The sculptures of Naoko Ito are elegant in their simplicity. Indeed, these pieces are entirely constructed of only two materials: a tree and jars. A limb of a tree is cut into several segments and each segment, in turn, is placed in a jar. Naoko carefully arranges the jarred pieces to reconstruct the shape of the limb. A subdued commentary on the relationship between humans and nature, the imagery is immediate all the same. Though the shape and size of the tree limb is intact, the jarred branches are nearly gloomy.
David Kettner of Philadelphia, has amassed an incredible array of work from over 50 years of art-making on his new website. The conclusion of his tenure as the head of both the Fine Arts and Drawing/Painting program at the University of the Arts has given birth to a cataloging of his life’s work. In reference to his recent work, he provides a concise objective:
“The priority… is to secure a paradoxical and maybe enigmatic alliance between the world of the child and the world of the adult.”
Noah Scalin lives and works in Richmond Virginia. His work consists of various skulls created from mundane objects such as wine corks, bed sheets, and tea bags to name a few. His daily creations culminated in the Skull-A-Day art project and blog in which Noah created and photographed one skull a day for a year. His latest skull creation is entitled “Dead Media”. Made from 497 VHS videocassettes, the installation comments on materials that were once considered cutting edge. Scalin’s clever variations on the skull remind us of fragility while inspiring us to see mundane objects as opportunities to playfully manipulate.
These aren’t photos of bisected buildings. Rather, they’re the carefully constructed dioramas of artist Marc Giai-Miniet. His little libraries inhabit multi-storied buildings, perfectly suitable for us bookish nerds. However, many of his pieces almost seem to be hiding something sinister. The floors become darker, dirtier, more utilitarian the deeper they are in the building. Soot stained boiler rooms occupy the basement floors along with objects long forgotten. Perhaps the entire structure is a metaphor for the mind in a way: the diligent ego among the book lined floors and the unconscious hidden down in the dingy cellar.
Toni Spyra lives and works in Vienna, Austria. He creates alarming sculptures made out of mundane objects. From a canister of pepper spray with a perfume applicator attached, to a clothes hanger with a saw blade; these threatening works immediately announce their inherent danger and allow the viewer to reflect on safety and self protection in our culture.
The works of emerging Serbian artist Milan Hrnjazović are a swirling and melting mix of body parts and abstraction. Hrnjazović’s figures morph and meld into one another in a psychedelic surreal orgy that at first looks photoshopped but in fact is painstakingly painted in oil revealing the sensual nature of love and lust through the ancient (and equally sensual) medium of painting.