People trapped in plastics. This is the theme of the 8 oil paintings by Axel Void for his series titled “Sehnsucht”. Forced or consensual wrapping? After examining the paintings for a minute, the debate does not seem so obsolete. Axel Void suggests an alternative explanation on how to consider these people ; they are pleased with their fate. The title of the exhibition translates as nostalgia; a wistful affection for a period in the past; implying the period of time the artist misses and which is called absurdism. Absurdism symbolises the tension humankind has created for himself, wanting to define the value life without ever being able to do so.
The dichotomy between the classic style of the paintings and the psychologic, almost psychiatric representation of the artist’s nostalgia leaves us disturbed. Moreover, the interpretation of the cellophane or plastic bag can evokes protection, eroticism or asphyxiation. Leaving us full of doubts about what will happen next to these people.
Axel Void highlights in a dark way “the confusion and state of wellbeing within our basic necessities and longing for something else”.
This intermission in which those people are caught, some of them suffering, others patiently waiting is the state of mind of absurdism. For there is no explanation to how we all have gotten here and there is no logical reason to how we will get out of this state either.
The art of Axel Void is a picture of the society issues in a social and psychological way. He interprets in his paintings the stigma of what society is experiencing in response to a quest for answers that will have no ending.
After being apart from her own birth mother for more than 22 years, photographer Ashley Comer decided to meet the woman missing from her life and document the very personal and intense journey. While living in Georgia, Ashley decided to contact the adoption agency that facilitated her very own adoption and found that her birth mother Sheila was living in Florida, a mere 4 hour drive away from her at the time.
Using the excuse of the photographic project, Ashley contacted her birth mother and over several weekends and took some intimate and touching photographs. She managed to capture beautiful scenes of the two of them getting to know one another again, and the similarities in their physical appearance. They not only feature in the photographs together, the images are actually a collaboration between the pair.
It is easy to see the natural bond between the two women in Ashley’s snaps. And even though Ashley has now returned to Massachusetts, meaning they are unable to spend weekends together, she doesn’t doubt that they will keep the newly formed relationship going.
You can see the full collection of photographs from Ashley’s project Meeting Sheilahere. (Via Feature Shoot)
New Zealander Lance Abernethy has managed to build his own dream, quite literally. He has managed to take his fascination for “small things” beyond the imaginary and into his hands. With the help of a 3D printer, patience, and intense precision, Abernethy has succeeded in building a miniature drill that actually works. After basing his project on a life size drill, and converting his measurements to millimeters, he says he spent about three hours connecting headphone wiring to a hearing aid battery.
The fascinating aspect of what he has done lies not only in the idea itself, but also in the fact that he actually created a working tool. The combination of imagination and 3D printer technology has yielded results that could be multiplied and used for an entire toolkit. Abernethy himself says he has the intention of creating an even smaller drill and that he has already found the appropriate battery for it. Imagine a box of tools so small they fit in your pocket. Tools this small would allow you to fix your glasses, watch and maybe even your phone or laptop on the spot, provided you know what needs to be done.
The beauty of Abernethy’s creation lies not only in the concept but in the process of taking an idea and translating it into something tangible. His project reflects both the advancement of technology and our fascination with making our tools smaller than their predecessors.
While sitting under a chair, fifteen toy guns shoot at irregular intervals into the void. The sound is loud, oppressant and the feeling intense. Jonathan Moore has us caught in the real time firing of drone strikes by the US military. The information is then printed in a receipt next to the installation informing of the date, time, location, number of death forecasted and actual number of death.
The “Artificial Killing Machine” interactive installation is built out of a printer, motors, toy cap guns, batteries and a control electronics which accesses every five minutes the public database of the US military drone strikes. The materialized data is allowed to accumulate in perpetuity or until the life cycle of either the database or machine ends. At first, the installation doesn’t appear frightening, its painted in white, symbol of innocence. The sound, however, is what starts to make the experience difficult. It becomes almost unbearable once the purpose of the art piece is understood. (For a better understanding please watch the video below).
Visual artist Jonathan Moore interacts with powerful significant data in order to question war, technology improvement and perception of death. He places statistics and data in a context that gives the opportunity to realize what is actually happening. The means used are playful and familiar, the toy cap guns and the receipts put us in an intimate territory; making the rest of the experience harsh and uncomfortable. (via Supersonicart)
Ramona Zordini is an Italian photographer who seeks to explore states of ambiguity and transition in her work. Featured here is Changing Time III, the third part of a series of images wherein bodies float, twist, and thrash in a murky tide of passion and despair. There is a sense of profound liminality as the figures skim the water’s surface; bare skin is exposed to the air and light, while faces are obscured, making their emotional experiences unreadable to the viewer. Some of the photos feature solitary bodies, curled up as the water embraces them. Elsewhere, lovers cling together, groping wet, chilled flesh in postures that are both erotically charged and desperately troubling.
The emotions these images provoke are both powerful and conflicting — are we seeing lovers holding on to each other out of need in an unforgiving world? Or are they destroying each other? Indeed, some of the water around the figures looks milky and eerily bloodstained, suspending the couples in a dark, amniotic fluid wherein they hunger for connection and love. The submerged faces, arched torsos, and reaching limbs suggest imminent death as much as they do the submission experienced in sex and desire.
“I would like the impermeability of things to touch every sensation,” Zordini writes on her biography page, explaining her drive to explore uncertain states of transience and becoming. “Ambiguous term, ambiguous place, gesture, thought […] there is nothing like yesterday.” (Source) Ambiguity permeates Changing Time; drifting in states between life and death, passion and sorrow, the nude figures unfurl on the edges of their own physical and psychological evolutions.
Artist Patricia Piccinini has a very impressive and eclectic range of artistic talents. Her body of work includes drawings, installations, and even a giant hot-air balloon that has floated across Australia. Her astonishingly hyper-real sculptures, however, truly give you an image that you will not soon forget. Made from silicone, acrylic, and fiberglass, Patricia Piccinini forms creatures that appear to be somewhat human, but altogether alien. They seem to be alive, as they stare back at you with emotion-filled eyes. They exhibit traits of humans, like lifelike hair and fleshy skin, but are unmistakably not. It is as if they are hybrid animals living amongst us. Many of her sculptures include one of her hairless, mutated creatures alongside of what appears to be a real human. The dichotomy between this possible mutated creatures and a “human” is interesting, because neither one is actually real.
Patricia Piccinini’s work explores ethical issues surrounding cloning, DNA, and genetic mutation. Her shocking sculptures point a firm finger at human kind’s manipulation of nature and the possible consequences. The effect science has on the natural world and the creatures inhabiting it are a reoccurring theme in Piccinini’s work. We see her sculptures that look so realistic; it is as if these grotesque creatures really do exist. Portraying them with human-like features gives way to pity and empathy for the creatures. The artist’s incredibly intriguing work is one of unbelievable skill that holds a strong, often controversial, message on genetic alteration and mankind’s hand in nature.
These beautiful marbles from Portland based glass artist Mike Gong shows us he hasn’t lost his marbles at all – he has definitely still got them and, in fact, wants us to buy them. The talented man hand crafts colorful, intricate marbles filled with psychedelic swirls, bubbles, swooshes, and flecks. Ranging from about 13mm to 50mm, his marbles, which he calls ‘Acid Eaters’ are incredibly detailed and contain amazing miniature worlds within.
Gong’s marbles are full of abstract colors and forms, and he really exploits the materiality of the glass. Only with this particular material – and Gong’s patience and skill – can he achieve the depth, transparency and luminescence we see. You can purchase them here to look at them up close and in depth yourself. (Via Juxtapoz)
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, this artist takes the written word and uses it to carve rolling hills and steep mountains. Artist Guy Laramee transforms the pages of a book into a breathtaking a landscape by carving and shaping its pages into different geography. He uses books like encyclopedias and dictionaries to create mostly cliffs and steep rock formations. These tiny environments are incredibly detailed, as you can see each small tree, bush, and layer of earth. It is as if the pages have been corroded away, producing new form in the books. Erosion is a heavy theme in Guy Laramee’s body of work. Interested in ethnography, he explains that parts of cultures are often eroded away, lost to the hands of time. As technology advances, in print materials, such as encyclopedias, are on their way to being obsolete. The artist uses these “archaic” tools and utilizes them in a new way. Once a source for knowledge, now questions what is at risk of being lost culturally if these physical books do indeed disappear.
Guy Laramee is not just a talented paper sculpture, as you can see from the covers of the books he uses. He beautifully paints birds and sky on the covers and displays them upright so that you can see both sides. Both the inside and outside of these books are transformed into something amazing, showing different forms of nature. His miniature environments and ecosystems now live in the pages of books, reminding us of what stories and knowledge could possibly lay between the pages.