It’s a girl’s world in these scenes of playful mischief created by an eclectic array of delicate materials by Amanda Michelle Smith. Rendering tiny girls full of energy and angst, the artist uses oil paint, golf leaf, and ceramic pieces to construct her highly textured work. Smith’s talents in painting spritely girls are only matches in her ability in ceramics. Her light and airy palette combined with the rich glazes of the ceramic creates incredibly eye-popping aesthetics. The surface texture and detail in each leaf, tree, and flower jump out at you as they are formed from ceramic, creating a relief.
Although Smith’s work is full of little girls in dresses and bows, things are not always giggles and tea parties. Except, when there is actually a tea party, there are strange ghoulish guests dining in front of a black sky. Each scene has a bizarre flare that is both whimsical and somewhat dark. These are places where grumpy girls hide in a house while tons of little people seek to get inside. Proportions are skewed, size doesn’t matter, and little girls have a mind of their own. These feisty young ladies get into peculiar situations that are so beautifully and intricately constructed. Smith’s use of clay is flawlessly blended into her painting style, creating finished pieces that are begging to be touched. This California based artists creates three dimensional ceramic pieces as well, make sure to check them out on her website!
(via The Jealous Curator)
Adam Friedman celebrates the unchanging mystery of nature in his surreal, hybrid paintings that dissect landscapes from the real world. His newest body of work is bold in color and line, as he portrays scenes of glorious mountains and unwavering glaciers. His unique style depicts scenes of tremendous natural beauty, transformed them into something even more stunning. Plates of the earth seem to shift and glaciers are mirrored in a reversed world that Friedman so skillfully creates. The artist experiments and warps perspective in his paintings, like an M.C. Escher drawing toying with our mind. Sections of mountains are divided and manipulated into geometric patterns and shape that make you question exactly what it is you are looking at. Friedman describes his artwork’s intent.
“Millions of years are compacted into a single instant and rocks become fluid. I strive to present a moment that defies human intervention in the landscape, and pays homage to the potential in the inexplicable.”
Friedman explains that his work celebrates the unknown that the natural world possesses. Society attempts to explain, examine, and make sense of our environment, but there are some things we cannot understand. The beauty in the unknown can be felt in Friedman’s powerful series that radiates with intensity. Mirus Gallery in San Francisco, California currently has a solo exhibition of Friedman’s work on view until July 11th. If you have the chance to see this exhibition, titled Into the Aether, make sure to check out his compelling paintings in person.
Sometimes reflection is more powerful than projection. In Shirin Abedinirad’s mirror installations reflection means seeing the sky change into something else or enhancing an ancient setting by expanding scale and perspective. By showing these in a different light an alternate reality is born. In “Evocation” Shirin fills the barren desert with round mirror discs reflecting the sky which become reflected pools of imaginary water. The precious commodity is shown with laser like precision in its alien environment. As the light and environment change at different times so does the liquid mirage depending on how the sand and wind blow over the mirrors.
In “Heaven on Earth” ancient architecture provides impetus to another reflection. It prompts the viewer to recognize shape and its relation to space. The reflective material is placed on a staircase which makes something grander than what it already is. It turns an already spiritual place into more using the mirror’s ability to expand and see upward as a symbol for the great unknown.
Shirin can be considered a conceptual artist since most if not all of her work is steeped in ideas that transport and transform. She’s also a great illusionist by how she uses the real to create something ethereal and imaginary. (via bored panda)
It is hard to summarize what Ben Jones does. One, overly broad, way to describe his work is that Jones creates genre defying art in a wide range of media, and within his oeuvre there are a lot of nooks and crannies, each of which has its own special ideas and charm. His creative work has been enthusiastically followed by artists since the late 1990s through zines, underground animations, painting and sculpture. I remember seeing something called Paper Rad on the internet around 2003 or 4, and being mesmerized by the bold drawing and color, and, not to be cheesy, but there was also a contagious sense of joy. The imagery remixed pop culture with high cultural stuff like abstract painting. A few years later, towards 2007, the broader popular culture became aware of Jones through his animated television series Problem Solverz, and more recently his new series entitled Stone Quackers. All of the work seems to hover half in the subconscious, placing seemingly real and present iconological formations alongside impossible or wonderful subconscious riffs. In Jones’s work it feels like half the colors are colors, the other half are memories.
Jones has a new exhibition opening Saturday July 11th at Ace Gallery in L.A from 7 to 9pm, and you can see the show until September. This is a major show that is going to transform the gallery. You will be immersed in both high-tech painting and the ladder sculptures we discuss in the interview. His televison show, Stone Quackers, has recently aired new episodes on FXX in the Animation Domination block, and you can see his animations all over the internet and on Hulu.
Hard to believe that a gigantic in situ installation made out of thousands of poplar sticks was built from scratch. Yet, that is the work process of Ben Butler. He started to play with the sticks and came up, as he kept going, with the abstract shape of his piece. Exploration is what guided the artist to assemble the rigid squared voids among the organic impulsive sculpture.
He compares it to hiking in the forest and to realize that nature doesn’t adapt to the human scale. There is no limitation. Through this process we, humans, discover forms and need to engage in order to interact and build meaning. The voids created within the sculpture needs to be filled to complete the work. That is the dialogue Ben Butler wants to encourage between the piece and the viewer, let him make his own discoveries and introspections.
“The art shouldn’t be about art, you bring your owns ideas to it”. Ben Butler is not concerned by fhe final result. It doesn’t matter if it has nothing to do with his starting vision, his process of creation never follows the initial impulse. However, he is comforted by repetitive patterns and rigid parameters. He plays with methodology, in one direction and once the threshold has been reached it’s where a new characteristic emerges and enters an abstract zone that has nothing to do with the original components.
Ben Butler’s “Unbounded” installation is now showing at the Rice University Gallery in Houston, Texas until August 2015. When the exhibition is over, the 10,000 sticks will be disassembled and the sculpture will no longer exist as it was set up in the gallery. (via Design Boom)
Brooklyn based artist Scott Albrecht has a new show opening this coming Friday July 3rd at Andenken Gallery in Amsterdam. Called Here And Now, it is an exploration of themes central to his work: time, inter-connectivity, perception, and consciousness. Albrecht has a holistic approach to his practice – working out different techniques and approaches to the same subjects. He uses a multitude of materials, but they are all definitely from the same collection, and have the same optimistic message: to appreciate life as it is and to live in the moment. He wants us perhaps, to sharpen our awareness of the moment.
The exhibition includes spiritual mottos inscribed on paper: “That brief moment when we forget where we are” “A moment in time”, “All things change”; psychedelic multi-textured star bursts assembled and collaged from paper, and carefully constructed wooden displays filled with philosophical musings.
Nostalgic and romantic, his work has titles that will pull at your heart strings: The Spark, The Visionary, Leaf Life Span, Adventurer, Easy Goer. They seem like personal tarot cards or affirmations for Albrecht. He explains the symbolism behind the leaves, hands and eyes in his work:
The hands are meant to be representative of personalities or character traits. I like using the hand as a canvas with the idea that you can be defined by your actions, and the hands are symbolic to helping facilitate those actions. The eyes are similar but represent observing individual situations. Here the focus is on the idea of those pivotal moments that we’ve all encountered. It’s also about being slightly more aware in your day to day. (Source)
Do you ever wonder what will happen to your body after you die? Thanks to Jae Rhim Lee, our bodies could go out of this world in a way that helps the environment. This ingenious artist has breeched the lines of art, design, science, and death to create something that could change the way we think about burials. Concerned with the alarming amount of harmful toxins and artificial chemicals that human bodies hold even after the point of living, Lee was determined to invent a sustainable way for our bodies to be disposed of during our burials. This led her to start the Infinity Burial Project, where she worked to create, through selective breeding, an infinity mushroom that decomposes bodies and clean toxins while still delivering nutrients to plants.
Through hard work, Jae Rhim Lee’s goals were realized with her creation of the Mushroom Death Suit. This suit, which she so confidently wears while giving her TED talk on the subject, offers an alternative burial method. If wearing the suit while buried, the mushrooms spores that are infused in the lines on the suit decompose and clean your body, forming a whole new green way of death. Lee hopes that this will be a symbol of a new way of thinking about death. She explains that this project is
“A step towards accepting the fact that someday I will die and decay.”
This unique and strange invention may not be appealing to everyone, but shines light on a subject that many may not want to confront. An important lesson about the realities of our bodies decomposing underground can be learned by watching her captivating TED talk.
Israeli-Dutch artist Itamar Gilboa has taken every morsel of food he consumed over a one year period and made an art piece out of it. Tagged “The Food Chain Project” Gilboa documented his intake over 365 days. Most of what he consumed consisted of normal diet items such as apples, burgers, cheese, coffee and soda. In the end he consumed 8,000 products.
After three years, he turned the lengthy documentation into an art piece. Each food item was replicated in white plaster. These became inventory in Gilboa’s traveling supermarket and eventually materialized into exhibits and commentary about hunger around the world. The objects look generic and could stand for any product which could end hunger for one person for a day in a starving country. Using white gives the items an anonymous nature but also prompts you to think about who can be the next to help by buying and filling in the blank so to speak.
Gilboa’s impetus for the project was to bring awareness to hunger and show the amount of food westerners consume and waste. He called it the food chain because of the cycle which occurred by his consumption, art making, selling then donating the money to charity.