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Takeshi Haguri Sculpts Beautifully Detailed And Tattooed Characters From Traditional Japanese Art

"Chojun (Zhang Shun)," from Kuniyoshi Utagawa's "Zhang Shun in the White Streak of Waves" - from the 108 Heroes of the Suikoden (2014).

“Chojun (Zhang Shun),” from Kuniyoshi Utagawa’s “Zhang Shun in the White Streak of Waves” – from the 108 Heroes of the Suikoden (2014).

Otokogi (Chivalry) - from a Matsuri (festival) (2013).

Otokogi (Chivalry), from a Matsuri (festival) (2013).

Otokogi (Chivalry) - from a Matsuri (festival) (2013).

Otokogi (Chivalry), from a Matsuri (festival) (2013).

"Kaosho (Tattooed Priest)," from Kuniyoshi Utagawa's "Lu Zhishen, the Tattooed Priest" - from the 108 Heroes of the Suikoden (2014).

“Kaosho (Tattooed Priest),” from Kuniyoshi Utagawa’s “Lu Zhishen, the Tattooed Priest” – from the 108 Heroes of the Suikoden (2014).

Takeshi Haguri is an artist from Nagoya, Japan, who creates incredibly detailed wooden sculptures of traditional figures from Japanese art and culture. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Haguri created series of works depicting musicians, “Yankees” (delinquent Japanese youth), and melancholic outlaws. His more recent works, featured here, are modeled after traditional prints from Edo-period (1603-1868) Japan, such as Toyokuni Utagawa’s “Kauraiya: Portrait of an Actor on Stage” and Kuniyoshi Utagawa’s “Lu Zhishen, the Tattooed Priest” from the 108 Heroes of the Suikoden. In a current series titled Otokogi (meaning “chivalry”), Haguri features a cast of men wearing fundoshi (undergarments) while standing proudly and wearing masks of traditional creatures and characters, such as the long-nosed tengu and clownish Hyottoko.

Several of Haguri’s works are covered in beautifully painted tattoos in the style of traditional Japanese art: dragons coil around torsos, koi fish arch over shoulder blades, and sakura bloom across arms and legs. Created by Haguri’s apprentice, Miki Nagasaki, the tattoos signify an interesting reversal of 2D and 3D art; instead of woodblock prints on flat surfaces, Haguri’s wooden sculptures transform the traditional images onto dynamic, wooden “bodies.” Drawn from the rich archives of art, myth, and cultural memory, these characters (and their tattoos) can be viewed and appreciated from all angles. By exploring tradition through a different medium, Haguri reinvests age-old images and artistic practices with his beautiful and contemporary style. (Via Sweet Station)

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A Neighborhood Tree Filled With Lit Chandeliers

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Chandelier Tree from Colin Kennedy on Vimeo.

While finishing up a job in set building, make-up artist/photographer/designer Adam Tenebaum was given three chandeliers by the client.  Finding the chandeliers were to large for his house he naturally hung them in the tree outside.  Having a contracting license, Tenenbaum was easily able to light them.  Many chandeliers later the tree is now coin operating allowing passersby to enjoy the warm light (and partially offset a very large electric bill).  After passing the Chandelier Tree for some time Filmmaker Colin Kennedy decided to contact Tenenbaum and film a documentary about the neighborhood project.

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Design Watch: Loll Designs

When I close my eyes and dream of outdoor furniture, I see visions of Loll’s cheery Vang Chairs, or whiling away the hours in their rocking Racer Chair , or napping in the shade on a 405 Chaise. Loll’s furniture has a strong architectural presence while remaining friendly and homey. See more after the jump.

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Ray Young Chu’s Cat Cereal

Ray Young Chu makes beautifully detailed paintings that don’t take themselves too seriously. Cute animals and laughter are always a good mix in my book.

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Good Morning Monday

good morning monday

Is it me or is this gif by Mark Portillo a perfect way to start the week?

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Liz Insogna’s Afterlife

Liz Insogna‘s Afterlife draws from Greek mythology surrounding the realm of Hades. Two bodies of water, Lethe and the Pool of Memory, offer dead souls a couple of options in how they want to handle their past life’s memories when reincarnated. Common souls flocked to Lethe to wipe the slate clean. For those who resisted the temptation of Lethe and convinced the guards to let them pass, the Pool of Memory promised knowledge of past lives as well as the future well into your new life.
It’s a rich territory that Liz Insogna explores with dream-like watercolors and oils, lingering, swirling and fading near subjects that seem despondent.

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Alika Cooper’s Dark, Alluring Patchwork Fabric Portraiture

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“Using a set of impossible perspectives, I try to make the perspectives possible again.” – Alika Cooper

Using additive layering techniques, Los Angeles-based artist Alika Cooper builds up fragmented portraits taken by some of the most famous fashion photographers of the last century. She dissects and rebuilds moments where women have been placed on the other end of the camera. The works simultaneously point to and slightly alter or break down the  photographic work of Helmut Newton, Lisette Model, Umbo (Otto Umbehr) and Man Ray. Cooper deftly navigates the line between beauty and intrigue, often shifting the original composition’s angles and direction into an abstraction that bears a small imprint of the woman represented. The figures are no longer passive, but become slightly heavier and more foreboding when rendered in textile—with the gentle patterning of the fabric’s natural weft and weave bringing a grounded physicality to these works.

The material itself is an interesting choice for a figurative medium, especially since Cooper is recreating iconic portraits of women. Her reasons for working with the material have conceptual roots in the historically female connection to sewing, quilting, textile work and handicraft. The building up of negative and positive space is a more painterly approach to working with textile, yet the natural push and pull of the fabric when stretched across the visual plane perfectly echoes the tensions found in the dark, unsettling aura of her subject matter.

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Cristin Richard Explores Race And Identity With Dresses That Resemble Skin

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Cristin Richard

Cristin Richard

Cristin Richard is in the movement of artists whose work is related to the body and identity. Her work examines the human condition and the fact that the body is physically and mentally determined in this condition. It is thus the window of our relation to the world. She transcribes her own personal story through impulses to existential questions.

In this particular work, The Political Aesthetics of the Skin, Richard plays with fashion, sculpture, performance and social commentary in order to bring forth these beautifully made gowns that resemble the look and feel of human skin.

Here, Richard is interested in examining the body, personal identity, as well as sculptural objects in a subtle but powerful way. She explores these themes by creating sculptural dresses that resemble skin color and skin textures made out of animal intestines. Richard’s usage of organic material, is what gives her looks the means to exist as throughly manipulated pieces, an obvious detail that makes her fashion garments have more of a sculptural feel than just regular fashion pieces. After creating the dresses, the Detroit based artist puts together an elegant performance that include women of several skin shades; she purposely finds models that perfectly match the dresses’ skin color tones. Although her pieces are wearable and highly fashionable, here, the dresses go beyond trends.

With the idea of fashion as sculpture, Cristin Richard blurs the line between fine art and fashion. She believes that fashion allows one to create a second skin. It provides an escape that is rooted in the truth to one’s own identity. One can transform themselves into whatever makes them feel good, allowing them to approach society in their own unique way. Through these observations, the artist develops and analyzes the subject of the appearance of one’s self, and also that of one another.

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