The hourglass is an object of antiquity, and while it has been replaced by alarm clocks and other more reliable timepieces, its symbolism remains buried in our imaginations: it reminds us of the seemingly linear passage of time as it seeps away, grain-by-grain.
Turning this symbolism (and its concurrent anxieties) on its head, Japanese designer Norihiko Terayama has redesigned the hourglass to inspire a sense of reflection and peace. Called “Awaglass” (“awa” meaning “bubble” in Japanese), bubbles take the place of sand, appearing to float upwards at varying speeds for approximately three minutes. Its soothing, hypnotic movements encourage you to enjoy the present moment, rather than anticipating the end. Watch the video above for a demonstration.
Extremely detailed back and white drawings. Benze is an Hungarian artist who hand-draws ink illustrations. The work in singular. Looking like tattoos from far away, up close; it’s an invitation to explore every single detail forming the elaborate face, animal or flora.
Benze compares his process to a “distillation”. An attempt to part the traditional oil painting and the modern back and white graphics. The result is a blend of calligraphic style, an “art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner”; and perfectly traced features. The artist’s intention is to give pleasure to the eye. The explosion of intricate characteristics within a general shape calls the attention. Benz tells a story within a story. Leaving the viewers the option to just see the bigger image or to go deeper into the thousands of fine-drawn hidden elements.
“The tattooed looking components are very important parts of my drawings because they continuously open up new interpretations of the image”. The designs imitating tattoo graphics open the imagination for endless new interpretations. The structure of the drawings create an energy which can never bore the eye. (via Illusion Magazine)
LA based artist and designer, Esai Ramirez, has created an imagined series of art inspired Crayola box sets. With a BFA in advertising, Ramirez has used his eye for marketing along with his talent for design to rebrand classic concepts. Inspired by the Pantone color-coding system, Ramirez has matched specific palettes from iconic works of art and has manufactured them into organized lists of crayon colors. One of the conceived collaborations is with the color theory master himself, Joseph Albers. Here we see an alluring array of orange to match Albers’ Homage to the Square: Glow. The others include palettes influenced by the works of Jen Stark, known for her hypnotic, vibrant paper sculptures, Damien Hurst’s muted, aquatic blues, greens and grays, and, probably most humorously, a full box set of Yves Klein’s signature velvety blue. He also has created a Crayola/ Pantone collaboration box set in which he imagines hue names such as a vivd red titled “pms 185u.”
Esai Ramirez aims the project to be fun and hopes it “encourages adults to play more with color and art.” His work tends to revolved around the marriage of two concepts, ideally creating a new unified vessel to conceive each one. His states about his work:
“Whether it’s two lovers about to kiss for the first time or two boxers about to slug it out–the things that bring us together as well as pull us apart are what I look for in everything I see.” (via Design Boom)
Earlier this week we featured the work of photographer Eric Lafforgue, who documented the scarification practices of the Omo Valley Tribes in Ethiopia. Today, in a series titled Ugly Becomes Beautiful, he takes us far into the hills of northwestern Myanmar, where the tattooed women of the Chin culture live. It is uncertain when the practice began, but as Lafforgue writes, some believe that long ago, “the royalty used to come to the villages to capture young women. The men from the tribe may have tattooed their women to make them ugly, thereby saving them from a life of slavery” (Source). Over time, although it is a declining practice, the tattoos became symbols of culture and beauty.
There are three types of facial tattoo patterns: the spider web, the dotted B pattern, and one where the entire face is inked. They are created using needles made of bamboo or thorns, and the ink is a blend of cow bile, pig fat, soot, and plants. The process—which takes one to three days, depending on the pattern—is painful. Lafforgue relates one woman’s experience:
“I was 10 years old. The day before the tattoo ceremony, I only ate sugarcane and drank tea. It was forbidden to eat meat or peanuts. During the tattoo session, I cried a lot, but I could not move at all. After the session, my face bled for 3 days. It was very painful. My mother put fresh beans leaves on my face to alleviate the pain. I had no choice if I wanted to get married. Men wanted women with tattoos at this time. My mother told me that without a tattoo on my face, I would look like a man.” (Source)
Today, facial tattoos are deemed illegal by the country’s military junta; hence, many of the women were reluctant to have their photos taken. In these immersive images, Lafforgue provides a rare glimpse into a practice that, tested by modernity, transforms notions of “ugliness” into the diverse beauty of tradition and cultural meaning.
Visit Lafforgue’s website to learn more. Click here for our article on scarification in Omo Valley.
Max Siedentopf is a car transformer. He pimps cars which, in his opinion need an upgrade. He sneaks up at dawn in the streets of Amsterdam and with a couple of euros tapes cardboards onto the cars. The add-ons recreate the design of race cars, low budget style.
It’s all thought through. All the major components, rear wings, side pods and front wings, help imitate a fancy expensive supercar. Max Siedentopf cannot get his head around the fact that in a world where personalization and self-expression is craved and sought after, cars are still so poor looking.
Car owners are usually like pet owners, proud and close to the subject they affectionate and take care of daily. They usually end up looking alike. Would this mean ugly looking cars have ugly looking owners? Thanks to Max Siedentopf, and if the owners keep their upgrade on, this will never be brought up anymore.
Julia Fox, artist and head designer of Franziska Fox, recently released a graphic, autobiographical art book titled Heartburn/Nausea. The book acts as a character sketch, exposing flashes of intimate details that add up to mold a vision of a troubled girl. There is no hesitation between honesty and story telling, as this book is a collection of literal documents from the artist’s life. The book is extremely raw and almost devastatingly personal. She invites us into her own past, for just a moment, allowing us to truly have an experience through her memories.
RH: The book is autobiographical, extremely graphic and exposes probably the most intimate moments of your life. What made you want to share these moments?
JF: I believe that when you share something with someone it is no longer yours. I was tired of carrying it so I gave it away.
RH: Do you feel like the book falls under confession, warning, or exposé? Or perhaps, none of those. Maybe its something entirely different.
JF: I don’t know… It’s just a picture book of artifacts and stuff I have collected over the years. I’m not sure what the message behind it is. I guess since my life is so different now and I’m somewhat successful and happy, the message is that it’s ok to be fucked up. It’s ok to have a past.
And more importantly it’s ok to show your vulnerability and your weaknesses. And if you are fucked up and able to use it to your advantage, you are probably more interesting and insightful than most. So just like don’t be ashamed of yourself.
RH: Does the work aim to address mental illness at all?
JF: I think indirectly it does. I am bipolar. I think being untreated as an adolescent had a huge impact on my life. I’m very impulsive. I do what I want, when I want and when I want something, I want it now. I live in the moment and never take into consideration the consequences. I’m more or less still the same, the only difference is that the things I want have changed.
RH: It seems the book touches upon the borders between love, intimacy and obsession. Can you talk, just briefly, about these relationships at all. Do you believe healthy love, or love in of itself, exists?
JF: I do believe in healthy love. I just think it’s boring. To be completely honest, I have such a good time on my own that for me to want to be with someone else it better be one hell of a ride. I better feel everything and I better feel pain and in turn learn something new. Otherwise I’m ok being with just me. I’m a good time, in my opinion.
KKK robes recreated, bullets shot on purpose on white paper, a video pointing out the current incarcerations and lynching images depicted on a throw.Paul Rucker’s exhibition is comprised of texts, a video, quilts, textiles and installations. All with the aim to tell stories that will shock, question and reflect on America’s police violence. According to Paul Rucker, it’s an ongoing process, hence the title of his exhibition: ‘Rewind’.
The artist’s vision is plural. The exhibition translates a dramatization of how the history of racism is affecting our present lives. The Klan robes are made out of new fabrics to strike and draw curiosity. He is using powerful symbols of racism to lead our current society to communicate and debate. His subjects are intentionally provocative. When he stitches killing images on throws that are originally suppose to bring warmth and comfort, he is deliberately choosing to oppose two major elements: life and death. In a ten minute video, he represents the 2.3 million people currently imprisoned on a map. The use of different color make the rendering visually more effective and speaks a greater deal to the eye.
Another series consists of shots on pieces of white paper. They are created with a pistol and are named by the city and date of the event. The artist runs a series of statistics and unveils that a number of unarmed individuals were shot by the police. Once again Paul Rucker wants to make a visual impact. Instead of explaining and narrating a story, the shots on the white papers create tension. It’s an effective summary of a thousand words.
The purpose of this exhibition is to make a clear testimony on what has happened, is happening and will, undoubtedly happen again in the future. Paul Rucker’s ‘Rewind’ exhibition is displayed at the Baltimore Museum of Art until November 15th 2015. (via huffington post)
Marcela Bolivar is a Colombian digital artist who creates haunting images of women embedded in forests of sinister beauty. Encroached by thorny branches and accompanied by snakes and skull-faced birds, each character is possessed by her own dark element. Like spirits resurrected from the leaf bed, their bodies sprout and mutate, driven by ancient and esoteric powers. Using dark hues and gauzy layers, Bolivar does an incredible job blending savagery with ethereal, feminine beauty. Her work is an expression of the mysticism and secrets that lurk in the wooded landscapes of our dreams.
Bolivar is currently on display at Krab Jab Studio in Seattle. Her work is being featured alongside that of Samuel Araya and Bastien Lecouffe Deharme, artists who also compose stunning, fantasy-based visions of terror and beauty. The exhibition, called The Three Imposters, is inspired by Arthur Machen’s 1895 horror novel of the same name. The exhibition runs until November 7th. You can read more about the show on beautiful.bizarre.