Artist Kate MacDowell uses porcelain clay to craft her nature-inspired works. MacDowell’s works are realistically sculpted and meticulous. Hollowing out a solid form and building each piece leaf by leaf and feather by feather, she intimately involves herself with the process of building. The works themselves are beautiful, ghostly white and evoke a very serene feeling. Upon a closer examination, however, things aren’t quite right. A large bird has human hands instead of its normal claws, and an apple has a tiny skull inside of it. Mice have ears on their backs. MacDwell explains in a statement, writing:
In my work this romantic ideal of union with the natural world conflicts with our contemporary impact on the environment. These pieces are in part responses to environmental stressors including climate change, toxic pollution, and gm crops. They also borrow from myth, art history, figures of speech and other cultural touchstones. In some pieces aspects of the human figure stand-in for ourselves and act out sometimes harrowing, sometimes humorous transformations which illustrate our current relationship with the natural world. In others, animals take on anthropomorphic qualities when they are given safety equipment to attempt to protect them from man-made environmental threats. In each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.
The careful construction and fragility of material MacDowell has chosen coincides conceptually with her work.
Looking at Dawn Tan’s sculptures makes me hungry. The young Melbourne based artist is interested in how packaged food is taking over natural, organic food and how traditional made-from-scratch meals are becoming replaced by frozen/fast food. Dawn also has a fun series of performance based photography work that you can also check out after the jump.
I absolutely love these intricate and meditative carvings by Pete Goldlust. Not only is the artists medium of choice everyones favorite childhood drawing tool but each piece was meticulously carved by hand creating totem-like objects that could be held in the palm of your hands. There’s obviously a large Brâncuși influence in each of these works but a “sense of play” is intrigal to all of Goldlust’s creative endeavors. (via)
Originally from Russia, Sasha Tugolukova moved to London to pursue a career in art and illustration. Certainly not one to shy away from mixed media, Tugolukova produces collage images of what seem to be cut-outs from fashion photography and melds them together to create a piece of style and grace all her own.
Dutch artist Art Van Triest plays a dangerous game. He encourages people to break the law, just by fitting a jigsaw puzzle piece together. After tracking down different weapons that are illegal to possess (Kalashnikov, Pistol, Machete), he uses a water cutter to splice them up into traditional jigsaw puzzle piece shapes.
For Triest it is important for the work to be made out of an actual weapon, and for the person solving the puzzle to be committing an illegal activity. He tells The Creator’s Project:
According to Dutch law, it is illegal to have any object that can be mistaken for a weapon, even when that weapon it is no longer useable… [to possess] a non-working gun-like object is already prosecutable. As an artist I think it is interesting to create work that embodies a kind of friction, an object that is at once a toy and a weapon. (Source)
Triest creates many different games and playful art pieces he wants the audience to interact with. He aims to change how people perceive everyday items they would normally avoid. In one piece (Dubbellloops / Shake Hands) he has welded two guns together and asks people to hold one trigger at the same time, as a method to ‘get to know each other’. In his installation Platoon, he places visitors looking directly down the barrel of a firing squad and has lasers following them around the space. Exploring the border between ‘object’ and ‘weapon’, Triest turns normally dangerous items into harmless, even playful ones.
Exploring turning other unsuitable objects into puzzles, Triest has a bright idea for his next project, that I’m sure will attract a lot of curious people wanting to solve it.
French artist Olivier Garraud has created Second Life, an installation that encapsulates the life cycle of flies in real time. The piece consists of two parts: an apparatus that allows flies access to food, and a tube filled with maggots and flies connected to an amplifier. Second Life allows us to examine the relatively short life-span of an insect on concise, bare bones terms, generating a context which can be applied to personal events. More images after the jump, and you can also check out a video of the installation in action here.
Eric Sall‘s paintings wild little worlds. Their use of graphic lines and bold colors invites you in with the fleeting impression of cartoon familiarity, but the second you come get into them you’re taken on a whirlwind tour of psychedelic movement and color. Sall’s paintings are a perfect mix of unreal, drug-induced, semi-spiritual visions with just enough familiar shapes and lines to keep you looking for something you know is there, like an epiphanic episode where you can’t quite put your finger on exactly what this life changing realization is that just came to you. As you’ll see after the jump, his installation style reminds me a lot of how Ed Templeton hangs his photography, but more so. If you have time, you should take the next fifteen minutes to really get lost in these.