“Ideas win today in our society. [...] I ingest, then digest. Art is really just a mirror of ourselves.”
A truthful quote that Desire Obtain Cherish (DOC) aka Jonathan Paul takes into account while conceptualizing his body of work. The pop sculptor, obviously influenced by Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol, combines street, pop, conceptual and appropriation art in order to create sculptural pieces that explore contemporary society’s ever-growing obsessions: sex, gender, drugs, commerce, media and fame.
Desire’s kitschy, yet critical work exposes “society’s inability to control itself as it examines the commercial promise of fulfillment and happiness that ends in dependency.” DOC employs an exaggerated and sarcastic outlook that might come off as cleaver but pretentious and judgmental, but never in a bad way. New Yorker art critic Benjamin Genocchio characterized DOC’s work as “not malicious [..] He is more like our social conscience, delivering up uncomfortable and unpleasant truths wrapped in the most beautiful and seductive of packages.”
Although a conventional artist in paper, DOC deviates from the stereotypical standards of “good taste” in art as his ideas are more in line with contemporary commerce and marketing methods rather than traditional artisan methods. (via ARTNAU)
Israeli photographer Dori Caspi has spent 10 years capturing personal and intimate portraits of the Himba African tribe, a tribe that is facing extinction. For this particular series, Caspi traveled to Namibia 15 times and formed a close relationship with the people of the Himba village. This village has been encountering a progressive amount of challenges, including the intrusion of roads upon their land, and the increasingly severe threat of the AIDS epidemic which has the potential to eradicate the village entirely.
“My camera was never used as a tool of anthropological or research-like documentation of the tribes’ way of life, but always as an instrument with which I could express my love for its wonderful people, and my admiration of their inner and physical beauty. They had opened their hearts and huts to me and with time, as we shared deeper and intimate relations, they became my second family.”
Caspi’s most recent project is taking place in Southern Ethiopia, where he is capturing the tribes from the Lower Omo Valley. ”In contrary to my intimate relations with the Himba people, here I have to build trust, to create an atmosphere which would allow me to photograph the tribes’ people in a relaxed situation, yet proud and reserved as they naturally are.”
If you aren’t careful, the video Milkyeyes by Donato Sansone might give you nightmares. The piece describes itself as “A slow and surreal video slideshow of nightmarish, grotesque and apparently static characters.” The video clocks in at just over 2 minutes and features 26 different characters, and is accompanied by music you’d hear in an old, abandoned warehouse or horror film. Some characters have faces that have been mutilated and warped to the point where they are nearly unrecognizable. Milkeyes is a name that conjures an unpleasant visual. So, it’s not surprising that this video is a visceral journey into a world of unfortunate humans. We see steam coming from their heads, stuff bubbling from their lips, and eyes floating of their head. While they are affected, the environment behind them remains static and untouched. The juxtaposition between calm and a surreal chaos makes this video both puzzling and trippy. (Via Artnau)
Premiere website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay team up each week to bring you some of the best contemporary artists and designers using Made With Color to build their sleek websites. Website builder Made With Color helps artists create well-designed and mobile/tablet responsive websites in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are pleased to present the work of Roni Feldman.
Looking at art is a lot like being a treasure hunter or explorer, except the riches lie in hidden meaning and unexpected form.This rings true especially when viewing the work of Los Angeles artist Roni Feldman whose fascinating paintings are a visual game of hide and seek. As you look closer at his paintings faces and bodies appear and disappear creating a wondrous abyss of camouflaged narrative. In his portraits famous explorers of the mind and cultural icons are juxtaposed with various explorations of paint asking the viewer to become a visual explorer themselves.
Feldman’s allover black paintings appear to be black and white but are actually created from glossy, transparent varnish airbrushed onto a matte, black surface. The figures may be invisible from certain perspectives, but are revealed as the viewer moves through the gallery space. Much like how all colors of paint combine to form black and all colors of light make white, his numerous, luminous figures meld into an abstract field. Tension forms between individual and crowd, uniqueness and difference, abstraction and representation.
Believe it or not, these very old drawings of Japanese men farting are not Photoshopped. The images were produced during the Japanese Edo period (1603 – 1868), and they depcit what is called he-gassen or “farting competition.” They show men shooting noxious blasts of gas towards other men, women, and animals (including a cat!). Seemingly, the force of the farts is so great that it the targets turn topsy-turvy when hit.
These drawings are peculiar, and not having a vast knowledge of Japanese culture makes their meaning even more alluring to me. Luckily, the website Naruhodo explains the historical context. They write, “similar drawings were used to ridicule westerners towards the end of the Edo period, with images depicting the westerners blown away by Japanese farts.”
The individual images originally appear on a scroll, which has obviously been sectioned off today. You can view it in its entirety here. It’s funny to think that farts have always been a source of amusement, even across time periods and cultures. (Via Dangerous Minds and Naruhodo)
Producer Peter Chinn used a combination of dimensional ultrasound scans, tiny cameras and computer graphics to create these photographs of baby animals. Chinn made the images for a National Geographic documentary called Extraordinary Animals in the Womb, which tracked the process of growth, from conception to birth.
Aside from being scientifically interesting, these images are visually engaging. We (or at least I) rarely imagine what different animals look like inside the womb, and beyond being informative Chinn’s photographs are actually kind of beautiful (if you don’t over analyze the blood and guts). Except for the shark, that one is still kind of scary. (via viralnova)
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.