Get Social:

Aaron Vinton

Aaron VintonAaron Vinton

Illustrative print work by current (or past?) Cal Arts design student Aaron Vinton. I really like his style and color use! Special reflection!

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

Alexandra Newmark

AlexandraNewmark5

Alexandra Newmark weaves mohair, the silky soft stuff of holiday caps and scarves into  into these horribly creepy characters. Their forms are a little bit frightening, sort of contradicting the nature of the material being used.

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

The Thought-Provoking Effects Of Nathan Coley’s Illuminated Text Sculptures In Public Spaces

A Place Beyond Belief (2012) Installation, National Gallery of Kosovo, Pristina. Photo credit: Adthe Mulla.

A Place Beyond Belief (2012). Installation, National Gallery of Kosovo, Pristina. Photo credit: Atdhe Mulla.

We Must Cultivate Our Garden (2006). Installation, Carrall Street, Vancouver. Photo credit: Scott Massey.

We Must Cultivate Our Garden (2006). Installation, Carrall Street, Vancouver. Photo credit: Scott Massey.

You Imagine What You Desire (2014). Installation, Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh. Photo Credit: Keith Hunter.

You Imagine What You Desire (2014). Installation, Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh. Photo credit: Keith Hunter.

There Will Be No Miracles Here (2006). Installation, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. Photo credit: Keith Hunter.

There Will Be No Miracles Here (2006). Installation, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. Photo credit: Keith Hunter.

Nathan Coley is a Glasgow-based artist who is well-known for his inspiring, troubling, and haunting illuminated text sculptures. When they aren’t being featured in a gallery, Coley installs these works in public spaces — in parks, over doorways, and on top of buildings — places where they are visible from afar, or as people walk by on their day-to-day business. The words he chooses derive from both research and personal experience; literature, lyrics, historical documents, and overheard conversations comprise some of his source materials. Many of his installations are directly related to religion or private belief-systems — for example, “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens,” and “There will be no miracles here.” Others speak to violent experiences in human public life; “Burn the village, feel the warmth” is a reference to the London street riots of 2011.

As human creatures, it is safe to argue that we have a complicated relationship with language. Language is how we make sense of the world, and a way for us to connect with others. But none of us can deny the frustrating limitations we experience with it. We use language to express our innermost fears and desires, yet somehow the words seem inadequate; we can read a line of poetry and be shaken to the core, but remain unable to articulate why. Coley’s works have a similar effect; made of fairground-type globes set in aluminum frames, his sculptures confront us with their bright, almost garish boldness. “There will be no miracles here,” the sign reads, in the middle of a field; the isolated word “here” signifies a sinking stomach, a staggered thought, the unsettling fear that “miracles” are phantasmagoric events residing only in the hearts of the troubled and desperate. Coley’s work affects us on deeply personal and inexpressible levels, adding notes of hope, doubt, and other emotions into our present moment.

Architecture and context play a very important role in Coley’s work, as well. As Lisa Le Feuvre eloquently states in a monograph on Coley’s work:

When Coley pays attention to an architectural landscape it is always constructed through a singular gaze, sometimes directed where the buildings meet the ground as one walks through the streets, other times looking up or down at the buildings designed to stretch up to their full height, like enthusiastic children in a schoolroom, urgently wanting to say their piece. Architecture fulfills and produces desires, perhaps most explicitly seen in places of production, power, worship, and memory. (Source)

As Le Feuvre expresses, there is no doubt that certain (if not all) public spaces have different and powerful effects on us: stroll beneath the arched ceilings of a church and feel humbled; stand in an abandoned park at dusk and sense creeping loneliness. But what Coley also explores is the way power operates in such spaces; who does the public space belong to, and what is our role within it? How do our behaviors and self-conceptions change when we enter those spaces? As Foucault writes in Discipline and Punish, “He who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; […] he becomes the principle of his own subjection.” If public spaces are indeed “field[s] of visibility” that operate on us via internalized systems of control, than Coley’s integration of art into them is doubly rich for analysis — and also somewhat subversive; the words “We must cultivate our garden,” set atop a hotel in Vancouver, Canada, reinvests local architecture with meaning, transforming our experience of that space from controlled, everyday banality into a new, stimulating process of personal signification: we decide what the “garden” means to us in that particular time and place.

See more of Coley’s works on his website, and check out the rest Le Feuvre’s fascinating essay here.

Currently Trending

Salavat Fidai Fashions Minuscule Pop Culture Sculptures Out Of The Tips Of Pencils

Salavat-Fidai-13 Salavat-Fidai-11 Salavat-Fidai-12
Salavat-Fidai-7

Russian artist Salavat Fidai creates miniscule sculptures with a ubiquitous yet unusual material – graphite pencils. Their tips are fashioned into figures of pop culture like Yoda, Bart Simpson, Batman, and many more. The amount of detail that Fidai achieves is impressive considering the scale of these figures. Eyes, feathers, and the draping in Yoda’s robe is all expressed through angular carving. Considering how dark the graphite is and all of the characters’ tiny features, Fidai might’ve used a softer lead for his work. A pencil in the “B” would probably be easier to cut and form.

It’s possible to buy one of Fidai’s creations. He has them for sale in his Etsy shop. In addition to these unconventional sculptures, the artist also sells paintings on pumpkin seeds. (Via Demilked)

Currently Trending

Stephen Aldrich

All_the_Worlds_A_Stage_2008

Stephen Aldrich carefully cuts woodcut prints, steel engravings, and other printed epehemra from the Victorian Age to create these sardonically surreal new vistas of the era. Yes, Garret, I like this because it’s Victorian!

He will be showing his work at NYC’s Foley Gallery from September 9- October 23.

Currently Trending

Disturbing and Sweet Paintings Look Like A Dark Alice In Wonderland

13905016356_fe6ef59d13_b13905019191_802b2aefd3_b113905019021_b71979a12c_b

The French digital painter Lostfish creates an uncomfortable yet irresistibly alluring landscape of feminine powers; her bashful, pink-cheeked subjects reign supreme, adorned in precious jewels and sparkling crowns. The artist’s characters are abuzz with their own fertility, as expressed by bouncing nude breasts and lush flowers that seem to spring up from underfoot; also pictured are rabbits and eggs, symbols art historically associated with breeding and copulation.

The artist, influenced in part by 19th century art, works within a Victorian sensibility, reveling in an innocent, doll-like vision of femininity; her subjects, pale skinned and with impossibly delicate figures, become queens, armed with crowns and tridents. Lostfish’s female characters also seem pious, divine even; a few wear dismembered hands as jewelry, reminiscent of religious icons like the hand of God or the hand of Fatima. White flowers with yellow centers, often symbolic of the Virgin Mary in Christian art, stand in the place of youthful, milky nipples.

Yet within Lostfish’s ethereal and seductive images, there seems to linger an ominous supernatural strength within womankind. Where the Victorian woman is domestic and obedient, Lostfish’s heroines roam like wood nymphs, emboldened by their own reproductive powers; in one image depicting a human fetus within a pink oval, a foreboding reptilian creature seems to invade the womb, its grotesque navel in full view. In one painting, doll faces emerge in a group of six from blood red roses, reminiscent of biblical devil. These tempting, enchanting women dress in excess, giving themselves over to material pleasures. In Lostfish’s gorgeous imaginings the female is both delicate and demure, ravenous and dangerous. Take a look. (via HiFructose)

Currently Trending

Kelly Nicolaisen’s Photographs Punch Color Into Everyday Life

San Francisco basked photographer Kelly Nicolaisen’s boldly colored images splash electric colors into everyday scenes and mundane situations. Creating quirky narratives that range from the playful to the absurd, Nicholaisen’s fresh takes on life create a sense of irony and humor by reversing the usual gestalt expectation that the figure is always at the foreground.

Currently Trending

Artist Of The Day: Hannu Karjalainen

Hannu Karjalainen’s photos of paint covered figures are absolutely amazing. I love how the paint takes on the texture and detail of the fabric and brings out every single stitch.

Currently Trending