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Century Old Antarctic Negatives Discovered And Restored By Conservationists

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In December, New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust released their discovery and restoration of photographic cellulose nitrate negatives that were clumped together in a box and found in expedition photographer Herbert Ponting’s darkroom in Captain Scott’s last expedition at Cape Evans. As part of the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project, the trust recovered 22 images from Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, including a striking image of Alexander Stevens, Shackleton’s Chief Scientist, standing aboard the Aurora, the expedition’s ship. Though many of the photographs are damaged and the identity of the photographer is unknown, landmarks around McMurdo Sound were recognizable to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

So far, more than 10,000 objects have been conserved at Captain Scott’s Cape Evans hut. Four years ago, the same conservation group discovered 3 crates of whiskey and 2 crates of brandy under Shackleton’s 1908 base. (via npr)

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Yoon Ji Seon’s Intricate Self Portraits Use Hanging Threads As Hair

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Artist Yoon Ji Seon crafts her collection of self-portraits by intricately stitching photographs with a sewing machine. It’s an ongoing series titled Rag Face, and her facial expressions change with every piece. While they appear to us as similar-looking individuals, Seon changes it up with different colors and hairstyles. Despite these idiosyncrasies, each portrait has the same features. Most notably, these are hanging threads that mimic hair or tattered rags. The multiple layers of colors and stitches give these works a painterly effect, as if they are gestural and loosely handled; Seon obscures her images by working with her materials in this way.

In 2015, the artist will have a show at the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York City. They describe the her underlying concepts:

By sewing the photograph, a second image is generated on the back that is both a reflection of the front and a completely new image. The two images, combined with the original photograph as a third representation, recall the Buddhist theory that an object exists in many forms and there is no true form. Yoon Ji Seon’s work addresses Buddhist ideology deeply rooted in contemporary Korean society and confronts issues such as plastic surgery and suppression of speech. (Via My Amp Goes to 11)

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Michael Coffey’s Furniture Is Fundamentally Functional Sculpture

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“I started as a furniture-maker, but eventually felt limited by conventional notions about what furniture was supposed to look like and how it should be built. I now approach my work fundamentally as sculpture, but likewise have resisted passing over the line into pure or nonfunctional form.” – Michael Coffey

According to Michael Coffey, design is not just about art. It’s also a form of “problem solving.” He sees commissions as creative collaboration– loving most when patrons desire something entirely new, more different than his previous work.

As far as process is concerned, Coffey begins with a small wooden model, then develops a design on paper with set dimensions. First cuts generally begin with the buzz of a chainsaw, followed by the use of smaller, more refined, cutters and discs. Part of the fun is figuring out which tools will service the work best.  Click on the video after the jump to see more of his work and philosophy.

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SITU wraps up Atticus Site!

SomethingIntheUniverse_AtticusBeautiful/Decay’s sister company, Something in The Universe, recently wrapped up re-vamping Los Angeles music-infuenced brand Atticus Clothing’s web site! SITU “riffed” off their loose, energetic rock-music vibe throughout the site, from page layout to fonts. Check it out!

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Andy Piedilato’s Visceral Paintings Of Shipwrecks Teeter On The Edge Of Abstraction

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Using abstract expressionism as muse, Brooklyn painter Andy Piedilato plays off visceral emotion. With unyielding imagination, he reaches a place between here and another, a type of painter’s purgatory, where ship wrecks float in brick shaped waves on huge panoramic canvases. Intertwined with vast metaphors, the ship motif was first inspired when a friend built his own boat. The idea stayed with Piedilato and he started thinking about how a handmade vessel would fare at sea. Soon he was painting parts of boats with a technique he had already acquired using bricks. This completely changed his purely abstract canvases.  Paintings that were once finished in a day were now taking a month to complete. Before, the focus was not so much on a thing but a moment. This produced dozens of messy works which concentrated on sole mark making.

Today, his painstakingly tedious process uses a technique which paints around hand taped sections of canvas, allowing the tiny brick shapes to form into pictures. The results are flatter and less heavily impastoed. There’s a translucency present, especially in two recent works called “Red Sail” and “Sea Snail.” Both over 10′ wide, they exude a Japanese scroll effect making them slightly more watercolorish. This might account for the large amount of white in the background, thus opening up a new path for Piedilato. His present state of mind, is that of an artist who’s been asked to paint ‘smaller’ by potential dealers to encourage more salability. His refusal has allowed the paintings to get bigger and weirder, adding more aura to his increasing cult hero status.

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Richard Sweeney’s Intricate Paper Sculptures Are Incredibly Made Without Glue

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Looking like a set of architecture models for a Gaudi building, Richard Sweeney‘s paper sculptures are organic, poetic, intricate, and mostly made without the aid of glue or tape. Taking his inspiration from the shapes and forms that occur in nature – like clouds, mounds of snow, he folds paper into beautiful geometric pieces. Not confined to working on a small scale, Sweeney also constructs wonderfully complex forms that hang from the ceiling to the floor.

He was recently part of a show called Above The Fold, and is a part of a group of talented modern day origami masters. Taking the ancient art of paper folding to a new level, Sweeney and his contemporaries are redefining the limits of what can be done with paper. Biological structures, and the essence of form and function are Sweeney’s inspirations. He talks to Design Museum more about what motivates and inspires him:

As I have mentioned, architecture is a great inspiration to me, but aside from the man-made, I am also inspired by natural forms. It is not so much the organic shapes, but the means by which they are generated that interests me. It makes great sense to borrow from elements from biological structures, as these forms demonstrate the pinnacle of material, structural and functional efficiency. (Source)

Like a true designer, Sweeney is giving the humble piece of paper new life and function. You can even attempt his paper folding technique at home by watching this short tutorial here. (Via Exhibition-ism)

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Nine Types Of Light By TV On The Radio

I finally got around to watching the epic video project by TV On The Radio and I have to say that it doesn’t disappoint. Nine Types of Light is as much an album as it is a movie by TV on the Radio. The movie is meant to be a visual re-imagining of the record, and includes a music video for every song on the album. The band personally asked their friends and the filmmakers they admired to help direct the music videos. Tunde Adebimpe, the director for the full Nine Types of Light movie, storybooked the music videos together with interviews from local New Yorkers on various topics, including dreams, love, fame and the future. Tunde also directed the music video for Forgotten. If that’s not enough my longtime pal and super talented art dude Nick Kuszyk co-created the video for Repetition. Watch the hour long video in its entirety after the jump.

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Lari Pittman

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The artist’s canvas is not just where the brush meets the surface. It is also a window into the artist’s mind. When viewing Lari Pittman’s work, the flashes of bright color and chaotic landscape of wild, yet calculated brush strokes, tantalize your eyes. You’re looking through the window of a genius. It always amazes me how people conceptualize abstract works such as this. Truly remarkable.

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