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Chun Kwang Young’s Intricate Topographical Sculptures Crafted With Newspaper, Each Telling Its Own Endless Story

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Korean artist Chun Kwang Young began sculpting when he came to New York as a means to processing what he witnessed as a materialistic society ceaselessly searching for “more.” Using newspapers, which he folds into small prisms, these sculptures form as a compilation of our verbal recording of history, opinion, and discovery. Figuratively, the sculptures emerge like topographical maps of rocky landscapes, or planetary surfaces. Points and crags describing a rocky terrain that is nearly unnavigable. Metaphorically, this work is a culmination of the floating lexicon of our time; the ongoing conversation of man compiled in a three dimensional format, echoing the voices that pass each day through our print media. Each figure is a time capsule of pieced data and voice. Although the sculptures themselves are mute, each has a strong story to tell. As Young describes his work:

“Every piece of information is the end product of a struggle for hegemony, as well as an accumulation of human experience. One hypothesis ceaselessly conflicts with another, and finally becomes a new knowledge. While these kinds of processes are sometimes made in a peaceful way through debates and publications, they sometimes happen in the shape of physical conflicts like wars led by the governing class.”

His work is a symbolic expression of how words form into actions and become words again- a speech becomes a call to action, which becomes a war, which is then recounted through story. Everything seamless weaves into itself, a cyclical timeline we hardly noticed as we are so permanently bound to it. (Excerpt from Source)

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Pierre And Gilles’ Pop Icon Portraits Made With Sex And Glitter

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Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard – Pierre and Gilles – have made portraits of Madonna, Jean Paul Gaultier, Andy Warhol, and Iggy Pop, just to name a few. The portraits are sexually charged and totally fantastical. Their subjects are placed under water, surrounded by flowers, or in what looks like a McDonalds ball pen (a not so subtle reference, in the tradition of most of their portraiture). Their kitschy and outlandish aesthetic has had them attain international recognition; they’re included in collections like the MoMA’s and have had a major retrospective at the New Museum in 2000.

Not only do they work together professionally, they have also been together as a couple for the duration of their shared career. Pierre is the photographer, and Gilles does the painting afterward. According to a VMagazine interview, the entire process of one portrait takes them about three weeks:

“We do everything from creating the décor to taking the picture to constructing the frame. We are always inspired by the person’s personality.”

Although their sexual orientation is a large part of their public persona, they say they are cautious not to pigeonhole themselves into what they call the “gay ghetto” and for this reason take portraits of a variety of celebrities they admire, while maintaining their own distinct style.

Their aesthetic is whimsical and edgy. Certainly setting a man up fully nude peeing into a garden of flowers is not an image you will see every day. It’s provocative, but not aggressive, probably because of the teasing, over-the-top nature of the accompanying imagery. They find a way to playfully bring the mainstream out of its comfort zone so it seems like every day should be filled with sexy nuns riding bedazzled horses!

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Mark Farid Wants To Spend 28 Days As Another Person Through A Virtual Reality Headset

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Artist Mark Farid is attempting to undertake a strenuous social experiment and is asking for your assistance. He has a Kickstarter project called Seeing-I which is aimed at raising enough money to develop a headset that he will wear for 24 hours a day, for 28 days in a row. With the piece of technology he will live his daily life completely and utterly through the experience of another person. He will see everything through the eyes of the second person, including when they go to the cinema, to the toilet and having sex. The only prerequisites for this other human – naturally called “The Other” is to be over 21 years, a heterosexual male, currently living with his partner, and they must agree it to. If you personally suit those guidelines, you can apply here to become a part of the experiment.

Farid will throughout the process be living completely on display in a small box containing only a bed, a toilet and a shower. All of his actions will be open for all to witness and completely transparent. Because of the intensity of this project and what could be mentally damaging to most people, Farid will have the support of one psychologist for one hour a day, and will be the only time he is able to talk to someone.

The Seeing-I project will result in a documentary wanting to explore just how virtual reality affects us emotionally, the role of the individual in the larger society, how we define ourselves through what we see, and we know of ourselves. Farid says about the integrity of the project:

I don’t think any of the realities in which we live are genuine. We take this physical reality as ‘real’, but, you know, every building, road, park and garden has been designed… Everything within our existence is unnatural. We live in an entirely man-made world, where none of it is ‘real’. (Source) (Via Dazed Digital)

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Mitch Dobrowner Photographs Stunning Scenes Of America’s Landscape

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Inspired by Ansel Adams and evocative of the past, the incredible work of New York-based photographer Mitch Dobrowner portrays sublime, monumental scenes of nature.  Rendered in stark black-and-white and beautifully composed, his photographs are undoubtedly aesthetically alluring.  Surprisingly, however, the story behind the visually captivating works is even more moving.

Raised in Long Island, Dobrowner struggled with his identity and purpose as a teenager. In response to this apparent lack of direction and sense of self, his father offered him “an an old Argus rangefinder to fool around with.” After researching photography and tinkering with his camera, Dobrowner was hooked. Shortly thereafter, at the age of 21, he left home and embarked on a journey to explore the American Southwest–a theme that which would eventually materialize as a major motif in his oeuvre.

After meeting his wife in California, Dobrowner set his photography aside in order to settle down, raise a family, and operate a business.  Although his photographic career reached a plateau lasting several years, he was inspired to reacquaint himself with the craft again in 2005. Rather than stagnating his zeal or hindering his success, however, his break from photography, if anything, added fuel to his fire.  He explains:

“Today I see myself on a passionate mission to make up for years of lost time – creating images that help evoke how I see our wonderful planet.”

And, with his snapshots of swirling storm clouds, harrowing canyons, and towering landmasses, both his passion and perspective remain undeniabily apparent.

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Peter Pincus’ 3D-Paintings In The Form Of Ceramic Pots

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Peter Pincus is a New York-based ceramic artist whose relatively simple forms are punctuated by blocks of color. The clean and modern pots, urns, and cups are mostly gray with accents of blue, yellow, salmon, and more that are laid side by side in thin strips. Occasionally, gold lines the edges.

The forms are very structured, as are their designs. Colors are evenly portioned and thin lines, contrasting-colored divide gray sections of the ceramics. If we were to remove the surface designs from the clay, they could stand alone as abstract paintings. And, that’s partially the point of Pincus’ work. He writes in an artist statement:

I produce three-dimensional paintings out of pots. The studio challenge is to determine a way to create containers that belong not only on the dinner table, but also elsewhere in the home. Many of my pots are status symbols saved for special occasions, generally deemed distinct because of the value of what they hold rather than for what they are. But to me, in between such occasions, they become canvases that visually illustrate the defining spirit of the times, despite their being utilitarian and made of clay, not canvas. They still need to do their job; to be genuine, they must be functional as well as opulent. But they can be so much more.

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Powerfully Disturbing And Certainly Controversial Art By The Kid

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Powerfully disturbing, and certainly controversial, the art that 22-year old artist The Kid creates spans genres. He describes his work as “forever caught between innocence and corruption,” and the well-executed pieces are compelling with their huge, detailed, Bic pen-drawn faces and hyper-realistic sculpted bodies. Photos of his sculptures, made from materials such as platinum silicon, glass fiber, oil paint, human hair, cotton, and mixed fabrics, force you to look, and look again, in order to believe that they are, in fact, inanimate objects.

In his latest work, The Kid is influenced by bullying inflicted on him by fellow students and teachers when he was younger. The sculpture “Do you believe in God?” which depicts the artist kneeling and holding a gun in his own mouth, was in response to the Columbine killers, who he feels he understands and sees as “victims of a social context.”

“All subjects of my drawings for the exhibition “endgame” really exist and are currently being held in prison-even in the United States-with exactly these tattoos. They are not imaginary and no detail is invented. They are all serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, until they die in prison. There is no other hope for them-a life in adult prison at the beginning of their sentence, that’s all, even though they have been convicted of violent crimes they committed before the age of 18.” (Source)

It’s clear that The Kid empathizes with these stigmatized subjects and hopes to give them back some humanity by evoking compassion from the viewer. Many share his view that social determinism condemns people from birth because of their familial circumstances, but by depicting, in such a graphic way, a sampling of those who are affected, he brings attention to the issue. It’s not empty sentiment, either. The Kid donated a portion of the profits from this work to the non-profit organization Human Rights Watch, which defends the rights of people worldwide. (Via yatzer)

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Sven Sachsalber Literally Looks For A Needle In A Haystack As Part Of 24 Hour Performance

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While, to most, the phrase “looking for a needle in a haystack” is merely a humdrum idiom, to performance artist Sven Sachsalber, it’s a challenge. That is why Sachsalber opted to devote 24 hours to handpicking his way through a pile of hay set in the Palais de Tokyo. The entire performance was documented as a video on a live feed, and–spoiler alert!–18 hours passed before the artist finally found the elusive bodkin.

While, as in the case of Looking for a Needle in the Haystack, Sachsalber tends to gravitate toward performance art, he also shows an inclination toward sculpture, film, and photography–a fact that is worth noting when considering this recent project.  By placing an enormous haystack within the context of an art museum and filming himself interacting with it, the artist inadvertently transforms the mound into a piece that transcends traditional artistic description.

Galerie Rianne Groen describes his ourvre as “often funny, often serious and sometimes both,” and emphasizes that “his works have a universal poetic element that does not need much explanation.” And, with this literal, almost tongue-in-cheek interpretation of such a tried and true figure of speech, this statement undoubtedly holds true. (Via Hypebeast)

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Bela Borsodi’s Balloon Caricatures Pose For The Camera In These Ridiculously Cute Portraits

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Bela Borsodi is a prolific image maker. And not only does he make brightly colored, cartoonish images by taking photos of balloons wearing funny costumes. Since 1999 he has been taking photographs of still lifes full of humor, optical illusions, weird proportions, color play, and whimsical objects. His work may look like child’s play, but his clients have included Vogue Russia, Bloomingdales, H&M, Puma, Target, Hermes and Swarovski. His hilarious campaigns feature sunglasses casually draped on blocks of cheese, faces made out of folded clothes, outfits worn by invisible people and masked figures juggling shoes. The Austrian photographer says:

I love making things and putting things in an unusual context incorporating various visual languages coming from art and graphic design–eroticism is also a fascination of me that I love exploring. (Source)

Borsodi has a knack for turning the plainest things into something surreal and wonderful. By simply styling, or suggesting a few details, he can animate mundane objects into jovial caricatures. Add a wig to a balloon and it is no longer an inflated bit of latex, but now it is suddenly transformed into Marge Simpson. Or add a few brooches and faux fur to pink balloon, and we go from a child’s party to a drag show. Or another one: just fasten a tie, a belt, wrap on sunglasses and place a pile of string on a strangely shaped balloon, and we now see a boss trying to party on Casual Friday. Borsodi goes on:

Often when you only change the context of things you can find new meaning. Or you add something to an object or you take something away from it. Or you put it upside down. All this can change it – a glass put upside down loses all its original function and becomes just a “thing”. (Source)

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