Cristina De Middel brings a striking beauty to space travel in her series The Afronauts. Her series is based on the aspirations of Edward Makuka Nkoloso – a 1960’s Zambian school teacher who wanted to land his countrymen on the moon before the United States or the Soviet Union. Nkoloso was openly mocked, even by journalists. Through his story, the series’ pleasant imagery gives way to more serious underpinnings. De Middel says:
“The images are beautiful and the story is pleasant at a first level, but it is built on the fact that nobody believes that Africa will ever reach the moon. It hides a very subtle critique to our position towards the whole continent and our prejudices.”
NYC-based artist Darren Goins creates work that reference the language and aesthetics of computers and the Internet. Take, for example, these paintings done on the reverse side of acrylic panels. By forcing us to view the work from behind a layer of plastic, Goins invokes the same dynamic with which we relate to our various digital devices. And the inclusion of circuit board imagery and neon lighting further adds to this element. But Goins isn’t referencing computers solely out of celebration. He’s also trying to take back some energy and focus from the technologies that dominate our lives and put them in a place that’s maybe a little more worthy:
The computer and the web can be like a filter/lack thereof, depending on how it’s used. When I begin working on new ideas for a new art object, usually some web filter has subconsciously popped into my thinking patterns- history, current events, science and technology, popular culture- tend to pile up side by side- and this can create visual dialogue or a seemingly continuous deciphering of information that continues unhinged. This can be exhausting, and, so, I often try to exhaust all in art objects, which seems to be a better place for information to be stored.
See more acrylic panels after the jump, and head over to the artist’s site to see works on paper and some sculpture as well.
Ryan Trecartin has done it again in his spread for W magazine (released last month), responding with the complete mastery over emblems of consumer culture and social networking. The traditional fashion spread has become unrecognizable in its form yet perfectly familiar in its content and heavy use of symbols and signs. For the online conception fashion magazine DIS, titled Web 1.0, the artist has made his creative and production process visible: a shot list with a myriad of influences described and called out to the last detail. The dizzying list definitely qualifies as an art piece.
Jamie Campbell works with the themes of insecurity, burden, vulnerability and desperation, but does it with self-deprecation and humor and profound honesty, leaving you unsure of whether you want to hit him or hug him. Our favorite images by Jamie are of the ghosts wandering around and the living who are stopped in their tracks and drawn into the light.
G-Shock and RESPECT. magazine have teamed up to showcase the work of some top, emerging art makers from across a variety of disciplines. The video series interviews four innovators: artist/sculptor Christophe Roberts, industrial designers Aaron Stathum and Eliot Coven and photographer Kareem Black. These individuals are exploring their own imaginations and finding new ways to their visions to life through their respective art forms. From sculpture, to photography to developing concepts for industrial design and products that improve our every day lives.
The industrial designs of Aaron Stathum and Eliot Coven are heart-warming, moving, and inspiring all at the same time. Seeing two graduate students come up with an ingeniously simple way to address the issues of clothes washing in remote areas or underdeveloped countries is positively energizing. Stathum and Coven designed their “UpStream: Developing World Washing System” while studying together at Philadelphia University. Their foot powered washing machine is built from materials that are easy to find the world over: a 5 gallon bucket, pipes and rope. Their goal was to make it easier for people to do laundry, cut down their laundry time, make washing more sanitary and keep detergents out of the rivers where washing usually takes place. This pair is truly inspiring and their simple solution to a worldwide problem will hopefully ignite a spark in others to follow suit.
Watch the full video featuring Aaron Stathum and Eliot Coven here.
Artist Giacomo Carmagnola uses digital tools to add a unique, glitchy twist to photos of the past. Faces and objects are obscured with long, colorful strands that seem to melt, as if it’s some sort of ooze that’s absorbing the rest composition. The crucifiction of Christ now has green trails that emanating from the cross. Likewise, a guillotine blades have been replaced with the same type of strands. The photographs are still recognizable, but now offer a colorful addition that changes their meaning. And depending on your point of view, make them funny or profane.
The Italian-born creative writes on Dazed Digital, “I’m completely absorbed by glitch art. I’ve always been attracted to its aesthetics; I’m not talking about philosophy or higher concepts, but just its plain visual pleasure.” One way to create this effect is with a processing pixel sorting script that’s applied to the image. “I see these images as an alternative beauty. I find it extremely fascinating how the same image can change so much by keeping its original ‘skeleton’. Of course they’re also visually impactful. But before this, I find them simply beautiful.” (Via Dazed Digital)
Cesar Del Valle’s drawings are not just exquisitely rendered but also interact with the very surface they are drawn upon. Rather than simply drawing the objects and places that the figures interact with Cesar creates unique situations where a figure might be holding up a crumpling part of the paper, jumping over an actual hole in the paper, or walking a tightrope that is constructed out of a pencil stuck through the paper. By creating these interactions Cesar not only wows the viewer with his ability to think outside the box begs the question did the drawing or the paper come first? More of Cesar’s interactions with the surface after the jump. (via illusion)