The lens of the Indonesian photographer Donald Jusa has miraculously allowed us to see into the eyes of tiny, wholly bizarre creatures; with his macro camera, the artist is able to capture the most minute details of the insect body. At times, the faces of these beings seem entirely foreign; as viewers, we search for marks of human feeling and features, but the multiple eyes and strange limbs transfix and confound our perceptive powers.
Unlike some macro photography cataloging the lives of insects, Jusa does not capture the surrounding environment or even the entire body. Instead, his photographs read like strange portraits; against a colored backdrop, the miniature creatures seem absurdly to sit for the artist, proudly displaying their features. Fixed perfectly within the boundaries of the frame, Jusa’s non-human subjects are magically motionless, as if frozen between periods of buzzing and flight. At such close range, the viewer experiences the texture of insect flesh and bone; our eyes scan coarse, moistened hairs.
Jusa’s insects, magnified many times over and seen in such fine detail, tone, and resolution, resemble strange beasts, unrecognizable as the tiny creatures that they most certainly are. As we peer at them and their multiple eyes stare back, we might feel affrighted or startled by their clarity, the very fact of their largeness. It is unnerving to imagine our own faces reflected a thousand times over in these complex, repeating ocular lenses, and yet magically, we can interpret the tiniest hint of recognition within the insect eyes. Take a look. (via Demilked)
Yuko Takada Keller creates detailed and intricate sculptures out of paper. Since 1996, she has been using small triangular pieces to create her designs, which she says “symbolizes something like a molecule.” Her work is inspired by dreams she’s had, and her delicate, cascading designs resonate with ethereality. She claims her work has also evolved over time since she’s realized the connection between the thin delicacy of the paper and skin membranes. From her website,
“Tracing paper has a transparency and an untransparency.
I’m interested in how tracing paper is like a skin membrane.
The skin membrane lies between dream and reality.
The skin membrane lies between consciousness and behavior.
The skin membrane is there when life is born.
The skin membrane is part of a human being.
I want to represent the space that people are aware of
The skin membrane is unconsciousness.”
There’s something delightfully creepy about an abandoned house in a remote part of the woods filled with several thousand flowers. A new project called “Flower House” by Artist Lisa Waud will explore this concept. Waud and a team of florists will proceed to fill a condemned structure somewhere in Detroit with several thousand wild petaled creatures. The purpose is an attempt to beautify and invigorate a run down and dilapidated environment and promote the native flowers of Michigan and beyond.
When a flower is snipped from nature it exists in a state somewhere between life and death. Its beauty blooms for a short period mirroring life’s transience. The trial run of the project shows the flowers in a wild state in various sections of the house. It beautifies the worn down parts of the structure instantly with their beauty and also compliments the wildness of a house in disrepair. By showing the flowers as they would exist in nature gives them added appeal. Some of the installations created by local florists are quite beautiful looking almost painterly in the arrangement and placement. The main installation will take place between Oct 16-18th. (via mymodernmet)
Turkish photographer Yonca Karakas used to want to be a genetic engineer due to her attraction to the idea of cloning. Somewhere along the line she became a photographer instead, but this fascination with mass produced identities is all too present within her work. Her work, which is polished and waxen, features symbols and people styled, and nearly de-stylized, to look mute and plasticine.
Karakas utilizes symmetry to her artistic advantage. She manipulates framing by organizing her props to dramatize the exploitation of whatever symbol: meat, or the cross, she is working with. Her characters are emotionless; colonized by the future, they are clean, well groomed, and the antithesis of squeamish. They wear meat, their religion is sugar coated. When thinking of her work, she recognizes that she is in the business of constructing dreams:
“I don’t like to define every frame I shoot or say ‘that is exactly what I tried to tell’. Once it’s all done that’s when I think why I shot it, I go back and say I might have been influenced by this or that movie. And by going back I can see my concerns and try to solve them. The Box is influenced by Ray Bradbruy’s novel Fahrenheit 451. It’s about a despotic future in an oppressive community where books are burnt by firefighters, televisions broadcasting brainwashing shows. I believe we are more or less facing the same situation now. We are burying ourselves in our tablets and phones, looking at ourselves and making others watch us too. It’s like we really like that, don’t we?”
Remember that one time you visited a haunted house and you swore the painting’s eyes were following you? Or perhaps you can recall the last time you saw a painting that was so convincing, you couldn’t believe it was a painting? Alexa Meade is an installation artist who bridges that gap. She paints on anything from found objects to live models for her installations. She has a show opening at Postmasters Gallery in NY on April 2.
“At age 17, I lost every possession I had accumulated in my short life span; ever since I have been a collector. My mission is to document and observe the world around me as if I have never seen it before. I take notes. Collect things I find during my travels. Document my findings. Notice patterns, Copy. Trace. Focus on one thing at a time. Record and follow what I am drawn to. It brings me immense joy to create space for what has been left behind. To preserve the history of others.”
Oakland-based illustrator and installation artist Lauren Napolitano works with found materials: wood scraps, old bottles, paper torn from old books, tattered lace and dried flowers amass in her subtle shrines, which are layered with the tiny, intricate painting style she has honed over the last decade. Entirely self-taught, Napolitano uses her thin, fragile, art-deco-inspired linework to coat forgotten relics of the everyday with new meanings, and new life. Her recent traveling project with street artist Shrine, called the “Reckless In Love Shack,” has been set up at Symbiosis and Lightning In A Bottle, and she continues to fill spaces with her lovely, lightly aged drawings and paintings, most recently at White Walls in SF and Old Crow in Oakland.