Studio Swine‘s Azusa Murkakmi and Alexander Groves specialize in creating exquisite designs out of discarded objects (aka trash). For the pair’s latest project, they turned to an alternative unwanted material: discarded locks of human hair. With it, the designers at Studio Swine created Hair Highway, a series of beautiful functional and decorative objects that mimic the look and texture of hardwood but are in fact made of human hair. Mixed with resins and dye, the hair turns to a hard material, one that becomes a potential functional and decorative piece of art work. Each of the objects in the series looks as if it is carved from tropical wood, horn, and tortoise shell yet they were produced at a fraction of the cost with the human hair. According to the duo, hair is in many ways a perfect sustainable resource. It grows up to 16 times faster than many tropical hardwoods, and it’s incredibly strong as well.
There is an undeniable sense of morbidity that pervades Czech artist Monika Horčicová’s meticulous replicas of skeletal parts, but to call them simply morbid is to take away from their staggering beauty. Fused together and crafted through cutting edge 3D-printing technology and polyester resin casts, Horčicová merges bones into everything from running wheel-like statues to kaleidoscopic patchworks, each piece rooted in a mesmerizingly acute understanding of our complex skeletal system. Originally from Prague, Horčicová now lives in Brno where she attends the Faculty of Fine Arts at Brno University of Technology. The mathematical arrangements in Horčicová’s pieces, where hip bones can merge perfectly into an open fan of legs and ribcages fit snugly within one another, serve as surreal reminders of the deeply complicated framework that makes up each of our bodies.
Some of Horčicová’s pieces also stand as signifiers of mortality, such as Relikviář, in which 3D-printed pelvises, skulls and more are packed into neat boxes within a black metal display case. Here, they assume a more medical, typified presence, as most bones do when under examination and study, as Horčicová makes clear in her exquisite reproduction. The mutated forms Horčicová’s skeletal constructions take on are mesmerizing and vivid reminders of our own mortality, presented brilliantly within a cycle of infinite possibility.
Emily Deutchman’s “Presidents with Boob Faces” are exactly what it sounds like: a collection of paintings of the United States presidents with breasts appended to their facial features. After graduating from Skidmore College, the young artist found herself doodling human mammary glands on portraits of her friends, and she soon extended the project to historic leaders of the free world. With the exception of Obama’s portrait, which is modeled after the iconic “Change” poster, each piece is based off of its subject’s official presidential portrait. The facial features of each man dictates the placement of the breasts. For Ronald Reagan, it’s skin above the neck. For Clinton, it’s the nose. Some of the boobs are painted from actual breasts, sent to the artist by friends.
While Deutchman insists that the work has no clear agenda aside from humor, she invites political interpretations. With the expected candidacy of Hillary Clinton in 2016, dialogues on women in politics have come to the fore, and we are asked to consider the gender inequality that persists in the upper echelons of power. There are few art pieces that exude the machismo of the presidential portrait, and in adding female sex organs to the idealized masculine visage, the artist subverts our notion of national power and authority. Deutchman’s use of pastel-toned watercolors heighten the feminine softness inherent in the work. A more naughty glance at the work renders it a scathing satire of contemporary politics and the corruption of high offices. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor)
Vietnamese painter Nguyen Xuan Huy introduces us to the disruptive effects and ongoing legacy of the Vietnam War. His works carry a rooted sense of grotesque which makes it impossible to stay intact. Huy outlines Vietnam’s grim reality by confronting pop art aesthetics with hints of Socialist iconography and heartbreaking results of Agent Orange warfare.
Huy, who is currently based in Berlin, aggregates many aspects of art history by mimicking famous painter’s artworks. Motifs from Matisse’s Dance, Bosch’s Garden Of Earthly Delights, and even Michelangelo’s Creation Of Adam are taken and distorted to outline the traumatic consequences country’s post-war experiences. Twisted naked bodies, guns and dead animals join in a feast of spite and sorrow.
Agent Orange, a poisonous defoliant, was used by the US military and its counterparts to spray on the Vietnamese countryside hoping it will destroy the food sources and thus, end resistance. Only later it was titled the Chernobyl of Vietnam because of it’s irreversible effects, specifically the crippling birth defects. Chemicals used in Agent Orange caused genotype mutations which are present even three generations later.
“It’s insensitive to imagine that because I was born healthy that I am untouched by this issue. <…> So many people are potential carriers of the altered genotype, this is a problem which could affect each and every citizen of Vietnam.”
Art director, designer, and photographer Francois Prost captures the exteriors of french night clubs in his series After Party. There’s a twist to these straightforward compositions, and it’s that they are all pictures taken the in the daylight, where the glitz is non-existent. It’s safe to say that they are significantly less impressive places in the afternoon. Instead of of neon lights and gaggles of beautiful people, they are abandoned-looking, desolate buildings that show their age.
We see a lot of faux features at these clubs, like fake palm trees, sphinxes, and even an Acropolis. It’s all meant to create a fantasy and make the guests feel like they’ve been transported from their normal lives and into some glamorous one. Of course, without the aid of the dark and flashing lights, the buildings are dilapidated and out of place. If you’re a club goer, it’s probably best to avoid them during work hours to preserve their intended effect. (Via It’s Nice That)
Martin Klimas is no stranger to meticulously timed photography. From his speaker-induced dancing paint splatters to his shattered blooms and vases, Klimas’ work captures moments in time that record a disruption of order. Klimas’ porcelain action figures are dropped from a height of about 10 feet, and it’s the sound of the figurines crashing that triggers the high-speed camera’s shutter release. This methodology results in images that represent a temporary, dynamic moment in time that becomes a permanent, static image through the art of photography. Klimas’ figurines appear to be engaged in aggresive battle, each shattering figure creating a narrative made possible from a singular image. Mid-destruction, these figurines convey a strong power and energy that couldn’t be perceived pre- or post-destruction. (via juxtapoz)
South Korean artist Lila Jang is a sculptor who creates distorted effigies of traditional 18th-century French furniture. From bloated footstools to levitating wall lamps, Jang’s anthropomorphic furniture subverts upper-class affectations into warped Lewis Carroll-inspired imagery, evoking wonder and bewilderment in equal measure at the surreal shapes her furniture take on. Jang received her BFA in Sculpture from Honik University in her hometown of Seoul before moving to Paris to attend École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts for her MFA, and has since gained international acclaim through group shows and art fairs around the globe. According to Jang, her work is a representation of the current state of humanity, stuck “in the midpoint of that constant struggle between reality and the ideal.”
Jang drew inspiration for the series of fantasy furniture from the limitations she found within her cramped apartment in Paris, where tables and chairs only seemed to fit if they were bent out of shape first. The surreality behind the work is also inspired by Jang’s desire to break away from a quotidian routine, turning familiar, unremarkable furnishings into exceptional works of art. Although the pieces are gestural and whimsical in design, the true achievement of the work lies in its retention of the practical applications of the furniture. Even with the canapé climbing the wall, don’t you still want to curl up in it with a book? It’s all the same with Jang’s less functional pieces, such as the warped dining chairs: one can easily picture her pieces fitting right in at any number of houses built by contemporary architects. Jang’s most recent solo exhibition took place at the Centre Culturel de Coreen in Paris where she now lives, presumably in a larger apartment filled with her collection of fantastically anthropomorphic fittings.
When all else is gone, it is often the things we most take for granted that endure, like an old, torn t-shirt. For her collaboration with writer and actress Hanne Steen, photographer Carla Richmond collects intimate portraits of the brokenhearted, women wearing shirts left behind by ex-lovers. Hanging loosely about the contours of bodies they do not quite fit, the shirts and their wearers remain anonymous, their words recorded only in unending, stream-of-consciousness style poetry.
Alone in Richmond’s tight frame, against a simple and unembellished background, the women clutch at the forgotten fabric, hugging themselves and bracing against the intrusions of memories. The irresistible poignancy of the work lies in the inextricable nature of the banal or incidental with the profound and monumental. The shirts’ unexplained tears, accidental stains left by the passage of time, and obscure graphic lettering collide with mournful faces, eyes both resolute and pleading. These t-shirts, gifted by accident or on purpose, serve as the painfully insufficient evidence of great loves, irretrievable losses, and things unsaid.
At times, the shirts themselves become integrated into the very fabric of their wearer’s being. A woman wears a grey-blue shirt and dusts her eyelids with shadow of the same hue; similarly, a scarf or ring might match the color of a now-faded garment. As the only tangible remnants of something that exists no longer, the shirts become reminders of something in danger of being forgotten, a soft comfort that may be turned to in quiet, private moments. (via Feature Shoot)