Bringing nature and humankind together is the purpose of artist Maximo Riera. The Spanish artist is making chairs from wild animals such as elephants, octopus, rhinos, hippos and whales. An homage to the extraordinary creatures we too often take for granted.
It takes the artist approximately 11 weeks to manufacture one piece. With an average of 480 hours spent on the entire process. The process is complex. First, the 3D modeling and then the production achieved with the help of about 30 engineers grouped from five different companies. The animal-shaped chairs are made out of high dense polyurethane and held by a metallic frame. One piece weighs 350lbs.
Maximo Riera is highlighting through the making of these chairs the importance of nature. It’s a subtle metaphor for anyone who wants to hear it, that animals are a innocent presence and that it is human kind’s role to find tame. Like children looking at toys, we are delighted by the idea of perhaps owning one these chairs, or at least try them out. ‘this collection gives us an option of admiring what nature is capable of; this is the main reason why from the beginning I wanted to be faithful to the animal’s physique. this series is an homage to these animals and the whole animal kingdom which inhabits our planet, as an attempt to reflect and capture the beauty of nature in each living thing.’ What about the real ones? The question underlined here is, how can we come closer to nature and respect and live with it? (via Design Boom)
Canadian artist Kit King and her husband Oda collaboratively paint unbelievable photorealistic portraits that pose questions on beauty, identity and sexuality. The artist couple, who met on Instagram after posting identical drawings, create each of their pieces as complete equal partners, something sort of unheard of for photorealistic collaboration. King and Oda’s work aims to address complex issues about character and selfhood. For example, their works Facelift and Our Little Secret, depict amazingly detailed close ups that provoke feelings of unsettlement and confront the complexity of appearance and eroticism. While Facelift outlines the lengths we are willing to go to for physical perfection, Our Little Secret faces issues of beauty, lust, and objectification. King, in her artist statement, states,
“through a focus on hyperrealism, my paintings are reflections of the ephemeral visual relationships around us. Capturing fleeting moments that affect our emotional state from a singular glance, under the aegis of a heightened sense of reality. My current bodies of work are heavily focused on light and shadow, and how the element of light can alter the relationship of a viewer and subject. The goal being to propel the audience to connect to one transient moment, captured through mood, established from the control of light and shadow.”
Allan Peters, a Minneapolis based designer is a man of many hats (to say the least). Ever since he was a kid, Peters has always coped with an overwhelming passion for drawing, hoping to one day make a career out of it. Not surprisingly, Peters is currently working for Target as an Associate Creative Director and has been doing so successfully for the past 6 years. Along with being a Creative Director, Peters also manages his own design firm, Peters Design Co., as well as manages his highly successful blog with more than 100,000 page views each and every month.
Although Peters is excelling in our highly-contemporary, modern world, he has an obsession with good old-fashioned hard work. He reserves a special place deep down for design works that were created by hand for one specific customer, contrasting that with the mass-produced work done today that is highly impersonal and churned out by the hundreds.
This is where Peters found his calling—vintage design. A large majority of his work features antiquated elements of retro nostalgia. He seamlessly blends hand drawn script fonts with contemporary illustrations that take you back in time without feeling dated. These designs work on everything from window designs and store displays to flyers and branded products giving his clients a unique edge that stands out in todays world of generic logos and mass produced design. Here’s a selection of some of our favorite logos designed by Peters between 2006-2015.
Shelley Heffler is a mixed media visual artist and educator based in Inglewood, California. Interested in globalism and the shifting of political and social boundaries, she creates “Altered Paintings,” painted sculptural objects that resemble road networks and natural topography. Using sharp lines mixed with layered tones, her works invoke everything from urban sprawl, to forested hills, to reinterpretations of famous landscape paintings (readers will be able to identify Van Gogh’s The Starry Night above).
In the following artist statement provided on her website, Heffler describes territory as at once fluid and ideological:
“Cartography and abstraction are two languages used in my work. I am interested in engaging the viewer on a journey that preexists language and generates ideas and messages that relate to the viewer personally and metaphorically. The works explore global concerns and shifting boundaries of society and politics. Imagery is derived from a variety of resources such as transit systems, ancient ruins, floor plans, city grids, topography and geography; time and space coexist in a compressed world.” (Source)
From a geological perspective, the structure of the earth is determined by strata, tectonic plates, and natural changes over time. Human society has overlaid these formations with urban habitats and demarcations of nation and identity. What Heffler seeks to explore in her work is the interplay between these natural and artificial concepts of terrain, deconstructing borders and thereby opening a discussion about our spatial relationship with each other and the lands we inhabit.
Marcelo Monreal is a graphic designer and creative director based in Santa Catarina, Brazil. In a project titled Faces [UN] Bonded, Monreal opens up the faces of actors and models and fills them with flowers. Although some of them might be hard to identify from within the ferocious bloom, you’ll see the faces of Julianne Moore, Cara Delevingne, Christopher Walken, and more. By splitting the model’s/actor’s faces along the fine curvatures of their jaws and down the center, the artist accentuates their physical features. The flowers reveal a deeper, more internal vitality.
The idea for Faces [UN] Bonded comes from a very important memory for Marcelo: an insight passed down from his late mother. As he explains in this interview with Dettona, when his mother was dying, they worked in the garden together, and she told him “we are made of flowers” (Source). Marcelo now continues this understanding of human vulnerability and beauty by filling photos with floral arrangements. He seeks to “think, experiment create, recreate, learn, destroy, rebuild” in his work, encouraging all burgeoning artists to explore their potential in a similar, imperfect, and blossoming ways.
Aspen Valley based multimedia artist Tania Dibbs has created an epic series of barnacle infested sculptures. Her work, generated with various materials such as resin, paint and found objects, acts as a timeless collection of discovered underwater treasures. The beauty of her pieces lay in the simultaneous precision and playfulness within the materiality. Each sculpture demands a second look, an investigation, a questioning of origin and time. Dibbs‘ work, which ranges well beyond sculpture, also touching media such as oil and encaustic, holds a constant theme of questioning nature and man’s relationship to it. With pieces such as her denatured alcohol containers, rusted waste cans, and bottles being infested by, if not entirely submerged, in tentacle-barnacle-algea reminiscent formations, she forces perspectives on how and why. Where it is the made man objects that take on the action of being disturbed and manipulated, it is, in fact, the object that does not belong. Dibbs transforms every day garbage into fragile and precious works of art, concurrently creating an environmental debate. Her work, she describes, portrays an “unstoppable nature, creeping along and encrusting and covering” (via Hi Fructose).
Roof Runners (2015) is a series by photographer and filmmaker Michael Snyder. As an avid traveler and international artist, his work typically explores the intersections of social justice and environmental sustainability as they occur around the world. This series—which depicts people leaping daringly across rooftops—takes a more personal turn, drawing on Snyder’s childhood imagination. In the following project statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he explains:
“Car sickness plagued me when I was a child (it still does). While my siblings were able to read or play video games on long road trips, I always had to look out of the window to keep from being sick. To fight the boredom I would project myself out of the car and into the landscape as it passed by. Often, I would imagine myself as a runner, crossing rooftops and hurdling from building to building at high speeds.”
Snyder turns the urban architecture of Columbia Heights (Washington, DC) into a kind of real-world platform game, where the protagonist is a powerful projection of oneself, navigating the world with a sense of adventure and invulnerability. For Snyder, this reinvestment in a youthful fantasy operates as testament to the importance of personally-derived creativity. In a fast-paced world dominated by electronic entertainment, Roof Runners encourages us to return our gaze to the corporeal world for imaginative outlets and self-exploration.
Australian born and now London based artist Nick Sheehy illustrates awesome quirky, street art inspired scenes of fantastical hybrid characters. His work marries ideas from both aspects of low and high brow art; the playfulness and sort of dark humor moments of skeletons and overwhelming string that is reminiscent of veins (or, perhaps they are veins that are reminiscent of string?) winks to the aesthetic from both graffiti and comic book culture. Yet, there is a true classic beauty within each drawing, highlighting Sheehy’s talent and admiration for traditionalist draftsmanship. It is clear from his work that his attention to detail and disciplined drawing style has been developed from an intense labour of love, employing master technique and classic methods. Sheehy originally studied bronze sculpture “in the wilds of Tasmania,” (perhaps giving him the inspiration for such inventive animal-creature centered work!). He then “gave up on art only to re-discover his love for drawing whilst living in London.” Each of his pieces is unique to his practice and full of imagination, cleverness, and sophistication. Sheehy‘s work, he notes, “explores the dreamlike, sometimes semi-autobiographical scenes and oddball characters that echo from his childhood imagination.”