I’m completely blown away by the illustrations of Finland based Riikka Sormunen. Her delicate lines, amazing earthy color schemes, and dense patterning make me want to stare at these forever. I also love the subtle influence of Japanese woodblock prints that comes through in some of the works. (via)
If you have ever adopted an animal, then Jaime Toh’s SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) “Costume” campaign is sure to tug at your heart strings. Accompanied by the tagline, “Don’t put pedigree above personality,” the advertisements urge people to consider adopting animals in desperate need of a home rather being focused on finding a specific breed (that most likely comes from a breeder). In each image, we see a SPCA animal underneath the coat of a cat or dog with a higher pedigree. In a slightly morbid way, they wear their outsides as a suit, complete with zippers that behead their hosts.
Toh’s images feature smiling, happy dogs with cats do not look as entertained (I’m not surprised). Every animal looks more disheveled than its costume as he plays up the physical differences between shelter and a purebred/adopted pet. But, by visually shedding their outsides, it conveys the concept that when choosing a pet, personality outweighs looks. (Via InspireFirst)
Swiss artist Fabian Bürgy is a master of deception and trickery. His practice combines installation, sculpture and digital imagery. By subtly and playfully manipulating mundane objects and the space they are in, he creates beautifully surreal situations. Bürgy is inspired by the most mundane of things – from chairs and suicide belts to tire marks, holes, ladders, nails and even dog tails, and he changes the way in which they are used. He has the power to fool our eyes and make us look twice at what we are seeing.
In Bürgy’s hands, an empty gallery space will now have a black hole disappearing through the floor. He will place some black dust in the corner of a room in such a clever way it will look like the wall is bending strangely or lifting up from the corner. Or he will boldly put a ‘crack’ in the floor like an earthquake had ruined the expensive gallery floor the day before and no one noticed. His work is understated, minimalistic, poetic and striking. He transforms, misplaces, and destroys the things we see around us everyday.
A personal favorite work of his has to be ‘A lonely and misplaced black cloud floating in space‘. It’s a beautiful combination of elegance, melancholy and stillness. There is a tension in his work, or a feeling of being unsettled, but the feeling is not so uncomfortable it can’t be enjoyed. Bürgy is able to straddle many contradictions – stillness and movement; familiarity and strangeness; function and non function; real and virtual. He is a clever sculptor who fully understands the words ‘concept’ and ‘art’.
In 2010, Gemma Green-Hope’s grandmother died; scanning a flimsy memorial service program, the illustrator desired a more intimate way to remember her grandmother. After inheriting her beloved relative’s old possessions, she animated them in search of traces of permanence left behind by a mortal soul. In this stop-motion video, titled Gan Gan, viewers see an entire life literally flash before our eyes; both mundane and exquisite objects are transformed into momento mori, as if we ourselves were at the moment of our death.
The whimsical, nostalgic animation elegantly draws upon literary and artistic themes of womanhood, so that in the wake of Gan Gan’s passing, a fertile, creative and distinctly feminine presence remains unharmed. Green-Hope recites the “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” hymn, a poem associated both with funerals and the sea. The sea remains a theme throughout the entire short film, and bodies of water are often seen as female, powerful, penetrable yet containing mysterious depths. The countryside, fairies, and the hearth—all iconographically seen as the woman—skip mirthfully in and out of the video. Left with the shot a books written about the sea, pulsating like waves, viewers are encouraged to see the matrilineal thread as something permanent and endlessly magical.
For Green-Hope, the cosmic and the personal are intertwined; amidst religious and natural icons, we see photographs that are poignantly unique to the deceased. Similarly, we are told in Gree-Hope’s sing-song voice specific things like “she rode a blue bicycle” and “she once shot a spider.” Unlike the mortal life, this video can be played over and over, forever preserving a memory that might otherwise fade away. (via Colossal)
Kazuhiro Tsuji creates hyperrealist large portraits of celebrities, artists and presidents. His career in Hollywood as a special effect make-up artist has taught him how to transpose fictional features on human faces. He is now entering the art world and leaving his imagination to guide his creations.
The sculptures are 8 times larger than a human head. Made out of resin and platinum silicone, they offer close to real details; such as pores, lashes, hair and wrinkles. Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Dick Smith and Abraham Lincoln appear as if they were going to start moving. When looking at the faces, we cannot consider that the celebrity represented could have existed differently.
The sculptures have an underlying process and are not just depicting a person. Kazuhiro Tsuji manipulates the feeling of empathy. He uses the neutral expression of his characters to entice the viewer and connect with his curiosity; wanting to create a dialogue between the public and the sculpture. According to him, different sets of mood can hide behind a poised look. The sculptures have the ability to invite us to go behind the mask. A step the artist is urging us to take. (Via Illusion Scene 360)
Stephanie Tillman‘s designs match a subject, often an animal or two, with a matter-of-fact line of text. She applies the imagery to postcards and prints, but the embroideries are the most successful in capturing a sense of earnestness behind them. All handmade by the artist herself, each piece is permanently glued to a flexihoop — such a great touch as a frame — and finished with fabric to hide the stitching on the back. Available through her Etsy store.