It’s no surprise that everyone at B/D is obsessed with bizarre hippy, psychedelic references in art. However Charles Glaubitz work differs from the usual psychedelic hookas pokas as it mixes in character based imagery more in line with japanese magna. The resulting work is bizarre, funny, and imaginative.
Photographer Donna J. Wan’s ongoing series “Death Wooed Us” is gorgeous, unsettling, and deeply empathetic. “In 2011 after the birth of my daughter I developed a severe case of postpartum depression and considered taking my own life,” she writes in the description of the work, all photos taken in “suicide destinations”—places where people have taken their lives.
“Using research gathered from media reports, I found several locations in the Bay Area and travelled to them. I walked along the paths taken by these people before they ended their lives. Most of these photographs were taken from bridges, including the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most well-known ‘suicide destinations,’ but also lesser-known beaches and overlooks. I purposely photographed from the perspective of looking up at the sky, down at the water or crags, or straight ahead but far away, thinking that these views might have resembled the ones seen by others moments before dying. Many of my images have a hazy and elusive quality, which I believe reflects the clouded state of mind of the suicidal.”
Suicide is such a sensitive subject. There are many people—probably the majority of people—who cannot imagine losing the will to live. Whether because of religious beliefs, or ties to family and friends, or just the innate need to stay alive, these people believe that they would never end their own lives. Then there are others, who have lived with pain and grief and the loss of hope. Those who, because of sickness of body or brain, struggle through every day. Once you have crossed this line, between life at all costs and death as a merciful end, the world never looks the same to you again. In Wan’s series, her experience is what makes the photos haunting and peaceful. She has looked into the cracks of her own soul, and that has enabled her to walk in the footsteps of those without hope and capture their last sights with kindness. The last view of a suicidal person could be macabre, an intrusion into someone else’s pain. These photos offer beauty, the acknowledgement of despair, and the desire for peace.
“There are some who may think that my photographs romanticize these places of death. I can understand that point of view, although that is not my intention. Death is not beautiful – in fact, jumping from a bridge 200 feet high is a very painful and violent way to die. Yet the sublimity of these places continues to lure people to them. I do not intend for my work to glorify the allure of these places. Instead, I hope that it may offer a glimpse into the minds of those who may have thought that dying by these beautiful places was a peaceful way to end their suffering.”
If you happen to be in sunny San Diego on the 27th of March, check out Andrew Holders new show at Subtexts mutually new gallery space. San Diego from what I hear is also a standard for fish tacos if your into that sorta thing. Why not eat one on the way to the gallery and make a day of it? Wink!
Hyperrealist Kit King has created an extraordinary body of work filled with realistic rendering of intense portraiture. This Ontario based artist possesses an unbelievable skill in painting, which she used to create her larger than life images of emotionally charged faces. She does not merely recreate a person’s face in her paintings, but adds a focus on the moment behind the still image on what the person expresses. Many of her subjects look tormented, as their eyes appear weary, stunned, or bloodshot. The lighting King uses in her work adds a force of drama, drawing you into the transfixed gaze of the subject. She aims to spark your attention and capture a transient moment in time where one might feel the sting of these emotions.
The texture is as palpable as the complexity that is often found in the eyes of her subjects. We can almost feel the tangibly wet eyes in Kit King’s paintings as well as the smoothness of the skin. Even the make up in her paintings seem to be flaking right off the canvas. Her husband Oda King also being a talented artist, she often collaborates with him on several of her paintings. Kit King explains the intentions behind her concentrated skill and focus.
“Through a focus on hyperrealism, my paintings are reflections of the ephemeral visual relationships around us. Capturing fleeting moments that affect our emotional state from a singular glance, under the aegis of a heightened sense of reality.”
Illustrator, craftswoman, and designer Helen Ahpornsiri has incredibly steady hands considering the scale she works on. She assembles tiny dried, pressed ferns into shapes based on natural history collections, sometimes no bigger than a coin or a pencil stub. Managing to place flakes of foliage into beautiful patterns, she creates weevils, butterflies, seahorses, owl skulls, dragonflies and moths.
Ahpornsiri initially studied illustration at the Falmouth University and then went on to work successfully for commercial projects including greetings cards for Marks and Spencer, paper flowers for Harrods Knightsbridge and bespoke menus for Coach. Interested in paper cutting and collage, she decided to branch out and try something a bit different. She says in an email:
When drawing a Fern Weevil in ink one day, just for a personal project, I wondered if I could create one with real fern. I already had some beautiful fronds from a Japanese Painted Fern pressed and waiting to be used for something. I have been collecting, pressing and making ever since! (Source)
The pressed fern collection is not the only thing Ahpornsiri has used to show off her precise cutting abilities. She has also created intricately crafted birds from stamp collections. You can also see just how Ahpornsiri puts her work together (the Tiny Robin in this case) in the video after the jump. (Via This Is Colossal)
A recent exhibition in Minneapolis investigates the inherent desire to organize and structure our world, and the ensuing clutter and confusion when we become increasingly influenced by the sprawling technologies we’ve invented to helps us. Eddie Perrote, Leanna Perry and Bill Rebholz conceived Scategoriesas a display to highlight ordered chaos. “We’ve enabled our minds to perceive more information, decrease our mental clutter and externalize our memories,” reads the press release, which explains why the exhibition feels a bit overrun, offering too much to process, even when the looking is enjoyable.
Each of the artists has one foot firmly planted in the design world, which is perhaps the ideal middle ground to view the changing landscapes of art and design, and how technology is rapidly altering them. The group explains, “Through organizing the brain we present windows into the cerebral wold of structure, chaos, habitual patterns, and seemingly infinite layers of content. It’s these informalities that create vivacious energy, and eccentricities that feed the visual cacophony of information ever gathering within our minds.”
The exhibition itself is presented with this visual cacophony in mind. Colorful, typography-inspired murals covering several walls, while the remaining white-walls are densely covered with 2 and 3-dimensional works. Recurring motifs, such as simplistic cloud shapes, puzzle pieces, mirrors and stairs connect their works; an unplanned phenomenon, which was not surprising considering their shared influences and interests, claims the group. Perrote, Perry and Rebholz even shared a specific color palette for the show, using the same magenta, teal, and yellow paints, both for visual cohesion and “to highlight the gap between colors that exist in reality and the RGB colorspace of computer screens” says Perrote.
At the heart of the exhibition is a paradox, highlighted by the significant gesture that each painting, drawing and screenprint was made by hand. Even in a time when we can create, share and store an unlimited amount of data, the information must still be processed slowly, through our hands, eyes and minds in order to be appreciated, an appreciation which is key to good design.
Scategories is currently on view at The Abstracted Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The closing reception will be Friday, April 11th, 2014, from 7 to 10 pm.
Critical Objects is a personal initiative of Berlin-based graphic design firm, HelloMe. The project began as a series of explorations that thrive on not having any particular goal. The project consists of a series of objects that transcend a blurry line between artistic sculpture and functional furniture. The beauty of the project is that it remains unknown to the user if these things should really every be used, touched, sat on, or turned on… We have a small collection featured here, so be sure to check out the full series at Critical Objects.