Teodora Axente is associated with the Cluj School, a group of Romanian artists making work after the 1989 Revolution, which ended Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime.
There is a dark sense of carousing in her work which examines the question of boredom in a secular world. Left to his or her own devices, Axente’s adult figures conjure up spirits or flights of whimsy in seemingly childlike ways, often seeking solace in shiny and tactile objects such as tinfoil, plastic wrap, or furs. However, translated to a non-secular world, each stroke Axente makes seem satirical or political, consciously examining religion or capitalism.
According to the artist, this dichotomy is the exact intention: “One of my concepts is to transform a real fact into a game . . . It is all about play from my perspective, the playfulness is more than a world of novelty in which everything happens and is reconstituted because of the freedom to act, to think.”
Since 2003 Judith Ann Braun has been experimenting with a new artistic medium and a set of rules: Symmetry, abstraction, and a carbon medium (usually charcoal or graphite). Braun’s work, Fingerings, entails the use of her fingers in lieu of more traditional tools in order to create intricate and bilaterally symmetrical designs, sometimes covering an entire wall. The details of her sweeping landscapes are also all perfectly symmetrical. For some of these works, Braun will use both hands simultaneously to help create the symmetrical effect she wishes to execute. Braun lives in New York City and was a contestant on Bravo TV’s “Work of Art” in 2010.
Canadian photographer and general polymath Chris McVeigh has found fame as an in-demand commercial illustrator and designer, but his recent forays into LEGO toy designs have been bringing him even more attention recently. Taking inspiration from outdated and outmoded technologies, McVeigh’s recent collection creates sets from existing LEGO parts – and offers them as kits for sale or open-source plans for those who wish to build their own.
Not only does McVeigh create toy replicas of tube-televisions, early computers and gaming systems, but he also creates miniature “sets” – realistic era backdrops – complete with shag carpet, wood-paneling, and tacky wallpaper, just so his creations fit in. (via colossal)
Pascal Bernier’s art work depicts an ongoing theme about human and animal relationships. This Brussels based sculptor uses and manipulates different representation of animals to take a detached look at social behavior. Some of Bernier’s work is a social commentary about game hunting (and what is done to the animal’s body after it is killed); Bernier work represents animals in a very sad manner questioning your own ethics on animal rights.
Carol Milne fires up small structural sculptures of knitting made entirely of glass. Though there’s no mistake that this is no ordinary yarn — unless it’s the crystalline yarn of some mystical other plane — it’s still incredible to see the amount of detail and the illusion of malleability.
The technique Milne uses involves wax, refractory molds, molten glass (at a startling 1,400 to 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit), and a steady hand; once the initial process is done, Milne has to carefully free her work of art from its mold, piece by piece.
The sculptures are at once whimsical and delicate, poised as though mid-conversation during a most magical knitting club session. Her sculptures, on average never exceeding 12 inches, are also flavored heavily with surrealism; one sculpture pays homage to M.C. Escher who, no doubt, would have appreciated her clean, understated lines.
There are, too, some sociological undertones; Milne says in an artist’s statement:
“I see my knitted work as metaphor for social structure. Individual strands are weak and brittle on their own, but deceptively strong when bound together.” (via This Is Colossal)
As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Claude Collins-Stracensky. See the full studio visit and interview with Claude and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.
Claude’s studio is in a commercial building in Downtown, Los Angeles right where two fairly busy streets intersect. It’s a few floors up, and as soon as Klea and I stepped out from the elevator doors Claude’s Vizsla dogs greeted us with wild tail-wagging enthusiasm and then lead the way into the studio. It’s a huge corner space with tons of natural light streaming in through the wide windows that lends an almost limitless feel to the room. I took a few minutes to wander around and take it all in— the dogs tumbling about together in play, the dust particles fluttering in and out of the hazy afternoon light, and the many projects underway, all of them in various states of completeness. At any given time Claude is often at work on multiple endeavors, taking time with each to experiment, re-think, tinker and tweak. His studio is a like a research lab where he plays around with concepts and materials, creating mock-ups and models, and then tries to bring these ideas to life with his hands. There is a bit of a “mad scientist” in Claude— he approaches his work with unfettered imagination and whimsy, totally unafraid to scheme and dream big, and he seems almost possessed by a rampant curiosity about the natural world and how it works. At the core of Claude’s practice is a preoccupation with physical systems and processes and the innate dynamics of different materials, and the ways in which these forces and elements can interact to bring about a new consciousness of one’s surroundings. Embracing a range of mediums, his practice often plays with perception and aims to expand his viewers’ visual experience and spatial awareness to create impressions that go beyond an everyday understanding of the world. I got the impression that the wheels in Claude’s brain must always be spinning at top speed, never at rest, always at work on questions, always in a state of assessing and hypothesizing. Which is kind of funny, because he comes across as super mellow… but I didn’t let that easy-going vibe fool me!
Flowers and plants glowing in the dark. These pictures are the result of a titanesque work performed on each nature based element by Robert Buelteman. The California based artist is not using anything else than flowers, photographic films, electricity and a fiber-optic probe to create his work. The result is captivating and intriguing.
Robert Buelteman starts his process by picking fresh flowers and plants from a field. He lays them onto a photographic film in darkness after scalping them until they are sheer. He then throws a 80,000 volts current with his car battery, illuminating their unique energy field and exposing the film to their ultraviolet corona. The artist painstakingly applies the fiber-optic probe, which is the size of a human hair. By tracing over the shapes, some light is reflected, some absorbed, but the light that penetrates the subject exposes the film with the color and form of its’ source. This method requires, for a one successful picture at least 150 tries.
This camera-free, non-digital process only uses the natural and genuine energy of the plants. A statement dear to Robert Buelteman, a former classic photographer, who decided to counteract the growth of digitalized photography by going back to simplicity and craftsmanship. His is attempting to demonstrate that creativity is in the hands of everyone, for the ones that are willing to put the work. And that a piece or art doesn’t need to have a particular meaning. He prefers to let the electrocuted flowers speak for themselves.
Robert Bueltman’s pieces will be displayed at Adler & Co Gallery in San Fransisco until December 28th 2015