Whispery sweet images from brooklyn-based photographer Erin Mulvehill. She’s also the brains behind “The Camera Project,” a magnanimous exploration into how children perceive their environment. Erin believes that beauty will save the world, and she’s doing her best to help speed up the process.
Stumble onto Matija Erceg’s Instagram account — inconspicuously named @seriousdesign — and find yourself immersed in a gallery of delight and disgust. Erceg, a Vancouver-based web and graphic designer, combines images of food — usually raw meat — with everyday objects. Among his hilariously gross “inventions” are shrimp earbuds, pizza irons, ground pork trolls, and sausage vibrators (the latter design taking the “food porn” trend to an entirely new level). The idea emerged when Erceg came across a photoshopped image of sandals with cooked beef as soles; while contemplating the absurd experience of putting them on, Erceg decided he wanted to try and evoke similar reactions among people, discovering as he went that food “lends itself nicely to being a part of an inanimate object” — hence how easily a chicken breast can be made to look like an oven mitt.
In addition to making people laugh and cringe, Erceg’s designs are experiments in context. If food is presented neatly — and properly cooked — on a plate, it is seen as acceptable and appealing; but, as Erceg observes, when the same food makes contact with “your skin (hands, feet, ears, face, etc.), [it] becomes gross or weird” — shrimp, while often considered a delicacy, does not belong inside the ear canal. There are several possible reasons for this discomfort, whether it’s in regards to phobias surrounding the (potential) toxicity of raw meat, or just the idea of dead, cold flesh lying around the house as a useable object. Erceg, however, pushes it further, commenting on how his designs confront us with the unglamorous realities of modern food production: “We admire food, but typically only when we don’t need to get too close to it — [the] raw texture, pre-cooked form, farming, and slaughtering.” His designs remind us of how alienated we are from the foods we eat; food — like sunglasses, housewares, and sex toys — has become grossly commodified.
When I asked Erceg where he aims to take his project next, he said he would like to collaborate with a fake food artist and create real-life versions of his designs. Follow Erceg on Instagram and see what edible objects he dreams up next. But be warned — you may not look at packaged chicken breasts or slabs of beef the same way again.
Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, famous for his paintings of small children and animals, has a new solo exhibition in Hong Kong called Life is Only One. It recently opened at the Asia Society, and the title of the show comes from Nara’s artwork of the same name. This painting features a child holding a skull and contemplating existence. Conceptually, this isn’t foreign territory for Nara. In an interview with Asia Society, he explains, “When I was a child, the word “life” itself, of course, was a foreign concept. After turning 50, however, and with the deaths of people close to me and with the recent earthquake, I started to think about life more realistically — the limits of life, and the importance of what one can accomplish during that time.”
The children seen in Nara’s works represent what’s inside his head. He describes to Asia Society:
The children were not something I had sought or thought out, but in trying to capture what was in front of my eyes, they appeared as I tried to capture what was formless in my mind. I think, therefore, that my world expands upon my past experiences and memories, and the speaker for my own mind appears as a child. But really, if anything, those children appeared very naturally on the picture plane.
Life is Only One is on view until July 26 of this year. (Via Hi Fructose)
Check out the photography portfolio of Michele Abeles.
For people who have a soft spot for early animation Jeremy Tinder’s new work pricks the skin like Cupid’s arrow. The strangely solid little people remind me of rock crystals or the thread spools that R. Crumb would draw faces on, something small, secret and precious. If they weren’t painted I would want to put one in my pocket to talk too when I felt down and out. Ok, that was weird, but you see where I was going with that.
The drawings and paintings of Portland, Oregon based BAWBEE are littered with miscellaneous ligaments, freaked out faces, animals bones, and molting organisms.
Sixteen graffiti artists painted over 4500 square meters of a Swiss prison throughout an eighteen month period. Their work spanned exercise yards, corridors, stairwells, and the extensive outside wall, which alone would use around 1000 spray paint cans. The project began as a sort of celebration of graffiti as a unique art style as well as a desire to bring the artists’ work into a new environment with a challenge of large walls. Besides pushing personal boundaries of creating work on such a grand scale, the artists wanted to change the atmosphere of the prison. Their project would turn a cold, banal, uncomfortable setting into a warmer space for both prisoners and staff. The duration of creating the paintings was equally matched by the amount of planning and concept creating needed to span such a large space and find harmony between sixteen different artistic styles. The physicality and planning, however, were not the only difficult tasks: the artists were met with an emotional challenge as well. Despite knowing they we not confined, they were still consistently aware of their setting and were given a mere glimpse of what it is like on the inside. For example, they needed to call guards to be let out of the space and were daily witnesses to the day to day tension that exist within a prison.
Artists include Malik, Claude “Note” Lüthi, Robert Proch, Onur, Mizzo, Ti, Lain, Ata “Toast” Bosaci, Huran “Shark” Dogan, Daniel Zeltner, Sarah Parsons, Nevercrew (Pablo Togni and Cristian Rebecchi), Benjamin Solt, David Monllar, and Chromeo
For more information, check out the projects website here.
Industrial designer James Boock, along with the design team of Josh Newsome-White, Brooke Bowers, Hannah Warren, George Redmond, Richie Stewart and Philippa Shipley designed and built the Quakescape 3D Fabricator. The fabricator uses earthquake data to visually represent the natural disaster. The machine retrieves the earth quake data which is then transformed into paint formations. Different color paint (representing different intensities of an earthquake) are poured onto the appropriate locations of a cross section of Christchurch, New Zealand. The wet paint flows down mountains, pooling in valleys, further transforming the raw information into art.