“Choi Xooang is an artist who sculpts concrete bodies. This may sound somewhat banal at first, but we come to be surprised at his ability to grasp the world pathologically. Choi’s understanding of the world began with his 10-20 cm miniature figures displayed at this first solo show. These miniature figures, suffering from an expansive delusion, do not realize their relative diminutiveness, and tend to overstate their ability and situation. They have a bloated musculature, partly enlarged bodies in macho-like gestures suited for revealing such megalomaniacal symptoms. Their effort to emphasize their existence through bragging and exaggerated gestures at times seems pompous, but they are too diminutive to impact the world, despite their attempts.
Choi’s concern with society’s pathological state later moved to an interest in vegetative states those making utmost efforts in living everyday life undergo. A person in a vegetative state cannot perceive or affect his surroundings at all due to serious brain damage, although he looks like he’s breathing, laughing, weeping, and awakening himself. Choi likens an individual’s mental state intimidated by an unidentified force, to a person in a vegetative powerless state. The artist’s perception of this state is confirmed in the work titled Vegetative State displayed at his second solo show. A bare tree grows from the head of a vulnerable man who has fallen down. This work, depicting a man changing into a vegetative state, like Daphne who transformed into a laurel, appears realistic and elaborate in its finishing, through its amazing figurative imagery and the meaning of the title.”-Ki Hye-kyung, Curator of National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Edinburgh-based artist Polly Verity creates detailed and intricate sculptures out of paper and wire. Most of her subjects are animals or mythological creatures and the size of her sculptures range from palm to life sized. The wire for the sculptures is built up into a 3D frame and this becomes the contour and outline of the creature. The wires are joined together through wrapping and pinching; no heat is applied to forge the wire. She then applies wet fine paper that she first sizes with glue onto the structure. The paper dries and tightens up while formed on the frame. Her creations are usually kept encased in a glass dome or box for protection and display.
In addition to these incredible sculptures, Verity also creates geometric origami paper art and wearable paper art. Her ability to meticulously create such delicate and intricate designs out of basic and simple tools like paper and wire is impressive. Be sure to check out her Flickr page for more photos, including some of a project she worked on with her brother involving the sculpting of crumpled tissue paper organs.
Sometimes a simple concept can pack a powerful punch. Such is the case with these elegantly minimal photographs of melted popsicles by Australian photographer Will Nolan.
Each piece is a meditation on the fragility of life and a reminder of the everyday delights (such as ice cream!) that we often take for granted. (via)
Although relatively abstract, Anderson’s paintings have their origins in representational imagery. This dependence on the objective along with his overall motivations put him in dialogue with early Modern art movements, particularly Dada, Surrealism, and Cubism. Scott Anderson is interested in the continuation of this art historical conversation as a means to change the rules of the game as it were. Where Modernists of all stripes were largely interested in winning the game by ending it (to paraphrase the critic, Jan Verwoert), Anderson sees this mode of objective / non-objective hybridity as one way among many in which to view the world.
Adam Friedman celebrates the unchanging mystery of nature in his surreal, hybrid paintings that dissect landscapes from the real world. His newest body of work is bold in color and line, as he portrays scenes of glorious mountains and unwavering glaciers. His unique style depicts scenes of tremendous natural beauty, transformed them into something even more stunning. Plates of the earth seem to shift and glaciers are mirrored in a reversed world that Friedman so skillfully creates. The artist experiments and warps perspective in his paintings, like an M.C. Escher drawing toying with our mind. Sections of mountains are divided and manipulated into geometric patterns and shape that make you question exactly what it is you are looking at. Friedman describes his artwork’s intent.
“Millions of years are compacted into a single instant and rocks become fluid. I strive to present a moment that defies human intervention in the landscape, and pays homage to the potential in the inexplicable.”
Friedman explains that his work celebrates the unknown that the natural world possesses. Society attempts to explain, examine, and make sense of our environment, but there are some things we cannot understand. The beauty in the unknown can be felt in Friedman’s powerful series that radiates with intensity. Mirus Gallery in San Francisco, California currently has a solo exhibition of Friedman’s work on view until July 11th. If you have the chance to see this exhibition, titled Into the Aether, make sure to check out his compelling paintings in person.
Iain McKell, a renowned fashion and social documentary photographer, has compiled a series of compelling images, The New Gypsies, which depicts both the physical and emotional life of a modern traveler community living in the outskirts of a technology-driven society. McKell creates surreal images that almost treat his subjects as fictional characters, yet we find that there is an undeniable hint of warmness, liveliness and honesty that instantly creates a strong bond between viewer and subject.
The British horse-drawn travelers whom sport decorated caravans, colorful clothing, and share a desire for freedom from the trappings of contemporary life, served the artist as more than just an artistic project; he calls the 10-year study “a personal journey.”
With these photographs, McKell intends to show a way of living that is both colorful and meaningful- something that lacks in contemporary living. He states that the tribe draws from the past and combines with the future, therefore “creating a set of progressive new ideas and values that are not based on materialism […] and are not chained by the stress and complications of our modern existence.”
In 2011, the photographer published a book of the series by the name of The New Gypsies by Ian McKell, it includes essays by Val Williams and Ezmeralda Sang. (via Huffpost Arts & Culture)