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Interview- Super Symmetry: Painting the Particle Accelerator

The twentieth century has provided a plethora of methods to communicate quickly to the masses, and it is becoming increasingly rare to find anyone taking the time to write a handwritten letter, much less create a large-scale public mural to share ideas with the public. However, for almost all of human history, wall paintings have served as one of the most effective ways to chronicle the events and progress of our time. Artist Josef Kristofoletti has tapped back into this method of communication and it has led him to some amazing places. From the gymnasium of his former high-school to a year long road trip around North America with the Transit Antenna artist collective, Josef’s desire to paint in public spaces has kept him moving. Perhaps the most impressive of these large-scale murals took place at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, situated in the Northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border. There, Kristofoletti created a four story mural of the ATLAS particle accelerator, directly on the walls that contain the actual structure. Since the completion of the project just a few months ago, I’ve been dying to talk with the artist about his experience of seeing the world’s most ambitious laboratory, as well as the completion of his most impressive mural to date.

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Michael Salter Recycles Styrofoam Into Giant Robots

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A digital arts/new media professor at The University Of Oregon, has found a clever, new way to recycle Styrofoam. He builds gigantic robots out of it. The robots are massive and according to artist Michael Salter, reflects the local streets he sees everyday. It’s not the livelier sections,  but the mundane, plain parts which inspire him to create. It’s a bit hard to see the connection to this statement because there is nothing plain or boring about his Styrobots. Perhaps what the artist means is that they embrace quiet, domestic scenes reminiscent of these faceless places, which is true.

Exhibited in about 20 museums to date, the Styrobots can stand 16 inches to 22 feet high.  Various displays have shown them upright, sitting, holding hands with a tiny friend, surrounded by a smaller group or headless and torn apart. The standing bots embody characteristics mirroring the lead character in The Iron Giant. For those not familiar, the animated movie centers around a giant war robot who crash lands in a small town and befriends a young boy.  The Styrobots have the same gentle giant quality displayed in the movie.

Salter finds his material through donations.  Styrofoam is primarily used for packing but can be utilized as pipe insulation and preventing roads from freezing over. The material itself, polystyrene is extremely flammable and carcinogenic. When lit, it has the capacity of releasing 57 different kinds of chemical by-products.  (faithistorment)

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Sam3’s Giant silhouette Street Art

It’s hard to pull off an interesting silhouette in any medium but the sheer size of Sam3’s massive murals painted around the world demand your attention and respect. Mostly painted in the humble palette of black and white Sam3’s graphic silhouettes quietly shout out universal narratives and surreal messages.

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Robert Lazzarini’s Distorted Sculptures Challenge Perception

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Robert Lazzarini - sculpture

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Robert Lazzarini is best known as a sculptor.  But that is actually an oversimplification of what he does.  Walking the line between reality and illusion, Lazarrini creates compound distortions of common objects, challenging perception and what we understand to be the limits of the material world.

Lazzarini’s works are not mere deformities.  Using mathematical distortions and algorithm-based operations, such as mappings and translations, Lazzarini bases his alterations in reality.  Along the same lines, he chooses to fabricate the warped objects in their true material.  A skull is made of reconstituted bone, a hammer of wood and steel, etc.  This intense attention to detail is important to Lazzarini.  Earlier this year he and his team attempted to create a series of broken liquor bottle sculptures.  Despite consulting MIT experts and Dale Chihuly’s team the project was sidelined because it was too difficult to realize.  Such dedication and through research are major components of Lazarrini’s artistic practice.  Part of this obsessive thoroughness is his desire is to eliminate art-specific materials from his work.  In doing so the viewer’s experience is completely different.  There is a sense of authenticity, which makes the distortion all the more extraordinary.

Violence is another component of Lazzarini’s work and it extends beyond the fact that he chooses to work with guns, bullets, knives and skulls.  The objects themselves are disturbing, and the way they exist in our visual field is also disquieting.  We so want to make sense of them, to right the disfiguration so that we can easily understand them. Ultimately though, Lazzarini’s works completely refuse that possibility, making them all the more compelling.

Catch Lazzarini’s latest show, jam shot, at Dittrich & Schlechtriem in Berlin up now through November 2.

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Sponsored Post: Okinawa- A Journey Of Discovery

Welcome to Okinawa, Asia’s hidden treasure that many don’t know about but should. The name Okinawa means “Rope in the open sea” which is an apt description for this series of 160 islands (49 inhabited and 111 uninhabited) that is quickly becoming known as the ultimate vacation spot for those who don’t want to visit the same old tourist traps that most people frequent.

With Okinawa being such an exotic local it’s no wonder that seven thrill-seeking travelers from seven countries banded together to make a lifetime voyage to the islands.This series of eight videos followers these travelers as they experience the many sites, sounds and tastes of the islands unique cultural offerings. In the above video Russian model and dancer Maria Bessonova gets introduced to the beauty of the traditional Ryukyu dance.  Ryukyu dance first developed in the time of the Ryukyuan kingdom. Known as a graceful and dynamic expression of the Okinawa soul, the elegant dance not only explores classical tales but also everyday life. As Maria learns about the dance she visits a Bingata Kimono workshop and ultimately gets to perform one of Okinawa’s most famous cultural offerings

Take a break from the studio today and join the cast of Okinawa as they explore the unique, the unknown, and the exotic offerings of Asia’s best kept secret. Now that’s tropical bliss!

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Clemens Behr’s Massive Geometric sculptures

German artist Clemens Behr puts his everywhere. Whether it’s illegally installed on the streets, painted on the facade of a apartment complex, or hanging in a gallery his geometric assemblage works bring together a mix of cardboard, wood, metal, and paint to create images that effortlessly move between abstraction and representation.

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Niv Bavarsky

Niv Bavarsky - Illustration

Wonderful, unique art and illustration by Los Angeles based artist Niv Bavarsky.

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Nicky Devine – Burlesque is More

Stripping is pretty cool, but stripping to songs takes it that much further.  Imagine, if you will, the H.M.S. Pinafore with g-strings.  Or just imagine burlesque, which combines showmanship, rump shaking, and a generous pinch of snark to create one saucy form of theater.  But performers are more than the sum of their tassels, and photographer Nicky Devine has been smart enough to document the burlesque community from behind the scenes, giving us a candid look at those who spend their lives in service of this bawdy entertainment.

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