Portrait paintings or portrait embroideries? Cayce Zavaglia wants us to wonder and question the technique she is using. ‘About-Face’ is actually a series of embroideries. And they depict exclusively the artist’s close friends and family members. When flipped around, the portraits become abstract art pieces. “an attempt to show both sides…in hopes of initiating a dialogue about the two sides we each possess: the presented and the private self.’
As a former painter Cayce Zavaglia knows the impact of a brushstroke on the canvas and is therefore able to meticulously transfer the effect onto the tapestries. She begins the process by roughly taking a hundred pictures of her futur subject. She wants to catch the right expression. After selecting just one picture she starts working with one-ply embroidery thread on Belgian linen. She is able to render via fabric and thread the intricate details of blended colors and the texture that imitates oil painting.
The artists wants to create a dialogue between the viewer, the subject and herself. From far, the viewer might perceive the hyper-realist portraits as paintings and that’s ok. Up-close, they realize the mean used is embroidery. And by looking at the reverse side of the piece the viewers can begin to connect with the subject. The back of tapestries were historically never shown to the public. Cayce Zavaglia is making an exception. Because abstraction blurs the boundaries between the viewer and the art piece he/she is looking at and that’s when the dialogue begins to become interesting.
Cayce Zavaglia’s work will be displayed at Lyonswier Gallery in New York from November 5th until December 6th 2015. The artist’s daily process is updated on her Instagram account.
Brooklyn, NY based painter and sculptor Lisa Beck creates reflective, Rorschach like abstractions that function simultaneously as murals, paintings, sculptures, and installations.
“My work has always been driven by certain preoccupations and obsessions, that can be seen as divided between the particular and the universal. The particular is shorthand for the observable aspects of reality, the stuff around us (the landscape, our bodies). The universal is a shorthand for things that are too vast or too tiny for us to grasp completely ( space, atomic physics)— that necessarily become a kind of abstraction. Those are the things that I think about, with an emphasis on the relationship between those things — the place where they meet or interact, rather than the divide. I’m concerned with where I stand, or where anyone stands, in relation to these aspects of existing reality … the act of observation of the place in between; visual awareness and perception as a way of understanding existence, like a filter.
I tend to be attracted to opposing but related visual phenomena like positive and negative, pattern and randomness, color and grayscale, flatness and depth, representational and abstract imagery. I always want to go in both directions a once and much of my work has involved trying to find ways to integrate these opposites. My most prevalent motif has been the circle in all its forms and references. Atoms, dots, spheres, solids, voids, cells, selves, stars, eternity, emptiness- it’s amazing how much can attach to this form.” (via)
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The Spanish collective Penique Productions creates massive installations that at the same feel nearly weightless. Using fans and colored plastic the collective entirely covers a selected space in a bright hue. Though the concept is relatively simple, the space feels totally transformed. The space and its furnishings are stripped of all their details and reduced to a set of shapes. Penique’s Productions create an interesting way to investigate familiar places. Interestingly the collective says regarding the installations:
“It works the relationship between fullness and emptiness, creating a dialogue with the space it temporarily inhabits.”
Each image of What I Eat is accompanied by a detailed breakdown of the meals. The couple featured diverse profiles such as a Japanese sumo wrestler, a Maasai herdsman, an Arctic hunter, a Tibetan yak herder, and a Bangladeshi factor seamstress.
All of the diets, of course, vary by location and availability of food, but also profession. Shashi Kanth (pictured above), an AOL call center worker, relies on fast-food meals, candy bars, and coffee to keep him going throughout the long nights as he talks to Westerners about their technical issues. This stands in stark contrast to Bruce Hopkins (also pictured above), a Bondi Beach lifeguard in Sydney, New Whales, Australia. He eats moderately and hardly ever enjoys fast food or alcohol. (Via Amusing Planet)
Artist and desinger Fabrizio Lamoncha works with more than a little bit of humor. His Pooprinter project statement begins with the quote “A common idiosyncratic habit in all birds is their inevitable punk nature to shit over our most precious belongings.” The project is as innovative as it is gross. Lamoncha slowly prints an alphabet on large sheets of paper by using strategically placed perches and the birds own droppings. Check out the time-lapse video of the bird poop in action above and enjoy Lamoncha’s toungue-in-cheek explanation the project:
“A group of male zebra finches underwent this experiment with rigorous commitment. The author/captor, taking the role of some kind of 1984´s Big brother, is providing the implementation guidelines for the transformation of this countercultural attitude into a marketable artsy product. The observation of this group of non-breeding birds in captivity and the experimentation with induced behaviors has been rigorously documented for this task.” (via booooooom)
London based Sculptor and installation artist Jonathan Callan takes everyday books and transforms them into cyclones that mimic weather patterns swarming in an infinite cycle. Callan addresses books as objects rather than sacred cultural artifacts and prompts viewers to explore ideas of materiality: what is a book and what is its purpose? Within a cultural context of hyper texts, virtual communication, the Internet and the commodification of books,Callan’s work encourages viewers to consider how we now address traditional modes of relaying knowledge such as through the use of textbooks, encyclopedias and atlases. In his artist statement, Callan describes his work as addressing, “the relationship of disembodied knowledge to embodied experience and materiality.” (via)