The world of Chu Teppa is magical. She recalls memories from her childhood and from those she creates mythological goddesses. Among the seven dolls forming the family, there’s Cîz, Goddess of light, predictions and hope riding her swan and leading a bottled frog; Dvü, Goddess of inspiration and fertility with her cat nose and Hyê Goddess of maternity, kindness and antics holding two pigs and wearing a pig nose herself.
Each doll is white, a color dear to Chu Teppa which, according to her, brings peace and comfort. Interested in the expression of feelings and emotions, she uses white as a mask, a layer that helps forget worries. In opposition, the touch of vivid colors symbolizes life as joy and pain. Wanting to design tender sculptures, the artist nevertheless claims that imperfection is part of being human and that it shouldn’t be forgotten. If color has a strong meaning in the art of Chu Teppa, the 3 lettered names of the goddesses are even more relevant. The number three, according to the artist, is an expression of artistic expression, vital optimism and abundance.
The artist is sensible to the duality between clarity and darkness. Two concepts that are identified by almost everyone and part of their mission “to transcend into eternal light as we evolve”. Through her fantasy universe, her goddesses and her symbols, Chu Teppa suggests an introspection of the combination of agony and its polar opposite, pleasure.
Artist Megan Straeder’s most recent work is a hanging installation, a display of brilliant light work in intricately woven nets placed descending a staircase. Appropriately on display at the Brisbane Powerhouse, her work breathes modernity and is reminiscent of 3D blueprints and 1980s computer technology. She cites Portal and the 2002 film Teknolust as visual inspirations for her work, she works with a lot of neon lights and futuristic elements. She plays with light and dark in this project, and makes use of a necessary darkness to be able to create such a stunning display of lights.
Straeder describes her piece as a “space age environment” inspired by “visions of the future”. Her work does reflect heavy inspiration from such decors and it might even remind you of Tron. Straeder describes this installation as a “vortex of light and color” and, the fact that the piece is hanging in a staircase reinforces its ethereal aspects. Enrichment Center constitutes the perfect décor for a houseparty featuring a futuristic techno soundtrack and probably lots of drugs.
The power of this pieces lies both within its sources of inspiration and the fact that, through these sources and her own creativity, Straeder has created a transmedia art piece and a reflection on what we perceive as futuristic imagery.
Tour de Fork is a creative duo made up of photographer and food stylist Claudia Castaldi and product designer Stefano Citi. The pair of “culinary creative consultants” are diving head first into revolutionizing DIY culture. Their collection of laser cut rings is a magical and intriguing combination of culinary art, 3D printing, and jewelry making. Their process is a perfect combination of technology and culinary art: The 3D printer provides them with the rings, which are laser cut and can then be decorated with various edible deserts and other foods of choice. The end result is an original ring featuring an edible jem, giving their jewelry an amusing double status of accessory and snack.
Their merging of technology and art is both clever and amusing. Making edible art seems like something out of a dream and, here it comes with the added advantage of being a DIY project which adds to the fun. Their process is innovative and gives us more of an inside look into the potential of 3D printing while merging old and new forms of art and expression.
The winning combination of the culinary and jewelry arts makes for an original take on ornamental foods, similar to gingerbread ornaments. Their rings are the perfect gift for the person who is both always hungry and loves to accessorize.
Downloads of the designs can be accessed via the Tour de Fork website.
Penny Byrne is a Melbourne-based artist who creates porcelain figurines laden with bold—and often grim—political messages. We featured her earlier work in 2013, which delved into slavery, the war in Iraq, and dolphin slaughter. Her more recent pieces follow along similar themes, unpacking violence through images of militarism and animal cruelty, while also focusing on more specific topics such as the Occupy Movement and the conflict in Syria.
What makes Byrne’s work both shocking and persuasive is the clash of a domestic medium with a charged topic. Wounded, disfigured, masked, or strangely ironic, the figurines embody narratives of pain, suffering, and hypocrisy that resonate with the viewer on uncomfortable and visceral levels. Porcelain dolls are usually treated as the coveted relics of a sensitive, “non-violent” culture, locked away in a glass case as objects of delicacy and curiosity. The fact that they are blooded, armed for war, or marked for plastic surgery creates an incongruity that subversively transforms the figurines’ object-status into social, political critiques.
Byrne’s exhibition list is impressive, including the The Fine Art Society in London and Fehily Contemporary in Melbourne. Her new work “Hurt Locker,” an armored figurine made of Murano glass and mild steel, is currently being shown at the Venice Biennale exhibition GLASSTRESS, which runs until November 22nd, 2015. (Via Sweet Station)
Photographer Edo Bertoglio was a pioneer of his time. He became involved in the scene in downtown New York in the 80s during a time of energy, creativity and luxury, and captured intimate moments of celebrities, art stars and night owls involved in that scene. His new book New York Polaroids 1976-1989 is a collection of those times and showcases a candid side to many people not rarely seen, and used the Polaroid camera in a way not commonly used. Bertoglio frequented clubs like CBGB and Studio 54, and snapped images of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry and Madonna. In fact, one image that Bertoglio had taken of Madonna was meant to be the cover for her Like A Virgin record, until the producers had a change of heart at the last moment.
He used the Polaroid SX70 because it was a portable, durable, instant camera, and meant that Bertoglio could easily travel at his will – from vacations to Greece or Porto Rico, to spontaneous motorcycle trips to Staten Island – and take photos easily. The native Swiss photographer has exploited the characteristics of the polaroid camera and used them as stylistic nuances. Blurs, light flares, and unexpected color spots become a feature of his work.
He infuses many of his polaroids with a distinctive pop quality, hyper-real, pre-digital, playing with an unmistakable intertwining of silhouettes and intense, lively, counterposed tones, faded mono- chrome atmospheres, clear-cut juxtapositions of subjects, forms and colors, close-ups and backgrounds. He has synthesized the narcissistic and decadent hue of his time.
His book is available to purchase here at Yard Press.
Solid armors made out fragile pieces of porcelain. An unusual combination put together by Chinese artist Li Xiaofeng. He collects shards of ceramics in his studio in Beijing and after he drills holes on the surface of the pieces, he assembles them one by one with silver metal wire. All these sculptures can become wearable when a piece of leather is sawn underneath the ceramics which makes the process even more interesting.
The illustrations on the shards are traditional from the Ming Dynasty. The blue and white drawings are representative of the Imperial tastes and are rare, as they are the more complicated to produce. Within the Chinese heritage, some of the colors have an underlying meaning: the red color represents blood and life, the blue color called ming blue, represents vigor and vitality. Li Xiaofeng likes to envision his art work as “rearranged landscapes”. Up close, the pieces of shards create an uneven surface and from far it’s a mosaic sculpture with fine lines. “Ceramics are used by the Chinese to eat rice. I break them into fragments to cover the human body, looking for the relation and the dialogue between the body and the shards. Both have to be compatible. Big or small, the shards must suit the form.”
Li Xiaofeng wants to connect tradition and innovation,” In China, ancient ceramics tell long tales. The neck of a vase, for example, is not just for function, but is an expression of status and beauty.” His sculptures don’t just represent a piece of clothing; it’s an irregular assembled silhouette meant to immortalize China’s most precious memories.
Have you ever finished a painting and completely destroyed your brushes, wondering if you would ever use your beloved, mangled, crusty tools again? Well, here is one artist that has found good use of old, filthy brushes. Rebecca Szeto takes found, used brushes, especially ones that could never be used again, and transforms them into little masterpieces of their own. The handle of her brushes are carved and painted to appear as fancy women, while the bottom bristles of the brush are left to look as they originally appear. With a little creativity and ingenuity, Rebecca Szeto makes the wider bottoms look like dress skirts. The stained, curled up bristles are now fringes to an elaborate gown, the paint being its silk.
The women Szeto’s brushes magically become many different kinds of women, taking on the form of all different shapes and sizes. They include women of different ethnicities and origins; one even portrays a mother adoringly holding her baby. You may have noticed some of the brush-women looking familiar to you. This is because several of the characters hold an art historical significance. For example, one woman is obviously Vermeer’s The Girl With the Pearl Earring, while another, maybe not so obviously, is the little girl in Diego Velasquez’s Las Meninas. Rebecca Szeto has cleverly taken an object that would normally be discarded, and with a little patience and skills, transformed it into something unique and amazing. Szeto explains further her intent behind these little women and what they convey.
“These works are an homage to an often lost sensibility and quality of touch and thought, not simply the superficial look of Old Masters’ works. The lady-like portraits are a playful strategy I use to introduce the more indelicate and subtler aspects of waste management and working women (underestimated, underpaid, unnoticed, yet unyielding).”
Artist Danny van Rynswyk’s latest work is a series of captivating digital paintings and three dimensional painted sculptures reminiscent of Victorian era portraits Skulls, Aliens and Beetles: Enter The Demonic Monochromatic Characters of Danny van Rynswyk and curio shop items. They are all monochromatic and depict a series of moody characters in contemplative stances. They are all dressed in Victorian era clothing and are sometimes sporting rabbit or demon masks which add to their eerie masquerade. His characters also have disturbingly childlike traits which add to the odd atmosphere of his project. His work is both beautiful and grotesque and in many ways inspired by the surreal and the deep, dark corners of the imagination.
He creates his work with the help of 3D software, which allows him to combine fine art and technology. He paints the sculptures by hand and, as a finishing touch, places them under antique glass domes, which add to the curio shop aspect of his work. The glass domes also add to magic of his pieces and make them look like precious collector’s items.
Van Rynswyk’s abundant use of skulls, gothic imagery and wide eyed characters reminds one of Tim Burton. The shadows in his work are purely German Expressionist in the way that they are painted, and play off an absence of light in order to create a stonger atmosphere. His work is the stuff of dreams and nightmares, anatomy and science fiction and it allows the audience to create narratives surrounding his peculiar characters.