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Ellen Jewett Sculpts Flowing Creatures Woven With Tiny Plants, Animals, And Objects

Ellen Jewett - Sculpture Ellen Jewett - Sculpture Ellen Jewett - Sculpture Ellen Jewett - Sculpture

Ellen Jewett is a Canadian artist who creates flowing sculptural fusions of plants, animals and objects. Among her mystical menagerie is a wild boar with shrubs growing from its mane, foxes with tails sprouting into grass, and a deer whose body resembles a tree-shrouded grove. As singular beasts, Jewett’s creatures are beautiful and dynamic, but look closer and you will see that each one is composed of tinier parts, microcosms of flora, fauna, and objects that weave seamlessly together. These layered components infuse each sculpture with multiple narratives, from celebrations of life and growth, to stories of death, decay, and burden in the form of manmade debris. As Jewett explains:

At first glance my work explores the more modern prosaic concept of nature: a source of serene nostalgia balanced with the more visceral experience of ‘wildness’ as remarkably alien and indifferent. Upon closer inspection of each ‘creature’ the viewer may discover a frieze on which themes as familiar as domestication and as abrasive as domination fall into sharp relief.  (Source)

Jewett makes the sculptures from the inside out, layering materials and utilizing negative space to create hollowed works that flow into the air around them: dense frames unravel into breezy foliage and empty space, creating habitats for fluttering, sculpted birds. The results of these disentangled bodies are creatures that speak their strengths via expressions of lightness, vulnerability, and emotion. Jewett describes this effect:

Over time I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance: I subtract more and more to increase the negative space. The element of weight, which has always seemed so fundamentally tied to the medium of sculpture, is stripped away and the laws of gravity are no longer in full effect. In reading the stories contained in each piece we are forced to acknowledge their emotional gravity cloaked as it is in the light, the feminine, the fragile, and the unknowable.  (Source)

As part of her creative and flowing artistic practice, Jewett strives to free her work from materials with toxic properties, such as glazes, paints, and finishes. This greatly limits what she can use, but at the same time, incites her imagination and makes her work even more unique. “Where possible I source the natural, the local, the low impact and, always, the authentic,” she writes (Source). Check out Jewett’s website for more beautiful and holistic creations. (Via Lost at E Minor)

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The Vegan Cakes Of Stephen McCarty Are Cosmic And Delicious Mandalas

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Chef Stephen McCarty is giving new meaning to the relationship between art and cuisine. Under the name Sukhavati Raw Desserts he creates cakes which are made from all vegan ingredients and decorated with exquisitely designed Mandalas. With intricate detail he comprises his vegan cakes in unique colors with the thought that it will all be consumed and gone in a few days. Very much like Buddhist Monk sand drawings there’s so much care involved in creating something beautiful which at the same time is transient. Just another symbolic example of life’s impermanence and how it should be relished moment to moment.

The colors used in McCarty’s cakes are all made from natural plant and fruit extracts. Some of the mouthwatering flavors include banana jungle nut butter chocolate cheesecake, coconut lime raw vegan cheesecake and acai blueberry mango cheesecake. The names like the colors of this talented chef’s cakes are well thought out and executed beautifully. Some resemble tie dye t-shirts while others reflect complex new age patterns. The coconut lime cheesecake looks exceptionally good not only in taste but appearance as well. A deep green is the primary pigment used to create its minimal but detailed design. One ultimately good enough to eat.

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Osamu Yokonami’s Voyeuristic Photos Of Groups Of Girls Off In A Distance

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Japanese photographer Osamu Yokonami’s voyeuristic series Assembly features groups of young women who all dress the same. The eerie images are shot from a distance, making the viewer feel as if they’re spying on the troops. And with their backs turned towards the camera, you don’t know exactly what their motivations are. Although they don’t appear to be causing any mischief, we can’t be so sure.

Yokonami writes about Assembly, stating:

Each person has their own personality. I try to keep a bit of distance between us in this work. Then, the existence of each person disappeared and the existence of the group appeared instead. The strength and beauty as a collective entity stood out more by being in nature. I was attracted to the expressiveness of the group. (Via WeTheUrban)

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Peace Not War: Artist Replaces Soldiers Guns With Flowers

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Multi-media installation artist, video maker, designer and all-round talented guy Mister Blick has made some beautiful collages. Placing colorful flowers on old war time photos, in the place of where guns normally would be, he makes a sweet and subtle statement. Alluding to many different political actions in war time, his message is clear. Why do we continue to use force against one another?

The subject of his collages will resonate around the world, but perhaps more so in Portugal. On April 25, 1974, there was a military coup in Lisbon which is now known as the Carnation Revolution. When the population took to the streets to celebrate the end of the dictatorship, carnations were placed into the barrels of the soldiers’ guns, and placed on their uniforms. It is a classic example of how radical political and societal change can take place without the use of bullets.

Mister Blick’s images are a simple reminder of how quiet, gentle actions are usually the ones that end up heard the loudest. And it is a timely celebration of one of the most original revolutions in Europe, and in the world. Happy Freedom Day everybody! (Via Honestly WTF)

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Ebony Patterson’s Complex And Chaotic Installations Question Race And Gender Politics

Ebony G. Patterson - Mixed Media Installation

Ebony G. Patterson - Mixed Media Installation

Ebony G. Patterson - Mixed Media Installation

Ebony G. Patterson constructs immense and elaborate installations filled with everything you can think of. The artist creates intricate work both attractive and kitschy, using mannequins, sunglasses, beads, beer bottles, and lots of gaudy jewelry. Interested in mixed media tapestries, video, and photography, she often incorporates one or all of these different techniques into her work, creating a complexity of objects and imagery. Exploring racial and gender politics, she uses photographs, mannequins, and clothing to make reference to ‘popular black’ culture in her art. Her work, so filled with patterns and flashy objects, is highly satirical, commenting on race, questioning stereotypes often associated with the culture she is representing. Concepts on beauty are also questioned, as the figures in her work are adorned with jewelry, bright colors, and flashy clothing. Although the mannequins appear to be making an attempt to look attractive, they inevitably look over-the-top and ridiculous.

When you see Patterson’s installations, there is an overwhelming sense of color and pattern inviting you to examine every last detail of the chaotic mass of objects. You get lost in a see of mismatched clothing and clashing patterns, all shown like a department store display. Transforming her mannequins into striking objects participating in her art, their individual genders are often blurred, pointing out pre-conceived notions concerning the masculine and feminine. Her installations not only have mannequins, but also still humans that appear to be inanimate until they spring to life, turning her installation into a performance piece. This talented Chicago-based artist creates confrontational work that, due to content and appearance, is not easily ignored

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Francesca Dimattio’s Mystical Cracked Ceramic Sculptures

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When you first witness Francesca Dimattio’s work you forget post-modernism and pummel head long into post-apocalyptic armageddon. Strongly resembling totems ingrained with furniture design, their melting quality give off surreal messages but ultimately speak to something totally present. There’s a mystical side to their nature akin to religious artifacts. A link to the distant past where certain angles become figurative channeling idols you might come across on a hike through an enchanted forest. Their formal aesthetic fuses pieces of ceramic together and creates organic patterns that zig zag through collage-like patches of cracked elegance. The tiny shards of porcelain build a narrative out of tea cups and plates a metaphor to the memories of one life lived.

The unusual technique Dimattio uses eventually manifests into porcelain-laden structures which ultimately resemble chairs and chandeliers. These account for the title “Domestic Sculpture” her latest exhibition at Salon 94 in NYC. Dimattio’s history in painting comes across when viewing these magnificent pieces in person. Up close the work has a thick impastoed paint quality which make them come alive in another sense. Whereas her paintings referenced architecture and collage, her sculptures embrace all of the above including ceramic traditions.

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Alessandra Maria’s Beautifully Eerie Drawings On Coffee-Stained Paper

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Artist Alessandra Maria uses tools like graphite, gold leaf, and black ink to produce her intriguing portraits. In addition to these traditional materials, she has an unconventional surface that she works on – coffee stained paper. The dark brown ground offers an entry point for these characters, and the gray pencil adds a soft touch to her realistic-looking figures.

Gold leaf is seen here as an accent for the butterflies, flowers, and intricate details. Their drawing style and symbolism conjure fairy tales and other fantastical stories. While there’s a lot of luscious, life-like drawing, the characters often have a blank stare. It’s hard to determine what they’re thinking, which makes Maria’s compositions all the more alluring. Here, beauty is a facade for a deeper, potentially darker  below.

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Alejandro Duran’s Gorgeous, Grim Installations Of Plastic And Trash

Alejandro Duran - Installation
Alejandro Duran - Installation Alejandro Duran - Installation Alejandro Duran - Installation
In an increasingly global world, it seems that more is spreading than just information and culture: pollution, for one. Alejandro Duran creates site-specific art out of this manmade resource, staging hauntingly beautiful installations that draw awareness to what he calls “colonization by consumerism.” 
“More than creating a surreal or fantastical landscape, these installations mirror the reality of our current environmental predicament,” Duran says in his artist’s statement. Called Washed Up, the project has seen debris from all over the world and, though the colors can be stunningly lovely, the message is unmistakably grim. Swirls of color and organic-seeming patterns and shapes are shaped out of plastic and artificially neon bottle caps.
 
Duran’s statement describes the way he has mapped the relationship between the world of man and the world of nature, as well as the toll it’s taken on us all:
 
“Over the course of this project, I have identified plastic waste from fifty nations on six continents that have washed ashore along the coast of Sian Ka’an. I have used this international debris to create color-based, site-specific sculptures. Conflating the hand of man and nature, at times I distribute the objects the way the waves would; at other times, the plastic takes on the shape of algae, roots, rivers, or fruit, reflecting the infiltration of plastics into the natural environment.”

(via This Is Colossal)

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