Los Angeles–based photographer John Divola is perhaps best known for this series of photographs documenting the gradual destruction of an abandoned and oft-vandalized beachfront property at Zuma Beach in Malibu. Without a studio of his own in the 1970s, the artist roamed Los Angeles in search of vacant properties that he could photograph. Using them as his canvas, he sometimes spray-painted his own designs onto their interiors, photographing them before the buildings were destroyed. Reflecting his painterly manipulation of the physical site, Divola’s Zuma photographs skillfully frame spectacular sunset views within these dilapidated structures, making his visually compelling, color-saturated photographs more than just pure documentation. See Divola’s work in Under The Big Black Sun currently on view at MOCA until February 13th, 2012.
Dutch collaborators Carmen Freudenthal (photographer) and Elle Verhagen (stylist) have been working together since 1989. Their collaboration with fashion designers, performers and other artists results in a wide variety of work, which is always recognizable for its humorous approach of daily life and its use (and abuse) of contemporary imagery and (photo)graphic techniques.
Artist Juan Fontanive creates hypnotizing flip books by assembling old mechanic bits from bike parts and clocks together with images of birds and butterflies. He hand draws, paints and screen prints the images onto paper and uses them to create his magical pieces. Fontanive is able to inject life into these static images with the help of stainless steel, a few cogs, a motor or two and some electronics. These half-film, half-sculptures he is able to build are beautiful delicate mechanisms – and are a dream to watch. Combined with the sound of the pages actually turning; the whirring and humming of the bits working, it seems as if the insects are literally flying off the page.
Fontanive calls his creations “films without light” and has developed his passion of making 16mm experimental films combined with a love of drawing machines. Art writer Gilda Williams says of his pieces:
“The artist’s flapping hummingbirds and rushing fish are sculptural animations, or perhaps automata: machine-powered facsimiles of life…In many ways, Fontanive’s artworks seem strangely possessed, producing curiously moving animals that are neither living nor dead, or creating ghostly systems which seem to float mid-air and follow a pace and logic of their own.”
In the past Fontanive has created a machine that breathed life into Victorian clocks. You can see this and many other fascinating projects of his here. (Via thisiscolossal)
Pop Pop Bang is a collaboration between creative director Anna Burns and the photographer Thomas Brown. Through the use of various mediums the pair have curated an exhibition that explores the masculine world of B-Movies and juxtaposed it with the traditional British landscape. Using the themes of said movies – girls, guns and explosives – and twisting it against a very British backdrop these two challenge not only the premise of each subject but also the use of their chosen medias. The duo created a wall of umbrellas displaying elements of the classic B-Movie and located them within three landscapes – one being the forest, then London’s docklands and finally the grounds of Suffolk Manor house. Watch a video of the works in progress after the jump. (via)
Tasty illustration work from Melbourne artist Annita Maslov. You gotta love the pen and paper approach. It’s so direct- you can almost feel the labor involved in every calculated line and stippled shadow. And Maslov’s subject matter fits well with her inky media of choice. Dark and brooding, the images sort of require drawing’s organic touch to stave off a cold, disconnected vibe. I’m pretty sure things would turn out okay if I never saw a vector skull presented as “art” again. If you’re doing stuff like this, then, well, do it like this. Please.
Vancouver artist Douglas Coupland has made his head available to be vandalized – well an over-sized fiberglass sculpture of his head at least. In conjunction with his solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Coupland installed a seven foot black resin and polyester sculpture on the lawn in front of the gallery. Called ‘Gumhead‘ and described by the artist as a “gum-based, crowd sourced, publicly interactive, self-portrait“, the striking sculpture has a very imposing Soviet-era aesthetic to it.
Gumhead was unveiled in May, and Coupland invited the public to plaster their chewing gum all over it for the duration of 4 months. He hoped to build up such a thick layer of gum, that his features would become obscured. Here he comments on witnessing the process:
At first the added gum looked like jewels against the black. And then the Excel chewing gum van parked beside it during the Jazz Festival and took the whole head to the next level. And then we had a heat wave and the gum started to weep. And now it has a 24-hours cloud of bees and wasps around it. It’s a dream. (Source)
People have reacted to the piece in many different ways. Coupland was delighted with the interactions:
People went directly to snot. They tried big earrings but they would fall off. During the last month, we’ve had the Ebola outbreak so everyone started doing hemorrhagic bleed-out from the eyelids. (Source)
With plans of washing the gum off the sculpture and starting the whole process again in January, when the show moves to Toronto, Coupland is interested to see what else unfolds. Admittedly, he is a bit unsure about it’s success during the Canadian winter, especially the -10 degree temperatures and if the gum will even stick. (Via Escape Kit)