Famed Los Angeles artist Paul McCarthy was attacked in Paris on Thursday while finishing the installation of his nearly 80-foot tall sculpture, called Tree, outside the Place Vendôme. Paul McCarthy, who contributed this piece to the FIAC’s “Hors Les Murs” program, was punched in the face multiple times by an unknown assailant who was enraged by the nature of the sculpture. Tree, although ambiguously shaped and rather indistinct, happens to distinctly look like either a Brancusi sculpture or, less poetically, like a butt plug.
The angry assailant, or shall we say “pain in the ass,” was also enraged that McCarthy is indeed NOT French, and yet is showing work at this prestigious venue. Luckily, McCarthy was not seriously injured, despite being shaken and disturbed by the incident. McCarthy explained that the sculpture “started as a joke.” He primarily noted that butt plugs and Brancusi sculptures shared a similar silhouette, which eventually led to the realization that a green object of this shape also resembles a Christmas tree. Thus, Tree was erected.
“But it is an abstract work. People may be offended if they want to refer to [it as a] plug, but, for me, it is more of an abstraction.”
FIAC director Jennifer Flay noted that despite the understood controversial aspect of the sculpture, the inherent ambiguity in it precludes it from being offensive or unsuitable for public view. It was fully approved before installation by all local bodies. (Excerpt from Source)
To see more naughty work by Paul McCarthy go here.
Artist and illustrator Kevin LCK seems to stick to illustrating, even when crafting work in three dimensions. Like his illustrative work, the sculptures are in spare black and white and made using paper. His Object series consists of a number of electronic appliances, such as a computer, microwave oven, and a television set. Inside each appliance is a carefully crafted home setting. Explaining the thought behind the series Kevin says:
“I seeked to detach the audience from the real world temporarily, provide them with a space to rethink and reconsider the way we behave and think about the relationship between ourselves, objects and environment with technology in a more conscious way.”
Printed cards illustrating French Revolution scenes. These and another 14,000 illustrations were made available on the French Revolution Digital Archive thanks to the collaboration between Stanford University and the French National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale de France). It’s a mix of caricatures of revolutionary vilains and heroes, key symbols such as the ‘guillotine’ and documents as serious as parliamentary deliberations.
It took several years to bring together the multitude of documents which are now grouped at the French Revolution Digital Archive. It’s been divided into two categories: Parliamentary Archives and French Revolution images dating from 1789.
The data is easily searchable by either random intellectuals or passionate historian. The documents browsed on the site take the form of prints, medals, coins and other elements.
When they don’t represent guillotines instruments or costumes of the time in total seriousness, the illustrations as colorful and amusing. In one of the cards for instance, the people of France, the ‘enemy’ are depicted as a multi-headed beast attacking the aristocracy and the battalion. White, blue and red, tones of the French flag, are mainly used to color the hand drawn cards. A constant reminder, despite the satirical drawings, of the omnipresence and importance of French patriotism at that time.
Jowhara AlSaud makes hybrid photo/drawings that dance with anonymity and censorship. Jowhara started working with this subject after noticing commercial photos altered in Saudi Arabia, seeing “…skirts lengthened and sleeves crudely added with black markers in magazines or blurred out faces on billboards.” She then applied the censors’ language to her personal photographs. The work is strangely readable for giving so few clues away.
Graphic, motion, and interactive designer Hannes Hummel has created a series of sculptures that are inspired by music. Titled Luxury Problems, the surreal busts are chopped up, duplicated, and mirrored. They might look like the typical “art historical” bust, but upon further inspection, there’s something seriously wrong. Some have more than one set of eyes, while others feature a skull that permeates the fusion of two faces. Hummel describes the inspiration and process of this unusual series of works.
Based on Andy Stott’s record »Luxury Problems« I created a set of 3 busts. In the same vein as his sample oriented, dark & chopped song structure, the process and methods used to create every bust are basically the same — with the help of autocad 123d catch I scanned several busts, stone sculptures and bones, recreated them digitally and created rapid prototying ready bust-remixes
The nightmarish sculptures are fascinating in the weird narrative that they create, and has you asking questions about their backstory. Why do they look the way that they do? Hummel has give us the opportunity to fill in the blanks. (Via Martineken)
Remember the urban legends that Disney movies had ‘sex’ written in the stars or that Aladdin whispers “good teenagers take off their clothes”? Artist Jose Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros took that imagery to heart, and much further, in his series Dishollywood. The artist depicts Disney characters in rebellion, experimenting with substances, sexuality, or pairs them with pop-culture icons. Ontiveros is trying to show that these characters are ours to experiment with, and that we may appropriate them as we like, and combine them with what we like, to create new and contemporary characters.
“It is a collection of visual curiosities that pushes the audience to reimagine the world of pop as a personalized mash-up with the freedom to merge situations, rewrite the script, and provide new dialogue in alternative scenarios to tell new stories.
DisHollywood is also a barometer for measuring our tolerance and acceptance levels; a new way of observing the “happy ending” that trumpets the time of equality is now. In contrast to the baroque fantasy implied by the original, idealized presentation of these characters, a new context of social vulnerability shows the darker side of our contemporary society.”
Some of it does demonstrate the degenerate side of our culture. Tiana – whose name is suspiciously close to Rihanna’s to begin with – is shown as a mashup with the pop-star, with bruises on her face, presumably post-Chris Brown. In a way the images do a good job of highlighting our sometimes-questionable behavior without lecturing. The characters who are originally totally pure, are defiled, making them more real, and also making our reality seem darker in that contrast. It’s also just hilarious to see Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck taking hits from the bong, though. (Via Huffington Post)
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg uses DNA extracted from items like chewing gum and cigarettes to create three-dimensional portraits. For her project, “Stranger Visions,” Dewey-Hagborg collected discarded trash from the streets of Brooklyn, New York and sequenced them at a biotechnology lab. Through this process, she was able to isolate specific DNA strands, which helped her unravel the ethnic-gender identity of the past users. She used that information to create a sketch of what each of these people might have looked like. This information was then relayed via three-dimensional printer into the final hanging works.
As an information artist, Dewey-Hagborg is interested in the intersection between technology and art but her work is more complex than that. Through “Stranger Visions” Dewey-Hagborg confronts the impossibility of privacy. If even the smallest bit of rubbish can detail what we look like, what else could be used to expose us to the world at large? Is DNA the identity theft problem of the future? (via Design Faves)
What gave you the idea or inspired you to shoot this series?
‘I’ll got the idea by playing around with my little son and his soap bubbles. They disappeared so fast and I got curious about the funny forms and the rainbow colors on their surfaces. So I wanted to capture them and take a closer look.’