Here are some scans from the short lived Hot Rotor Magazine, which as far as I can tell was a promotional item issued by the turbine/rocket engine company Turbonique. The images, helpfully scanned by Jason Torchinsky, convey a playful sense of futurist optimism which was all too common in 1960s America, yet we can still clearly see that Turbonique’s vision of the future is very much steeped in 1960s industrial design and culture.
Street art is really branching out these days into unchartered waters. Case and point, Trash Orcas. Our mammal pals were found swimming through various piles of trash all over Cincinnati. It’s sad to see that such elegant creatures digging through trash for a can of half eaten sardines. Guess we can blame it on the bad economy.
This incredibly detailed newspaper art or “lace newspapers” are the work of Canadian paper artist Myriam Dion. Using an Exacto knife and a surgeon’s precision, Dion creates intricate lacey shapes using existing text images from newspapers, cutting out white space and leaving some of the paper image in tact. The results are beautiful new images that have been completely transformed through Dion’s skilled paper cutting and fine attention to detail. She creates other deconstructive work, like her ornate burned photograph series.
Mathew Borrett’s intensely detailed drawings of maze-like rooms and secret compartments that seem to never end are mysterious puzzles that fade into the nothingness of the stark white paper that they are drawn on.
“From a very early age I used to have frequent dreams about finding hidden rooms between rooms in my house. Usually some facet of my fears or desires would be present in these rooms. As a Lego fanatic, I’d often find fantastic new Lego sets I didn’t know existed (which made waking up a disappointment). Later we moved into an old farmhouse with lots of nooks and crannies and a basement that often flooded. It underwent a lot of renovation over the 17 years we lived there, and I was always fascinated when a wall was removed or temporarily breached and you could pass from one room to another in a new way. The scope of the dreams expanded to include strange gaps and holes and secret shafts that dropped away into spooky abysses. Sometimes I’d explore basements beneath the basement, or attics beyond the attic. I think I’ve probably explored a thousand different dream versions of that old house.”
Artist Harry Roseman takes the ubiquitous material known as plywood and with careful cuts and placement, creates the illusion that this rigid material is pliable. The large pieces include “folds” that make them look as though they are textiles. Roseman uses a single piece of wood and mismatches its grain to break up the visual monotony; it fools us into think that there’s a back and a front to this “fabric.” The rigidity is reminiscent of a plastic camping tarp, but it’s still impressive at how, with relatively few cuts, the pieces are believeable as something other than what they’re made of.
These sort of observations and overall sentiment is part of what Roseman is trying to achieve in his sculptures, writing:
The subjects of my work are the bend of a curve, the conjunction of edges, the turn of a fold, the weight and nature of objects, the conjunction of idea and object, the way an idea sits in an object and next to an object and the way surface can obscure and also reveal. One of my aims is to close the distance between thinking, looking and making, to the point where it is hard to tell the difference.
The magic of the family photograph lies in its flaws, and the curatorial team at website Awkward Family Photos has reminded us of this fact by collecting and cataloguing all of our charming photographic failings and reminding us that for every perfect chiclet smile, there’s a disgruntled side-eye or a bad haircut. The online collection is a testament to the bonds of family, and each accident betrays the touching vulnerability of each relationship.
The family photo album is a fragile, private thing; when made public, these images constitute a powerful and uncomfortable archive of American tradition and cultural shifts. While a photograph of mother, son, and daughter dressed to the nines in shoulder-padded polka-dots and acid wash jeans might have been swell in the ’80s, it serves now as a painful and permanent reminder of our fleeting coolness and relevance. In one image, a young man seductively holds a live snake; in a similarly embarrassing assertion of power within the family, a father superimposes himself over a cheesy portrait with now-outdated technology.
As family structures and fashion choices continue to shift, Awkward Family Photos is a visual historical narrative worthy of being preserved. And it will have its moment of glory in an upcoming exhibition at Santa Monica’s California Heritage Museum. The collection is to be arranged and hung in accordance with the following categories: “Family Portrait, Siblings, Vacation, Kids, Holidays, Weddings, Dad, Mom, Grandparents, Birthdays, and Family Pet.”
Exhibition goers will be invited to sit for their own portraits, which are to be added to the collection. This refreshing series is about embracing the awkward within us all; through each image, there are clear hints of love, charm, and unabashed playfulness. (via My Modern Met)
Montreal-born Magalie Guerin currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. With machine-like precision, she uses ballpoint ink on paper to create incredibly detailed pieces reminiscent of the visual texture of dollar bills. Her art reminds me of a cross between the elegance of Civil War portraits and the distortion of carnival funhouses.