Art meets commerce in this video directed by the legendary Joe Pytka. Pytka, a cinematographer, director and film maker was so inspired by New York-based artist Nate Lowman’s Just One Eye project with Converse he was inspired to create a short filmed that embodied the spirit of the project.
In the video, the viewer is welcomed into an enigmatic scene with a disembodied eyeball, blood and dimly lit hallways. Something sinister and grim is afoot and then we meet our one-eyed protagonist. It leaves the viewer thinking, just what is going on here? What’s going on is a collaboration between artist Nate Lowman and Converse to make a custom Chuck Taylor shoe. Lowman has cut one of his paintings (depicting a copy of Willem de Kooning’s 1954 portrait of Marilyn Monroe) into as many pairs of unique high-top Chuck Taylors as possible.
The great thing about these collaborations is that it exposes a whole new audience to art and allows them to incorporate it into their every day lives. Lowman’s work has been described by New York Times chief art critic as “down-and-out excursions into collage, graffiti and appropriation.” Lowman’s first critical acclaim came about as a result of a show with P.S.1. He has also collaborated with brands like Supreme to create exclusive products. Each pair of Chuck Taylors from the Just One Eye: Nate Lowman collaboration is a unique piece of art in and of itself, a fragment of a whole. Everyone who owns a pair of this collection will be part of this unique part of Converse history.
Since 1996 Carlo Bernardini has been using fiber optics to create bold and dynamic sculptures and site specific installations. Each piece uses the power of fiber optics to create minimal geometric line drawings which change as you walk around and into them and from certain angles become three dimensional drawings that come alive in space. (via triangulation)
TOMAAS is a Paris-based fashion and beauty photographer whose stunning works explore the way man-made materials and objects accompany us in our daily lives. This particular series, titled Plastic Fantastic, incorporates plastic bags, forks, tubing, straws, bottles, and more into the creation of surreal and cinematic imagery. His white-washed models are both alien and beautiful; with plastic adorning their bodies and faces, what is most often seen as a functional and/or wasteful material becomes the luminescent fabric of space-age fashion.
Throughout his work, TOMAAS is interested in imagery that presents multiple themes. Plastic Fantastic is one such series, wherein he examines the prevalence, significance, and artistic versatility of plastic in our modern-day world. While conceptualizing this project, TOMAAS wanted to emphasize “the design and design choices behind such man-made products” (Source), and furthermore, explore what happens when such functional objects are removed from their normal contexts; take plastic forks and tubing into an arts and beauty studio, arrange them in unusual ways, and suddenly they become eerily beautiful and expressive crowns and dresses.
This approach to plastic as desirable or aesthetically-pleasing may be a bit difficult for us, given its noxious status in environmental discourse. But this is TOMAAS’ intention, to show beauty in unexpected places (and perhaps challenge some ethical perceptions in doing so). “There is no denying that [plastic] is one of the most commonly used materials in today’s society,” TOMAAS writes, describing what inspired him to create the series. By synthesizing plastic with fine art photography, he allows us to see — perhaps with a bit of resistance — beauty in a synthetic material that has become deeply integral to our human habitat.
Check out TOMAAS’ website for more of his works, including a series called Eco-Beauty, wherein he integrates other materials (such as straw and rope) into his photographic narratives. (Via Art Fucks Me)
Miami-born but aptly based in both New York City and Venice, artist Judi Harvest creates intricate and fanciful glass sculptures. Ranging from gnarled bears to purple martians, her work varies in both subject matter and style. However, since 2013, Harvest has paid special attention to the natural realm, creating delicate and wispy glass beehives.
Comprised of Murano glass and wire, each hive sculpture is naturalistic in color and realistically rendered. Like the pieces themselves, the process behind the work is extremely intricate and requires a great deal of skill:
Each vessel begins with a hand-rolled cylinder of chicken wire, wire found in Venice and characterized by a finer module than that of the hive sculptures made in New York. Glass is blown into the cylinder, protrudes between the wires, and balloons delicately above the top. Some vessels retain wire embedded in their surfaces. Amber glass is the base color in which Harvest mixes gold or silver leaf and other additives that affect opacity, reflectivity, and hue. Sprinkling the hot surface with powdered glass pigment and reinserting the vessel into the furnace creates a rough yet dainty texture that resembles a dusting of pollen. (Denatured: Honeybees + Murano catalogue, Venice, 2013)
In addition to the exquisite aesthetic of the sculptures, a personal interest in honeybees also contributed to the creation of this series. On top of her artistic career, Harvest is a beekeeper, finding inspiration “in the form and behavior of the honeybee, the hexagonal wax cells of the honeycomb, and the rounded volume of hives in nature”—influences that are undeniably present in the ornate detail and beautiful composition present in her Bee Series. (Via Sweet Station)
As we wave goodbye to Halloween, let’s take a minute to mediate on the innately striking work of Diane Arbus and her unbiased approach to documenting not just the spookier side of humanity, but even more so, the masks or costumes we present to the world as a species, as human beings, as ourselves . . . year-round.
Now, when I use the word “unbiased” here I am not suggesting Arbus’s eye is roaming and invisible. Quite the contrary. Her eye is always distinctly there: focused, from one frame to the next. This “unbiased” quality has more to do with her indiscriminate examination of each subject in the same oddly intimate and unflinching way– regardless of class, age, gender, sexual preference, or race. In other words, a child with a toy hand grenade in the park looks equally as strange as the a woman lounging next to a toy poodle or a handful of residents dressed up on Halloween at a home for the mentally retarded. No one person, group, or act is more privileged. No one is all the more beautiful. We are all playing dress-up as far as identity and image is concerned.
By seeking out each individual’s innate desire to present him or herself and critically or creatively twisting that into her own perception of costume in each person’s presentation, Arbus became not just a photographer, but an alchemist, shifting our ideas of self, reality, and personal intention. Whether you are a part of celebrity culture or a more marginalized society spread out along the fringe, Arbus’s certain way of looking did not glorify one way of living over the other.
Professional illustrator and graphic designer Marcello Barenghi has a long and successful career rendering visual narratives and designs. But recently his drawing demonstrations have given the Milan-based draftsman a new following, as his Youtube video series routinely tops over a million hits per video.
With stop-motion demonstrations showing how Barenghi renders commonly found objects ranging from crumpled snack chip bags, Euro coins and more challenging objects like mirrored silver teapots, viewers can watch how a master draftsman achieves his trademark photorealistic results. Although few students of pencil, graphite and airbrush will ever achieve the results Barenghi does, they can at least see the unlimited potential of the blank page when the artist demonstrates each step by step video. (via gizmodo)
I am incredibly enchanted by photographer Manuel Vason’s work. It is difficult to pin-point whether he does photography or performance. I would say both! He has models express so much story and emotion with their bodies and a few props; it’s a true study of the human body’s possibility of expression.