Charlie Engman is a New York-based photographer who looks to capture everyday elements that have been stuck together in new and bizarre ways. The Oxford University graduate came to photography late, but his photographs show a true talent in bringing an air of surreality to the everyday. More of his work can be seen below.
Adela Andea’s light installations and sculptures seem otherworldly. They almost feel organic, reminiscent of vivid underwater scenes, but the lights, wires and other tech that make them seem more like alien landscapes. The Romanian-born, Texas-based artist seeks to explore the line between actuality and virtual reality. Weaving LED and CCL lights with pulsing electrical components Andea creates installations that transport a viewer to a place where art becomes experience, and that experience is all encompassing.
Andea likes to think of her work as incorporating many layers of truth. She embraces the possibility that there isn’t one reality, and her work strives to capture that notion visually. With the fast and overwhelming advancement of technology, Andea’s installations represent the dialogue between people and new technologies. The desire for a viewer to have a personal experience with her work, but to also think about the way that information can be manipulated to form one’s notion of reality is the driving force behind her complex installations.
In her artist statement Andea writes: “The numerous transitions in my life made me think about the enormous capability of people to adapt to situations and even more, search for the new possibilities of personal development through inquisitive experiences.” A witness to the Romanian Revolution in 1989, and eventually forced to immigrate to the United States in 1999, Andea is certainly qualified to make work that comments on the experience of experiences.
Her work is currently on view at the Texas Biennale, now through November 9th at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.
As a kid I collected miniatures. I would go away with my parents and wherever we traveled there seemed to be a store that sold tiny objects. Back then they were mostly for dollhouses but I acquired these curiosities so I could display them on my desk. I thought it was cool that someone could actually make something that small. I remember some of the items in my collection included miniature coca cola bottles, tiny animals (mainly cats) and food such as jelly apples and cakes.
With a similar thought in mind Japanese artist Tomo Tanaka creates high-end miniatures. Using clay and epoxy he constructs tiny masterpieces of mostly Parisian cuisine displaying the utmost detail. Tanaka’s creations are so mini that for documentation purposes he photographs them on his fingertips to give the viewer an idea of size. This however does not infringe on the detail involved. It’s remarkable that at such small scale they are painfully and accurately crafted to the tiniest fold and extremely appetizing. He presents a collection of eatables and household products under the moniker Nunu’s house. Within that framework he creates food spreads which would make any caterer proud in the realistic way they are rendered and displayed.
Tanaka is unique because he excels at a definitive craft which overflows into the area of fine art. He has published two books and teaches courses on the subject. (via spoon-tamago)
In applying borax crystal to books and magazines, Alexis Arnold turns functional reading material into sculpture. The naturally geometric planes of crystal adhere and warp pages, simultaneously marring and preserving classic and lowbrow titles alike. And hey, if nothing else, crystals are pretty cool. If you’re not afraid of inhaling some chemicals, turns out you can make your own at home.
Shay Aaron creates delicious looking, incredibly small, and extremely photo realistic sculptures of all your favorite food items from a delicious stack of cupcakes to the most tasty BBQ favorites. The only shortcoming of the work is that I’d have to eat at least 100,000 pieces by her to justify it even as an afternoon snack.(via gaks)
Perhaps one of the more curious photo projects to surface recently is the glow worm pictures from Joe Michael. He photographed the insect in its natural environment on million year old limestone caves in New Zealand. The bioluminescent effect on the viewer is mystical and shows the perfect combination of scientific documentation and aesthetic beauty. Very Lord Of the Rings or Elfish, the glow worms allow you to see the caves in a different way. Because of their unique structure the insects project a nature consciously created by a higher design and you begin wondering for what purpose? In the meantime we can enjoy the spectacle they have become. Their green light projects an unusual glow reminiscent of constellations and lighthouses seen off into the distance on a foggy night. It also hints at infrared paranormal activity.
The worms vary in size attesting to the irregular light structure captured in the caves which provides further awe to their curiosity. In some Larvae species the adult female will glow to attract males during mating season. In others the light is used as a warning signal to predators or to lure prey.
Finnish photographer Perttu Saska has created this unsettling series of Jakarta street monkey photographs titled “A Kind Of You.” These monkeys are captured as they are: dressed in children’s clothes and wearing doll faces, their chains often visible. Apparently, training and dressing monkeys to act like humans to ask for money is an Asian tradition – one that has escalated to dire conditions and circumstance for these poor creatures.
Thankfully, upon searching for more information about these monkeys and this tradition, I stumbled across a BBC article published yesterday that cites the removal of the first 11 out of 350 monkeys from Jakarta streets. They have been quarantined where they will likely remain for a few months before they can be released back into the wild. Since 2009, animal rights activists have been campaigning against this cruel tradition, and hope that this initial removal will set the stage for complete banishment of this cruel practice.
Of his series, Saska writes, “Modern city culture has turned the old tradition in to eerie and haunting act of cruel street theatre where animals become something else, never able to reach our expectations.” With the awareness created by people like Saska and animal rights activists, these Indonesian monkeys hopefully won’t have to be subjected to the unreasonable expectations of their human handlers any longer. (via ufunk)
Jose Lerma‘s work borders between 17th century noble portraiture and wild abstractionism. Unlike his college teachings at the University of Wisconsin-Madison he works outside of the box with heavy brush strokes and massive amounts of paint. Which adds another dimension to his work: texture. Lerma also dabbled in political science and law and an MFA in painting, he is an internationally exhibiting artist with shows in Berlin, Korea, New York, Belgium, and Italy, Puerto Rico, and Houston. If you happened to miss the big article we did on Jose in book 2 you can still get a copy and read the massive interview with him. Available here!