Building the world’s first glass snowboard. Watch more videos like this at HERE.
Lucy Hilmer is a photographer who has taken nude self portraits each year for the last 40 years of her life, on her birthday. She takes the photos wearing only underwear, socks, and shoes. The act of being naked, she says, is in defiance of the prescribed definition of beauty applied to her body. Being a woman with a slim figure and classically appealing features, she found she wanted to define herself through these photographs, rather than accept the definitions of others.
It seems counter-intuitive at first to remove your clothes in photographs in order to redefine how you are perceived. If you stand nearly naked in front of a camera in a relatively neutral pose, and you are “beautiful”, chances are you will just continue to look beautiful in that photo. Still, for Hilmer it isn’t really about how others perceive her, it is about how she perceives herself. She looks beautiful throughout, as she is pregnant, as she ages, in whatever setting she’s in, because she is comfortable in her skin.
The portraits are well composed and creative. In one, Hilmer’s arm imitates the shape of a large driftwood tree beside her. In another, the dynamic composition makes her pose beside her equally naked husband (facing backward) comic but also epic against the tall trees in the background. (Via Lost at E Minor)
Taking the idea of a dining table and adding a twist, Michael Beitz constructs some pretty amazing furniture. Instead of a flat surface he creates a friendly wave and some distance between the two sides. Normally dining tables are associated with friends, family and connection. Beitz’ work on the other hand is related to keeping a few feet away from the other person either through length or an obstruction in the middle. If it weren’t for the titles you might not know why the artist would make what he does except for aesthetic reasons. However, since he defines his sculptures we’re given clues as to why his work is made. The underlining current points to communication or lack of. Another is domestic space. “Not Now” is his latest table with a huge wave type loop in its center. It recalls roller coasters and skater loops. The construction itself is done with an old fashioned wood oak or mahogany. He documents the work with two people sitting on each end and visually defines its purpose. Other recent projects have been “Picnic Table” which takes the traditional picnic bench and turns it into a swirling dervish of wooden proportions. Another is “Knot” where instead of a table he creates a huge knot between two couches.
Beitz has documented some of his larger projects on video. These include folding, slapping and fan houses. (via ignant)
We have featured the work of Yago Hortal in the past (here). He continues to produce lush abstractions that pulsate with energy. In his newest series he takes the Impasto technique to the extreme. Massive gobs engulf his canvases. Tidal waves of color confront existing surfaces adding increased depth to his kinetic compositions.
Artists Mariana Fantich from Ukraine and Dominic Young from The UK have teamed up to create a collaboration known as Fantich & Young. Their latest project, Darwinian Voodoo, aims to merge two seemingly opposing bodies of thought, Darwin’s theory of evolution and the ceremonial ritual aspects associated with Voodoo, allowing them to indulge in a super-natural exploration. Through reappropriating and mimicking the aesthetic of ceremonial dress and placing it within the context of an evolutionary-based system, Fantich & Young allow themselves to create something that is no longer real nor super real, but entirely its own entity. They have manipulated the notion of a theological super-natural by shaping it to fit an aesthetic discourse of scientific truth, provoking a sort of mythical, yet superior lifestyle. The work is created from “symbolic ready-made materials…address[ing] parallels between social evolution and evolution in the natural world: Nature as model or nature as threat.” The work seems to simultaneously address that humans are, in fact, at the hands of nature, and that humans do, in fact, have the power to manipulate their own genetic fate. Perhaps aspects of contemporary life we do not associate with the “natural” world, i.e. social media and fashion, are actually a part of a modern day survival of the fittest.
They are branding their project as “a new pedigree lifestyle,” the collection itself being titled Apex Predator. The collection “features male and female ceremonial attire customised with human hair, bones and eyes. Collection includes shoes, accessories and perfume laden with thousands of dentures.” (Via designboom)
According to Ray Kurzweil, scientist & Singularity theorist, “We [as human beings] can ‘go beyond’ the ‘ordinary’ powers of the material world through the power of patterns . . . It’s through the emergent powers of the pattern that we transcend.”
Similarly, these concepts of materiality, patterns, technology, and transcendence haunt the mixed media paintings of Nick Gentry, who hails from the London street art scene and beyond.
As far as process goes, Gentry engages in what he calls a “social art project”, whereas people mail archaic technology (film negatives, floppy disks) to his studio/gallery to help build the base of his work. Instead of just relying on a pictorial image, Gentry allows the “history” and “variety of unique memories contained in used objects” to also serve as the subject of each piece. The result is reminiscent of 1990s Electronica and aches of a strange collective sense of contemporary loss.
Romanian artist Felix Deac creates hyper-realistic sculptures…sort of. His pieces covered in human-like skin are replete with moles, veins, blemishes, and hair. However, their form is anything but familiar. His sculptures are intentionally amorphic and anthropomorphic at the same time. In a way Deac encourages the viewer to contemplate the irrational situation in which a creature like this would be a possibility and how it came into existence.
What musings I have read by Peony Yip – aka The White Deer – express her true passion for drawing, something she has pursued, as she says, because it is the only thing she knows. The Hong Kong native of only 21 honestly asserts that she is no professional artist, instead describing herself as just a recent college graduate, broke, and looking to freelance a bit. Of course, the young woman can claim what she would like, but I think her talent is undeniable. Amateur or not, I have been loving her varied works. Take a look at some of her creations here, and maybe show this up-and-coming artist a bit of love after the jump.