Londoner Petra Storrs is not just a set, prop, and costume/fashion designer– she’s an artist who collaborates with performers to transcend ideas beyond the ephemeral and into a sturdy cult of fantasy. The “reflective mirror dress” she designed for Paloma Faith, for example, not only sharpens the singer’s playful theatrical identity, but further investigates this concept of “the gaze”. In Dazed and Confused Magazine, Faith elaborates on the intention, “Obviously, as a performer, I am normally the observed, but I wanted to flip that dynamic around and make the audience the focus.” Storrs response, of course, was to whip up a garment that literally does just that.
But it’s not just creative camaraderie that gets Storrs’ juices flowing– she also finds inspiration from everyday objects and history, or everyday objects that hold history such as . . . tea. Camellia & the Rabbit, her latest design endeavor (collected here), involves performance artist Rachel Snider, who uses “tea as a central motif/metaphor” and a narrative “like sea shanties” to interweave “historical facts and stories of tea”– thus, evoking our own personal relationship to this British afternoon tradition.
Artist Sun K. Kwak paints with tape. She had begun her career as a painter but had felt disconnected with the medium. After experimenting with black masking tape Kwak had found her choice medium. Speaking of her first experience working with the tape, she says, “It felt like black ink pouring out over my fingers. It was very fresh, alive, and free.” The large installation pictured here is found at the Brooklyn Museum and is titled Enfolding 280 Hours – a reference to the amount of time needed to install the work.
The work of legendary street artist Banksy is now iconic, even throughout the larger art world. Photographer Nick Stern uses these easily recognizable images as a starting point. Stern literally brings Banksy’s pieces to life. He restages the wall art using real people and objects in place of the spray paint and posters. Using living subjects adds emphasis to the often powerful and startling art of Banksy.
These incredibly realistic birds are not alive – surprisingly they’re only paper models. In fact, artist Johan Scherft out of only paper, glue, and paint. He models each bird’s unique shape on his computer than constructs and paints the rest by hand. While the fold-and-glue-tabs model provides each bird with their distinctive body shape, the realism is in Scherft’s careful painting. He says of the painting, “For this part, I take the most time. With very fine brushes, I try to achieve the most realistic effect in color and detail. I use watercolors or gouache paint. It’s always an exciting moment once the template has been painted to assemble the bird and see what the result is.” [via]
Lucia Scerankova lives and works in Prague and London. Without the use of digital manipulation, Scerankova’s photographs often feature a single reality bending oddity within a mundane setting. In one image a marble slab appears to fold while walked upon, elsewhere a drip of coffee remains frozen in time. These subtle works are comforting and disorienting all at once and allow the viewer to question the nature of time, gravity, and memory. In her own words: “I am interested in active physical approach to photography, to deal with the relation between photography and spaciousness. Outcomes are then home to handmade analogue special effects without use of digital manipulation. Illusion, fiction and myth are the themes which are attractive for me in my practice. I deal with the relationship to perceived, experienced and imagined reality.”(via)
Rob Sato’s watercolor paintings are whimsical clashes of documented history and personal dreaming: a magpie pictorial narrative of his own internal processing system or as he says, an “extension of writing” and “sifting through garbage. Getting a lot of trash out of my head.” His ability to condense worlds, communities, and landscapes into one surreal solid depiction, interestingly enough, conceptually harkens back to Vincent VanGogh’s statement on the watercolor medium itself as “a splendid thing” to “express atmosphere and distance, so that the figure is surrounded by air and can breathe in it.”
Informed by a mixture of science, geometry & mythology, the intentionality behind artist Dayna Thacker‘s layered landscapes lies in a quest for perfect methodology. She searches through informational systems, ancient patterns and mathematical equations for inspiration, seeking to find a connection between method and an elevated sense of inner peace. ”Our inner and outer selves interact, inform and create the other: physical & spiritual, logical & intuitive, intellectual & psychological, conscious & subconscious,” she says.
Translating her research and interests to physical inquiry, Thacker develops intricate repeat patterns that she then hand-cuts into photographic investigations of landscape. The ritual, repeated nature of the cutting echoes aspects of her research process—one has to wonder if this mindful state is achieved in the making, or in the final viewing of these lace-like, multi-layered compositions.
Despite its 130 year history Paris’ building known as Les Bains was declared unsafe in 2010. The building will undergo renovations and reopen in 2014. In the meantime, however, the building’s owner has opened it up to street artists. The residency program, known as One Day One Artist, allows artists to work in the sprawling building. The result is a kind of street art heaven. A small selection of the artists involved are pictured here: (respectively) The Atlas, Seth, Sambre, Jeanne Susplugas, SWIZ, Philippe Baudelocque, ZeeR, Thomas Canto, and STEN LEX. [via]