Micaela Lattanzio creates works of art that go beyond the traditional forms of photography. This collection, called “Frammentazioni,” shatters photos into bits and pieces, enabling Lattanzio to play with space and texture. Her mosaic-esque pieces contain a sort of kinetic energy, suggesting form and movement in a subtle way.
Like other types of art that use human features, it’s hard not to assign emotion to Lattanzio’s work. She literally uses human images as jig saw pieces, evoking a sort of psychological depth that could be read as anxious or even playful.
Some of Lattanzio’s works are use the various pieces of photographs as pixels, rearranging them around each other but maintaining some semblance of the original shape. Other pieces lace together long stripes, looking like the result of two inkjet printers communing (via Hi-Fructose)
David Emitt Adams beautifully captures the landscape of the Southwest on the surface of discarded tin cans along with other debris he finds in the desert. Growing up in Yuma, Arizona, he is no stranger to the desert and the objects inhabiting it. Adams explains that deserts, naturally being so barren, are often used as a dumping site for garbage. This is where he finds all of his materials, with some tin cans being up to four decades old. He combines classic and iconic Southwest imagery with the reality of the state of the land today. Although the present day desert still holds immense and vast beauty, it is not without the remnants of urban sprawl left behind.
Throughout history, the West has long been photographed and documented due to its breathtaking and often unbelievable, natural landscapes. Adams not only pays homage to this tradition, but to its traditional processes as well. Inspired by the history of photography, the process he uses was one of the first methods of photography invented. Adams chosen method of photography is not your everyday digital photograph. He uses a labor intensive process invented in the mid-19th century called “wet-plate collodion.” This complicated process not only takes time, but an impressive amount of skill. Adams’ technical talents are only matched by the creativity of his body of work. Each tin can’s rich, red patina is still intact as they bend and twist around their lids, which hold the delicate image of the desert. This series, Conversations with History, is just one of several series in which Adams uses this traditional method of photography to express his artistic vision.
Chinese artist Ye Hongxing tries to bridge the gap between the ideas of East and West; traditional and contemporary; spirituality and commercialization. She plays these different ideas off of each other in her new work called Prajñāpāramitā. This new piece is a reinterpretation of the traditional art form of a Mandala, but made from mass-produced plastic toys, beads and stickers. The title Prajñāpāramitā actually means the Buddhist concept of Perfection of (Transcendent) Wisdom, and is a fitting cynical commentary on just how bizarre our worlds have become, filled with shopping and consuming commodities and objects.
Hongxing’s stickers are otherwise seen as disposable and ephemeral objects—a comment on the disposable nature of contemporary culture. The sheer volume of the stickers echoes the overload of information that we are presented with on a daily basis. (Source)
Based in Beijing, Hongxing is frequently reacting to the ever-changing culture surrounding her, and the pace of which it happens. Using opposing traditions and systems to comment on each other, she draws our attention to our own actions. By methodically placing thousands of plastic, secular, pop-cultural, commercial objects down in a systemic fashion to build a spiritual motif, she brings two very different practices together in a head on collision. We are reminded of the Buddist traditions of meditation and repetition, but instead of being geared toward serenity and peace, this time it is in the name of glitz, glamor and garishness.
Hongxing’s other projects include fusing Chinese and Western artistic practices together – creating luscious oil paintings filled with decorative Chinese porcelain patterns; making marble sculptures of kitschy blow up animal balloons; and layering hundreds of glittery stickers on each other to form surreal, OTT interpretations of modern day life. (Via The Creator’s Project)
Javier Galindo, an artist of many talents, uses ready-made objects to create an interesting narrative that comments on possessions we value. By nature, humans are collectors. So much so, that we even have an entire T.V. series dedicated to this hoarder phenomenon. In Galindo’s series The Incomplete Tour, he creates objects that mimic, question, and alter keepsakes and mementos often collected by travelers and tourists. Specifically, he references “The Grand Tour,” a trip that many youth would take during the 18th century across Europe. The purpose of this journey was to gain knowledge of the Western world’s cultural history and to be exposed to its many treasures, such as classical antiquity. To preserve their memories, as we often do today, they would collect souvenirs. Galindo’s question is, what is this memento actually worth? It is by no means an original; it is just a fragment or a trace of what was experienced.
Influenced by classic antiquities, Galindo’s series transforms and skews these fractures of remembered treasures. The series is comprised of a wide variety of mediums including cast plaster and oil paint, as it also is included two-dimensional and three -dimensional works. Focusing on portraiture, the once traditional portraits and busts are now sliced and stacked, skewed by paint, or literally cut out of their frame. In a world where we are obsessed with documenting every moment through digital photos, it is interesting to see a reference to a time where the only way to keep the moment with you, was through collecting physical souvenirs. A photograph is like a still memory, a fragment of an event that can often warp the true memory. Just like a photograph, Galindo’s mementos are just fragments of the whole; they are hints of a narrative further skewed by Galindo’s artistic eye.
Han Xiao‘s portraits show people with garbled faces, expressing themselves with thick swirls of paint instead of a pleading frown. Citing Francis Bacon as a major influence, she channels her inspiration through the tangled emotions and shocks of color in her paintings.
“The major themes I pursue include life, conflict, confrontation of odd shapes in the social environment, and the contradiction behind the reality,” Xiao says. The contradiction she seeks to portray seems to come from within her subjects, their identities marred by some kind of disconnect between their inner and outer selves.
Xiao’s work has been described as having “a kind of loneliness and faint anxiety,” but the sense of violent desperation is offset by the fact that these people seem to want to be heard. The brushstrokes are frenetic and intense, but they are also trying to communicate something — ultimately, they are trying to connect. (via I Need a Guide)
American artist Robert Wechsler is a bit of a trickster. He takes everyday objects and transforms them into unexpected oddities and puzzling sights. He alters things and spaces, changing our understanding of the most understated and mundane item/place. His latest ‘practical joke’ Money was commissioned by The New Yorker and involves him cutting notches into different coins and slotting them together to look like atoms or complex cube shapes.
He has a fine sense of humor, and has practiced it extensively through previous projects. He has welded nine bikes together to create a giant carousel, re-plumbed a public drinking fountain that fooled thirsty members of the public, and instead of quenching their own thirst, watered nearby plants. Wechsler has also worked with currency before – he has cast a penny 30,000 times it’s size and replaced a manhole cover with it. He explains his motivations:
My focus is necessarily on the familiar. Comfortably accustomed to everyday objects and spaces, we are blind to their unseen beauty and elegance. Who looks at a shopping cart or a toaster for the object itself? This state of static expectations is fertile ground for surprise. It is a conscious re-examination of my subjects that re-instates the novel back into the familiar. This is the moment of surprise, the moment we discover what is unseen in what is always seen. In reverence for what initially appears modest we get a small glimpse of the boundless elegance of our world. (Source)
Adding another conceptual layer to the project, the Money series is exhibited on Cointemporary – the online gallery where you can purchase artworks with bitcoins. (Via Fubiz)
Jason Dussault is a Vancouver- and New York-based artist who uses the ancient medium of mosaics to recreate iconic images, many of which you will probably recall from your childhood. Among the shattered and beautifully arranged pieces — largely composed of ceramic, paint, grout, and resin — are the familiar visages of Batman, Thor, and the Hulk. Also depicted are important religious figures, including the Buddha and Jesus, as well as images of personal significance to Dussault; the hellhound “Fido,” for example, is a visualization of his inner, artistic strength. His masterful blending of colours and shapes create dimensional, intricate images that inspire both excitement and nostalgia.
In all of these works, Dussault has used the fractured and geometric power of the mosaic to manifest an “internal struggle,” a resistance against a world wherein magic has been stripped away by the realities of adulthood. By recreating memory-infused imagery from broken shards, Dussault’s craft serves as an active reclamation of “the magic, excitement, and hopefulness that stimulated his youth” (Source). Memory — and everything else that composes our emotional and physical lives — is fragile, but as Dussault shows us, it is never too late to recompose that which we think is broken or lost.
Dussault’s work is currently being featured in an exhibition entitled Deconstructive / Constructive at the Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery in New York, which is running until April 2, 2015. Visit his website for more examples of his work.
A person’s a person, no matter how small! Creating work under the name “Slinkachu,” this artist reminds us to pay attention to the little things in life in his miniature scenes. Photographed in London, Slinkachu constructs clever and irresistibly tiny scenes of people living their lives in the cracks of urban life. One small girl is swinging from a bent weed while other little people are diving off a Popsicle stick to swim in its melting juices. These photographs seem to capture a secret, pocket-sized world that exists right under our noses, reminding us to stop a while and take in our surroundings. This series also includes photographs of the little scenes in its real surroundings, giving it a sense of scale, revealing how small they really are.
These inch-high people are somewhat like the normal-sized urbanite, living in the shadows of tall buildings, just as Slinkachu’s people live in shadow. They are playing, swimming, and horseback riding in a concrete jungle, commenting on our own detachment from nature. However, this does not deter us from searching for it. We create our own nature in the form of city parks, just as Slinkachu’s playful little people find nature in a spilled soda pop, which they hop over like a pond. These hopeful scenes of miniature realities might criticize our separation from the natural world, but humorously point out our optimism and resourcefulness.
An exhibition of Slinkachu’s photographs titled Miniaturesque will be opening March 13th at Andipa Contemporary, located in London.