Artist Gabriel Schama demonstrates that lasers aren’t just for starships: He uses them to carve out incredibly intricate designs and patterns from materials such as wood, paper, and even leather. His works come alive with “surreal textures” that create a kinetic feeling, the kind you might get from studying a Magic Eye poster. There’s also the structural element, which lends his artwork literal depth as they seem almost excavated, blooming into mandalas and swirls.
The cool thing about Schama’s work is that it’s clearly informed by the natural world, some sporting the same frills as aquatic flowers and others looking like any garden-worthy blossom. There’s also a very rigid manmade feel to his work, though, not just in the precision with which he carves them but in some elements of his designs that look almost retro-futuristic chic.
Schama’s art is evolving, growing from his early hands-on approach that used mixed-media materials. In the description of his second Kickstarter project, he says:
“I have long been possessed with a desire to make my work bigger and more intricate at the same time. A modestly sized cut paper piece could take me weeks of nonstop work to execute. This project is not only the next step forward stylistically, but a means to achieve far more daring and exciting projects.”
Karen Ann Myers’ latest series of paintings study the vulnerability of women. Through a series of motifs showing women lying down on beds or in different sexual acts disguised within a pattern, she examines the feminine form in its most naked form. What she offers is a voyeuristic look at womanhood. By taking the girl next door and putting her in subjective, fetal-like positions we see how the packaging of the fairer sex becomes more about mood and positioning than the actual model. The atmosphere and attire become the most important elements in her psychological study. It cleverly examines women’s submissive behavior in advertising and brings forth what society is shown as desirable.
In large sized paintings, Myers purposely places vibrantly colored rugs and sheets next to her subjects commenting on the fact that women are seen as beautiful pieces of furniture used to adorn a room. They become objectified and meld into the foreground. Her message is subtle disguised through a series of striking images that recall Alex Katz and David Hockney.
Her wallpaper drawings of various sexual positions disclose the powerful nature of women’s sexuality. Hidden from direct view in the design’s make up her project speaks to the meaning of subliminal messages. As the pattern dictates, the true nature of women’s sexuality should remain secret as media and advertising suggests. Her prowess as a painter and designer is only matched by her strong desire to speak about these important issues.
A Japanese collective of technologists and artists known as teamLab recently used projection mapping technology to transform Paris’ Grand Palais into a virtual waterfall. In a stunning play of shadows and light, “water” cascaded down the columns and across the bodies of the silent, guarding statues. The simulation gave the historic building a haunting, subaquatic appearance, like a structure from the lost city of Atlantis. On their website, teamLab explains how they integrated 3D models of the Grand Palais — effectively turning it into a digital “rock” — with the natural movement of water particles:
“The simulation of the waterfall was created by calculating the movement of water as it was allowed to fall on a 3D model of the Grand Palais in a virtual computer environment. […] [T]he waterfall simulation is [then] projected onto the real Grand Palais.
The water is expressed as continuum of hundreds of thousand of water particles that flow in accordance with how the computer calculates the interaction of the particles. Once an accurate water flow simulation has been constructed, 0.1% of the water particles are selected and lines drawn in relation to them. The waterfall is expressed as the combination of these lines. […].” (Source)
Connecting their artwork to a cultural tradition and spirit, teamLab adds: “The waterfall video art work is created in 3D space and uses what we consider to be the logic structure of spatial recognition of our Japanese Ancestors.”
The Water Particles on the Grand Palais was part of the Art Paris Art Fair 2015, and was shown until March 29th. Two other video projections by Dominic Harris and Mounir Fatmir also used the Grand Palais as a digital canvas, and you can watch these artworks in action here. Check out teamLab’s website for more immersive and technology-infused works, including a floating flower garden and a room of orbs that change color and emit sounds when touched. (Via The Creators Project)
For many people, eating gluten-free is a way of life. But, what happens when you not only remove wheat products from your diet, but from art history, too? The amusing Tumblr called Gluten Free Museum shows us just what that’d look like. It strips the offending protein from paintings, advertisements, and Chief Wiggum’s hands.
There’s a “before” and “after” element to each Gluten Free Museum post. The before, of course, is the original artwork, and the after is it sans grain. You don’t necessarily realize how integral gluten is in artistic compositions throughout history. Suddenly, though, things look bare. There’s no bread on the table, and the peasants are just picking at the ground without purpose. It demonstrates just how large of a role gluten plays in the art world, and sometimes, it’s at the center of it.
Ray Collins sees waves and water in a way that most people don’t. Luckily for us he also captures it with his camera. Collins acquired his first camera in 2007 and seems to have stayed in the water with it ever since, focused on capturing all of the different forms of water. Initially he wanted to take snaps of his surfer friends in his native Australia catching rides and enjoying barrels, but instead was enticed by the blue liquid under their boards.
Collins, who is actually colorblind, is able to focus on the patterns and light play in the waves, and pays special attention to the shapes they make against the sky. His unique perspective shows off the grandness and drama of the seascapes. Normal splashes of water are seen instead as incredible peaks on mountains. The front of a wave turns into a deep canyon which sinks to unseen depths. Collins manages to capture the translucency, strength, fluidity, and the unrelenting force of water all at the same time.
His unique style has won him some hefty accolades in just a few years, including 1st Place for ‘Australian Surf Photo of the Year‘ (2015), he was a finalist in the ‘Smithsonian – Annual Photo Contest’(2015), and also was the winner for the ‘American Aperture Awards’ – Landscape/Seascape/Nature (2015). He has shot campaigns for Nikon, United Airlines, Qantas and National Geographic, and has a new book out called Found At Sea, which a collection of some of his favorite photographs.
Dear readers: prepare yourselves for a journey into a bizarre, colorful world of hand-devouring stomachs and dancing, cookie-headed girls. Ben&Julia (Benoit Creac’h and Julia Gaudard) — a French-Swiss creative team known for their humorously surreal and eccentric art and films — have recently shared “Cookie Jar,” a strange (and highly entertaining) music video with Traffic Signs and Jake the Rapper. The video features Jake dancing with a hungry, animated stomach, enticing us to put our hands in the “cookie jar”. Behind him, leotard-clad cookie girls groove along while waving their severed arms, mixing together cartoon imagery with a playful flavor of morbidity. According to Ben&Julia, the storyline for this video is as follows:
“‘Cookie Jar’” tells the story of the Cookie Girls ‘Shannon’ and her sister ‘Krystal’ and their attraction for Jake The Rapper’s little friend: ‘Young Belly’. While the two are fascinated by this little fella, they fall into the trap and put their hands in the Cookie Jar.”
Ben&Julia’s works are often built around metaphors and morals that — despite their fun and absurd presentation — are rooted in good-intentioned and real-world wisdom. One such cautionary message that can be gleaned from “Cookie Jar” is in regards to curiosity, that insatiable drive to learn and try new things: “Curiosity can be a sign of intelligence,” write Ben&Julia. “[But] you might lose a hand or two.”
“Cookie Jar” is their 7th music video, following in the footsteps of Nena’s new single “Lieder von Früher” as well as “Pancakes and Syrup,” which was created for Nickelodeon’s “Yo Gabba Gabba” (featuring Biz Markie). Ben&Julia’s visual art likewise depicts their affinity for colorful, fun, and somewhat mad scenarios and characters; check out their large-scale installation project titled “Kaluk, the Five-Eared Dog,” currently being shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey, Mexico. Visit their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and keep up-to-date with these delightfully odd and innovative storytellers.
As a kid I collected miniatures. I would go away with my parents and wherever we traveled there seemed to be a store that sold tiny objects. Back then they were mostly for dollhouses but I acquired these curiosities so I could display them on my desk. I thought it was cool that someone could actually make something that small. I remember some of the items in my collection included miniature coca cola bottles, tiny animals (mainly cats) and food such as jelly apples and cakes.
With a similar thought in mind Japanese artist Tomo Tanaka creates high-end miniatures. Using clay and epoxy he constructs tiny masterpieces of mostly Parisian cuisine displaying the utmost detail. Tanaka’s creations are so mini that for documentation purposes he photographs them on his fingertips to give the viewer an idea of size. This however does not infringe on the detail involved. It’s remarkable that at such small scale they are painfully and accurately crafted to the tiniest fold and extremely appetizing. He presents a collection of eatables and household products under the moniker Nunu’s house. Within that framework he creates food spreads which would make any caterer proud in the realistic way they are rendered and displayed.
Tanaka is unique because he excels at a definitive craft which overflows into the area of fine art. He has published two books and teaches courses on the subject. (via spoon-tamago)
Caterina Rossato creates 3D layered landscapes out of old postcards. She seeks to evoke both the familiar and the alien, the specific and the general. “I create landscapes made through a collage of other landscapes, combining images in which the sense of recognition of reality slips from one level to another and it is never clearly identified,” Rossato says in an artist’s statement.
The series, named “Deja Vu” plays with the idea of recognition and the sensation of recognition. Rossato explains:
“The déjà vu is a psychic phenomenon which is part of the forms of alteration of memories (paramnesie): it consists in the erroneous sensation of having seen an image or of having lived previously an event or a situation that is occurring. Although improperly, it is also called ‘false recognition.'”
It’s interesting that she chose to use postcards, which often enable us to live vicariously through friends and family who are traveling abroad. In a sense, we’ve heard about the locations and they are familiar to us in name and description; however, we often haven’t traveled to those distant lands, not enough to know them personally or to have seen them up close. In a way, Rossato’s work brings up the question of how we can truly know something — or know that we know something. (via I Need a Guide)