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.”
Philadelphia based artist Matthew Cox embroiders iconic characters, images and symbols on x-rays, creating moments of satire, dark comedy, and reflection. His work blends the universally known with notions of the seemingly the unknown, forming postmodern mash-ups and hinting at the absurd reality of the human condition. His work takes a chance on being highly referential using playful antics such as titles like “playboy” and “heartthrob” for works that portray faces of silly cartoon characters or ex-presidents. Cox’s work pulls his viewer in by creating fun in forging connection. But beyond the contextual discord, his work also takes on the impression of pastiche via the physical materiality of the work. While the hand craftsmanship of the stitches provokes feelings of comfort, nostalgia, and quaintness, the x-rays provide the opposing sense of sterility, coldness, and discomfort. This sort of push and pull between the ages, various levels of technologies and traditions, as well as reformatting iconographic persons, personas and ideologies, does indeed perfectly outline and reflect what it means to comprehend ones surroundings in the twenty-first century. While living within the age of the internet, where anything and everything can be within our disposal in the moment of desire, time does not seem to distinctly go forward or backward. We have been given the option to chose in which decade we’d like to exist in; we choose our music, our dress, our ideologies, our fantasies, all through a network of access to the past (and perhaps for the real techies the future), no matter how deluded it may be. But it is not just our own obsession with the internet, it is the universal obsession; it is the knowledge that our peers will understand which decade we refer to, and in that universal nod, knowledge and understanding, we are enabled to live timelessly. Matthew Cox has created a clever series of inherently postmodern works, using absurdity to reflect on modern reality. (via artfucksme)
RIP David Bowie, who was a postmodern trailblazer for us all.
Artist Hillary Waters Fayle creates delicate stitched collages using found leaves, branches and pods. The artist’s work transforms natural elements into tiny keepsakes using traditional methods of needle work. She coats her source material with a non-toxic preservative, allowing each piece to remain unharmed. The use of her hands during her artistic process invites in a recognition and romanticization of man’s interactions and relations with the nature. Her work aims to explore and encapsulate the complexity of this relationship, proving it to be one that is simultaneously “tender” and “ruthless.” Each of Fayle‘s pieces, with their intimate details and delicate disposition, almost create an aesthetic of Victorian jewelry, yet are in of themselves completely timeless. Each work truly acts like a tiny object that can transcend the notion of time and place. Within her artist statement she notes:
“The way I think about and make art mirrors the way I think about my life and how I walk through the world. What I do is about elevating details. It is about noticing cycles and connections. It is about regarding a familiar object in a new way. It’s about seeing things and considering their connection to you, their potential futures and possible pasts. There is a depth and an importance to what is present, and what is absent. Invisible narratives are woven into and around each piece, each interaction. As I gather materials with which to work, I consider what connections might exist between us, or how each object might be related to another.”
This winter, frozen castles made from innumerable icicles are available for your full exploration. It all started with Brent Christensen, a devoted dad. He moved to Utah with his family, where he built an elaborate winter playground for his daughter, complete with an ice slide, cave, and castle. From there, the concept of Ice Castles was born—a beautiful, crystalline landscape for families to enjoy. There are four locations this season: Midway, Utah; Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Lincoln, New Hampshire; and, for the first time ever, Edmonton, Alberta.
Each awe-striking structure is built by hand. The architects “grow” 10,000 icicles every day, which are then placed throughout the castles for the water to freeze to. As time passes, each individual piece becomes a part of the icy walls and caverns, creating a megalithic labyrinth of tunnels and caves. The structure appears blue, due to the deep thickness of the ice, and the quality of water to absorb all colors of the spectrum. At night, the castles are illuminated with different hues, making it resemble a fairy-tale landscape. Watch the video above for a tour of the Eden Prairie location.
Visit Ice Castles’ website and Facebook to learn more. The sites are open until March, 2016. (Via Fubiz)
Milan-artist Thomas Cian merges portraits with nature in his highly detailed drawings. Utilizing graphite and marker, Cian captures delicate expressions in his subjects which range from indifferent to melancholy. His ability to render life-like images of birds, flowers, and landscapes into these portraits create surrealistic drawings that speak as much to the likeness of the subject as it does to their mood and circumstance.
Cian’s skill and style allows him to create works in his sketchbook quite quickly. One example is a highly realistic sketch of a man in front of his computer which was captured by time lapse video, found here. Completed in thirty-minutes, the clip illustrates Cian’s drawing method and his ability to compile very specific details even within the constrained space of a Moleskin. (via artfucksme)
Additional images of Cian’s work can be found at Behance.
While most painters have probably assumed their line of work is safe from the technological take over — bitPaintr, a portrait painting robot, has proved them wrong. The robot has been designed by Pindar Van Arman, a technology artist, who over the last 10 years has designed a series of 5 artistically inclined robots. BitPaintr, the most recent of the group, uses a mixture of artificial intelligence as well as human direction in order to paint portraits with a brush on canvas. The machine gathers it’s source material from photographs that have been uploaded by it’s users. It then analyzes the photographs using value based algorithms and begins working on the painting. BitPaintr has made portraits of Gandhi, Einstein, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr, just to name a few. Pindar Van Arman plans to use this mechanism to create a interactive exhibition. Within the exhibition, the robot will be present and at the disposal of the audience to upload their own photographs, giving anyone a chance to interact with bitPaintr and collaborate with it’s artificial intelligence. The robot has different styles ranging from 5 minute sketches to a 24 hour studies. Probably the most frightening thing is that upon first glance, there would be no way to tell these portraits were not done by a human. They have a sort of amateurish but, dare I say it, genuine quality. The process of building color through layers of tonality does not vary much from the technique used by many printmakers and graffiti artists. The, perhaps, most important question, (besides, can this machine think?) that it raises is, is all art, in a way, formulaic? Perhaps even the most artistically talented among us all do still, in a sense, have an algorithm to make their works of art. Perhaps creativity is not, well, as creative, as we think it is. (via HYPERALLERGIC)