An unusual, but symbolic and versatile medium, several artists have integrated books into their practice. Sometimes selected for their formal elements, other times for their content, books have a wide-ranging appeal for artists. The five artists listed below have employed books in varied and distinctive ways to create remarkable works of art.
Abelardo Morell is a Cuban artist who incorporates books into his photography in beautiful and creative ways. For example, he used Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to create photographs uniquely including the book. Jonathan Callan is drawn to books as a medium and creates amazing, formal sculptures that resemble tree stumps, or other organic forms. Cara Barer is an artist who transforms books by sculpting, dying and then photographing them. About her work Barer says, “Books, physical objects and repositories of information, are being displaced by zeros and ones in a digital universe with no physicality. Through my art, I document this and raise questions about the fragile and ephemeral nature of books and their future.” Robert The is a New York-artist best-known for his Gun Books, which usually play a title cleverly off the book carved into the shape of a gun. Isaac Salazar rescues books that have been discarded and carves words out of the pages.
Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm has been developing an ongoing series of “One Minute Sculptures” since the late 1980’s in which he poses himself or his models in unexpected relationships with everyday objects close at hand, prompting the viewer to question the very definition of sculpture. He seeks to use the “shortest path” in creating each piece — a clear and fast, sometimes humorous, form of expression. As the sculptures are fleeting and meant to be spontaneous and temporary, the images are only captured in photos or on film.
Julius Hofmann lives and works in Germany. His acrylic on canvas paintings have depth and surface details that harken back to early stop motion puppet or clay animation stills. His work operates like a series of vignettes that may or may not be part of a unifying narrative. Themes of desperation, fear, and paranoia emerge from his muted scenes. Like projected nightmares Hofmann’s brash and haunting works thrill and mystify.
Do you hear that? Do you know what that sound is? No? Well congratulations. You just summoned the most vile creature from the South Pole… Evil Santa. You must have forgotten to order your gifts before the x-mas delivery deadlines, because after the dates above have passed, you no longer get jolly old saint nick delivering your presents. Instead, you are forced to deal with his sinister step-brother who delivers presents long after the appropriate time to receive them. Make sure to get your orders in on time and avoid the nasty cretan that is Evil Santa.
Wouldn’t you just love it if all your everyday interactions with household items were as fun as looking at these cute crochet creations? Nicole Gastonguay, a graphic designer and fiber artist, replicates mundane objects- food, toast, pickles, and even boom boxes- by using yarn. She puts a smile (or a frown- depending on what the object is) and a pair of big googly eyes in all her creation. (via Brown Paper Bag)
Amy Boone-McCreesh’s sculptures and 2-D mixed-media works are both self-referential and highlight a larger aesthetic idea, which is the visual aspect of celebrations. For years, she’s explored the way in which different cultures commemorate events in their lives, particularly how they express it with decoration and objects. Now, with a new body of work, Boone-McCreesh goes beyond this initial inspiration and uses things she’s previously created as raw material for new pieces. They debuted at a recent two-person exhibition with artist Sarah Knobel entitled Anything Sacred at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC.
Anything Sacred is a birth of new from the old. Through digital manipulation, collage, printing, and reworking, I allow visual elements from an extant body of work to become new imagery printed on vinyl, paper, and custom fabric. The complex layering, stripping, and blending of the digital with the handmade gives birth to a new visual language.
In sampling my own imagery and re-contextualizing it in an immersive visual experience that is both cyclical and unifying, I am challenging traditional notions about value and pushing for a more complex, dynamic personal aesthetic. Simultaneously, my work in Anything Sacred continues to examine the use and meaning of decoration through formal arrangement and design.
You can view Anything Sacred now at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC until June 21 of this year. More shots of the candy-colored walls and lively work after the jump.
Argentinian artist and architect Tomás Saraceno is internationally known for his visionary and surprising installations accessible to the public and able to modify the perception of architectural spaces. His oeuvre, inspired by the tradition of 20th-century utopian architecture, stems from the desire to create aerial structures that can be inhabited by people, are self-sufficient and have a low environmental impact.
At Hangar Bicocca Saraceno creates On Space Time Foam, an incredible floating structure composed of three levels of clear film that can be accessed by the public, inspired by the cubical configuration of the exhibition space. Functioning as the ultimate moon bounce, Saraceno’s piece floats participants high above the ground creating a surreal (and frightening) experience that gives the feel of weightlessness and flight without the hassle of going off into space. The work, whose development took months of planning and experimentation with a multidisciplinary team of architects and engineers, will then continue as an important project during a residency of the artist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT in Cambridge (MA). (via)
You’re in luck if you love your face so much so that you wish there was a copy of it. Real F, a Japanese 3D printing company creates one of a kind ultra realistic 3D face masks complete with every blemish, pore, hair, freckle, and scar. No you can have a second copy of that pretty mug of yours or do it up like Nicholas Cage in Face/Off without the messy surgery.