Benjamin Rawson lives and works in the UK. His gouache paintings and drawings are often presented as house diagrams where op-art patterns, tropical foliage, and basketballs run wild. Other works feature densly layered vegetation filled to the brim with every color in the rainbow. It is as if the artist is presenting post modern psychedelic versions of Mouse Trap for a culture obsessed with sports and illusions of paradise.
Elizabeth Tolson‘s range of interactive, light up futuristic styled dresses are a light-hearted look at quite serious topics. Called Vessel, the concept centers around two garments – the Fertility Dress and the Chastity Dress. Combining cutting edge technology, soft circuity, connective threads, connective garments, simple switches and plain white cotton, Tolson has created two innovative wearable art pieces that are dealing with feminist issues.
The Fertility Dress works in cohesion with the female body. It contains lights that change color depending on the woman’s menstruation cycle and fertility. The lights turn blue to indicate ovulation, red for menstruation, and glow white to indicate excellent hygiene, and finally, turn yellow to denote poor hygiene levels. This dress is meant to not only display internal bodily states, but also to remind us that woman are fertile beings, all day, everyday.
The Chastity Dress is a combination of lights and sounds, triggered by sensors that go off if certain parts of the garment are touched. Tolson explains more:
So the final result of the Chastity dress had sensors so when the girl in it was touched inappropriately, sensors went off to remind her of how she should behave. It was creating an audience for the girl as an object because she needs to watched over. It was a way for people to be aware of her actions, but she also needs to be aware. I also created a bra that has sensors so if you push her chest it creates a high-pitched noise. (Source)
Inspired by strange dating books she was sent from her mother, Tolson wanted to draw attention to some outdated attitudes that still exist about female sexuality. With a playful , tongue-in-cheek mentality, Tolson manages to raise awareness about gender politics, marriage equality, abortion laws, birth control and a whole plethora of topics most people love to avoid. Read more about her work here. (Via Design Faves)
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John Courtney Little‘s paintings contain such surreal narrations, full of intense scenarios with eloquently symbolic characters that attempt to exist in such chaotic and mysterious environments. Using a dark and muted color palette focusing around the action of the protagonist or simply the chaotic environment around them, the paintings are very expressive and well crafted.
Livia Marin‘s Broken Things seem just fine. The sculptures of her Broken Things series do indeed appear to be broken ceramic dishware. However, for what the household items lost in usefulness retain in its aesthetic value. Congealed liquid seems to pour out of the damaged cups. The decorative patterns are pulled along out with the container’s little spill. The sculptures are reminiscent of a family’s “good china” – utilitarian objects that seem to cherished for their decorative nature rather than ever see any use.
Surveillance continues to be an inspiration and investigation for artists and designers in the second decade of the new millennium. Taking a decidedly sunnier, DIY-approach, two French designers created an Etsy shop called Filez Doux to continue this exploration through cardboard art. Crafting and selling handmade versions of surveillance cameras made from discarded cardboard, Filez Doux say they are inspired by the pervasiveness of security culture. Although their real names are partially hidden by their moniker, the Lille-based duo (whose real names are listed as Sylvain and Hélène) create works which avoid the typically-negative tone of most work focusing on the encroaching surveillance state.
Beginning the series by playfully creating a light-post made of cardboard for their apartment, the duo began to look around their streets for another inspiration to replicate with used materials. Settling on a security camera, there was seemingly little message behind the first camera created. As the duo explains, “The first one Sylvain made was very realistic and bigger than an actual camera. At first, it was strange to have it in the living room. I sometimes caught myself glancing at it, as if it could be a real one spying on us. Before we knew it, there were 2, 3, then 4 security cameras! Some serious, some fun, some small, some big.” Each camera takes roughly ten hours to complete, and each is a singular construction, as the duo never reuses a design.
Although they lightly suggest otherwise (an asterisk to their name informs visitors to “keep a low profile“), Filez Doux seem more infused with energy from the re-purposed material and the meticulous replications of their work rather than the social commentary. However, it is evident that surveillance is becoming a larger, more widespread issue if popular culture can so easily recognize and reference the camera as ubiquitous and inescapable in our daily lives. (via junk culture & etsy)
Andrea Myers sculptures made out of fabric and torn paper collages are dense layered works full of texture and rainbow bright color schemes.