The pollution crisis in China is reaching an all time high. With over 500,000 people dying each year from diseases related to the air quality, it’s a time for action. A company in China called Xiao Zhu has decided to educate the public on just how serious the matter is. They have literally shone a light on the culprits – by projecting images of crying children’s faces onto the guilty factories’ billowing towers of smoke and pollution. As most of the victims of air pollution are children, this artistic protest has a hard hitting message. Stop now, or the future generations will continue to suffer.
The faces themselves are quite hard to stomach. Twisted and contorted faces fade in and out of the smoke clouds. Young boys are covering their mouths with masks trying to breathe without pain. It is an emotionally charged subject, and the company normally responsible for selling air filters have tapped into the drama of the situation. Their creative approach to such a huge environmental problem is working – people are noticing and spreading the word.
Xiao Zhu write this statement to accompany their video on Youtube:
We decided to put a spotlight on air pollution’s biggest culprits—the factories—by using the actual pollution from the factories as a medium…. Clean the air, let the future breathe again. (Source)
Not only is this a message for the whole nation, and world, but most specifically for the industry that is causing the damage. And I’m sure they won’t be able to avoid looking up at their own factories and see the mess they are creating. (Via The Creator’s Project)
Julio Le Parc is the precursor of op art. Originally from Argentina, he moves to Paris, France after his art studies to discover what the city has to offer. Today, he is displayed next to Vasarely’s immersive art pieces. The artist uses fourteen pure colors to create combinations on its paintings. This starting point allows him to work around real movement, multiplication of images, transparency, coloring, space and light. Experimentation is how Julio Le Parc likes to work, that includes making mistakes and taking risks. In another black and white series where he uses spray paint he is looking to experiment with multi surfaces, dynamic visuals and different levels of shades.
Behind the numerous studies of light and movement there is a need for Julio Le Parc to search for a shortcut between the creation of a piece and the experience of the viewers. By rejecting psychology, his aim is to reach the mass with no third party involved. He is taking his political message, his “general analysis of the situation” directly to the eyes of the viewers. He condemns the government method to impose its vision and to leave aside the ideas and opinions of the people. Ideally, he wants a new method to acknowledge ideas wether it’s by a State or an art gallery. For Julio Le Parc, people don’t appreciate art in its time and that’s the fault of galleries and museums imposing their opinions and deciding who will be the next “famous and hot” artist instead of letting the people decide.
Julio Le Parc’s art pieces will be displayed this week at Art Basel and sixty of his work will be printed on silk scarves in collaboration with Hermes.
Josh Jefferson is a Boston-based artist who paints and draws raw, coarsely layered, and geometric portraits. Viewing the face as the locus of emotion and individuality — as well as a mask we shape to convey our identities — Jefferson’s rough-yet-sophisticated style allows him to represent the structures of the face while simultaneously exploring the symbolic interiority of each portrait; with loose and boldly-colored brush strokes and layered washes of paint, Jefferson gives each portrait a constructed superficiality as well as a deeper, visible core: translucent shapes become thoughts floating around inside a skull, eyes sink into deep vortexes, and mouths smile and grimace all at once. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Jefferson described his style and motivations:
“What really gets me excited is when I see a painting that seems effortless — when an artist has confidence and it appears that the painting came about like one fast whiplash, a slaphappy moment. If I could convey that feeling of loose abandon and control I would be happy. The distortions and geometric interpretations in my drawings and paintings act as structures for me to build on and react to. I kind of need to repeat things to find their meaning, and the structures help with this process.”
Just as our emotions shift, fluctuate, and blend together, Jefferson’s imaginative-yet-structured portraits manifest the complexity of inward experiences — experiences that may seem abstract or unreadable to anyone not enduring them personally. As Jefferson strives for that balance between “abandon and control,” there is a distinct sense of chaos and order, childhood lightness and adult stoicism; shifting between semi-transparent shapes and bold lines, Jefferson’s faces invite and repel us. In showing the imperfections amidst an otherwise bold exterior, the portraits allow us to view identity as a careful construction — a facade — over a complex and vulnerable personal world.
Jefferson’s works will be featured at Head First, an exhibition at the TURN Gallery in New York City running from June 24th until August 16th. The gallery will be hosting the opening reception on the 24th from 6-8pm. Check out Jefferson’s website to see a larger collection of his work.
There’s a change happening in a small, rural community in Costa Rica. Latin American satellite company Claro has joined forces with local artists to help housewives advertise and grow their own businesses. In a place where few luxury items can be afforded, every household is certain to have a TV – and also an accompanying satellite dish. So, with the help of creative agency ‘Ogilvy & Mather Costa Rica’, Claro have come up with idea of how to better utilize those dishes for the local residents.
Painted with as many different logos and themes as you can think of, the bright, folksy designs are grabbing all the right kinds of attention. Now, instead of having to rely on word of mouth, or neighbors stopping by occasionally, the women can advertise their goods and services much easier – and to more people. The charming designs advertise making tortillas, ice cream, piñatas, selling flowers, strawberries, eggs, or offering sewing alterations, or haircuts. Now, not only are the women attracting more customers, they are also empowered to think bigger, and to perhaps change their own financial destiny. (Via Lost At E Minor)
According to photographer Ismael Moumin everyone has two sides to their personality. In his cleverly crafted collaged pictures he renders a kind of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde narrative. In portrait style pics he explores dual sensibilities. Some are traditionally made with happy/angry faces while others are left more open to interpretation. The flawless models are aesthetically pleasing to view and in some Moumin cuts parts of their faces to fit perfectly into another, thus making comment about the interchangeable definition of beauty. In one an Asian model is split with a Caucasian lady. Again a subtle reference to what appears on the outside might not necessarily coincide with what is on the inside. Then there are some where he erases the face altogether except for the silhouette and fills it with cosmic looking substances. These become scientific planetary like images which recall mood rings and heat sensitive substances which change at the touch.
Moumin makes his living as a professional photographer. He has done shoots for Rue Blanche, Cacharel, Sage, LESinrocks and Hero Magazine. He is represented by Frenzy Picture in Paris.(via Ineedaguide)
With his work engulfed in geometric shape, the artist known as “Moneyless” creates infinite patterns of triangles and circles that seems to multiply endlessly. The Italian artist having talent in both two and three-dimensional work, his murals and paintings on wood are cosmic bound, mesmerizing and hypnotizing you with its fluid shapes. Originally a street artist, his influences from graffiti is apparent in his work on walls, with their bold color schemes and intense movement across the spaces they inhabit. This breakdown of text based graffiti into more non-representational, abstracted forms and shapes allows for more contextual freedom.
These murals and wall pieces are reminiscent of a kaleidoscope or a Spiro graph, with repetitive circles turning his compositions into large-scale Slinkies. Moneyless’s works on wood contain the same depth and intricacy created from his geometric perception, with an excellent eye on negative space. Staring into these works will have you lost in their unbelievable intricacy and rhythm. Each line is so thin and delicate, but make up a larger part of the stronger whole. This series is brilliantly symmetrical, forming a central focal point that pulls us into the space. The artist sees the triangle shape as the root to life, making up our existence along with everything around us. The reoccurring theme of geometry represents the foundation of life itself.
If Wednesday and Pugsley of the Addams family were born a little later they might’ve had this Gothic half pipe in their backyard. I could almost imagine Gomez and Morticia smoking in front of this beautiful wrought iron structure. Instead artist Brandon Vickerd has made something for today’s skater goth. The pipe isn’t as deep as a traditional transition but it is truly beautiful. The sides holding up the wooden platform are black and resemble the part of a rollercoaster which holds up the tracks. According to the artist he wanted to make something that spoke to architectural design incorporated with a recreational aesthetic. It achieves this goal by exploring a type which is normally found floating around music and alternative fashion. The gothic sensibility isn’t normally associated with athletics which make Vickerd’s creation more intriguing. From certain angles the iron is constructed to look like a row of church steeples. It also has the feel of old bridges and fancy park benches. It’s not clear if the artist is a skater but judging by the care involved in this project it would make sense.
Other projects the artist has been involved is making models of famous busts and other figures such as ghost rider with Skeleton faces. These reference more traditional figurative sculpting techniques and pop art from the 60’s.
The artwork of Audrey Kawasaki is completely irresistible in its portrayal of stunning technique and beautiful women. Her skilled illustration using ink, oil paint, and graphite is a sharp contrast to the natural grain of the wood panel in which she paints on. The warmth of the wood combined with the reds and oranges found in her work create a soft glow that radiates from her work. Each of her women contains an iridescent aura that invites you in, pulling you closer into the frame. There is an unmistakable seductiveness in their eyes, or in one case, the third eye, that is both intriguing and mysterious. As you examine Kawasaki’s work, something begins to feel peculiar. The beauty of her women blinds us before a strange, bizarre element creeps up on us. We slowly realize something is off, when we see things like pink, glowing rabbits circling around the figures or even a snake skeleton sprouting out of the roots of a woman’s hair.
Kawasaki flawlessly offers us women of quiet beauty that leaves us questioning each situation. She pulls her inspiration for her gorgeous paintings from both the distinct style of Manga comics and the swirling, elegance of Art Noveau. The enormously talented artist will have work up at a group show starting this June on the 26th at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Her work is included in the exhibition, Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape.