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brian tolle’s Soft Houses

Brian Tolle’s soft silicone sculptures of mass produced houses are juxtaposed with a variety of found objects resulting in hilarious juxtapositions and unusually delightful pairings.

 

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Markus Åkesson’s Oil Paintings Quietly Meditate on Death

Moody, slightly surreal paintings from Swedish artist Markus Åkesson. Åkesson’s works touch on the quiet, interior relationship we have with death. But the artist doesn’t present death as the scary, violent experience that so many make it out to be, but as a peaceful, very natural phenomenon. And his use of animals and children works really nicely to heighten this impression. Åkesson is currently exhibiting work at the VIDA museum in Borgholm. (via)

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Hot And Bothered Duo Raw Take A Shot At World Domination

duo raw performanceduo raw performance

A couple from Sweden known as Duo Raw, exploit personas made famous by 80’s club kids. They spin us ’round in custom made duds large enough to fit a team of linebackers, channeling long forgotten diva bands once called Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Dead Or Alive. The reason? World domination. And it might just work if no one’s looking. In case you’re wondering, they perform songs, make clothes and throw parties. Does anyone remember Milli Vanilli? Except today, nobody would even care if someone lip synched to a vocal track. In fact, it would probably be considered karaoke cool and in line with Guitar Hero 3. If I dare say so, neither of these two gentleman seem to know anything about playing an instrument. It’s all about the clothes, hair and makeup. Still, going by gender bender rules, they possess all the elements of a cool gimmick; two men, over six feet tall, in Baby Metal gear performing electro-pop. The two videos out, are further vehicles to Raw’s fabulousness. “Pony” indulges in an array of costume changes, surrounding a sex slave. While “Hunger” spotlights Maja Gullstrand, an accomplished swedish jazz singer, playing a diva. Duo Raw, stand by drooling…on each other. It’s a funny notion when night creatures are brought into the garish light of day. All the wonderful things that are shadowed in camera obscura become weakened by the stark tones of reality. (via Juxtapoz)

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Kai Sekimachi’s Delicate Bowls Made Of Leaf Skeletons Can Take A Pounding

Kai Sekimachi - leaf bowls Kai Sekimachi - leaf bowls Kai Sekimachi - leaf bowls

Kai Sekimachi - leaf bowls

Although she is more known for her weaving and looming, artist Kai Sekimachi has shown she can branch out into other areas of expression with her impressive bowls made from leaves. Defying the very nature of the materials she works with, Sekimachi has come up with a way to make a flimsy leaf into a structure that can support heavier objects. By adding Kozo paper, watercolor and Krylon coating to the leaves, she is able to turn a skeletal transparent leaf into something that isn’t those things at all.

Having written numerous books on arts and crafts with her husband, Bob Stocksdale, she is an expert on many areas of handmade items and objects. The pair’s practices are both anchored in nature, and show their extensive knowledge as pioneers of American Craft.

Sekimachi creates distinctive pieces from natural materials such as linen, decaying leaves, shells, and grass, and pairs them with nature inspired motifs. (Source)

Sekimachi is not afraid to try her hand at new things, and proves repeatedly that she is a fast learner. After seeing a group of students weaving at the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1949, where she was also enrolled, the very next day, the curious artist spent all of her savings on a loom of her own. She then went and perfected her craft over the next few years.

The influential couple will be having an exhibition at the Bellevue Arts Museum titled In The Realm Of Nature from July 3 to October 18 in Washington. (Via Bored Panda)

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Shara Hughes

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Brightly colored paintings that contain rainbows and taxidermied indoor bear fountains are always good in my books. I like Shara Hughes‘ works for their subtly ironic & clever references to painting & performance and artifice.

 

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Nicholas Robinson Gallery presents Wei Dong

Nicholas Robinson Gallery is pleased to present its first exhibition of paintings by Wei Dong.

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Jane South

Untitled (Tower), 2009, paper, ink & acrylic with cut wall, 3' dia x 10" deep, all images via Jane South

Untitled (Tower), 2009, paper, ink & acrylic with cut wall, 3' dia x 10" deep, all images via Jane South

Jane South‘s architectural paper constructions has had a firm place in my heart since I encountered her show at Whitney Altria a few years back. I was drawn to the hand cut and crafted composition, the obsessive repetition, and the illusionistic moire patterns that make up these layered industrial constructions. In a recent show at Spencer Brownstone one monumental free standing sculpture greets us with a dizzingly array of perspective, giving the viewer freedom to enter its inside and marvel at its surprising silence and delicacy.

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Poetry Comics About Love And Loss

Bianca Stone - IllustrationBianca Stone - IllustrationBianca Stone - Illustration

Bianca Stone’s poetry comics are funny, raw, and endearingly sad. Because You Love You Come Apart, her latest collection of surreal illustrations are born from and combined with her own original poetry, published by Factory Hollow, an indie press out of Hadley, MA.

Stone’s blunt tethering between youth and adulthood travels by waves of sorrow and astute blitheness into our darkest nights. For instance, her lines of poetry range from “The crazy, absent fathers, all breaking wind in a fire” to “but this is also your life made with your clumsy hands” and merge with a messy scratch of passionate drawings to gutturally expose a ripcord above our own tired hearts. With each image/text juxtaposition, the need to tug grows harder and tougher, encouraging more half-wounded narratives to release.

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