At first glance the work of Vincent Tomczyk appears to be normal ready-made objects. However, each piece is carefully constructed almost entirely from different types of paper. Yeah, paper. You can’t sit on these chairs or slip into those shorts without ripping it. In a way, this seems to be Tomczyk’s intention. Tomczyk and his viewers investigate these objects by painstakingly rebuilding them without their utilitarian properties. He says:
“Although my work can be categorized as realism, my intention is to distill the emotion of an object, then through expression, reconstruct it into my view of its essential self – free of function.” [via]
Portland, Oregan based Marie Koetje’s dark paintings are chaos interrupted. Her subject matter usually deals with natural/ man-made environments out of control. Incredibly noisy with vegetation, trash, and color that are all suddenly silenced by one striking color of fluorescent lighting, neon signs, etc.
Icelandic designer Sveinn Davidsson has garnered some much deserved attention as of late, mostly for his work with demolished cars. Although most of his press has stemmed from the signage and promotional work in the ‘Cargate’ project for the ’07 Iceland Academy of the Arts graduation exhibition, I find his typographic work to be the most impressive. Davidsson’s typographic designs and logo designs are all so clean and polished, but not that sterile type of design that lacks the human touch, he adds illustrations to his type showcasing his capabilities with a pen and a mouse.
Dean Zeus Colman’s artwork has given us his drug of choice, which is hand molded Ecstasy tablets cast in plaster. His series Love Is A Drug includes sculptures of Ecstasy tablets of all different shapes and sizes that actually exist in real life. Knowing this bit of information, it is shocking to see how many different designs and even logos are imprinted on these little tablets. There are more common images like smiley faces, money signs, and stars on the drug, but a few have images that may be of surprise to you. The Mortal Combat symbol, the UPS logo, and even the beloved Bart Simpson’s head has also been included in this eclectic variety of Ecstasy tablets.
Zeus, based out of London, grew up involved in a subculture where Ecstasy tablets were often present. The drugs were readily available, not surprisingly, while working in the Rave scene. Zeus has long been working as a street artist and has been tagging since the 1980’s, which has influenced and led to the making of Love Is A Drug. Other sculptures of this artist reflect this lifestyle and draw off inspiration from graffiti such as his three-dimensional graffiti text constructed from glass and wood.
Love Is A Drug is currently on view at Prescription Art in Brighton, England, which focuses on street and graffiti art. The exhibition features thirty-six limited edition, larger than life Ecstasy tablets. (via The Creator’s Project)
As a bit of a followup to the previous post on shadow art, here is a video on Kumi Yamashita. Her work is incredibly innovative. After looking at the images and wondering how she made them, watching this video is quite insightful.
Artist Kristen Schiele produces vibrant paintings and shadow boxes. Schiele richly layers her work both in her medium – paint, thread, collage – and in narrative. Her work merges indistinct structures and landscapes with rays and patterns of color as well as collaged human figures. Each piece seems at once to be about stories and tell one of its own. Speaking about the sources for her layers of images she says:
“I do keep a sketchbook. I also have a library of images printed out, some scanned in from libraries. They are from years of collecting. I get ideas and start folders of images for different paintings. I narrow the folders down into a show.” [via]
This curious little structure is one of ten Free Little Library “branches”. Ten designer were chosen for the Free Little Library project – each designing and constructing a little library to place in Manhattan. This is the design created by the firm known as Stereotank. In the New York neighborhood of Nolita, the little library offers books and a bit of shelter to anyone passing by. Small portholes allow visitors to peek inside for a preview before being drawn inside. You can find Stereotank’s Free Little Library at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral School in Nolita through September of this year. [via]
The street art and murals of artist Okuda San Miguel drip with color and burst with energy, until they are no longer held on a brick wall, but spilling out into real life, in three-dimensional form. The Madrid-based artist uses a pop surrealist style to create large scale murals that transform public spaces into places of geometric, vibrant color and imagery. His work is so incredibly stunning, that it is almost as if the street walls cannot contain them. Public works like his painted phone booth contain an element that explodes from the piece. Color drips from the phone booth, fusing Okuda’s work with the real world. He often transforms his murals into three dimensional sculptures, creating an even more dynamic and captivating piece. As if Okuda’s mural that resembles a multicolored starburst didn’t demand our attention enough, he has a sculpture piece that brings the mural into the third dimension.
Okuda’s beautifully fractured, geometric style is applied to murals, street art, smaller scale paintings, and sculptures. Whichever medium the artist so chooses, he creates works that are both mesermizing and transfixing. His paintings often use similar imagery, such as velumptuous, nude bodies, animal heads, and skulls. A fascinating juxtoposition is formed when certain subjects of Okuda’s paintings are covered in colorful shapes, while others have a smoother texture rendered in black and white. It is interesting that often the face or head will be full of color, while the more organic forms such as a nude body or a tree branch will be absent of it. Okuda portrays what lies underneath the bright shapes as monochromatic forms, exposing our sameness and human connection below our exteriors.