The first question Maurizio Savini is asked about his work is one he hates to hear: does he chew every piece of gum he uses to make his sculptures? He admits this question is very annoying, but if everybody is still genuinely interested, then no – no he doesn’t chew the gum. Instead he has two full time assistants unwrapping each stick of gum and melting the pink sticky stuff into layers of usable material. Savini begins his lengthy process by layering the sheets of gum around plaster molds which give his sculptures stability and shape.
Working with the gum for over a decade, he has created some amazing pieces. One sculpture – ‘La Lupa‘ (the figure who nursed the founders of Savini’s birthplace of Rome back to health) is made from 14 kg of chewing gum. He has animals bearing different flags, business men clutching pillows, chandeliers and women’s shoes among many other things. His work is usually loaded with some sort of socially and/or politically focused message.
He says chewing gum has a unique cultural context. It is connected to art history, industry and world history, and is a loaded symbol for Savini. He says after being introduced to Europe when WW2 was ending, the material became a symbol (along with Coca Cola and nylon stockings) of a new era.
When Savini began making his chewing gum sculptures, he has the misfortune of several pieces disintegrating. He now combines the gum with formaldehyde and anti-biotics to preserve it, so the high sugar content doesn’t destroy the pieces. You can see some of his new pieces at the upcoming Art-Southampton, July 9-13, 2015, or find out more about how he makes his creations in the video above.
Lunakhods is an art collective comprising two Toronto-based photographers. Drenched in color and filled with a luminescent haze, their images resemble daydreams experienced beneath the heat of a midday sun. With a touch of surrealism, otherwise familiar landscapes are made unearthly: glowing wells appear in deserts at twilight, and eerie fogs cloud out distant views of mountains and trees. There is a competing sense drowsiness and vitality, transcending consciousness and materializing an alternative reality.
Lunakhod’s photography conveys an emotional and almost cinematic experience of the world. Human behavior is turned into a bizarre and deeply metaphorical reflection of itself; like muses of our solitary, dream-wandering selves, masked figures haunt dark roadsides and rooftops. Elsewhere, someone holds aloft a garden flamingo in an act of both absurdity and reverie. Time is suspended; past and present collide in images aged with dust. In the world of dreams that Lunakhods creates, temporality and concrete meaning become irrelevant — instead, their images explore the spirit, eternity, and subjectivity of a semi-lucid moment.
You’ve heard of “Where are they now?” stories about child stars, but what about the Garbage Pail Kids? Art director Jake Houvenagle and photographer Brandon Voges have combined their creative talents to construct a fictional photo series portraying specific Garbage Pail Kids characters as real human beings, thirty years later. This lovably crass band of misfits from your childhood has come to life, thanks to these two artists. Not only are we able to see what each kid has grown up and become, Houvenagle and Voges has also provided us with a complete back-story, making the situation even more comical.
This hilarious series features such bizarre characters as Armpit Brit, who still has her dreads of armpit hair, and Barfin’ Barbara, who’s name speaks for herself. The artists cleverly match each Garbage Pail Kid with a suitable occupation that matches their unfortunate, gross personality trait. For example, the unholy Bony Tony, who has the ability zip off his skin, is now, thirty years later, a stripper! The finished photo features Bony Tony on stage as a full adult, stripping his skin off in his underwear while dollar bills are thrown at him. This series is both nostalgic and well done, with an amazing sense of humor. Houvenagle and Voges have created a throwback masterpiece with this wonderfully entertaining series.
Fiona Roberts‘ new show Intimate Vestiges is a collection of wonderful and weird objects. She loves taking mundane items and adding creepy details to them. Items that we are used to seeing in our house everyday now seem to be encroaching on our personal space, and even seem to be a bit threatening. Roberts has transformed a simple chair into an anthropomorphized Frankenstein creature: the leather sections now feature tiny pink gaping mouths, baring their teeth and ready to chomp at whatever touches them. The menacing orifices are bordered by shiny plaited strands of hair; the legs of the chair wrapped in the same hair. The chair seems to have murdered the occupant of the house, and now wears the attributions of it’s victim on the outside.
Intimate Vestiges deals with questions of the ‘other’ – what is human, and where do our human bodies, memories and experiences end? We undoubtedly transfer these emotions into the objects around us – but what keeps them as foreign bodies? As writer Stephanie Lyall asks:
What can constitute humanity? At what point does a collection of disparate parts become a being? How much of a body can be rearranged before becoming something ‘other’? (Source)
Roberts’ sculptures have a beautiful philosophical poetry embedded in them. She has pillows made from plaster frozen in the middle of a kiss. They seem frozen and unable to enjoy their passion. They pillow lovers are able to extract empathy from us immediately. She has a rug made made from hundreds of ceramic fingers that might make us think twice about treading so heavily on our own carpets at home. Roberts has the power to make us re-evaluate the inanimate objects around us we take for granted and combines our outside worlds with our inside worlds.
Have you ever loved a color so much that you wish you could paint everything in it? Well, artist Benedetto Demaio has immersed his entire photography in a color that he so deeply enjoys. The brilliant artwork of Italian artist Benedetto Demaio completely engulfs you in a world of specific color. Photographing simple subjects like deflated balloons and crayon shards, he transforms the ordinary into a perfectly constructed photo, complete with a curated palette. Although his images include a wide variety of subjects, they all hold a certain, cool blue that ties them all together in a way that is unmistakably intentional by Demaio. This hue is the artist’s signature. It is amazing how many different ways a color can be expressed, in so many different textures. Demaio’s blue is shown in soft, puffy material, in torn paper, and in places that are true to nature, like an ocean wave.
Each photograph, carefully constructed and thought out, contains beautiful compositions of an inviting, cohesive color palette. The artist’s sense of playfulness is apparent in his experimental use of color, as he often applies his favorite color in places that it may not normally be found, like in color swatches on the beach. Still, you cannot help to be charmed by the repetitiveness of the blue hue. There is a fun, triumphant spirit of creativity in Demaio’s work that is such an irresistible breath of fresh air. (via Honestly WTF)
Dalip Singh is a Creative Director working with the McCann Worldgroup, India, who has embarked on a project to blend art with science in order to foster social awareness on environmental issues. Titled Yin Yang, the project involves wall-sized illustrations of the Earth in turmoil, blackened with fire and smoke and strewn with industrial waste and dead or suffering animals. The illustrations are divided into Land, Water, and Air, and the tortured geographies reflect these three elements. Each one derives from Dalip’s lengthy investigations into the types of environmental pollutions and their related factors and causes. The actual artistic production was a multi-step process lasting over 9 months, which Dalip describes:
The rough sketches were done for more than a month by me and two illustrators. The original illustrations were hand drawn on wall-sized sheets. I tried for as much detail and reality as possible. The illustrations were then painted with watercolors, photographed and digitalized. The last leg of the campaign involved the laborious task of retouching. It was pretty challenging to keep the synergy of earth colors (green and blue) intact while bringing forth the black and white of Yin Yang in the artwork, at the same time. (Source)
Those who know about the yin yang and its symbolic significance will detect the irony and critical imbalance showing in Dalip’s illustrations. The yin yang signifies an interconnection between opposite yet complementary forces; there is darkness in the light, and vice versa. Here, however, the “light” half — represented by images of green and sustainable environments — has been pushed to the periphery, while the rest of the world crumbles in destruction. While beautiful and engrossing in their detail, Yin Yang troubles us with depictions of a world pushing beyond philosophical ideals of balance and harmony. (Via Bored Panda)
There’s a new attraction in Mallorca, Spain just in time for the summer hoards to experience and emerge themselves in. Architecture duo who work under the moniker A2arquitectos have been specializing in designing luxury urban oases for a while now, and have done it again with their latest project. They have dreamed up an immersive, super-size kaleidoscope-inspired installation at the Hotel Castell De Hams on the holiday island. In what used to be a children’s playground, the team have built reflective tunnels reaching 29 feet long and 6.5 feet wide and unreal spaces that visitors can explore their way through.
Strange doorways and circle cutouts in walls open up to larger spaces decorated with colorful patterns and infinity mirrors that spoil your sense of perspective. Staircases disappear into patterned gaps that appear around corners. A larger room has been painted hot pink with white dots of varying sizes with desks for people to rest at. The outside environment is also utilized to feed into the space inside – light, movement and color are all manipulated to produce an Alice In Wonderland effect.
The architecture team of Juan Manzanares Suárez and Cristian Santandreu Utermark enjoy building, urban planning, interior design, furniture design, and renovation. They specialize in project related to the tourist sector and have undertaken a project at the Hotel in Mallorca in the past. They created a Smile Pool for guests to swim in and laugh at. Basically, a neon yellow smiley face, it stood out in it’s surroundings and grabbed everyone’s attention for the right reason – making sure everyone there knew it was time to relax and enjoy themselves.
Masters of relaxation – A2arquitectos are a team to keep watching what they will come up with next. They have an interesting collection of images from past projects and dream projects on Pinterest here. (Via Yatzer)