Cuban artist Erik Ravelo is known for his ability to confront the difficult and taboo directly by presenting fearless, visually provocative work (previously featured for his Los Intocables, or The Untouchables, series here). Lana Sutra (combining the Spanish word ‘Lana’ meaning ‘Wool’ and ‘Sutra’, which means the thread which connects us) takes the idea of these strings – love, humanity, sexuality – and displays them literally, binding human forms together in intense colored poses.“I’m a human being and I don’t believe in borders. I think the world belongs to everyone born on Earth. This is my planet, our planet. No man is an island. Yes, I was born on Cuba but, above all, I was born on Planet Earth. I like to think that Lana Sutra talks about universal love which cancels diversity.”
Created during his residency at Italian communication research and artistic grant center Fabrica (connected with clothing brand United Colors of Benneton), Ravelo began Lana Sutra by guiding models to pose together, and then casting these poses in plaster. The plaster mannequins were then covered in yarn (in the fall colors of the Benneton line), with separate colored threads from each mannequin being bound together in Kama Sutra positions. Bursting with color, the fifteen installations of present a completely unbiased version of humanity, no longer separated by race, religion, creed or sexuality, and merely bound by our shared humanity. (via collater.al)
Hawaiian artist Sally Lundburg is greatly influenced by her native land’s “history of ecological and social invasions and it’s shifting cultural landscape, as well as personal experiences of self-reliance, independence, isolation, and exposure to spirituality and faith.” She is a multi faceted artist, as she works with sculpture, photography, film and video to explore notions of identity and social dynamics.
On her recent stunning body of work, Epiphytes and Invasives (totem series), Lundberg creates sculptural objects that serve as a medium to further investigate and literally envision the social history of post-contact Hawaii and the diverse family lineages that make up Hawaii today.
These ‘sculptures’ are nothing more that milled longs and branches that have been “punctured with commercial pine woodworking plugs, rusty fencing stakes, upholstery pins, rope, and dried ma’o hau hele flowers”. However, it is the archival portraits that Lundburg imprints on them that, together with the organic elements, make this series a remarkable artistic endeavor.
Her works look simple, however there are reasons for each and every detail that she ads on her sculptural objects. It is important to appreciate and put further thought upon the juxtapositions of organic and inorganic materials, as well as her emphasis of trying to mesh these two opposites together. On her description of this series, Lundburg explains that Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants, and in rainforests [known for its tropical conditions, something that is an outright connection to Hawaii) just about any plant can grow epiphytically. Her usage of organic tropical flowers, plants and Koa logs together with the archival portraits work symbiotically to represent the social history of post-contact Hawaii and its diverse yet close-knitted family lineages that make up Hawaii today.
Spanish artist Oscar Parasiego creates Diaspora, a photographic series that illustrates the transformation and adaptation of individuals who emigrate to other countries in search of a better future.
At that point, there is a transition between the person we have been so far and the person we are going to be.
Inspired by his own move to the UK from Spain, Parasiego uses photography in order to literally depict the varying feelings and states of mind of immigrants as they seek comfort and stability in a brand new countries. Each of these ‘portraits’ are altered in order to only depict a silhouetted, invisible outline of the subject, one that interestingly reflects the environment around them. Through this technique, we are to assume that this person has seamlessly become part of their new environment. Their invisibility,tough positive in some ways, is telling of their struggles to be part of something new while also maintaining the old and familiar. We can say that by becoming part of this new environment (by blending in and becoming ‘invisible’), he/she (the immigrant) risks loosing their ‘true self’ by assimilating to customs and enviroments that are not truly theirs.
Parasiego’s work is telling of his struggles while transitioning to his new home. His experiences, and his renditions of them, nicely encapsulate the experiences of many (myself included). I moved to the U.S from Argentina about ten years ago, and my experiences in the first few years of living in the U.S felt significantly similar to those rendered in these photographs. Feeling invisible whilst trying to fit in by assimilation were two things that were hard to live through. Thankfully this state of mind, slowly but surely, went away, letting me became visible for who I was and for who I became once I was settled in my new home. (via Feature Shoot)
Photographer Jeremy Ayer and graphic designer Julien Mercier have been collaborating on a series of photographs titled “Aude” that feature a nude female exploring, or used as a decoration in, a large mansion. In some of the photographs, the female body appears to be on ornamental display, almost doll-like, and contrasted with some of the other objects on display in the mansion. Despite her nude body, the photographs are shot in such a way as to leave the female figure shrouded in a bit of mystery.
“With her pale skin, her slender body, she represents a certain ideology of beauty, as dictated by contemporary magazines. But paradoxically, the raw image remains in a direct visual language, not constrained by any commercial obligations. There is no digital manipulation which would withdraw all of her natural eroticism. In the same process, the statues whth their perfectly carved silouhettes, oppose with her curves left intact. The brutal and frontal lighting, exposes here entire body. But always fleeting, she remains inaccessible to the viewer, out of reach, in height.” (via ignant)
Valerie Hegarty’s Alternative Histories was installed at the Brooklyn Museum in one of their Period Rooms. Hegarty’s site-specific installations toy with a viewer’s perception—they create the illusion that the process of destruction or decay has been accelerated and what we see are the remains of the real artwork.
Thomas Quinn is a Chicago designer who experiments with something called “anamorphic typography.” When viewed from a certain angle the text looks just right, but when one moves around the text morphs and warps.
Fanette Guiloud is also interested in anamorphic projection and used the method to create a series of photos titled Géométrie de l’impossible (Impossible Geometry). Only 22-years old, the illusion is impressively successful. Influenced by artists such as Felice Varini, Guilloud is certainly an artist to keep our eye on.
Creating installations that defy logic and inspire wonder South Korean artist Kyung Woo Han says of the work, “All the facts are relevant. People see what they want to see. One fact can be interpreted in several ways depend on our perceptions. In the opposite, two different facts can be looked the same. My work deals with perception and illusions. Everything we see or what we know is not absolute. I suggest various ways to perceive things with slightly different perspectives.”
Like a lot of us, artist Yue Wu uses Instagram. He “likes” things on Instagram, as we’re supposed to, but takes it one step further. Everyday, he turns those “likes” into drawings. Coming full circle, he then Instagrams the drawing and tags it the source photos. This way, you can click through to the originals. He tags this work as #whatilikedtoday.
These quick, black and white ink drawings are a mash up of a day. They vary in subject matter. Some include what you’d expect, like architecture and animals. Others are more bizarre, including one that has a greco-romanesque statue wearing protective eyewear, and a dancing skeleton wearing a top hat and holding a cane.
The concept behind Wu’s drawings is relatively simple, but amusing. It also has me thinking about my own Instagram feed. We spend so much time looking (and sometimes mindlessly liking) photos. Wu’s drawings illustrate what stands out in the deluge of images. What would your #whatilikedtoday look like? (Via Booooooom)
Japanese artist/designer/architect (and construction worker?) Yusuke Oono was thinking beyond flat when she conceived her 3-Dimensional art books. First designing the layouts of each book (which includes titles like Sweet Home, Jungle Book, In A Cheese, and a 360° Christmas Book) by hand and with the aid of design programs, Oono then uses a laser-cutter to carve out the highly-detailed dioramas that make up each page of the story. These pages are then bound together, creating a compiled book which more than pops out, but can be read in 360°.
Photographer Cyril Crepin creates an extraordinary, poignant collection of photographs featuring portraits of facial reconstruction patients within the confines of the hospital in which they were operated on.
With the help of Professor Bernard Devauchelle, a leading surgeon at the hospital in which these individuals were in, Crepin photographs these subjects in order to celebrate, but most importantly, accentuate these individuals’ self-respect, playfulness and courage regardless their ‘monstrous’ appearance after surgery.
“They want to be recognized as human beings. Contrary to what people might say about this series, it’s not meant to be obscene or voyeuristic. Obscenity is to ignore their humanity and their extraordinary courage.”
Crepin’s work is emotionally intense and it is by no means easy to look at. It is sad to say, but many people will have a tough time looking at these just because of the deformities. This consequence is tough to acknowledge, but it is true. It is hard to admit that many of us will be disturbed and disgusted by the appearance of these people, but it is this sole purpose that, I think, runs Crepin’s artistic fuel throughout the creation of this series. The rawness of his subjects’ gaze and the fearless aura they portray is powerful and inspiring… their brilliance transcend the normative ideas about beauty. Their humble controbution to Crepin’s work teaches us that everyone, no matter what they went through or how they look like, deserves a little self-praise and respect.