The architecture and Art team Snarkitecture have been in the art news lately for their installation at the entrance of the Design Miami Pavilion 2012. Dig is an earlier installation from the team featured here. Often mixing elements of architecture design, art, and performance, Dig was at once an installation and a performance.
The team filled the Storefront for Art and Architecture with solid architectural foam. The artists then excavated a network of tunnels through the foam and inhabited them for the following month. The performance was an artful investigation of contemporary architecture based on excavating rather than building, as well as building for necessity.
Australian sculptor Anna-Wili Highfield’s paper animal sculptures are absolutely astonishing! Each animal is assembled by gluing dozens of torn pieces of paper that captures the animals essence without feeling labored or heavy handed.
Like clues in a crime scene, Tetsuya Ishida’s paintings use a million tiny details to tell their story. The note on the table, the eerie playtime carnage–Ishida’s work often speaks of the uncertain union between Man and Machine. But I think the most unsettling thing about his paintings is that the human figures’ reactions range only from complacency to mild concern, as if I re-enacted deadly car accidents with my toys on a daily basis. In a tragic act of irony, Ishida himself was hit and killed by a train in 2005.
Photographer Rachel Hulin’s photographs of babies floating through the air remind me of every classic painting ever made of small rosy faced babies floating through space with big lush white wings. Are these contemporary counterparts modern angels with invisible wings or is NASA training toddler astronauts? We may never know.
Matthew Volz is the official artist of Queens, New York based garage punks The Beets. In addition to creating banners, posters, and album artwork for the band he makes paintings and sculptural installations involving a vast iconography culled from the doldrums of saturday morning cartoons and comic books. Pro wrestlers of the past share the page with bug eyed teenagers, superheroes, street rats, cowboys, indians, Joey Ramone, and everything in between.
Australian artist Justine Khamara embeds portraits of people in fractured wood sculptures. By cutting the photographs into pieces and then assembling them either on plywood or weaving them through one another, Khamara changes the experience of the portraits. Taking what is usually one dimensional and making it approachable in a whole new level, Khamara brings a sense of life to the pictures she takes.
“Khamara says she used to cut up photographs and rearrange them into montages that she would rephotograph, ‘but I eventually found the montages to be more interesting as sculptural objects,’ she explains. The act itself, slicing up photos and piecing them back together, has always been something Khamara relished. ‘I loved the butteriness, the physicality of the photographic paper a quality that reveals itself when one slices into the surface of it with a very fine, sharp blade,’ she says.” (Excerpt from Source)
The ceramics of Jess Riva Cooper are gross, majestic, fragile and poetic. Her Viral Series is a collection of clay heads bursting with groups of insects, tree roots, branches, leaves, flowers, stems and buds. Mostly white with a heavy glaze, Cooper subtly decorates areas of her sculptures and adds accented color. The pieces show a beautiful understanding of the circle of life, or rather how things are destroyed and created simultaneously. Cooper talks about how something seen as destructive and parasitic is no different from the form it is overtaking. She treats all areas of life as equal, and each creepy crawly is as beautiful as a lotus flower.
My work, Viral Series, is a continued exploration into the death and regeneration taking place in deteriorating communities. Places and things, once bustling and animated, have succumbed to nature’s mercy. Without intervention, nature takes over and breathes new life into objects, as it does in my sculptures. (Source)
Cooper has researched heavily into different cultures and how this same idea is treated. In most eastern philosophies, the idea that birth and death are part of the same spectrum rings true. She takes that idea further and looks a bit deeper into one culture in particular:
I also study the foundation myths of the Golem and Dybbuk spirits in Yiddish folklore and reinterpret these traditional stories through a female lens. I see a direct parallel between my interest in insidious plant life and a malevolent Dybbuk spirit, which takes over the human body. In both situations a loss of control is suffered as the parasitic entity subsumes the host. (Source)
Cooper’s ceramics remind us that even though things of beauty are there to be admired and celebrated, it is also a fine thing when those things are disrupted and replaced by other things.