Wookjae Maeng is a Korean artist who works with ceramics, focusing on the relationships between man and animal. The ghostly pieces often resemble commemorative busts or mounted heads reminiscent of big game trophies (the kind you’d seen in a hunter’s den). Sometimes, works are painted to blend in with wall treatments or trendy decor.
“I concentrate on art as a vehicle to communicate contemporary social and environmental problems to the viewer by stimulating, not just emotion, but sensibilities and memories,” Maeng writes. Stimulus is an important idea, and it’s used to evoke the viewer’s curiosity and to inspire them to figure the greater meaning of the work.
Maeng also explains why he chose to feature animals in his sculptures:
In our environment, numerous creatures live in harmony. Yet there are other creatures that merely exist without enjoying their natural right due to human classification and negligence. I would like to express the nature of the relationship between human and other creatures-a relationship that, in other to thrive, demands careful coexistence and balance between the urban and the natural, for example, and an awareness and empathy for less visible creatures. In my work I hope to provide an opportunity-however brief-for modern man to consider the realities of the environment in which he exists, even as he continues his daily existence indifferent to it. (Via Optically Addicted)
Spring is in full bloom in the work of Anne Ten Donkelaar, as she breathes new life into fragile shards of flora. Using photos of flowers, she collages together lush bouquets of plants in combinations that are unlike any you may find in the wild. Each bloom and root this Netherland based artist creates is mismatched with another. She even combines black and white nature photography with color, creating a striking affect. Donkelaar’s emphasis of the faint, subtle lines of the roots and stems moving through the composition beautifully compliment the flourishing flora. Her magical specimens are delicate and ethereal, as they seem to float in their frame. In fact, her work is suspended above the background by small pins, casting a contrasting shadow behind it.
“Weeds become poetry, each unique twig gets attention, nature seems to float.”
Donkelaar’s work shows off an eclectic assortment of plant types, as she displays cactus, succulents, and fungi amongst the layers and layers of wildflowers. The large variety of hue and color combined with the widely diverse nature in her work creates overwhelming visual detail and beauty that will have you searching through every leaf and pedal. The artist treats each piece with such love as to show the faint detail of each small bud that transforms and evolves into a new and thriving creation.
“By protecting these precious pieces under glass, I give the objects a second life and hope to inspire people to make up their own stories about them.”
Chad Wys is an artist, designer, and writer from Illinois. Inspired by postmodern thought, Wys’ works examine the reproduction of the image, and the way plural images—as superficial iterations of an original object—operate on us to suggest a sense of meaning and worth.
This theoretical approach is brilliantly exemplified in Wys’ Readymades series, featured here. The Readymades consist of found busts and ceramics that Wys has adorned with eye-popping colors, bold gradients, and silvery tears. By re-contextualizing objects of “antiquity” with garish, modern color schemes, Wys compels the viewer to contemplate their feelings and values in relation to such objects. He explains further on his website:
“By retooling the object and then re-presenting it for the viewer I intend to elaborate on the conversation that takes place between the observer and the reproduction in its ‘initial’ state. Through the reclamation and manipulation of these objects I mean to acknowledge, to underscore, that our possessions can, and often do, manipulate us.” (Source)
Wys observes how, as markers of class and income, art pieces and knickknacks signify arbitrary measures of personal worth. By “disfiguring” the cherished objects, Wys produces a visual, mental disparity that deconstructs their value; the clownish colors show the tenuousness of their “high status.” While subversive in intent, the finished Readymades are curious and beautiful art pieces in and of themselves, at once celebrating and critiquing contemporary art practices and embracing imperfection. The ultimate significance of the works, however, is the viewer’s cognitive responsibility; as Wys states, they are “meant to mean different things to different people who are at different stages of understanding” (Source).
The illustrations of Ville Savimaa are smooth. The soft curves and soft colors combine to produce dreamy scenes. He fuses elements of nature, animals, people, and fashion, to complete very complex compositions that are not overly busy. Savimaa begins his pieces in pencil and completes them digitally. His clean and fluid style as an illustrator has won him several high profile clients including Adidas, Disney, Nokia, and Sony.
Everyone is looking for their 15 minutes of fame. We throw caution to the wind, risk our financial stability, and in the case of Ani K from Kerala, India even put our health at risk in the pursuit of artistic fame and glory. Ani K paints with his tongue. He must paint with water based paints right? Wrong! Mr. K had the brilliant idea to paint with oil paint using his tongue after he was inspired by an artist who painted with his foot. At first Ani tried using his nose but soon discovered that someone had beat him to the punch. So out with the nose and in with the tongue. “I thought of giving my tongue a try and succeeded,” he says. “Many newspapers reported it. I got a good response. Then, I made it a regular practice.”
Now I can’t tell you how dangerous and deadly it is to paint with oils with your tongue and I’m guessing Ani K didn’t read The Artist’s Handbook of Materials And Techniques. Do not try this at home folks. This will cause severe brain and nerve damage and will make you die. Unfortunately Ani K doesn’t seem to care since he’s getting lots of attention in the press. Just goes to show how desperate we all are to feel a few moments of appreciation and success. (via oddity central)
Martin Heuwold (aka MEGX) of Wuppertal, Germany makes public art installations and murals. Heuwold created “Lego-Brücke”, or “Lego Bridge”- literally a functional bridge in Wuppertal made to look like giant lego blocks. The piece took 4 weeks to complete. It’s funny how really simple ideas like “Lego Bridge” actually have a really huge impact on our public spaces. Life becomes a little more pleasant when people take ownership of their daily environments and build stronger connections to their cities. All it takes is just a small, personal interest.
Since early cinema, The Bronson Caves in Los Angeles have been used as a film location, appearing in Science Fiction (“Invasion Of The Body Snatchers“) and western movies (“The Searcher“) and many television shows.
Photographer Brice Bischoff used the caves once again as a stage set for his series Bronson Caves, creating technicolor ghosts created with colored paper and long exposures. Make sure to Visit Brice’s blog to see some film stills of the caves in various movies from 1932 to present.
Non-Format is a design studio/team based in Oslo, Norway and Minneapolis, Minnesota. With a constant “oh-wow” factor, their work twists the grain of smooth minimalistic elements against profoundly detailed explosions in typography, photography, and concept.