“First tree” represents the awareness of our existence, one that sits upon us like the world on our shoulders.
The Blue Tree questions who and what we are.
The Tree of Man, we are all connected.
The erotic art of Sydney Australia based Garth Knight entails a series of six suspended ‘trees’ ( in order: first, blue,heart, man, lost, and red) all which are made out of rocks and ropes. Each individual “tree” is created over one or two naked bodies, often posing in very sensual positions. If the ‘trees’ are observed in order, they create a linear narrative- one that tells, through stunning and innovative imagery, the story of human existence. The artists accompanies his images with text; the words further narrate the story he is trying to tell.
Knights multi-disciplinary practice covers various areas including installation, sculpture, and photo media. As you can acknowledge from the photos shown here, his works often (almost always) include the use of rope bondage, amongst other erotic elements that mesh with ideas of strength, pleasure, and sexuality. You can check out more of his works on here.(via Beautiful.Bizzare Magazine)
For monograph Ad Infinitum, the photographer Kris Vervaeke captured small human likenesses etched in porcelain and affixed to hundreds of tombstones in Hong Kong. The dreamy book is potent for its simplicity; every page turn finds a blank white page fixed beside the a weathered portrait of an anonymous soul. Each capture magically veers from the photographic, entering a realm of abstraction evocative of fading memory. With every page, comes that same blankness, which functions to blur the portraits further, reminding the viewer that someday our own human faces will be washed away entirely.
The series works poignantly to make the reader forget—if only for an instant— that it is not composed of ordinary photographs of living, breathing people. Although the tombstones have been worn (in some cases more than others), the artist’s precise and intimate frame invites us to search for markers of human character; if we lose the eyes, we find glasses, and even amongst the faceless we discover hats. With each progressive photograph, the viewer clings to these signifiers of humanity, only to find him or herself frantically making meaning from the most impersonal cracked stone or chipped paint.
Ultimately, though, the images are not portraits but photographs of portraits, poignantly denying us any clear picture of who, when, or what these people were. A person dies. A body deteriorates. A portrait is chosen for a tombstone. A tombstone deteriorates. Someone takes a picture. With every progressive step, individual life fades bitterly into a mysterious realm just beyond our reach, Ad Infinitum. (via Lensculture and The Independent Photo Book)
installation to raise awareness about wildfire in Texas
One of the only independent buyers in the world who maintains an account with Crayola, Herb Williams is a bit obsessed. Living and working in Nashville, TN, Williams uses tens of thousands of crayons to create his often life-size sculptures. Williams pursues both play and larger ideas; he is interested in identifying iconic objects that society perceives to fit one role, and then reintroducing them in a different subtext. Williams explores concepts such as childhood, sexuality, religion and social hierarchy all using crayons. Considering everything down to the smell (crayons of course) that his sculptures exude Williams works meticulously, cutting down crayons to the size he needs and individually bonding them to create his forms.
For a special project for the National Heritage Center, for example, Williams created an outdoor installation meant to raise awareness about wildfire. The installation consisted of three freestanding sculptures, which abstractly resembled fire that slowly melted in the Texas weather conditions. Created in vivid colors the installation provided a stark contrast to the dry, brown landscape and certainly was reminiscent of an actual wildfire. A unique way to draw attention to a serious problem, the installation remained standing from October through the end of the year.
A common enough material, Williams has managed to give crayons a wholly new purpose in art making. As he says, “my intent is to continue to seriously create art that looks at itself unseriously.” See more of his work and read about him on his website.
For her series “Animal Alchemy,” the sculptor Jessica Joslin uses delicate found animal bones and antique metal works to build an array of animal acrobats, who play at balancing on balls and interacting with one another. As suggested by the work’s alliterated title, her pieces present a touching marriage of the biological and chemical. The incorporation of once-living materials succeeds seamlessly for Joslin’s choice to use nostalgic and decorative out-of-date metals; against the rusted filigree of fragmented keepsakes, the time-bleached animal bones appear right at home.
Joslin’s creatures navigate a fine line between fragility and aggression; in a piece titled Troy, the reimagines the deceptively merciful figure of the Trojan Horse, fortifying a spindly neck with bullet casings. Frail skulls wear protective armor as if preparing for some ancient battle. Against the sheen of durable metals, animal bones appear unexpectedly delicate despite their sharp teeth and clawing talons.
With breathtaking precision, the artist allows her bony creatures a single mark of vitality, filling their cavernous sockets with marbly eyes. The careful emotionality of the pieces ultimately makes them more gentle than frightful; the sculptor subtly realizes their personalities and relations with one another through the downcast slant or expectant focus of a pupil. A particularly poignant two-headed tortoise is only given two inner eyes, causing each head to fixate the other without access to a peripheral world. Similarly, a horselike beast gazes upwards balefully, pulling the heavy carriage behind him.
Each piece, beautifully fashioned with discarded bones and obsolete metalworks, performs for the viewer, imploring us not to forget their purpose. Take a look. “Animal Alchemy” is now on display in Scottsdale, AZ at Lisa Sette Gallery. (via Hi-Fructose)
Adam Lister combines geometric abstraction, cubism, minimalism, pixelation, and popular culture to create his vibrant watercolor paintings. Through visual abstraction, Lister is able to render familiar images from film, television, and the art world, combining various nostalgic representations. In a collaboration with artist Isaac Budmen, Lister also creates 3D sculptures of these 8 bit paintings by using a 3D printer and sandstone that are available for sale.
Lister explains to The Washington Post, “Having grown up playing Atari and Nintendo video games, this broken-down, angular method of processing and displaying information became an interesting guideline for me to translate and selectively restructure some of the most famous paintings in the world.” (via neatorama)
Installation view Irreducible Complexity/ You and I and Irreducible Complexity/heart
The sculptural work of Andrea Haslerhas always created a dichotomous dynamic – push and pull, revulsion and attraction. The Zurich, Switzerland-born artist (previously featured here) has used her trademark visual medium of sculpted fiber-glass covered with wax to insinuate the human body, with equal parts inference to our insides as well as outsides.
Her newest work is title Embrace the Base, a commission for Greenham Common in Berkshire, England by New Greenham Arts. The site, which held the longest women’s protest against a site storing nuclear weapons in the early 1980′s, is rich with history and emotion. The larger pieces in Hasler’s commission recall the tents that these women protesters erected in their camp outside of the military base which now serves as a cultural meeting place.
“For the New Greenham Arts Exhibition, I have created a new sculptural body of work that takes Greenham Common’s history as a starting point, particularly with the Women’s Peace Camp with its tents situated on the site during this time. This new work also takes into account the historical perspective. as well as entwines with the recreational aspect of how Greenham Common as a site, is being used now, as well as the New Greenham Art gallery being located in the former American Army’s entertainment quarter. Metaphorically I am taking the notion of the tents which were on site during the Women’s Peace Camp, as the container for emotions, and “humanise” these elements to create emotional surfaces.
Hasler mentions that with Embrace the Base she is taking a political element as a starting point and then involving body politics. In Matriarch and Next of Kin, two tent forms, cloaked in skin-like covering, recall the tents that these protesters erected in the Women’s Peace Camp. While one tent is a full-sized replica, the other scaled down, and as the artist hints, most likely represents a mother and child relationship. Often working with skin as a loaded (and typically, simultaneously literal) metaphor, Hasler says, “It’s almost like I am taking the fabric of the tent, the sort of the nylon element of the tent, and I make the fabric, this skin layer as sort of the container for emotion, or sort of the container to hold emotion, as in the skin holding emotion.”
Brooklyn-based photographer Marco Scozzaro creates Mirror Neurons, a straight- forwards series of photographs that capture the bodies of men and women wearing nude tights. You might be thinking that this project is kind of pointless, but in actuality it isn’t. Scozzaro’s clever ways of conceptualizing his pieces challenge the viewer to think outside the box and ultimately reach various conclusions at once.
Scozzaro began his project by photographing a series of nudes in front of a neutral background and had the models wear a pair of skin color tights as a metaphor for conformism. As the project developed (and gave it a name), Scozzaro started thinking about the motives behind his artistic choices.
Mirrors Neurons a family of neural cells considered to be the neurological base of imitation. I used this scientific element as a starting point to reflect on how different people follow the same way of thinking. It’s a projection on personal feelings such as solitude, detachment, shyness and the urge to connect with others.—Marco Scozzaro
Like in most of his projects, Scozzaro’s subtle but powerful and beautiful images allow for different layers of interpretation. In this specific case, we can take the nude tights as a symbol that simultaneously represents ideas of oppression and vulnerability. His interesting way of transferring concepts into these carefully arranged portraits extends its topic to a broader range of issues including identity, gender, and relationships. (via Feature Shoot)
Wooden framework, first stage for mounting elephant
Assembling bones for Nodosaurus dinosaur skeleton from dinosaur bone collection
Charles Lang and Carl Sorensen working on skull of Palaeoloxodon antiquus italicus
Museum staff with fossil shark jaws under restoration
If you’ve ever been to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, you’ve probably spent some time marveling at the grandiose installations and the larger-than life exhibits of species that are both alive and extinct. The Research Library at the museum kept incredible records of how these things were produced and have the photographs available for view on their website. These behind-the-scenes looks are fascinating, featuring taxidermy, assemblage, and the hoisting up of giant bones.
Employes built a lot of the structures from the ground up, forming armatures for what were birds, elephants, antelopes, and more. There was also fun to be had with large fossils, like a shark’s jaw, where we see one of the employees suspended in air, sitting on it, paying the giant teeth very little mind.
Removed from context, there is a surreal quality to these photographs. They represent a different time, an era when we didn’t have all the technological advances that we do today. Because of this, things in the museum have the tendency to feel dated and look aged, but these records show the amount of knowledge of craft and handiwork that had to go into the giant exhibits that we still visit today. (Via Fish Eyes)