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Stefano Bonazzi’s Smoke Portraits Of People Mysteriously Vanishing Into Velvety Wisps

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Italian photographer Stefano Bonazzi melds smoke and body together in his lush series Smoke. These high contrast black and white photographs feature naked bodies melting into the atmosphere, drifting off in a plume of velvety smoke. They feel soft, mysterious, and cinematic.

Bonazzi, who has a multitude of different series, speaks about this body of work in a very compelling way:

Smoke fascinates me because it is hypnotic, evanescent and impalpable. The smoke you can perceive it with your sense of smell and can even be fatal despite being a natural element devoid of texture and weight. I often compare the smoke to the human soul and in my series “Smoke” I just try to contrast the weight and consistency of the human body with the lightness and elusiveness of his soul, that in these shots I try to represent their with the use of the smoke. The “smoky” of the subjects is in fact their own feelings and emotions. The protagonists of these shots express sexual desire, more anxiety and melancholy, loneliness and suffering. These feelings are so powerful that they evaporate, split from the body and rise into the unknown, which in this case is represented by the black background of the shots.” (Excerpt from Source)

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Harry Roseman Makes Rigid Plywood Look As Though It’s Fabric

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Artist Harry Roseman takes the ubiquitous material known as plywood and with careful cuts and placement, creates the illusion that this rigid material is pliable. The large pieces include “folds” that make them look as though they are textiles. Roseman uses a single piece of wood and mismatches its grain to break up the visual monotony; it fools us into think that there’s a back and a front to this “fabric.” The rigidity is reminiscent of a plastic camping tarp, but it’s still impressive at how, with relatively few cuts, the pieces are believeable as something other than what they’re made of.

These sort of observations and overall sentiment is part of what Roseman is trying to achieve in his sculptures, writing:

The subjects of my work are the bend of a curve, the conjunction of edges, the turn of a fold, the weight and nature of objects, the conjunction of idea and object, the way an idea sits in an object and next to an object and the way surface can obscure and also reveal. One of my aims is to close the distance between thinking, looking and making, to the point where it is hard to tell the difference.

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Benoit Jammes’ Amusing Skateboarding Fruits And Veggies

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Benoit Jammes attaches miniature skateboard wheels to fruits and vegetables and send them to do daring tricks and flips around the kitchen. In the series, he has an apple carve a bowl, a tomato splat after a jump, and a cut potato fly over a spoon. The images are playful, crisp, and colourful. He writes about the series: “Kickflip and nosegrind between the pan and the olive oil. The secret sporting life of our friends the fruits and vegetables.” (Bizarre Beyond Belief) Each vegetable does seem to have its own personality affected by size, colour, and the levels of daring of each stunt. The yellow bell pepper appears to be one of the more courageous of the bunch, riding the side of an oven door. If you look closely, you can see a small bit of smoke trailing off him/her (?), which is a great, little detail.

Jammes lives and works in “more or less Paris” according to his website. He does design, painting, photography, and drawing. His sense of humour and great use of household objects exists throughout his practice. In another series, he uses cassettes for various scenarios. One is made to look like pacman, another like a strange popsicle at the waters edge of a beach. (Via Bizarre Beyond Belief)

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Sleeping With Color In The New Pantone Hotel





Belgium just got a whole lot more colorful with the new Pantone Hotel™ opening in Brussels. As a company, Pantone is all about color, with professional color-matching tools for the graphic arts, apparel, home furnishings and interior design, retail paints in partnership with Fine Paints of Europe, as well as an extensive product line based on their iconic color swatches.

The Pantone Hotel™ merges this world of color with an upscale hospitality experience, creating seven color-palettes for the 59 rooms and suites, plus meeting rooms and a rooftop terrace.

“Impeccably designed by Michel Penneman and Olivier Hannaert, The Pantone Hotel™, Brussels showcases the color of emotion with a distinctive hue on each colorous guest floor. From vivid to subdued, for business or leisure, our unique boutique design hotel perfectly suits your savvy palette and colorful imagination.

From a design perspective, The Pantone Hotel™, Brussels is built on an exceptional use of contrast; a white canvas provides clean space for saturated colors to pop. Guest rooms feature unique photography by esteemed Belgian photographer Victor Levy.”

With a choice of large or extra large rooms, staying at the hotel can give you all the minimalistic color thrill with none of the discarding of inappropriately colored objects that you’d have to do at home. You can even acquire your own piece of the Pantone Universe—the concierge sells products from mugs and cups to iPhone and iPad covers. (Via Fast Co. Design. Photos via Pantone)

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Flying Lotus’ Projection Cube Transforms Animations Into An Actual 3D Experience

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At the live show for Flying Lotus‘ ‘You’re Dead’ tour, audience members were treated to a visual spectacle few were expecting. Using his artist name of Strangeloop, David Wexler joined forces with John King (Timeboy), not only to produce hypnotizing visual art, but to transform the whole experience of FlyLo’s new stage show. Calling the sculpture Layer³ (pronounced Layer Cubed), this multi-screen set up is an expansion of an earlier project called Layer 3.

Working under the label Brainfeeder, Ellison and Wexler reconnected and began combining their respective talents of creating memorizing tunes and animations. Recognizing that most moments we remember are cinematic ones, Ellison knew he wanted a strong visual component to his stage show. With none of the animations pre-programmed, Timeboy and Strangeloop are responding to FlyLo’s tunes in real time, trying to visually produce something that reinforces the audio experience. Wexler describes the logistics of making the animation cube:

It’s essentially two projectors—a rear projected screen and a front projected screen. You can get a certain amount of three-dimensionality because we have a foreground projection, Flying Lotus performing in the mid-ground, and a background projection. (Source)

For FlyLo, to play in between the screens and not be able to engage with the audience in a conventional way allows him to delve into his set more; really trying to communicate the story he wants to tell through his music. He is trying to find the place that reminds him of being a kid, and wants to transport his fans to the same magical place he loves.

I think as we get older that idea of magic is taken from us, there’s just less and less of it as we get older. I really try to dabble in things that feel magical. (Source)

(Via The Creator’s Project)

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Ho Yoon Shin’s Intricately Hand-Cut Paper Sculptures

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Korean artist Ho Yoon Shin creates delicate paper sculptures by hand. While Shin works predominantly in the realm of portraiture, he cites a wide range of influences, spanning religion, politics, and, most notably, his social surroundings.  Using his artwork as a microcosmic representation of Korean society, he notes:

“I am interested in social phenomena and approached the essence of it. I realized that the closer I approached it I realized there is no essence. I think it is already intrinsic in me or you, being judged and evaluated by the inherent values in our things. Therefore, if examined in that viewpoint, I begin to understand why the power group of Korea has wanted to spilt all kinds of social systems, – the right and the left, social classes divided on its economic structure, dominance and subordination etc.”

Additionally, Shin’s work includes myriad Buddhist influences, both aesthetically and conceptually. He notes that the simplicity of his subjects’ faces are “inspired by Buddhist art, which [he] finds to be calming and meditative.” Furthermore, while he often creates literal portraits of the Buddha in his characteristic meditative pose, he also incorporates Buddhist philosophies into his work—namely, the ideas of void and emptiness. He explains:

“Looking at a solid body made up through several layers…, we get to know that the system of the body is organized rather dangerously than strangely, and the system looks like the contemporary society. And its vacant surface and inside are getting filled with our inherent images to completion. In the end, it’s a story about the situation and a point where we fill a surface that doesn’t exist… and console and satisfy ourselves.”

In addition to portraits and busts, Shin also creates intricately sculpted installations. They often incorporate a flower motif and, like his portraits, convey Shin’s astounding attention to detail and the transcendent, ethereal beauty of his craft. (Via IWH Gallery)

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Stephen Mackey’s Fantastical Soft-Focus Fairy Tale Paintings

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Stephen Mackey - Painting

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It’s a popular thing to draw on fairy tales and the fairy tale tradition as inspiration for art, but painter Stephen Mackey has invented a whole fantasy world of his own. Working with oil on wood, his paintings are by turns in media res cautionary stories and mysterious rituals straight out of make-believe myths. Each painting is labeled in cursive script or all caps serif, and the titles don’t do much except further the enigma. “Somnambulist as a Bride Ascending a Staircase Backward,” proclaims one. Another is straight out of the recipe book of some apocryphal apothecary: “Charm No. 2: Attar of Knotgrass.”

Populated with velvety plush clouds and soft-focus girls, Mackey’s world is certainly charming. There are friendly faces in his darling cat-headed children and the moon, which is adorned with a Mona Lisa smile. However, there is sense of danger in the still water: a menacing shadow looms in “The Secret People,” and another painting shows a little girl being lured to a cottage by a wolf-headed mother. The latter is simply called, “What the Moon Saw.”

Mackey’s paintings seem to all occur in the twilight hours or at least before waking. They hint at elusive stories that promise to be as interesting as they appear. Richly colored and filled with wonder, they feel like an elaborate game of hide and seek with one’s own dreams.

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Helmut Smits’s Sculpture Turns Coca-Cola Into Water

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Helmut Smits - Sculpture

Helmut Smits - Sculpture

Helmut Smits - Sculpture

Helmut Smits’ repertoire of sculptures mostly consists of mundane objects such as pieces of bread or a candle stuck in a lamp, so it may come as some surprise that his most recent sculpture is somewhat of a reverse miracle. Most of us have heard of water turning to wine, but Smits has collaborated with Martien Wurdemann to turn Coca-Cola into water.

Coca-Cola is an icon that many artists have addressed over art history. What’s interesting in this idea, is that Coca-Cola is a corrosive substance, used sometimes even for cleaning car engines, and yet the artist is still able to extract the nutritional substance of the beverage. It’s clear that the water to original Coca-Cola ratio is low, which makes a lot of sense, and it also seems obvious that, of course, there would be water in Coca-Cola. Still, I’m impressed that it can be separated from whatever other questionable ingredients are floating around in there.

The sculpture is simple in its design, title, and concept. The title, ‘The Real Thing’ points to the idea that water is the real sustenance, at least as far as I can interpret. Can’t agree with you more, Smits! (Via Dezeen)

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