flora that look like real potted house plants. To construct this impressive collection, he chiseled away at large logs and formed them into succulents, palms, and bonsais. A coat of paint was applied to the wood afterwards and further extends the illusion. From far away, they might trick you into watering them.

The artist uses wood because it’s easily available to him, and he places a great importance on the physicality of art making as a way of exploring subjectivity. “The issue is not what I make; there is no meaning to be found in my pieces beyond a confirmation of the existence of the artist and his experience of making the work.

Yamasaki’s attitude is reminiscent of when people describe why they enjoy knitting. The repetitive motion is a calming activity, where your mind can safely wander and while you’re doing something that’s active. “Making art objects with my own hands, void of conscious thought, is a therapeutic and meditative experience,” he says. “The challenge is to put myself in a state where the materials make my hands move automatically.”  (Via Spoon + Tamago)

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Rune Olsen at Johansson Projects

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Rune Olsen has created an installation for Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA. The piece addresses the issue of children on leashes, with a nod to Duchamp’s Mile of String. Apparently, Olsen and myself have both become skeptical of this rather primitive method for controlling one’s child. I mean, this is 2010, Lindsay has a scram bracelet, Coco the Pomeranian is accosted with high-pitched buzzing from her collar every time she barks–where are the similar techie solutions to child rearing? Oh right, normally we reserve that sort of methodology for criminals and dogs.

Olsen approaches the issue with a similar sense of humor, while creating a highly confrontational space for the viewer to interact with. A playful installation, addressing a serious concern.

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Bertil Nilsson Captures Dancers’ Stunning Contortions In Breathtaking Natural Landscapes

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Bertil Nilsson

Bertil Nilsson

London-based photographer Bertil Nilsson has created an ongoing photography series titled “Naturally” that explores the dynamism of the active human form within natural landscapes. For this project, Nilsson captures the explosive movements of circus performers and dancers, some of whom are painted or powdered. Bodies are contorted and posed, or levitate, creating a surreal aesthetic that is at once visceral and abstract. Feature Shoot notes, “The nude figures are dressed in intense colors that punctuate each frame, creating another possible layer of interpretational poetry. Set loose in this Eden, the photographer himself gives way to the chaos, each image exploding in an evolution of release.” Nilsson’s work is currently on view at Galerie Wilms in The Netherlands until January 12. (via feature shoot)

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Roof Runners: Michael Snyder’s Imaginative Photographs Depict People Leaping Across Buildings

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Roof Runners (2015) is a series by photographer and filmmaker Michael Snyder. As an avid traveler and international artist, his work typically explores the intersections of social justice and environmental sustainability as they occur around the world. This series—which depicts people leaping daringly across rooftops—takes a more personal turn, drawing on Snyder’s childhood imagination. In the following project statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he explains:

“Car sickness plagued me when I was a child (it still does). While my siblings were able to read or play video games on long road trips, I always had to look out of the window to keep from being sick.  To fight the boredom I would project myself out of the car and into the landscape as it passed by.  Often, I would imagine myself as a runner, crossing rooftops and hurdling from building to building at high speeds.”

Snyder turns the urban architecture of Columbia Heights (Washington, DC) into a kind of real-world platform game, where the protagonist is a powerful projection of oneself, navigating the world with a sense of adventure and invulnerability. For Snyder, this reinvestment in a youthful fantasy operates as testament to the importance of personally-derived creativity. In a fast-paced world dominated by electronic entertainment, Roof Runners encourages us to return our gaze to the corporeal world for imaginative outlets and self-exploration.

Visit Snyder’s website, Instagram, and Facebook to follow his work. You can see more photos from the series here.

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