Young-Deok Seo is a South Korean artist who creates what he calls “iron men”: nude sculptures made completely out of welded chain fragments. Demonstrating his deep fascination and concern for the human body, Seo builds standing figures, heads, busts, and torsos by carefully melting and linking chain fragments together piece by piece. The result is a series of elaborate assemblages, the links seeming to undulate like living cells. Each work entails a huge commitment of Seo’s time, patience, and concentration, making his artwork a form of spiritual practice.
What is most remarkable about these re-imaginations of the body is the way each piece tells a story—both intimate and universal—about the pangs of existence. On his website, Seo’s write-up describes his figures as embodying intense suffering, and conversely, an ascetic emptiness; they are at once “haggard like a seeker,” “infected by something unknown,” and devoid of all “earthly desires and passions” (Source). Despite their complex “skins,” each figure is ominously hollow. Some of them are incomplete, with their faces and limbs appearing to dissolve into the surrounding space. This suggests a chain reaction of the body to the outside world, a fusion of pain and hope that resembles destruction as much as it does liberation.
Metal splashes of water twirling around space. Chinese artist Zheng Lu is suspending his favorite element in the air. He is also imprinting calligraphy letters onto the body of the sculptures for an extraordinary result.
The artist uses a plaster base to carve the shape of the spatters. He laser-cuts the thousand letters on the stainless-steel metal and and heats up the whole structure. This process allows the metal to be distorted and the different parts to be assembled. The rendering are 3 dimensional large-scaled water splashes with intricate traditional calligraphy Chinese letters spread out onto the surface.
Zheng Lu has been fascinated with water explosion since little. And he was introduced during his upbringing to the art of calligraphy. He has been nourishing his passions through his art since he was able to make art. The spatters are extremely detailed. From the voluptuous circular shapes to the micro drops of water, the artist depicts water as close to reality as possible. The sculptures can either be suspended or laid on the floor.
The artist’s pieces are esthetically beautiful. They also are telling a story. The letters he is depicting onto the sculptures are texts inspired by literature and poems. The world of art of Zheng Lu is synonym of harmony. It’s a world where movement and stillness are contrasting concepts yet one cannot survive without the other.
In her upcoming exhibit at Ambach & Rice, artist Ellen Lesperance intently and painstakingly reconstructs the sweaters of feminism’s heroines. Hand drawn and hand knit, the installation serves to attach these women’s politcal ideals and activism to their personal identity. Lesperance lovingly presents the objects nearly as if they were relics. Indeed, throughout the exhibit Lesperance alludes to ancient heroines in connection with these modern ones. In that light, the sweaters become a sort of “soft armor” in a struggle that extends from ancient female warriors to today’s feminist activists. Appropriately, the title of Lesperance’s exhibit is It’s Never Over.
Jessy Lanza performing at the Hollywood Palladium, April 1, 2014. Photo by Barry Belkin
Jessy Lanza has been quite busy lately. Not only has she just finished up a tour with Cut Copy, she’s about to embark on an even longer headlining tour of the US and Canada along with some festival appearances in Europe.
Still riding high from the great reviews she received from her fantastic debut album, Pull My Hair Back released late last year on Hyperdub, I was lucky enough to catch the Canadian singer perform last week at the Hollywood Palladium. Playing most of her new record, she entranced the early arrivals with her unique electro-R&B tinged sound that had the crowd swaying during her hypnotic set. Her beautiful, breathy voice matched with her catchy beats really strikes a nice balance that once you let in, you can’t help but to let it move you as the growing Cut Copy audience displayed during her set.
Jessy will be heading back on the road at the end of the month playing some Canadian dates, as well as some US dates before she heads to Europe. Any fans of electro-pop or R&B should make it a point to see her incredible live performance. Check out her video for Kathy Lee and grab tickets here for one of her upcoming shows.
Artist Filippo Minelli uses the ethereal smoke bomb to paint atmosphere in vibrant colors in his striking series Silence/Shapes. This title refers to Minelli’s intention of giving the concept of silence a physical form. His clouds of color give off the impression of a demanding presence, taking over the incredibly picturesque surroundings that it inhabits. The photographer’s smoke bombs always take place in breathtaking environments, like deep in the mountains are on the surface of a serene lake. The boldness of the colored smoke is a harsh contrast to the calmness of its environment. However, the smoke can be as unpredictable and wild as the wilderness it is in, as it swirls and explodes with color into the misty air of forests and meadows. Even further, some of the most incredible views of Filippo Minelli’s compositions are of his smoke bombs wafting through the air of abandoned buildings. The organic shapes that the clouds take on create an amazing juxtaposition against the manmade structures that enclose around it.
When exploring this aesthetically genius series of Minelli’s, you realize that there is a complete absence of human form. No people are ever present. It is almost as if the colored clouds are a life of their own, standing in for human life. In one of Filippo MInelli’s photographs, it even appears that a bright, orange cloud is resting on a bench outside. The smoke begins to take on personality and substance, traveling to different natural environments and absorbing their majesty. Filippo Minelli explains the inspiration behind the series.
“The idea came to his mind when looking at political demonstrations footage, when he noticed that when the smoke was coming into the scene people stopped screaming and the scene was visually silenced too, so he thought of the smoke as the shape of silence taking over.”
There’s a change happening in a small, rural community in Costa Rica. Latin American satellite company Claro has joined forces with local artists to help housewives advertise and grow their own businesses. In a place where few luxury items can be afforded, every household is certain to have a TV – and also an accompanying satellite dish. So, with the help of creative agency ‘Ogilvy & Mather Costa Rica’, Claro have come up with idea of how to better utilize those dishes for the local residents.
Painted with as many different logos and themes as you can think of, the bright, folksy designs are grabbing all the right kinds of attention. Now, instead of having to rely on word of mouth, or neighbors stopping by occasionally, the women can advertise their goods and services much easier – and to more people. The charming designs advertise making tortillas, ice cream, piñatas, selling flowers, strawberries, eggs, or offering sewing alterations, or haircuts. Now, not only are the women attracting more customers, they are also empowered to think bigger, and to perhaps change their own financial destiny. (Via Lost At E Minor)
Perhaps Lady Gaga will up the ante on her outlandishly “avante-garde” sartorial sense, and start rocking these ten inch bejeweled and beaded poo poo-shoes- and you thought stilettos were hard to walk in! Or not. As part of a recent exhibition, Tate Britain asked artists from around the world to respond to Chris Ofili’s controversial elephant dung on the The Holy Mary painting that caused a “Sensation” in NYC 15 years ago. UK-based INSA’s contribution? Poo shoes. Is this what the controversy has been reduced to today? Ohmigawd shoez? Looks like it.
Street art has undergone some interesting developments of late. While not entirely forsaking its aerosol heritage, street art has definitely become more adventuresome in terms of medium in the past few years. Artist MRtoll exemplifies this well. While MRtoll’s aesthetic may resemble that of a stencil or poster artist, his medium is a bit more peculiar: clay. MRtoll works the clay into various images or texts then installs them on walls throughout Brooklyn. He often uses his clay in a nearly painterly manner creating impressive two dimensional work. Other times, his work is text based, seemingly a text or a tweet, playful much like its medium.