Toward Obliteration, 2012 Ash wood, Glass, Laser-cut Baltic Birch and 4000 live Honeybees
From 2010 to the present, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy has been collaborating with bees in the creation of her artwork. Despite a bee allergy, Murphy remains committed to her practice, which she describes as being “research-based.” Seeking to understand the nature of bees, Murphy depends on them to make works such as Listen, symbolizing the need to pay attention to the signals bees use for communication. Or We’re Sorry, Murphy’s apology and simultaneously the bees’ apology for any disruption either collaborator may have caused the other. Similarly, her honeycomb sculptures are co-created with the bees. Murphy chooses to work with bees, or other materials that she feels allow her to appropriately explore issues surrounding ecological and political concerns.
Other than the current threat to the bee population Murphy has recently been concerned about nuclear power, particularly following the tsunami-induced collapse of Fukushima. Murphy produced a series titled, Doilies of Imminent Destruction. That’s an amazing title for some pretty delicate work. The series began as a “meditation on the banality of our dialogue surrounding our fearsome power to irreparably alter an environment, and an investigation into the corporately chosen, idealized representations of these disaster sites prior to the disaster.” Each doily depicts the site of a nuclear disaster: Chernobyl, Deepwater Horizon, Fukushima and Three Mile Island. Why doilies? Murphy recognizes the doily’s function as beautifying, or covering up the ugly or tarnished. They also reference an old-fashioned nostalgia of domesticity and desired perfection.
I am drawn to Murphy’s work not for the beauty of it, although it is quite captivating, but rather for the delicate, yet powerful call to arms it requests of the viewer. Whether it is her work about nuclear disasters subtly imploring us to concern ourselves with the danger of this technology, or her work about bees suggesting we need to be aware of the beauty and vulnerability of the bee’s ecosystem, Murphy’s work merits our contemplation.
Brazilian artist Leandro Lima‘s illustrations are so playful, complex and balanced all at once. I love how every element in his illustrations can stand on its own, and your eye is constantly bouncing all over the image. He does a lot of work for magazines, but most recently, he designed this for a bank. I’m not sure I really think “bank” when I see these (and I’m still working on the significance of some of the imagery, like that tear that’s split 50-50), but Brazilian banks definitely must be more fun than those we have in the US.
One of the upsides to working downtown is the ability to walk to get lunch. I know everyone thinks that we never walk anywhere in LA but I’m here to say that I walk a solid two blocks to get lunch everyday. (Take that NYC!) So this week, I decided to take my trusty digi cam on my trek and see what’s new on our local street art spot. I’m not sure why this corner gets continually covered in posters but there is a new poster up on this thing every damn day.
Malaysian based artist and designer Tang Chiew Ling creates illustrations using unconventional illustration materials. Using things like cotton and leaves, Ling will create a fashion illustration around these objects, recontextualizing them into an interesting new design. For these particular illustrations, Ling uses the natural beauty and curves of leaves found in her garden and in drains to illustrate high-end fashion for various models. With her careful and deliberate arrangement of decaying and dead leaves, Ling transforms nature into fashion. (via design boom)
Lutz Bacher‘s recent exhibition at San Francisco’s Ratio 3 included the series The Celestial Handbook: offset book pages taken from found copies of amateur astronomer Robert Burnham Jr.‘s 1966 handbook of the same title. Each page — there are 85 in the series — is individually framed, forever capturing timeless subjects in a dated format. What we see are images of things that surpass the power of imagery with captions that can’t help but fall short in describing things that surpass the power of language. (via)
Frank Plant has a slightly ironic last name to be working with steel. What is interesting about his work is that Frank also incorporates cheap plastic flowers, sponge and flock. I enjoyed looking at the detail of the above piece to see how the plastic flowers were incorporated. Check out the detail and more of his work after the jump.
Johan Creten speaks his own language. He creates organic creatures by casting a rare medium used in the art world: clay. It has been considered too primitive, associated with craft rather than sculpture for a long time. Johan Creten imposed his vision and art and is now established in the most prestigious residencies : Sevres and Medici. (an art residency is a place where an artist is invited to work with the best artisans and manufacturers in order to create master pieces. A residency can catapult an unknown artist to fame and success overnight).
The artist was born in Belgium and is now traveling throughout the world. He calls himself an observer of the world. His mission is to translate the social tensions and injustices into beautiful abstract ceramic sculptures. While other artists would rather think about a project and have it conceived by a third party, he is choosing to dig his hands into the clay which he calls “mother earth”.
His signature are large scaled bodies covered with glazed vulvas with which he approaches themes like the ambiguity of sexuality, solitude as a threat and the injustice of social status. Ceramic was never a form of art before Johan Creten. The fact that he was able to live with the harshness of his peers ignoring his work as art is a resistantce which makes him proud. He uses this relationship to balance his art. His pieces reflect our roots in today’s world but they are facing the future.
A must see: Johan Creten solo exhibition at Gallery Perrotin in New York City this coming September 2015
For Lost and Found, the photographer Will Ellis photographs objects collected from the deserted buildings, parks, and bays of New York City. Dating back to the first half of the 20th century, each recovered object is shot with the utmost care, regardless of condition or value. The artist’s long journeys in search of his discarded relics— traversing less frequented city spots with haunting names like Dead Horse Bay and North Brother Island— give historical and totemic meanings to each possession. Once relevant only to a forgotten child, a plastic toy shoe from the 1920s is studied under lights, archived by a seemingly objective lens, and repurposed as evidence of some imagined urban ancestry.
Ellis’s choice to incorporate animal bones into a few of the images strengthens the work’s genealogical impulse; a set of hospital keys, ripped from their locks and rusted beyond recognition, stands alongside a raccoon bone separated from its socket in time. Similarly, a horse bone from the city’s industrial age is visually equated with a pair of plastic doll arms; shot from the same angle, the eroded bone and muddied plastic occupy similar portions of the frame, each lit with expert precision.
As if part of a museum catalog, the series of 30 photographs provides a cohesive, if subjective, vision of history. Through the eyes of Lost and Found, the city’s children narrate its evolution, telling a visual story that begins with doll, touches on music book, and culminates in senior portrait. Ellis’s choice of a stark white backdrop and harsh lighting brilliantly avoids potential sentimentality; as the artist invites us into a distinctly nostalgic space, we are instructed to view the work with the utmost seriousness. Take a look. (via Feature Shoot)