Twin brothers Trevor and Ryan Oakes create works which investigate and analyze perspective, perception and the shapes that are intrinsically connected to the way we view the world around us. In addition to incredibly-detailed renderings on curved paper, the brothers Oakes create particularly interesting sculptural works from metaphorically-loaded materials, like the matchstick sculptures pictured above.
Though made from simple materials, their construction was anything but. The Colorado-born, New York-based artist’s match sculptures were difficult to create, as the review in Ignant documents, the “first form was a small grid of matchsticks which curved in two directions to become a portion of the surface of a sphere. After that, they set out on building an entire dome, starting with a ring of matches on a table surface upon which additional rings were stacked. The form didn’t quite want to emerge into a dome though unless a small amount of space was manually added between the match heads. Curiosity eventually caught them an they began to look for a form that would emerge if they didn’t manually space the heads and let the matches truly guide their own behavior. A sea-shell-like spiral unexpectedly emerged.”
The Oakes describe the shapes created from the matchsticks as a reflection of naturally developing forms. ”Forms that occur naturally predicated upon simple rules, or building codes; in this case placing one matchstick next to another and allowing the fact that as the head is a slightly different width than the stick, a form will occur naturally.”
The sculptures possess an immediate cultural recognition being made from commonly used objects, and are given more weight when thousands of them are collected together. But they also hold a seductive energy because the inherent reactive possibilities of the materials. Matchsticks immediately insinuate fire, and collected matchsticks offer the potential for a chain-reaction, a possibility which adds to the idea of power in great numbers. (via Ignant)
Favio Martinez, better known on the street as Curiot, is a street artist based in Mexico City. His murals and paintings are especially colorful and complex. Curiot has a well-known and easily distinguishable style. Strange creatures populate his compositions. While each creature is definitely alien, Curiot creates them using familiar animal-like components. Often, these creatures are seen being worshiped by comparably tiny people giving the murals. In a way, this pulls Curiot’s work out of science fiction and places it more as a meditation and variations on Mexican Culture. The gallery statement from a recent solo exhibit at FFDG further explains Curiot’s inspiration:
“Curiot’s colorful paintings, featuring mythical half-animal half-human figures and scenes, which allude to Mexican traditions (geometric designs, Day of the Dead styles, myths and legends, tribal elements), are rendered in precise detail with a mixture of highly vibrant yet complementary colors. “Growing up in the States sort of gave me a diluted Mexican culture, I had no clue what I was missing out on until I moved back 10 years ago”, says Curiot. “The bright colors, folklore, ancient cultures and the beautiful handcrafts are some of the things that I embraced and which influence my work deeply”. The 11 new paintings in “Age of Omuktlans” tell the story of man’s distance from his natural path as he focuses his energy on satisfying his material pleasures and the dystopia this creates.”
Belgian artist Nick Ervinck‘s work is a divergent collection of the physical and the digital: by employing computer design techniques with a singular vision to make sculptural works new and exciting, Ervinck turned to 3D printed sculptures for his gallery works and comes out the other side creating works of singular focus, applicability and immediacy.
Says Ervinck on his website’s artist statement, “I have always been fascinated by how art has developed due to the use of new materials and techniques. Somewhat disappointed in contemporary sculpture and it’s lack of renewal, I turned towards architecture, applied sciences and new media, in order to elaborate a new language generated by computer software, and to compose forms and designs that were unthinkable in all those years before.”
While many of his works contain a quality that derives from ““Using copy paste techniques in a 3D software environment, I derive images, shapes and textures from different sources: basilicas, corals, dinosaurs, cottages, Rorschach inkblots, Chinese rocks and trees, manga, twelfth-century floral wallpaper, anatomical parts…”, perhaps most interesting in Ervinck’s work is his particular interest in the future possibilities and practical uses of the 3-Dimensional printing medium. In works such as the AGRIEBORZ series (pictured above), Ervinck worked closely with medical scientists to create realistic reproductions of the details of the human body in the fledgling bio-printing industry. He has openly remarked that he hopes that his artistic concerns and sculptures will eventually fuel scientific inspiration to continue research into the realms of human potential. (via MELT)
These plump and curvy sculptures are the work of Chinese artist Mu Boyan. Using a variety of materials, Boyan’s sumo wrestler sized figures are sculpted into contexts that make use of the space and density of the large bodies. The rolls of fatty tissue are shiny and smooth, the positions of the bodies graceful and balanced, though almost completely consumed by their own densities. Boyan’s figures are vulnerable, and each figure’s bodily placement underscores the vastness of their large forms. The figures’ faces and bodies are soft and playful, almost cherubic, lending a familiar and comfortable feel to the experience of the sculptures, though the figures are placed into vulnerable positions. According to Boyan, this series reflects his exploration and fascination with the depiction of Chinese political symbolism in art. (via exhibition-ism)
Last year Beautiful Decay featured Paola Pivi’s 360 Degree Rotating Airplane in New York City Plaza. Pivi is making art headlines again with her fantastical feather-clad polar bears. Influenced by the surrealists, Pivi’s plumed bears walk the line between dream and reality. They are her version of the ready-made. Prone to “visions,” Pivi says that she often sees animals located in a strange setting. For her most recent show, entitled Ok, you are better than me, so what?, at Galerie Perrotin’s new space in New York, Pivi created a series of sculptures influenced by a vision she had of a polar bear dancing with a grizzly bear. Rather than taxidermy actual animals, Pivi had an expert create bears from urethane foam, plastic, and feathers. The results are fantastic in the truest sense of the word. Meaning, they are imaginative, fanciful and slightly absurd.
In proper surrealist fashion the bears engage an element of surprise and unusual juxtapositions, which Pivi strives to create with all her work. The bears, for instance, embody several contradictions. All at once they are both real and whimsical, frightening and amusing, and serious and absurd. Mostly though, they seem like a lot of fun.
Pivi has lived all over the world, but currently resides in New Delhi, India. Her show that opened Sept 18th at Galerie Perrotin’s New York location will be up through October 26th.
Artist Matthew Craven primarily works in collage. His work, however, diverges from a lot of typical collage styles. Craven doesn’t juxtapose found imagery to create an effect from the contrast. Rather, he sources imagery of what seems to be ancient archaeological artifacts. The black and white images resemble the photographs of old issues of National Geographic. Further, the way Craven assembles the images doesn’t seem an attempt to draw disparities. Instead, he almost appears to categorizing objects, setting up classifications without labeling. Still, his work is fine art and not an exercise in archaeology. Craven doesn’t offer easy conclusions – there is no simple reading of history to be gotten in his work. Rather, Craven looks back at history with his collaged images as art does. It underscores the difficulty in reducing human history to one accurate narrative. The gallery statement of his current solo exhibit at DCKT Contemporary further explains:
“Archaeological remains and ruins act as backdrops for forming crypto-historical collages and drawings. Images from lost cultures, relics and landscapes both well-known and extremely ambiguous create the patterns within the works. The results are compositions that highlight a new connection to our past in an aesthetic that is intended to be both cinematic in scope and visionary in perspective. Understanding that our view of history is deeply flawed and inherently biased, we are left with a puzzle of strange pieces. Oblivious Path combines these puzzle pieces into a new framework. Some of these pieces appear to fit together despite thousands of years and tens of thousands miles separating these ancient civilizations. Using source materials from historical texts, Oblivious Path scrambles our current notions of space and time. The powerful images we are left with cannot be reinterpreted, translated or disregarded. What is left was carved in stone. It is permanent. They are our sacred truths.” ( via the jealous curator)
Hong Kong’s Society for Community Organization (SoCO) has created this birds-eye-view series of unbelievable pictures documenting some of the poorest living conditions in Hong Kong, one of the richest cities in the world. These cramped spaces, many no bigger than a small bathroom, serve as their inhabitants’ bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and pantries and represent the homes of a growing number of underprivileged Hong Kong inhabitants. One of the most densely populated areas of the world (426 sq mi and a population of seven million), Hong Kong’s high rent costs and public housing waiting lists force many people to live in these incredibly small spaces. These spaces are so cramped with stacks of living essentials that it takes an observant eye to capture everything represented in the photographs. These particular images were taken in the districts of Sham Shui Po, Yau Tsim Mong and Kowloon City, but is representative of the slums in the city’s 18 regions.
SoCO’s director, Ho Hei Wah, told MailOnline: “Hong Kong is regarded as one of the richest cities in the world. However, lurking beneath this prosperity is great inequality in wealth and a forgotten group of poor people. Hundreds of thousands still live in caged homes and wood-partitioned cubicles, while the unemployed, new-arrived families from China and children in poverty struggle for survival. SoCO’s underprivileged clients are increasing in numbers – while the city’s wealth continues to accumulate.”
Hong Kong has long been a center of international trade and manufacturing, but in the 1980s, it witnessed a shift from a manufacturing to a knowledge-based industry, which has become the driving force of economic disparity in the region. Since 1997, when China regained control of Hong Kong, it has operated under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems.” This has allowed the city to retain some independence from China, including the retention of a capitalist system that has been widening the gap between the rich and the poor. These photographs document the small-scale density of the lives of individual citizens and families in order to draw attention to the large-scale problem of population density and economic disparity. (via the daily mail)
These sculptures are made from the bones of dead people. The photographic portraits of these sculptures are made by Arne Svenson. What results is Unspeaking Likeness, a strangely captivating series of death portraits, collected here.
For four years, Svenson sojourned from coroner’s offices to law enforcement agencies allover the country, snapping photographs of facial reconstruction sculptures which were built by forensic artists and molded from unidentifiable victims’ skeletal remains, with the intention of resolving crimes.
The narrative hidden behind each “face” is a mystery, and, as viewers, our own hearts tense with sadness when considering each subject’s lurid last moments of life. It’s almost too much; so, we reject the idea of reconstruction in relation to rejuvenation. It feels psychological, how we need to detach. The “face” in the context of Svenson’s portraits are not representative of an emotional life nor physical body; instead, it’s a mask or doll with a troubling echo, seemingly touched by the hands of Frankenstein.