Born in Vietnam but raised in the USA, illustrator Tran Nguyen earned her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2009. Fascinated with the human psyche and interested in the psychologically therapeutic potential of art, Nguyen’s creations are often surreal, dream-like scenes. Sometimes tree stumps have eyes, twigs grow through ear canals, and miniature figures live in the folds of a gown. Besides being visually arresting, often the titles of her works are quite intriguing as well — for instance, “I Came Across a Wilting Cognition” (seen above), “We Vomit Carcasses of Unattended Thoughts,” and “Living Parallel To an Infectious Pigment,” to select a few.
Kinetic art features movement that is dependent on motion for its effect. It comes in multiple mediums including mobiles, machines and virtual movement or canvases that extend the viewer’s perspective. Wind, a motor or the viewer generally drive moving parts or dynamic perception.
Kinetic Art has origins dating back to the late 1800s where Impressionist artists such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet were the first to experiment with emphasizing the movement of the human figure on canvas. In the early to mid 1900s artists began to create mobiles and other new forms of variable sculpture. Individuals such as Max Bill, Alexander Rodchenko and Alexander Calder solidified and defined the style.
Today artists all over the world create kinetic art and sculpture. Latin American artists Jesus Rafael Soto and Luis Tomasello both explore illusion, space and perception. French artist Laurent Debraux experiments with magnets, metallic objects and other elements to create works dealing with surreal imagery. South Korean artist U-Ram Choe likes to make kinetic works that mimic forms and motions found in nature. Bob Potts creates sculptures that gracefully recreate the movement of flight or boats. Anthony Howe employs wind to bring life to his massive sculptures.
Whether independently mobile, or reliant on a viewer’s perception to create an optical illusion, each of these artists and their works are inspired by a unique fascination with perception, movement and dynamism.
I don’t know if describing Benedict Radcliffe as a welder, fabricator, or furniture maker would do him justice because he has a variety of metal bending and graphic abilities as well as successfully joining two VW Golfs together. Radcliffe has done some commission work for Paul Smith, Puma, Red Bull, Comme des Garcons, and has some beautiful personal projects up on his website.
Ngai Chuen Ching a.k.a Victo Ngai’s work entices you. Her illustrations are detailed narratives, that inspire you make up a story of your own to go along with each one. Victo uses illustration as a way to find her true identity and explore her different cultural backgrounds. She recently graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and has already been featured in Communication Arts as well as Society of Illustrators NY. Who knows what she will amaze us with in the future!
Photographer Orlane Lou Paquet’s most recent work includes a number of models in a variety of landscapes. She places her subjects, nude in mythical, dreamlike landscapes and, by doing so, she has created her own magical land. Her dreams as well as notions of vast nature and solitude inspire her work. Her subjects can be seen lying on beaches, rocks and in forests and give a off a sort of atmosphere of silence that can only be found in nature.
She uses cool colors in her photographs in a such a way that they give off an eerie yet comforting energy that explores deeper notions of solitude and the relationship we have with nature. By placing the human body in such settings, she plays with the intertwining of humanity and Mother Earth in such a way that reminds of our place in nature.
She plays with the idea that nature, like solitude can both surround and engulf us in both frightening and beautiful ways. In this, the grandeur of nature is paralleled with the waves of emotion we are sometimes subject to as human beings, Paquet depicts humans as a small part of the greater detail and the mythological energy that fills her photographs is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the ways that is closely studies the power of nature and gives it a magical influence on human life. She focuses on the vastness of human emotion and aligns this vastness with the role nature plays in our lives and, on a greater scale our existence.
Austin Irving’s current exhibit, Portals, at Curio by AFN truly lives up to its name. Her pictures taken on medium and large format cameras seem like entranceways to secret headquarters or the opening images to an epic film. And no piece emitted that cinematic feeling more, then one taken right in the middle of a natural cave formation that was mounted onto a light-box. The color and shading of the rocks, which was amplified by the backlight, made the work seem 3 dimensional. It was almost like you could walk inside of the piece and hear the water actually dripping from the stalactites onto the floor. My advice is to start collecting Austin’s work now, before it’s totally out of reach.
You may remember our popular post last year about the gorgeous crochet portraits of Jo Hamilton. Well the artist decided to document the process of creation via stop motion animation. Watch as an abstract tangle of yarn gets transformed into a portrait through the power of 300 photographs and a lot of patience!
“This is a stop motion video I made to document my process of crocheting one of my larger than life portraits in yarn from start to finish. In my work I use a traditional basic crochet technique taught to me at an early age by my Gran. I work one knot at a time, from the inside out, row by row. In making the crochet portraits I always begin in the middle with the eyes and work out from there until the piece is completed. I work directly from photographs, using no sketches, graphs or computer imaging. Each piece is handmade, labor-intensive, instinctively composed. Nothing is planned ahead; I make it up as I go along. I spend a lot of time simply looking, unraveling, and reworking until I get it right. To make this video I photographed the work after each new yarn color or two was added, and edited the photos into a sequence. This 30 second sequence contains over 300 photos of the work in progress. The portrait is of my dear friend Arthur Cheesman, who is sadly no longer with us.”