Erika Sanada is a Tokyo-born, San Franscico-based sculptor whose supernatural animal creations traverse the boundary between dream and nightmare. In many ways, her creatures seem soft and gentle — the colors are pale, the textures soft. However, many are riddled with terrifying bodily anomalies: dogs with several rows of fangs, others writhing in agony and tearing at their own skin, and mutant birds bursting out of torsos and faces. The blank, dead eyes of the animals further add to their moral ambivalence; without the pupil — that center of consciousness — their eyes could be those of a gentle, all-seeing spirit, or of the soulless undead.
Whether it is their eyes, human-like skin, or abnormalities (some of the animals appear to be painfully conjoined to others), Sanada’s creations rattle with uneasiness; they are both endearing and unsettling in their suffering and strangeness. In her Artist Statement, Sanada identifies her own experiences with anxiety as the source of her inspiration. “I worry about everything, even tiny things,” she writes. “Anxiety drags my mind to the dark side, which is more powerful and intense than my bright side.” Instead of being paralyzed by such fears, Sanada decided to confront them by molding them into beautiful, hideous life; it is her way of gaining control over her anxiety — and indeed, in embracing her own darkness and transforming it into art.
Sanada recently exhibited at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon, and will be showing again at the Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, California, this Februrary. Check out Sanada’s website for a stunning gallery of her beautiful and tortured dream-creatures. (Via Design Faves)
Photographer Kacper Kowalski captures life from above in these beautiful images of the Polish woodlands. The bird’s eye view features incredible, vibrant shots that are simultaneously recognizable and abstract. Brilliant greens, blues, pinks, and purples dot the landscape and play with our sense of scale. Trees look minuscule in many of the compositions, like they’re pipe cleaners or tiny army.
There’s a divide in many of Kowalski’s photos whether it by a river, a road, or line of trees. This separated area creates a pause or compositional breath. We’re often overwhelmed by texture or patterns. The photographer’s decision to include these areas allows time for reflection and comparison. How are the two spaces different? How are they same? What does it mean for them to coexist? (via a_a)
As we move further into the digital age, designers are looking for new ways to offer products that will make even portable devices obsolete. A new product by a company called Cicret is offering a bracelet that will enable the wearer to project the functions of his/her Smartphone onto their arm. Through a simple bracelet design, a series of sensors would pick up a smartphone’s signals and project it onto your wrist. Once projected, it will be fully functional as a phone on your skin. Depending on the amount of memory you choose, social media, email and web surfing functions would all be available in places you’ve never imagined before. Those who opt for more gigabytes could also play video games. It’s Bladerunner convenience with a flick of the wrist. A video on Cicret’s site demonstrated how an arm will now function as an ipad. A scary thought, when taking into consideration the ipad was only invented 5 years ago. The speed technology moves today is lightning fast. The company currently needs 1 million euros to make a prototype. According to a statement, they currently have close to 5,000 donors but it doesn’t mention how much money has actually been raised. If they can pull it off, Cicret has a cool chance of becoming successful, and in the process, put a few of the tech giants out of business. Another issue is cost. Currently, Google glass, a similar product, is selling for $1500. As a young startup and in order to compete, Cicret would have to offer their bracelet at a third of the price. Let the games begin. (via Designfaves)
Tom Sanford has drawn portraits of the people in his neighborhood. It’s good to be, it’s wonderful to be a neighbor, Sanford seems to be saying with his empathic ink wash drawings. Sanford is an enormously skillful portraitist. He manages to both simplify and capture the emotion and spirit of the person he is drawing. In an age of constant news stories about how no one is getting along, it is great to see an artist reach out to their community and basically say ‘hey, I like you, and we are in this together.’ You can see these drawings, along with the large oil painting pictured first in this post, at his show, What’s Good in the Hood, at Gitler & _____, it opens January 4th and runs until the 18th.
Fairy tallish and painterly is still the case with Hernan Bas. The Miami native, now living in Detroit, was a promising young art star in 2008-2009. Back then, at the age of 30, he burst onto the international art scene with a traveling retrospective. His stop at the Brooklyn Museum focused on several early pieces showing the artist’s development up until that point. At the time, there didn’t seem to be enough scope to witness a grand crescendo, and the retrospective presented a young man with great potential. Fast forward six years later, and similar narratives offer a more developed sense of self. The dandy, a central character Bas is known for, stemming from the decadent period of Oscar Wilde and art critic JK Huysmans, is still steady in the mix. Bas’ canvases continue to show great flair for turning ordinary spaces into mystical landscapes. Many scenes take place in the great outdoors. The rustic lure of old country houses, backyards and windmills are further enhanced by monstrous foliage. Trees and leaves are filled with larger than life wonder and endless beauty, where a thousand and one marks, make up a single canvas. Hints of Davinci, Matisse and Michelangelo behold otherworldly elements intertwined with religion. In one, an unusual priest flys a kite of stigmata transforming physical reality. In another, a reenactment of Saint Sebastian becomes apparent. Sometimes the action is missed because of the incredible mark making. The paint dazzles and seduces you into a place of aesthetic pleasure. It reaches a certain rhythm where everything falls into place.
Colombian painter Jesus Leguizamo combines realistic elements of portraiture with abstract, creating surreal pieces that sing with emotion. His paintings look almost like oil-on-canvas renditions of glitch art, his subjets interrupted with splotches of colors and smears of paint.
Leguizamo’s paintings feel like intimate peeks into someone’s emotional state of mind, and his expressive brushstrokes seem to convey a raw sense of confusion or mental tumult. There’s a dynamism to his paintings, as though they’re a motion capture camera snapping just one frame of his subject. According to Saatchi Art, Leguizamo explores human fragility with “his depictions of people [that] erases and blurs that which defines the human being – the face. ” (via I Need a Guide)
Rebecca Morgan is a wonderfully playful, expressive artist producing mostly drawings, paintings, ceramics and cutouts, all based on characters and stereotypes from her native Appalachian area in America. Long term fans of Morgan’s, we have actually featured her previous series of portraits of rednecks and peasants- ‘Deliverance‘, here on B/D. This time we are enamored with her latest ceramic collection of gnarled, twisted, almost gruesome jugs. As with her 2D work, Morgan takes inspiration from the off-beat “bumpkin” (as she calls them) folk she grew up around.
Her ceramics are quite the sight – with bulging eyes, leering at you, and with crooked smiles, mouths full of oddly shaped and yellowed teeth. Their colors are quite unsettling as well, some vases a sickly blue-green tone; another is bright pus yellow; some vases glazed in a metallic sheen; and yet another made from a dull grey ceramic with ghastly warts plastered all over it’s face.
Stylistically, Morgan embraces hyper-detailed naturalism, influenced by Dutch painters such as Memling, Brueghel, and Van Eyck, as well as absurd, repulsive caricature suggestive of underground cartoonists like R.Crumb. (Source)
The influence of underground comics are definitely evident in Morgan’s work and she makes sure to embrace a healthy dose of lewdness, as does Crumb. She obviously delights in pushing the boundary between repulsion and attraction; the grotesque and the ordinary. Thankfully these vases are neither repulsive, nor grotesque, and they are far from being ordinary.
Brooklyn-based photographer Rob MacInnis captures candid portraits of farm animals in his aptly titled Farm Series. The desaturated, vintage-looking photos provide a nostalgic and straightforward view of cows, horses, goats, and more. Staring completely calm at the camera, they pose for family photos in barns and in the wilderness. Sometimes, MacInnis will also highlight a single animal in up-close and personal portraiture. It showcases their wild, textured hair and kind eyes.
There’s something that’s delightfully ordinary about these photos. They aren’t flashy or bursting with color. Instead, they depict a simpler life that’s unfettered by technology and dense cityscapes. It’s as if by looking at these images, we’re reminded of old family portraits – ones where we’re younger and things didn’t seem so complicated. (Via I need a guide)