Romanian illustrator Aitch creates colorful images that are ripe with magentas, turquoises, electric yellows, and more. But, don’t let those bright pigments confuse you. While cheerful, there are some macabre moments that add an intriguing element to her detailed paintings.
Aitch is inspired by her travels, naturalistic illustrations, naive art, and folklore from around the world. You definitely get the sense of this through her series like The Garden of Good and Evil and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Both, as you might guess, are the retelling of stories – original sin and the C.S. Lewis tale, respectively – but through her own imagery and voice. Here, full-sized women with an array of unusual tattoos interact with the psychedelic landscape and a cast of fantastical creatures.
The same women appear throughout Aitch’s work in other series like Coffins. Here, it’s much like it sounds – we see decorative coffins, people buried underground, and a meditation on what happens after we’re gone. Her style lends itself to a more lighthearted, beautiful depiction of death and a return to nature where we’re wrapped up in gorgeous vines and flowers.
Meatwater, a line of 60 plus meat-inspired beverages and photographic prints, is currently showing at 303 Grand in Williamsburg but its depth may be best explored at Dinnerinabottle.com. Varieties like Italian Sausage, Tandoori Chicken and Wiener Schnitzel have received raves from beverage trade magazines (none of which found a press release with quotes from a “Governor Rose Selavy” suspect) and a writer for the LA Times described it as “the most disturbing thing I have seen on the internet in a month.”
Queries about the cost of an actual bottle are met with a winking “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it,” but for a lucky few who make it to the closing party Aug. 22nd at 303 Grand @ 7pm, tall glasses of Pork Dumpling may be on offer.
It would probably be prudent to begin by letting you know this whale is not real. Rather, the whale is a highly-detailed site-specific installation and the “scientists are actors organized and created by a Belgian collective known as Captain Boomer. The installation was on the banks of the river Thames and in conjunction with Greenwich + Docklands International Festival – an outdoor festival. The installation (which pops up on various river banks throughout Europe) stir up and disrupt entire communities just as real beached whales do. The collective sets out to educate communities on whale the beaching of whales and the larger issues tying humans to nature. Regarding viewers’ unique reaction to their installation, Captain Boomer describes:
“During our beachings, we see an intensive interaction among the crowd. People address each other, speculate and wonder. They offer help and ask for information. The different layers of perception create funny games. Some audience members know it is a work of art but feed the illusion to other people.”
In his latest exhibit, Iced Flowers, Makoto Azuma plays into a cryogenic aesthetic. The principle behind cryogenics is the study of material at sub zero temperatures. Azuma uses this theory to encase exotic bouquets in frozen water and photograph them in various stages of melting. The end result is nothing short of dazzling. Behind a solid block of ice, the flowers become even more alive (than dead), transforming into an army of alien creatures before our very eyes.
On his website, Azuma describes himself as “a flower artist” who has been working with unusual arrangements since 2005. During the course of a decade, he has run a haute couture floral shop in Tokyo, called “Jardins des Fleurs” and his own gallery. He currently operates a botanical research institute under his name. This is where all his present studies take place. An experiment he conducted last year, where he sent a rare bonsai tree into space is right up there with the frozen flowers.
A lot of people confuse the study of cryogenics with the science of cryonics. Both are related but the latter is specific to preserving human life in very low temperatures in accordance with other sciences, in order to prolong and continue good health until better technology comes along. It’s surprising that it hasn’t gotten more mention in recent years. Azuma’s petrified flowers are a type of cryogenics and example of his ability to create art out of a temporary chilled moment. (via mymodernmet.tumblr.com)
South Korean artist Lee Yun Hee creates narrative ceramic pieces inspired by literature and story telling. She uses both Western and Eastern influences, creating a style of her own that is striking, unique and undoubtably contemporary. Her work is fragile and flawless, almost creating an aura of effortlessness. She uses her work to reflect upon stories of everyday people; their struggles, fears, hopes, and anxieties. Yet, most importantly to her, she is truly interested in documenting their “cures” — the sort of “up from below” type stories that end with a protagonist who has had the strength and endurance to overcome a difficult task. For example, her piece La Divina Commedia, reinterprets the classic 14th century poem by Dante. In her version, she depicts a young girl’s search for truth. She explains the tale behind the piecein an interview with Brilliant 30. She states,
“there was once a girl that received an oracle, telling her future. The knowledge, the predestined desire and insecurity left her troubled. In search of happiness and peace, she embarked on a journey. Along the way, she encountered many obstacles; but at the end, she discovered the peace she has been striving for…By overcoming anxiety and suppressing desire, the girl reaches a state of ultimate peace.”
Her work acts as windows into her own version of a fairy tale; she is able to re-create morality stories within her own framework. She refers to her self as a collector— she takes influence from everything she sees. She explains, “I have been keen on collecting images since I was a child. I would rather cut out the pictures from cartoons than read them. Even the encyclopedia wasn’t safe. These processes have had more influence than anything else on my background as an artist.”
Lee Yun Hee’s work is mystical and fantastic. Though balancing modern, classic, Eastern, and Western styles, she has creating an epic body of art that is honest, profound, and truly unique.
Lernert & Sander embrace the urge for cosmetic overkill in Natural Beauty where they apply 365 layers (1 years worth) of makeup in one day to see how much is needed to go from a natural look to an outrageous one. Makeup artist Ferry van der Nat and his assistant Vanessa Chan helped to execute the vision, slathering a host of Ellis Faas products on Belgian beauty Hannelore Knuts, who was recently named the new face of Swiss fashion house Akris. Lernert & Sander began collaborating in 2006; since then they’ve done everything from melt a chocolate bunny with a hairdryer to repurpose household appliances as sex toys in the name of video art.
The artwork of Justin Bryan Nelson has this folk-like quality with minimum colors and symbolic imagery that not much is needed in the drawings to appreciate its symbolic and rather mysterious illustration. What I like about them, it’s just how delicately done the pencil and ink marks are on the illustrations but also how the artwork revolves around one main subject, without cluttering the audience.
Sam Alive is a New York city-based photographer who has truly aced the digital lens of an iPhone. His project “Through the Phone” features stunning landscapes, urban cityscapes and natural sceneries all captured with a mobile camera.
The key to Sam’s work is the juxtaposition between the sharp and detailed view presented on the mobile screen and the blurry unrecognizable background behind it. To mock the late influx of smartphones in our lives, artist takes these wide breathtaking vistas of sea shores, valleys and skyscrapers, and crams them into a tiny 4-inch display. Thus, limiting the viewer’s vision and making a good point about the change in our perception.
“Life is like an adventure, because you never know what is going to happen next; you only have one life, all we can do until we die is live everyday to the best of our ability. As long as I am still alive, I will continue to take pictures everyday of my life.”
Sam started his project “Through the Phone” two years ago and already had a chance to travel and take photographs all over Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, San Francisco and New York. In his Tumblr blog, he promises to keep on traveling and updating his project with more captivating shots through the phone. (via designboom)