California-based artist Gregory Kloehn often repurposes the still completely-usable trash and street detritus that he finds in the streets. His ongoing project Homeless Homes takes this idea one step further, offering real aid by creating housing for the homeless in Oakland. Dubbed as “eclectic building materials for small but efficient mobile homes.” Kloehn and his volunteers recycle and reuse salvage to offer small, mobile house (they are on wheels), Mostly the size of a sofa or small room, these Homeless Homes offer a safe place and protection, and raise awareness to the needs of the homeless community. “Stuff people just throw away on the street can give someone a viable home,” Kloehn said in an interview with NBC News. “Does it have merit as a solution to homelessness? As far as giving people a shelter, yeah, definitely. Is it a solution to homelessness? It’s an answer. An attempt.”
Kloehn further describes his aims on the project’s website, “Our goal is to bring together imaginative people and discarded materials to make sturdy, innovative, mobile shelters for the homeless people. By sourcing our materials from illegal street dumping, commercial waste and excess household items, we strive to diminish money’s influence over the building process.”
The Singapore-based fashion designer Grace Ciao first started using flower petals in her illustrations when a boy gave her a rose; sad to see the gift wither and die, she incorporated it into a sketch of of a cocktail dress. Soon, the 22-year-old designer began using flowers in all of her creations, from party dresses to bridal gowns. From a single rose stem, she can create up to six separate designs.
The multidimensionality of the petals lends Ciao’s designs a unique and vibrant range; shadow and curve work together to flatter and accentuate the human body. The artist prefers to use flowers that contain within them a multitude of shades and tones; from their natural coloration, she can divine innovative prints and patterns. The garment and the floral organism dictate one another’s movements and structure; a falling yellow petal forms a ruffled embellishment or a bold one-shoulder sleeve, and the white ends of a tulip are layered exquisitely.
Ciao has a unique talent for making all colors, textures, and shapes look appealing and extravagant; an inexpensive carnation and a pricey orchid create equally luxurious garments. One can only imagine that as the petals wilt and eventually die, the garments go through a magical metamorphosis, transforming from fire-engine red to blood red and ultimately to a deep burgundy. As we move into summer, Ciao’s work is a delightful tribute to the ever-changing seasons and to the cycle of life and death. We cannot wait to see what she has in store as new flowers come into bloom. (via Demilked and Buzzfeed) Read More >
Chinese artists Ren Hang creates provocative staged photography that focuses on exposing highly fetishistic, mind bending scenes. Hang’s attention to detail and great sense of composition deem the photographs as visually stunning even if it subjects are a bit raunchy and bizarre at times.
Ren Hang’s work is not all about just about naked men and women in weird poses, however. It powerfulness as a political tool is probably the most redeeming quality of his work. Hang’s homeland of (China) is highly conservative and its conventional codes in art and communication will not, and will probably never accept Hang’s work. You are probably thinking that his story is very similar to that of dissident Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei. Consequently, Hang’s rejected work was found to be a reinvigorating addition to the newly flourishing group of young Chinese artists, and because of that, Hang was invited by artist Ai Weiwei to collaborate with him. Hang was part of one of Shanghai’s most pivotal group show to date, ‘Fuck Off’ (2000), which showcased the new wave of 21st century Chinese artists. Ren Hang was also included in ‘Fuck Off: 2′, which took place in the Netherlands back in 2008; the show has been traveling around the world since its debut.
Although Ren Hang’s work has been banned in many parts of China, he is still part of some Chinese galleries. He has also been exhibited widely in Russia, Italy, France, Sweden, United Kingdom, and Austria. (via Juxtapoz)
Made popular by the dinnerware imported by England from China during the 18th century, Willow pattern is a distinctive and delicate pattern. And probably the last place you would expect to see alien invasions, giant robots attacking cities and pterodactyls. Graphic designer and draughtsman Don Moyer started with a fairly basic premise, “I love to draw. The drawings I like best are those that make me laugh. Several years ago, I started drawing Calamityware —traditional willow-pattern dinner plates with a tranquil scene threatened by impending calamity.” Funded by a successful Kickstarter to realize his whimsical drawings into actual dinnerware, Moyer has realized his dream of correcting an ancient problem, that “too many plates have been too boring for too long.”If it all seems light-hearted, it really is. Moyer’s drawings retain the traditional line quality and palette of their inspiration, but add in sinking ships, flying monkeys, and villages on fire. These drawings are then transferred to blank plates and fired to set the illustrations. Definitely beats your grandmother’s antique china if laughter is what you are after. (via mymodernmet)
For his series “Face Cartography,” the photographer Daniel Boschung creates an unnerving portrait of the human face, bringing it into a hyperrealistic focus that exceeds even the powers of the naked eye. Each high resolution likeness is composed of approximately 600 individual shots, each of which boasts the astounding size of 900 million pixels. The artist programs an ABB industrial robot to scan the entirety of his subjects’ faces, forcing them to sit still for up to 30 minutes per session.
Boschung’s photographs are visually jarring in part because they allow us to scrutinize the features of others in ways that are not possible in daily life. We rarely get close enough to view another’s pores and nose hairs; even if we did, our eyes would focus on a single spot, and the rest would fade into our peripheral vision. “Face Cartography” presents its subjects’ flesh with a depth of field beyond that of human vision, and as we move our eyes across the page, we need not fear that they will move, blur or obstruct our view. In this way, the portraits are uncomfortably intimate and unsettlingly vivid.
The artist explains that in his photographs “emotions are completely missing;” because his subjects must hold the same position for a longer period of time, fleeting emotive expressions do not register on the composite image. In this way, the work might be read as a powerful reflection on gestalt visual psychology, which proposes that the sum of the parts of an image do not necessarily reflect the whole. The up-close high-resolution parts that compose the final image are certainly transfixing, but when added together, do they accurately reflect the person photographed? What do you think? (via Design Boom) Read More >
Australian artist Ben Frost creates image mashups that combine fast food, pills, and iconic figures of popular culture. He paints these celebrities on things like McDonald’s french fry sleeves and boxes for prescription drugs. We see Superman, Popeye, Mr. T, and even Snoopy the Dog all painted on objects that symbolize excess and gluttony.
Frost finds inspiration for his work from graffiti, collage, photo-realism, and sign writing. It’s not a surprise, as he tags things much like a graffiti artist would. His work is subversive and doesn’t hold back any punches. I’ve included stuff here that’s generally safe for work, but if you check out his website, you’ll see a lot of hyper-sexualized manga-inspired characters. But even with these relatively tame images, you can still sense the scathing critique of the mainstream. Greasy meals, too many pills, and processed foods are rotting our health in a similar fashion that television, media, and politics are rotting our brain.
The Singapore-based artist Ivan Hoo creates astounding photorealistic drawings on simple wooden boards; his expert technique cleverly mimics three-dimensionality, tricking the viewer into mistaking pencil-drawn lines and pastel shading with real-life objects. The content of Hoo’s still lifes is often a domestic accident: a spilled wine glass, a broken vase, a cracked egg. The artistic marriage of the seemingly mundane content with the masterly craftsmanship results in an uncanny examination of the everyday, finding radiance and beauty within the routine.
In a household, Hoo’s vivid scenes might inspire slight anxiety or irritation; in one image, a Coke can topples over, drenching the wooden board, which takes the place of a fine wood table. But because these moments of spillage are fictional, and because they require effort in the place of negligence, they elicit marveling admiration. Because these “accidents” require a paradoxical foresight and meticulous attention to detail,, the annoyance of mess is transformed into a celebration of line and color.
Throughout Hoo’s body of work is a consistent element of surprise and delight. A cat pokes his head through an illustrated hole in the wood, transforming the simple plank into a fence, and a seemingly blank wood canvas is shown to be covered in tiny, precisely-rendered water droplets. In photographs of the work, the headphones he wears persistently fall onto his canvas, initially integrating effortlessly into the photorealistic image, blurring the lines between accident and intention, between artist and art piece. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor) Read More >
In Vietnamese cities, a motorbike is the preferred method of transportation, even when hauling many large items. In 1991, photographer Hans Kemp visited Vietnam where he was overwhelmed and captivated by the streams of motorbikes rushing to prepare for the Vietnamese New Year. “I couldn’t believe my eyes…There were entire families on a bike, guys in suits, girls dolled up. I stood there mesmerized, intoxicated by this all-permeating scent of petrol mixed with perfume, sound, color, and motion. There was an incredible vibrancy to it all,” Kemp tells Slate.
In 1995, Kemp decided to move to Ho Chi Minh City from Hong Kong, and in 2000, a commercial client of his commissioned him to photographs some of the loaded motorbikes. Though Kemp found it difficult to capture all of the motorbikes he wanted because of safety, speed, or traffic concerns, he kept up with bikes’ paces pretty well.
His incredible book documenting these ambitious motorbikers, Bikes of Burden, was published in 2005. (via slate)