Austrian-born artist Alois Kronschlaeger creates work that exists at the intersection of art and architecture. He is interested in environment and light, and in exploring time and space via geometry. Often referring to his works as “architectural interventions,” Kronschlaeger is fascinated by the way viewers rearrange themselves within a space occupied by one of his interventions.
At times Kronschlaeger’s work feels surreal, as with Habitat, a large-scale installation in the Mammal Hall of the former Grand Rapids Public Museum. For Site:Lab 2012 Kronschlaeger created what he called “a very awkward imagery of juxtaposition.” He took the existing landscape of 27 habitat dioramas built in the mid-20th century and incorporated contemporary architectural interventions. The impact of the combination of the organic and the geometric was strange and disorienting. A viewer wonders about what is real and unreal, an inquiry that requires the him to further analyze his experience.
At other times Kronschlaeger’s work feels like pure science fiction, as with Spire, the massive installation he did for Site:Lab in 2011. For this work Kronschlaeger’s installation occupied three floors of an abandoned commercial building in downtown Grand Rapids. The work took over six weeks to create and the finished project was a grand demonstration of Kronschlaeger’s interest in environment, light and the ways new materials can revive and transform a space.
Kronschlaeger furthers his inquiries in his less dramatic works as well, such as his skylights, wall pieces and smaller sculptures, which I am particularly drawn to. This fall he will finish a large work at MOCA Tuscon (see video below), and will then head to Beijing where he will create another site-specific structure.
At first glance, the artwork of Alexandra Bastien appears to be photographs of a nude woman with a variety of skulls. However, the artist unbelievably renders her hyper-realistic drawings from layer upon layers of color pencil. Bastien’s astonishing ability to create such incredibly detailed drawings allows her to beautifully show the human body in a state of transition. The heavy symbolism that has long been attached to the skull in art history represents death. Bastien illustrates this concept in contrast to the soft, warm body of the nude woman. The women in her work are holding the skulls, embracing whatever darkness they may bring. In one drawing, both skull and human have even merged together in perfect balance. This balance of life and death is shown in a state of transition and transformation, exploring themes of rebirth and the afterlife. Seeing the many different skulls amongst a human in its natural state may be reminiscent to human origins and ancestry.
Bastien’s incredible, artistic skill and talent can be seen in this photorealistic series titled Taming the Beast. She finds inspiration in her natural fascination with the human body and form. The accomplishments of this Canadian artist are just as impressive as her skill. Her work has been included in several publications and magazines as well as been exhibited all over the world.
Scott Carter creates site specific installations in which all of the objects are constructed from the surrounding walls and floors. “Scott Carter is influenced by the experience of living amongst mass produced materials, spaces and objects that are inherent in contemporary architecture and design. His work manifests as immersive installations and interactive objects that facilitate subtle shifts in value and attempt to redefine utility in relation to everyday experiences. His practice parallels contemporary discourse in art, design, architecture and sound. In short, Carter’s process is undoubtedly unique: upon entering the exhibition space, Carter’s methods are both performative and sculptural: he reshapes the contemporary gallery space by literally excavating sections of the gallery drywall (or floor) and reconstructing a new sculpture or installation from those pieces. Carter’s work is derived from a tactile sense for materials. Through the process of examining materials and their function, he attempts to assert alternate meaning in the built environment and through this act, reveals subtle idiosyncrasies that coincide with the physicality of domestic life. These interventions, ultimately, amount to concise, playful and creative critiques of the way we experience space and the items that inhabit them.” (via)
Using salvaged materials Boston based artist collective !ND!V!DUALS create sculptural installations occupied by large-scale or life-size characters and creatures that are influenced by 1990’s cartoons, animations, and film set designs. Creatures and anthropomorphic beasts have been the focus of work as well as an interest in creating environments and transformative art experiences. The narratives are fairly open, but encourage viewers to be transported into the world of there humorous and playful sculptures. (via)
Lets Phantom are two designers from Lithuania who apparently animate and direct for food (& money). They’ve just directed their first music video for the crazy Lithuanian electro,noise,hiphop,etc..etc.. band Metal On Metal. Kind of gnarly!
Emerald Rose Whipple captures innocent moments and transforms them into large-scale oil paintings. The result is a modern dream-like landscape reminiscent of Monet’s Impressionism. The subjects are the artist’s friends and models she knows from her former career in fashion. The loose strokes applied to the color scheme chosen by the artist create a tie and dye effect around the portraits, creating an eerie atmosphere.
Looking like photographies, the pixel paintings combine the aesthetic of classical 19th century paintings with modern snapshots taken by an smartphone. The purpose of Emerald Rose Whipple is to stay away from any medium that’s disposable. To perceive and project the essence of each individual on a canvas is an intense process requiring the artist to meditate before a painting session. She doesn’t want to inject any negativity into her work as it would translate immediately.
She is inviting the viewer into a world of reverie and to let go of any misconception. Obsessed with the painter Balthus and especially with the painting Thérèse Dreamingrepresenting a young lady sitting in a nonchalant pose, she is fascinated by the original non sexual intention of the painter. She is suggesting that the viewers, when looking at her artwork, disconnect from their reality to dive into the reality of her paintings; reflecting from far and coming up with their own interpretation and visualizing natural beauty.