There is something intrinsically fascinating about seeing the ordinary created in new, surprising ways. Artist have long used this technique to make their viewer contemplate new connections and possibilities, and the internet has proven to be a particularly useful tool in spreading this type of work. South Korean artist Seon Ghi Bahk is an expert at this method. Using charcoal and other natural materials en masse to form familiar objects, Bahk reminds of us the connection between man-made goods and their source.
Bahk’s precision is absolute, meticulously hanging large groups of charcoal at specific heights to collectively echo architectural and building elements, such as stairs, columns, shelves and planters. Using translucent nylon thread to hang individual pieces gives each installation a floating quality, further separating them from their everyday inspiration.
In an interview with the Korean Art Museum’s Korean Artist Project, Bahk explains how he came to use charcoal in his installation work. “I first used stones as materials for the installations…but the supporting structure and installation became unnecessarily large and overwhelmed the stones so I replaced the stones with charcoal. Since I spent my childhood out in nature, I wanted to embrace natural things in my work. I found that my favorite things in nature were wind, mountains and trees. But it was difficult to express wind or mountains in my work, so I chose trees as an alternative, and charcoal comes derives from that…now I seek natural encounters between man and culture…I emphasize the materiality in its poetic shapes.”
Canadian photographer Hana Pesut’sSwitcheroo series of work examines how couples start to look and dress alike as their relationship progresses. The process is simple. Get dressed in the morning, show up, and then switch your entire outfit with your significant other and mimic their pose. The result is a humorous body of work that examines sexual politics, social identity, and how we express ourselves through our clothing.
New York based photographer Christopher Herwig travels the world documenting war torn countries for the United Nations. One of my favorites series on his site has to be the collection of Soviet Bus Stops. The scale, design, and variations of these architectural structures are both a mesmerizing and fascinating reminder of the diverse and historically rich population in the former Soviet Union.
Move Mountain is the latest stop-motion animation by Kirsten Lepore, a Los Angeles based director and animator. We’ve featured films by her before, and Lepore’s newest work does not disappoint. She describes the short film as “A girl journeys through a vibrant, pulsing, macrocosmic landscape, but a precipitous incident compels her to venture up a mountain in an attempt to save herself.” The story itself is a surreal tale, and at one point oscillates between dreams and reality. It also shows us that at any given time, we are at the mercy of our environment.
The film is Lepore’s Master’s thesis from California Institute of the Arts and took her two and half years to produce. The use of handcrafted characters and fully modeled sets is really impressive. With the current trend being slick-looking techniques, it’s nice to see evidence of the hand in this film. (Watch the behind the scenes video after the jump.)
In addition to Lepore’s own character designs, she’s enlisted the help of animator friends, including the likes of Julia Pott, Lizzy Klein, Ethan Clarke, and more. They make one of my favorite scenes in the film, which is an unexpected but welcome surprise.
Seattle based illustrator Stacey Rozich’s work is littered with vibrant tribal patterns and drawings based on folklore. She brings an animated, lively, modern perspective to stories of myth. Her pattern work and line work are nothing short of exhilarating, playing reference to southwestern art, and tribal marks.
I know this is a bit outside of what we usually post and I apologize for the cheesy type that’s on these photos but you have to admit that a stick figure tree is pretty amazing (get it? literally STICK figure!). Starting in 1986 Pooktre Tree Shapers has been making all sorts of amazing living tree sculptures, gradually shaping the trees over many years. Check out some of my favorite pieces from their site after the jump!
Jeremy Olson, an artist based in Brooklyn, New York, is interested in geometry and simultaneous perspective. Much like the canonical works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, Olson looks at portraits in a different manner; the intricate ways in which he chooses to scramble the geometric pieces that make up the sitter’s face, makes for a fun time. The viewer must intently figure out which pieces go where to make sense of the portrait as a whole.
Aside from his interest in geometry, Olson, also plays with traditional painterly portrait styles by using a hyperreal approach. By including all of these three elements [geometry, traditional and hyperreal portraiture], the artist breaks down the face into a spectrum of beauty that simultaneously makes for a violent yet charming visual. (via Ignant)