Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, famous for his paintings of small children and animals, has a new solo exhibition in Hong Kong called Life is Only One. It recently opened at the Asia Society, and the title of the show comes from Nara’s artwork of the same name. This painting features a child holding a skull and contemplating existence. Conceptually, this isn’t foreign territory for Nara. In an interview with Asia Society, he explains, “When I was a child, the word “life” itself, of course, was a foreign concept. After turning 50, however, and with the deaths of people close to me and with the recent earthquake, I started to think about life more realistically — the limits of life, and the importance of what one can accomplish during that time.”
The children seen in Nara’s works represent what’s inside his head. He describes to Asia Society:
The children were not something I had sought or thought out, but in trying to capture what was in front of my eyes, they appeared as I tried to capture what was formless in my mind. I think, therefore, that my world expands upon my past experiences and memories, and the speaker for my own mind appears as a child. But really, if anything, those children appeared very naturally on the picture plane.
Life is Only One is on view until July 26 of this year. (Via Hi Fructose)
You might write a ton of emails, but how many letters do you sit down to write? The kind that require pen, paper, and often a stamp and envelope. Probably not many. If you hate the task but need an extra-special note, then the company Bond will help you out. It’s an intelligent scribing system that mimics human handwriting. Thanks to automated robots with ink pens, they’re able to write notes and send them to the person of your choice. A pen is attached to a machine that applies weight to the paper as if it’s a human hand.
Bond has a few pricing tiers for their product. If you’re looking for a generic, all-around “handwritten” feel, then you’re not too concerned with it appearing as your actual penmanship. For that, the service is free (with additional costs like the card). But, let’s say you want to send a note that’s to a relative or someone who has an idea of what your scrawls look like. That’s where the cost goes up. Services that are tailored to your penmanship start at $199. Paying $499 will give on an hour of time to work alongside Bond’s experts to refine your handwriting. (Via Laughing Squid and Ubergizmo)
Jacopo Rosati, with his adorable self-consciousness of his English, makes delicious Illustratored illustrations that will for sure make you smile. How could you not? All the little round characters are both cute and MarioBros.-like, with a splash of color. Some of designs have even made it to grace the chests of lucky T-shirt buyers across the globe!
Janol Apin’s “Métropolisson” is a creative project that illustrates the literal translations of the names of various Parisian Metro station stops. The collection of photographs features more than 100 images of Apin’s friends posing in the underground subway stops; from an astronaut in the Champ de Mars station, to a couple dancing tango under the Argentine stop, he leaves nothing out.
With clever puns and creative costumes, Apin makes it possible for this work to be understood by anyone…there’s obviously no need to speak French to capture the essence of this work. Almost every snapshot from this series is comprehensible through the upbeat and universal imagery that the photographer creates. (via Bored Panda)
Melbourne-based artist The Black Math (TBM) changes the meaning of portraits by adding simple line art to the subjects of the photographs. This fusion results in a unique style where parts of a model’s face is completely obscured by black or white shapes and different symbols and markings are drawn over top. It shifts the emphasis from fashion and lifestyle and to something that has an entirely new narrative. Now, there’s something mystical and mysterious as we try to make sense of what TBM has drawn.
All of the photos that the artist altered are of conventionally “beautiful” people, and he transforms them into something we don’t recognize. They’re made especially eerie when the pupils are removed from the eyes. At one point these people’s aesthetically-pleasing appearance probably sold some sort of product. Now, given an entirely new voice and meaning, they are saying something entirely different, which doesn’t necessarily pertain to consumerism.
From far away, Anthony Sneed’s unique brand of Minimalism instantly calls to mind the reductive elegance of Dan Flavin–or the boisterous, hypercolor modernism of Sol Lewitt’s recent work. However, on closer inspection, Sneed’s seeming hard edged “paintings” reveal themselves to be three-dimensional scultpural works; Modern tromp l’oeils of sorts. Sneed’s work amalgamates the conceptual framework of the Minimalist tradition with Op Art’s investigation of the relationship between illusion and picture plane, movement and depth, reality and perception. In this sense, Sneed’s work calls to mind Tony Smith’s geometrical modules, in his capacity to create drama through simplicity, scale, and revealing what is not there.
The illustrations of a free spirit and a wandering mind. How refreshing. In lieu of the “carnal” nature of these plates, I have to say “well done”! Is that “Cheesy”?
Its “refreshing” to see art on such a cathartic level executed beyond stick figures scratched on a notebook. “Cheers”!
In his new book, Across the Ravaged Land,photographer Nick Brandt features petrified animal remains found along a lake in Northern Tanzania that contains lethal levels of alkaline.
Brandt explains, “I unexpectedly found the creatures – all manner of birds and bats – washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. No-one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake. The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.
I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life’, as it were. Reanimated, alive again in death.” (via gizmondo)