London based photographer Hana Knížová‘s new series Young Hollywood focuses on the dreams, goals, hopes and aspirations of the optimistic youth of L.A looking to make a break in the industry. Noted for it’s cut throat competitiveness, Hollywood is no child’s playground. These portraits capture a time of these people’s lives when they are aware of the challenges ahead, but not intimated enough to stop trying. Knížová says of her inspiration:
I am interested in the topic of youth and its ambitions, as it’s something which develops and changes as we grow older. Our motivation and priorities change. Some personal goals might not be achieved for several different reasons – it can be quite disappointing and bitter, but other goals might gradually and naturally start lacking relevance in one’s life. Only time will show.
Stylistically the photographs are shot in various locations, either in personal cars, or homes, local diners, street corners or burger joints – all seeming very personal. It is a rare look at a performer’s inner emotions. It is easy to see boundless optimism and hope, but somewhere niggling doubts are also lingering. Knížová goes on:
I also asked my sitters to fill a short questionnaire about their current situation, about their aspirations, and what “fame” and “success” mean to them. This serves for my personal record, although it was certainly challenging for them verbalise the thoughts. Sometimes we catch ourselves in auto pilot or chasing a dream without forming some sort of context, this exercise is both reaffirming and acknowledging of these big picture goals they set for themselves.
It will indeed be an interesting social experiment to see just where these young Hollywood star and starlets end up down the track. To see more of Knížová’s beautiful work visit her tumblr site. (Via Juxtapoz)
Yoshitoshi Kanemaki sculpts incredible life-sized metaphors from camphor wood. Once he finishes chiseling in each furrowed brow and dabbing on painted flesh, what stands before him is a character that is beyond human. All of Kanemaki’s subjects seem to be between thoughts, complex humans who are plagued by existential terror while simultaneously wondering if they left the stove turned on.
One sculpture, a many-headed girl, shows every shade of expression from happiness to surprise. A six-eyed woman glances left, right, and straight ahead at the ground. It’s almost as though Kanemaki has sought to capture the various elements of the psyche in action — a glimpse of id, ego, and super-ego at play.
Just as his previous sculptures, Kanemaki riffs on the theme of emergence. Mirror images are attached like siamese twins. A peculiar case of mistaken, misplaced, or misremembered identity, it’s diffiult to tell which is real and which is doppelganger. (via Laughing Squid)
Multidisciplinary artist Georgios Cherouvim’s installation titled Debate looks like your average conversation between two political candidates. But, there are some big differences: the figures’ heads are replaced with flashing geometric forms and they talk using unintelligible robot noises (think a series of beep boops). And of course, these aren’t people – they are realistic-looking plastic mannequins that are animated by an Arduino micro-controller with a custom “conversation” – stimulating program.
Cherouvim says that he entered the world of visual arts through computer animation, which explains the complex nature of Debate. The triangular and rectangular “heads” are controlled by an algorithm that changes lights and sounds based on parameters like how long one of them has been talking, if there was any silence, and the last time one was ignored by the other.
In his artist statement, Cherouvim writes:
My work is a visual representation based upon my perspective of social and political issues. I question established ideas of the modern lifestyle and how common social behaviors and ideologies have turned us against our environment and our selves. I want my work to invite the viewer to step back, observe our actions from a different perspective and associate them to the consequences.
“The act never reaches a conclusion and it is performed in a non-deterministic way,” Cherouvim told The Creators Project. “Their language is incomprehensible, causing the viewer to lose interest in the conversation and politics all together.” (Via The Creators Project)
Photographer Rebecca Rütten is interested in the paintings from the Renaissance period and contemporary fast food culture like Taco Bell and McDonalds. You wouldn’t think that the two would intersect, but in Rütten’s series Contemporary Pieces, they do. The German artist combines elements of the traditional with greasy burgers and fries. ”I became enamored with the eroticism, presentation and charisma of paintings from the Renaissance Period. In the Late Renaissance, Italian and Dutch painters dealt with the middle and lower classes,” she writes in a statement about the work. To Rütten, fast food represents the two social groups. “To eat healthy is expensive,” she continues. “However, one can buy large amounts of food at a fast food restaurant for a comparatively low price.”
Rütten asked tattooed and pierced friends to model for her and recreate the poses of laborers, gypsies, and prostitutes in Caravaggio paintings. The exquisite and dramatic images are simultaneously beautiful and repulsive. For every flower or fancy goblet there are mounds of saturated fat. It’s not only a culture clash, but a fusion of foodstuffs associated with lower class and fine items for the upper crust of society. (Via iGNANT)
Shi Jindian makes wire sculptures that are precise, intricate, and collect to form impressive items in their actual size and shape. The Chinese artist uses steel wire to twist together these delicate pieces, which encompass the complexity of the actual item whether it be the human body, a motorcycle, a bicycle, or a cello. To create this ethereal effect, Jindian first makes a wire covering over the actual object, then destroys and removes the object from within it to have only the shell leftover. Viola! A sculpture is born.
As another arts writer commented,
“The result, he says, is a kind of fiction, a virtual reality that can be walked around and touched. His Blue CJ750 (2008) is a replica of the Chiangjiang [Yangtze], a military bike based on an early BMW and for decades reserved for the military. Beijing’s Shadow (2007) translates the chassis of an army jeep into an object of pure contemplation, an airy fantasy which a car long was for millions of Chinese. Each of the works is accurate to the smallest detail. They took years to make, but he found serenity in the toil. When people touch his sculptures, he says, they also touch ‘the state of mind that emerges from the labour of my hands: tranquillity and calm’.”(Excerpt from Source)
Davit Yukhanyan is an Armenian architect and illustrator whose incredible works have an stunning amount of detail. Each large and complex drawing contains hundreds of tiny drawings within its dimensions, and a central shaded figure occupies the center with outlined figures behind it. However, shading isn’t necessarily made using just your traditional pen techniques. Instead, animals, people, and objects fit together like pieces of a puzzle and change in scale. The smaller they are, the more dense the drawing which alters how dark it appears to the viewer.
Considering just how intricate Yukhanyan’s work is – with pieces measuring about 27 inches by 39 inches – it’s no surprise that he’s only produced two so far. Titled And When You Lose Control and Isolated Winner, the massive artworks are inspired by the world we live in. “Just as everything in our world consists of different pieces, my drawing also consists of different pieces in the form of small illustrations that come together into one overall creation,” he writes on Bored Panda. “I draw the artwork with this concept in mind.” (Via Demilked and Bored Panda)
Born in Paris and trained in London, visual artist Charlotte Cornaton combines two unlikely platforms—the ancient craft of ceramics and the modern medium of video art—to create multi-faceted, socially-charged pieces. For Insomnio, her latest series, Cornaton focuses heavily on the ceramic side of her practice, creating 21 delicately crafted and hauntingly illuminated porcelain books.
Stunningly handmade and intrinsically dreamy, Insomnio presents and explores the paradoxal nature of clay’s transformation from a heavy, solid medium to a fragile, paper-thin representation of the contents of a book. Created during the artist’s residency in Jingdezhen, China, the pieces—comprised of porcelain and illuminated by hidden LEDS—are directly influenced by ancient techniques and rooted heavily in Chinese culture:
Insomnio is a complication of porcelain sculptural books which explain the symbolism of my nightmares using Jung dream interpretation. The oneiric world is true cerebral storm and the fear of the unconscious is here materialized through the cracks and imperfections of the porcelain . . . I used the three main ancestral Chinese techniques of incised porcelain: carving celadon, cobalt painting and cloisonné glaze. Insomnio thus uses oriental know-how to express western form of thought, incarnating the exchange and symbiosis of cultures.
Adorned with designs and inscribed with text, each book presents the artist’s acquired sense of a culture’s aesthetic and, through both a literal use of light and enlightening symbolism, results in an exhibit based prominently in illumination—literally.
Artist Chris Wood likes to exploit the magic of light, and more particularly, the light that passes through glass. Working specifically with Dichroic glass (meaning two color), she installs pieces or shards of the material on walls at different angles, allowing the different color and reflections to play off each other. Arranging the glass in usually geometric, or circular forms, they take on the appearance of futuristic mandalas, or some complex physics experiment. The installations are wildly varied in color, at times the glass is completely transparent and subtle, or can be densely rainbow colored, or even entirely opaque and metallic.
Dichroic glass was actually developed by NASA in the late fifties to protect against harmful effects of direct sunlight and cosmic radiation, and is a very unique material. Due to it’s unique nature, it is a captivating material to work with with unlimited potential. Wood says of her interest in it:
Glass is a material which allows me to exploit the aesthetic potential of light. Minimal structures, support simple arrangements of glass, which interact with light to create complex patterns of light and shade, which change depending upon the position of the viewer and the angle of the light source. (Source)
Wood also works with the Dichroic glass outdoors, setting up quiet installations that play off the reflections and colors of the environment. Favoring water and greenery, she is able to make us look twice at the nature we take for granted around us.