Generally speaking, mushrooms are fascinating organisms. As part of the fungi family, they are neither plant nor animal and have an incredible capacity for growth. As evidenced in these stop motion gifs, we witness the mushroom cap or fruit, sprouting out of the ground in various shapes and sizes. The fruit is made up of 92% water allowing for its rapid maturity and part of the fungi you would normally throw onto pizza and salad. It’s this top section, which makes for an interesting visual specimen, as seen here in phallic, veiled and bumpy shapes, credited to nature’s grand design. The part you don’t see, called the root or mycelium, can remain dormant and underground for years. These are the real heroes, acting as nature’s garbage disposals, devouring all that is dead and decaying. Some fungi lore to speak of, includes the toadstool known for its red color, and white dotted spores. Those who grew up playing Nintendo, will remember these colorful blobs as part of the landscape in Super Mario Bros. and incarnate to “Toad” a figure in the game. Psilocybin or “magic mushrooms” are the rebels. In existence since prehistoric times, the fungi first appeared during the mesolithic period as evidenced on rock paintings taken from archaeological finds. Known for its pleasant, hallucinatory effects, studies have shown psilocybin can not only give you a nice high but help with OCD and clinical depression. (via boredpanda)
Elizabeth Tolson‘s range of interactive, light up futuristic styled dresses are a light-hearted look at quite serious topics. Called Vessel, the concept centers around two garments – the Fertility Dress and the Chastity Dress. Combining cutting edge technology, soft circuity, connective threads, connective garments, simple switches and plain white cotton, Tolson has created two innovative wearable art pieces that are dealing with feminist issues.
The Fertility Dress works in cohesion with the female body. It contains lights that change color depending on the woman’s menstruation cycle and fertility. The lights turn blue to indicate ovulation, red for menstruation, and glow white to indicate excellent hygiene, and finally, turn yellow to denote poor hygiene levels. This dress is meant to not only display internal bodily states, but also to remind us that woman are fertile beings, all day, everyday.
The Chastity Dress is a combination of lights and sounds, triggered by sensors that go off if certain parts of the garment are touched. Tolson explains more:
So the final result of the Chastity dress had sensors so when the girl in it was touched inappropriately, sensors went off to remind her of how she should behave. It was creating an audience for the girl as an object because she needs to watched over. It was a way for people to be aware of her actions, but she also needs to be aware. I also created a bra that has sensors so if you push her chest it creates a high-pitched noise. (Source)
Inspired by strange dating books she was sent from her mother, Tolson wanted to draw attention to some outdated attitudes that still exist about female sexuality. With a playful , tongue-in-cheek mentality, Tolson manages to raise awareness about gender politics, marriage equality, abortion laws, birth control and a whole plethora of topics most people love to avoid. Read more about her work here. (Via Design Faves)
Barcelona-based artist Elisa Ancori‘s illustrations are somewhat arcane in nature, like drawings of dryads or nymphs. A common characteristic in Ancori’s artwork seems to be that of metamorphosis, blending animal and human forms. One of her collections is a play on the word: “Metamorfish,” with an aquatic theme throughout.
The allure of her work is in the matter-of-fact anatomical nature of each piece. Even though the subject is fantastical, she isn’t heavyhanded or tongue-in-cheek with her flavor of surrealism. There’s a subtlety to her illustrations. She treats both the grotesque and the sensual with a light hand; the crook of an inviting finger is shaded just as delicately as the soft petal pink of a mermaid’s innards. (via I Need a Guide)
Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, the French performance art duo that forms Adrien M / Clair B Company, has created a stunning display of dance and the digital. “Pixel” combines the physicality of human movement with unique technological creativity. Dancers leap from mountain to mountain, splash through wire-frame water, and fling themselves through showers of shimmering pixels.
In collaboration with Compagnie Kafig, the performance is an hour long and described as “a work on illusion combining energy and poetry, fiction and technical achievement, hip hop and circus.”
From a distance, artist Ye Hongxing’s works on canvas appear like pointillism technique, as if it’s thousands of tiny painted dots occupying a single canvas. But, as you look closer, her images are much more than that. The small spots of color are actually decorative stickers! Cartoonish dogs, cats, fruit with faces, smiling raindrops, and virtually any cutesy design under the sun make up the complex compositions. They’re a collision of subject matter, and you’ll find pop culture icons, animals, flowers, and historical references are just some of the things you’ll find in these swirling works.
The dizzy mosaic are meant to fuse traditional Chinese imagery with contemporary society. Religious statues, for instance, flow into Darth Vader’s mask. This juxtaposition is the artist’s reflection on China and how its culture has been influenced by the West. “Using stickers is a conscious challenge to traditional and conventional mediums,” she writes in an profile for the Lux Art Institute. “A sticker has an enormous amount of information in it, they reflect the time we’re living in and they are fragmented and mosaic, so I can give them a new order in the landscape I’m creating.”
Artist Mister Finch is a seamster, dollmaker, and reclaimer of lost souls. He works in discarded trinkets and found objects, cobbling them together into sculptures and models from a strange and much more wondrous place. “Scraps of thread, fabric and paper are stitched and pulled into fairytale creatures looking for new owners and worlds to inhabit,” the splashpage to his webpage proclaims. “They hide in the woods, behind masks, some have died along the way and are buried under spoon lockets.”
For inspiration, Mister Finch turns to nature and his native British folklore. “British folklore is also so beautifully rich in fabulous stories and warnings and never ceases to be at the heart of what I make,” he says. “Shape shifting witches, moon gazing hares and a smartly dressed devil ready to invite you to stray from the path.” The fantastical touch of myth and fairy tale can be seen in the inviting curl of pristine pastel toadstools and creatures that are half fox, half human.
By all appearances, the materials of his art have been truly transformed from their former life in this world, becoming something magical along the way. Of his choice to recycle, Mister finch says: “It’s a joy to hunt for things for my work… the lost, found and forgotten all have places in what I make. Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm. A story sewn in, woven in.” (via This Is Colossal)
The therapeutic effects of art can reveal itself in wonderful and mysterious ways. It can also be a sarcastic “f” you given the proper creator. Photographer Statia Grossman, who fits into the second category, has just released her first book on Amazon, entitled “Sh*t You Left Behind”, a series of pictures taken with her ex-lover’s items. Judging by the pix and comments, it wasn’t a happy breakup. No, this was definitely filled with much drama and Grossman appears as a woman scorned. It’s an interesting study into what drives people and what they hold dear to them. Since Grossman is a photographer, her sensitivity to the visual image is at a high level and each of the photographs hold a memory or hurt hitting home not only to the creator but viewer. Like love, art is universal and things people think important in various situations doesn’t differ much. In this case, sex was probably a big part of the relationship and most of the images shows her in objectified positions with one of his items. We also learn a little bit about him. He was a musician who liked taking pills and didn’t express much emotion. He was also allergic to Grossman’s cat, which she resented. The project does a good job at revealing compromises we make in the name of love and how we can better serve ourselves next time around. (via artnet)
In recent years, the rising popularity of pole dance fitness has probably conjured up images of darkened strip clubs rather than a serious workout. Netherlands-based Bart Erkamp thought the former, but during the summer of last year, his attitude changed. He dated a woman involved in the sport and learned about its inner workings. It’s a physically demanding activity that’s much more than just an erotic dance. His series titled Pole Fitness highlights the strength and talent needed to complete the moves, which are often suspended in air.
After learning about the sport, Erkamp attended a championship pole fitness competition in Amsterdam. The power and agility of the athletes impressed him, and this struck him as comparable to “artistic gymnastics,” that highlights physical prowess and self expression.
In addition to their athletics, Erkamp was enthralled by the dedication of the participants. They’ve installed poles in their bedrooms, living rooms, and even next to their kitchen. Location doesn’t matter. He highlights this in his subjects’ clear, neatly-kept homes. Contorted legs, torsos, and arms are wrapped around bright silver poles.
It’s not all women, either. Erkamp explains that in 2014, several men completed at the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro. And, there’s even a possibility that it’ll be an official Olympic sport in 2016. (Via Feature Shoot)