Berta Fischer is a Berlin-based artist. Her sculptures and installations feel as though they’re sophisticated set decorations for a play that takes place under the sea. Her colorful sculptures interact with their surrounding architecture, transforming a space into an otherworldly local.
Despite the use of materials that are mainly synthetic, such as PVC and acrylic glass, Fischer’s works maintain an organic quality. This dialogue between the natural and the artificial generates an appearance that has a fragility and a tension to it. Drawing a viewer’s attention the effects seem to be alive or moving.
Mitra Fabian lives and works in Los Angeles. Like Fischer, she is also interested in transforming atypical materials into organic, unearthly shapes and forms that seem to come to life as you look at them. Interested in mimicking the appearance of tumors, magnified cells or mold Fabian strives for an effect that plays tricks on the eye. Fabian explains, “My artwork is a reflection of local human industry. I am a sculptor and installation artist working almost exclusively with manufactured materials- the leftovers, the by products, the remnants of human activity. My material use serves as a commentary on the increasingly modified condition of humans, which pits nature against culture and blurs the line between organic and manufactured.”
Both of these artists are interested in transforming the manmade into something that appears to be organic. The effects allow a viewer to reflect upon our increasingly artificial surroundings and to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of our natural environment.
Rhiannon Schneiderman‘s self portrait series “Lady Mane” takes on societies ideals for women but with a hilarious tongue-in-cheek spin. Striking the same types of poses you’d find in fashion magazines with hip accessories across a neutral background, the artist stares into the camera while long wispy ponytails, four foot hair braids, and jheri curls dangle from her crotch. In a recent interview with Design Taxi Schneiderman states about the project:
The Lady Manes is a series of eight self-portraits. In each image I’m standing in your typical feminine pose in an outfit or article of clothing, and I’ve accessorized each outfit with its own unique, stylized ‘Lady Mane.’ A ‘Lady Mane’ is just a somewhat empowering pseudonym for a bunch of pubes, a “bush,” your “hair down there”… And that’s what the series was about for me: empowerment. I can’t really pinpoint any one source of inspiration for the project because it really was a culmination of so many things going on at the time; I’d moved to and lived in Daytona Beach, the armpit of Florida and possibly all of civilization, for almost two years (for school) during which time I’d witnessed and been subject to some pretty amazingly sexist ordeals. I was moving more into my hardcore feminist phase, which I think every lesbian in their 20’s goes through, and just so happened to have a hardcore feminist, fine-arts-major professor who had been giving me a semester of the most intense and life-altering class critiques I’d ever experienced. I’d been introduced to Cass Bird’s “Rewilding”, an amazing body of work that continues to influence me. All of these things, and maybe a few Lady Gaga songs, were inspiration enough to create a series that kind of laughed at conventional gender norms. I wanted to tell people that they were ridiculous, make them uncomfortable for a change. I wanted to challenge femininity and the objectification of women that is still so incredibly prevalent in society. I guess it was my way of saying, “Fuck you. Enough is enough.”
Ferdi Rizkiyanto creates digital art that speaks volumes to the strength of the medium, utilizing high-definition rendering, texture, light and incredibly minute details to create emotionally narrative scenes from the ordinary. By day, the Jakarta-based Rizkiyanto works in advertising and art directing, creating his own works as exercises in visual storytelling to enhance his skills.
In works like Uncharted (above), Riskiyanto takes a basic object and adds motion to create compelling narratives which actually unfold through the small details. Giving a twist to the classic tale of Icharus, where several wax figures try to reach the bright light of the candle they emerge from, skillfully shown to be melting the closer they get to reaching their goal. Meanwhile, several figures at the base of the candle appear to be boosting up the explorers, as well as vainly attempting to hold the whole eroding structure from toppling. Perhaps this is why the artist fully explores the Lilliputian details in his narratives, because the closer a viewer is drawn into the work, the more they investigate and learn the story of the work. (via mymodernmet)
Simon Beck’s geometric landscape artwork doesn’t require much more than a good snowfall, careful planning, and a lot of patience. To produce his works, the artist treks through miles of snow, patterning his walk carefully to create large scale designs. The results of his efforts can best be viewed aerially, as they cross acres of land. Conveniently, he’s installed some of his work under ski lifts and across valleys, where they can dazzle passersby.
Beck’s work is reminiscent of a Tibetan Sand Mandala, which too requires hours of work (his snow patterns take 8 to 10 hours to complete), has ritualistic movements, and whose existence is fleeting. Both will eventually be destroyed, as it is inherent and built into the ritual. But, while the breakdown of a mandala is ritualistic, Beck’s snow murals are at the whim of mother nature. (Via Huffington Post)
Brian Moss, opened a gym in 1982. Better Bodies Gym, located in the heart of NYC, attracted bodybuilders from all over,and ever since 1997, Moss has casually photographed the leading competitors in the bodybuilding and fitness world.
The photographs are part of an on going series, a personal project, that gives insights to the bodybuilder’s life. Moss’ black and white portraits and action shots go beyond the bodybuilders’ physical appearance, and instead accentuates the human side of this ‘superficial’ business.
My images are unguarded, honest and voyeuristic. Whether they capture backstage scenes at the Mr. Olympia or private moments in a hotel room hours before the competitor steps out on stage, these images are imbued with an intimacy that had never been seen before.
Moss’ photographs have become very iconic, and they have influenced the way bodybuilders are currently portrayed in advertisements and mass media in general.
There is something intanglibly familiar about Korean artist Lee Jeong Lok‘s photoseries “Tree of Life”. Perhaps it is the beautiful, postcard-quality of the surroundings, or that Lee has truly tapped into a cross-cultural metaphor for the spiritual in using an illuminated tree as a subject. Lee has mentioned in previous interviews that he considers himself a deeply religious person, and attempts to give his photographs a palpable sense of spirituality. Says Lee,
“I tried to depict emotions and spiritual imagination in that the sceneries inspired rather than recreated the scenery itself. … Every myth talks about another world that we believe co-exists with the real world we look at and live in. The other world has a powerful presence that we cannot see.”
Lee, who grew up in the Korean countryside, often depicts an intimate bond with nature in his work. In his Tree of Life photoseries, the photographer admits to using installation, sets, scenes and digital manipulation to create his constructed scenes of illuminated trees in spiritually-emotive surroundings. Lee continues,
“But it is very important to me that my end product is photography. I believe there exists another, invisible world within the world we can see with our eyes. If I were to draw an image of this parallel universe, it would become a mere fantastical illustration. However, by using photography the end result is very different; it retains the essence of our experience of reality, while simultaneously conveying a sense of the hidden realm that exists therein.”
Artists are magicians in their own right for making something from nothing, for infusing the everyday mundane tools and objects with poetic meaning and creating a whole new experience from it. In the holiday season, with a good part of society taking part in excess shopping, people are becoming increasingly conscious of what we discard. Our relationship to the accumulation of stuff and the level of waste humans produce seems to be collectively shifting. The artists whose work is shared here: David Ellis, Vik Muniz, Gabriel Kuri, Song Dong, Tim Noble and Sue Webster demonstrate the way individual artistic voices arise from this consciousness and the beautiful and often magical work that is informed by our accumulated or discarded stuff.
Deborah Simon sculpts anatomically correct bears out of polymer clay, faux fur, linen, embroidery floss, acrylic paint, glass, wire and foam. Aside from their size (around 22″ high), Simon’s bears are realistically detailed and meticulously fabricated. Her inside-out bears tread the boundaries of taxidermy, toy, and sculpture.
“Evolution has always held a particular fascination for me, informing how I create and group the animals in my work. As I’ve read and dug through museum collections to research my pieces, western science’s mania for labeling, codifying and collecting has stood out. Most of this categorizing bears little resemblance to how animals and plants exist out in the natural world and I find this disconnect fascinating.” (via design boom)