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Zack Mclaughlin Transforms Wood And Paper Into Majestic, Wild Birds

Zack Mclaughlin - Wood, Paper, Mixed MediaZack Mclaughlin - Wood, Paper, Mixed MediaZack Mclaughlin - Wood, Paper, Mixed Media

Zack Mclaughlin - Wood, Paper, Mixed Media

From Goldfinches to Rooks, artist Zack Mclaughlin creates sculptures of birds made from wood and paper, along with other mixed media. He pulls inspiration from the natural world when constructing his incredibly realistic feathered friends. Feeling a connection with each one of his birds, this labor-intensive task takes patience and skill, as the artist uses paper, a very delicate material, to create such amazing detail. Using wood for the base or body of the birds, paper lends itself to the light, airy nature of feathers. Paper is even thin enough to let light through, much like real feathers. Each feathery texture is hand cut to perfection by Mclaughlin, down to the tiniest feather, which you can see balancing on the tip of a finger.

Mclaughlin began his bird making journey when he was in the process of creating a children’s book in which the story starred a boy and a bird. Although he is also an illustrator, he sculpted the bird character in the story to better visualize his concept. He enjoyed this process and working with the materials so much, that he went on to make a huge variety of these detailed, complex feathered beings. Mclaughlin’s malleable medium choices allow him to get creative in his process. He can use different kinds of paper while creating the birds, which is why one of his birds has wings made from book pages, displaying words on each feather. His birds range in color, size, and type, which include a large, white owl all the way down to a tiny hummingbird. Mclaughlin also constructs these bird beauties into lighting and even mobiles. You can find his majestic birds on his Esty page. (via Bored Panda)

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Danielle Lawrence’s Abstract Paintings Erupt Out Of Their Frame, Commenting on Patriarchal Structures And Its Restraints

Danielle Lawrence - Enamel and Wood

Danielle Lawrence - Enamel and Wood

Danielle Lawrence - Enamel and Wood

Danielle Lawrence - Enamel, Plastic, and Wood

It is always exciting and refreshing to see traditional art methods used in a whole new way. Artist Danielle Lawrence‘s fresh eye on contemporary art takes the conventional framed painting and transforms it into highly textural and sculptural work, taking it to another level. In her work, the frame is often still present, but the art inside it is spilling out, exploding from the frame that confines it. It is almost as if the paint has a life of its own, trying to escape from the cage and constraint we have given it. Lawrence explains that the frame is a symbol of patriarchal structures and restriction.

Lawrence’s non-representational painting method allows the colors to melt and drip, creating incredible movement in each piece. These colors appear bent, folded, and manipulated, creating organic forms. Each bright, glossy color erupting from each canvas and frame turns the typical two-dimensional painting into a more palpable, three-dimensional piece that reaches out at the viewer. Her artistic journey began while experimenting using trash as subject. Still pulling inspiration from found objects, the artist’s work often includes items from her studio, including plastic bags and bubble wrap. Lawrence’s take on form and material is both chaotic and structured, creating order out of an eclectic range of colors and media. She flawlessly creates a beautifully balanced mixture of classic painting methods with a new, contemporary approach.

She’s an avowed formalist with an eye to the street. Her works are lustrous and abject, smooth and sharp, blunt and sophisticated. While painting is clearly her passion, she makes promiscuous use of other media: sculpture, drawing, photography and video.

-Glen Helfand, ArtForum

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Joshua Hoffine Stages Frighteningly-Real Photos Of Lurking Monsters

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Photographer Joshua Hoffine is interested in the psychology of fear. His series of horror-centric images called After Dark, My Sweet, focus on what lurks behind us, underneath the bed, and below the stairs. Hoffine’s frightening, realistic-looks photos offer not only a compelling narrative, but are awe-inspiring in their craftsmanship and attention to detail. They look believable, making them even more scary. “I stage my photo shoots like small movies, with sets, costumes, elaborate props, fog machines, and special effects make-up,” Hoffine explains. “Everything is acted out live in front of the camera. I use friends and family members, including my own daughters, as actors and crew.

The photographer also writes about his fascination with horror:

We are all born with certain inherent and instinctual fears, such as fear of the dark, the fear of lurking danger, and the fear of being eaten. As we grow older these fears lose their intensity and are slowly shuffled away into our Unconscious.

Horror, as an art form, draws its strength from the Unconscious.

I believe that the Horror story is ultimately concerned with the imminence and randomness of death, and the implication that there is no certainty to existence. The experience of Horror resides in this confrontation with uncertainty. Horror tells us that our belief in security is delusional, and that the monsters are all around us.

 

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Alex Da Corte’s Installations Construct A Creepy, Life-Sized Dollhouse Haunted By Memories And Emotions

Alex Da Corte - Installation

Photo: John Bernardo, courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan, New York.

Alex Da Corte - Installation

Photo: John Bernardo, courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan, New York.

Alex Da Corte - Installation

Photo: John Bernardo, courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan, New York.

Alex Da Corte - Installation

Photo: John Bernardo, courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan, New York.

Alex Da Corte is a Philadelphia-based installation artist who recently created a “dollhouse” of fragmented memories and rainbow-colored horrors out of Luxembourg & Dayan‘s three-story townhouse in New York. Entitled “Die Hexe” (German for “The Witch”), Da Corte’s work guided the visitor on a hallucinogenic journey through a mash-up of absurdist cultural and historical imagery: a wooden rocking chair with overlapping backs; a section of Nicolas Poussin’s Midas and Bacchus beside a coffee shaped like a bondage-clad stripper; and a dove sitting atop a pair of goaltender masks reminiscent of Friday the 13th’s Jason.

The experience went something like this: a drain by Robert Gober was viewed through a peephole in the foyer. From there on, the visitor passed through a series of rooms and hallways filled with seemingly disconnected artifacts — from the mundane, to the absurd, to works of art by Haim Steinbach (who created the “framing devices”, or shelves) and Bjarne Melgaard (the stripper coffee table) (Source). The final room featured green tiles nauseatingly reminiscent of the place where Kurt Cobain shot himself. By overwhelming the visitor with strange imagery that haunts the imagination on an almost subconscious level, “Die Hexe” evoked a variety of emotions and sensations: fear, repulsion, delight, and desire.

Da Corte’s rooms drew on more personal memories, as well. As Luxembourg & Dayan’s press release reveals, “Die Hexe” included “a pantry smelling of spices and filled with anonymous products,” recalling the artist’s grandfathers, who both “worked along the food supply chain” (Source). Elsewhere, Da Corte has transferred childhood emotions into objects remindful of his grandmother’s house, including “craft-based décor such as woven rugs, quilt patterns, and wreathes.” Such intimate artifacts, when coupled with dislocated bits of cultural imagery, express identity as a patchwork, one that repeatedly falls apart and is sewn together again by memories and emotion.

While “Die Hexe” ended April 11th, you are not out of luck; Da Corte will be opening his first museum solo exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in March 2016. For more pictures and thoughts on “Die Hexe,” check out Hi-Fructose’s fascinating summary, as well as this insightful article on artnet News. (Via Hi-Fructose).

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Guda Koster’s Surreal Photos Of Existential Fashion

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Guda Koster - Photography

Guda Koster photo series turns fashion on its head, using prints and patterns to evoke both whimsy and existentialism. Her models’ faces are somehow always hidden, conveying a feeling of both freedom and suffocation. A bright palette with bold patterns are eye-catching but also an eyeful, a bombardment of the senses.

In an interview with Art Cart, Koster says, “In our everyday lives we communicate our identity and social position primarily by means of our clothing. Clothing can be seen as a visual art form that expresses the way we see ourselves and our relationship with the world around us.”
 
Some of her photos seem to recall the innocent days of playing dress-up as a child: In one, the model is truncated and swathed in black, topped by a bright red bow and set against a playful polka dot background. Others use fabrics that are reminiscent of corporate carpeting. Koster’s photos seem to be both an expression of self as well as the impact our environments can have on us, showing the ties that bind us well nigh literally.
The clothed human figure becomes an integral part of a space or environment,” Koster says. “I am inspired by daily life, but I exaggerate it or I give it a humorous twist.”

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The Drawings And Clothing Of Dinosaur Special Cassette Are Out Of This World

DSC Drawing fashionDSC Drawing fashionDSC Drawing fashionDSC Drawing fashion

The Artist Collective known as DSC or Dinosaur Special Cassette make some pretty neat stuff. Based out of the UK, it consists of two people who create drawings and garments. A colorful variation of ideas on instagram eventually show up in clothing lines for children and adults. These drawings stand alone in originality encompassing vibrant hue reminiscent of rainbows and youthful subject matter. They possess an amazing amount of original wonder and charm. They take a lot of influence from children’s textile patterns but with a tad more flavor. The narratives speak to Romare Bearden in collaged color and placement. It’s exciting to see people on social media drawing with such abandon. This is where you can see the best scribbles of DSC.

DSC’s clothing is sewn under the label Klushka. These are one of a kind pieces inspired by their fabulous drawings. One called “Critter Applique Jumper” is a blue smiling blob painted on top a pink sweatshirt made of newsprint patterned material. It combines early Sex Pistols never mind the bollocks with a funky collage effect. A collection of long tees or nighties with elaborately drawn prints of aliens and dollar signs are also offered. Those take reference from eighties artists like Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

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Fuco Ueda’s Surreal Paintings Of Skeleton Girls And Flaming Butterflies

Fuco Ueda - paintings Fuco Ueda - paintings Fuco Ueda - paintings Fuco Ueda - paintings

Japanese artist Fuco Ueda paints colorfully morbid pictures, full of sad and mysterious girls, glowing fauna and beautifully detailed flora. Ueda’s world is a quiet and magical one; a place where fireflies, bees and butterflies buzz and whirr past girls with long green hair and skeleton hands. Her characters are mischievous yet appear innocent; they are deceptive and deceitful, yet charming and magnetic. They seem like they are in a state of limbo – like they are making the transition from life to death, and are losing bodyparts along the way. The girls are usually surrounded by hitodama: balls of fire thought to be a spirit of the dead.

Ueda’s work is a dreamy look at the scope of human emotions. She shows great sympathy toward the human condition and wears her heart on her sleeve. The gallery that curated her latest show sums it up:

[She] portrays the feeling of loneliness that exists within dreams and reality through paintings of floating illusions. In her depiction of innocent female characters surrounded by natures bounty you get a glimpse of the “deep psyche of the human mind.” Despite bursting with intimacy, there are sounds you can almost hear but can’t and things you can almost grasp but are out of reach. (Source)

The exhibition that features Ueda’s latest work is curated by Gallery Kogure in Tokyo and is called Japanese Human Sensors. Showcasing four talented Japanese artists, the show is on at Jonathan Levine Gallery from April 4th until May 2nd. (Via Spoon Tamago)

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Sculptor Adrian Arleo’s Mystical Hybrids Foretell Change And Resist Loss In The Natural World

Adrian Arleo - Sculpture

“Branched Lives” (2008). Clay, glaze, wax encaustic, 11.5 x 13 x 6″.

Adrian Arleo - Sculpture

“Two Bas, Console and Consort” (2007). Clay, glaze, wax encaustic, approx. 23 x 32 x 9″ each.

Adrian Arleo - Sculpture

“Lion, Awareness Series” (2011). Clay, glaze, gold leaf, 20 x 27 x 12″.

Adrian Arleo - Sculpture

“The Dreamer Awakes” (2007). Clay, glaze, wax encaustic, 12.5 x 18 x 13″.

Adrian Arleo is a sculptor living near Missoula, Montana whose ceramic works hybridize the human figure with animal and environmental imagery. Among her creations are bodies pock-marked with honeycomb formations, people birthed from wasp nests, and animals whose skin ripple with human eyes. While there is a sadness and mystical darkness in some of her sculptures — the “Swallow Bust” hybrid, for example, seems suspended between life and death as birds inhabit her hollowed body — they also exhibit agelessness and awareness. Part of this can be attributed to the classical style of the sculptures, which is reminiscent of ancient Greek and Italian art. As Arleo writes on her About page: “By focussing on older, more mysterious ways of seeing the world, edges of consciousness and deeper levels of awareness suggest themselves” (Source).

Thematically, however, Arleo’s works draw their strength and knowledge from the cycles intrinsic to the natural world. As she explained in a 2012 chat with Ceramic Arts Daily:

“[M]y ideas come mainly through observation and curiosity, taking note of what’s around me: wasp nests, bird tracks in snow, the eyes in aspen tree bark, the limbs of trees, deer grazing in the fields, all these things are analogous to our own experiences with life cycles of birth and growth, reproduction and nurturing impulses, defense mechanisms, aging, death, decay. […] With the changing state of the world, I feel a greater and greater urgency to remember and express how we are all connected, all dependent on the same air, water, soil.” (Source).

As hybrids, the sculptures’ awareness of life, death, and the interconnectedness of all things is fused into their bodies. There is no distinction between what is solely “human” and “animal”; all worlds are represented in one. They remind us of our own material connections to the natural world, and how — through their sad, ancient expressions — the world is changing.

Not all of Arleo’s creations foretell this change passively, however. She expresses how her newer works are quietly unwilling to be reduced to extinction:

“[W]hen I finished this most recent body of work and looked for a feeling that encompassed it as a whole, I was struck by the concept of a harbinger: a dream, sign, or omen foreshadowing things to come. There is a quiet resistance, in this work, to the cultural and biological losses of our time” (Source).

In this way, we can read the sculptures as defiant, with their bodily hybridity signifying a memory of and connection to the natural world that will never be completely wiped away.

Visit Arleo’s website to view more of her work. You can read the rest of the article on Ceramic Arts Daily here. (Via I Need A Guide)

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