Even though Judith Schaechter was immersed in her artistic career as a painter, she was drawn to the traditional practice of stained glass window making. She has managed to lift the centuries-old skill into the world of contemporary art by treating it with a new vision. She turns something that is usually associated with stuffy old churches into something macabre, tragic, yet beautiful. Schaechter says she doodles in front of the TV, and in meetings, to come up with a preliminary design, but still works spontaneously and improvises until she reaches the final stage.It seems she is quite happy to let accidents and mishaps guide her hand. She speaks a bit more the art of turning something gruesome and unpleasant into a thing of wonder:
It seems my work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful in theme as well as design. For me, this means taking what is typically negative — say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality, or nerve-wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to observe (to avoid ending with preposition) (Source)
Schaechter says glass is the perfect medium to support the conceptual idea of transforming ugly and difficult subjects into radiant, transparent, glowing figures. Ordinary, ‘earthly’ beings are now ‘supernatural’ and elevated.
They seem to be caught in a transitional moment when despair becomes hope or darkness becomes inspiration. They seem poised between the threshold of everyday reality and epiphany, caught between tragedy and comedy. (Source)
She is a firm believer of the power of stained glass windows – and the effect they can have on somebody’s mood. To be further enlightened, see more of her work after the jump.(Via Hi Fructose)
Chasing Madoff is the compelling story of Harry Markopolos and his team of investigator’s ten-year struggle to expose the harrowing truth behind the infamous Madoff scandal. Throughout the decade long investigation, Markopolos pieced together a chain of white-collar predators consisting of bankers, lieutenants, and henchmen, all linked to the devastating Ponzi scheme. With risk and danger apparent, Markopolos and his loyal team relentlessly continued to pursue the frightening truth. Finding himself trapped in a web of epic deceit, the once unassuming Boston securities analyst turned vigilante investigator now feared for his life and the safety of his family, as he discovered no one would listen. Watch a trailer for Chasing Madoff after the jump.
Kazuki Guzmán‘s unique heritage (he has a Chilean father and a Japanese mother) informs the playful and fluid approach to his work. Guzmán’s creations range from toothpaste (!), nutshell, pencil, and gum sculptures to embroidered bananas and meat. For Guzmán, the essence of play is fundamental to the outcome of his work. “I equally enjoy allowing my materials to define the context of my artwork, and conversely, the challenge of letting the context of my work dictate the material execution. Most of my inspirations arise from mundane events… Most importantly, I strive for intricacy and exquisite craftsmanship in my work, while focusing on not losing my very whimsical sense of humor and play.” Guzmán lives in Chicago.
Matt Rota‘s illustrations seem to mix reality and myth — equal parts Bosch and Ernst. Rota’s sensitive lines add a surreal approach to morality and belief systems and how we respond to them. Also they just look really cool (nod to you, Krampus).
Tsherin Sherpa, born in Kathmandu Nepal, originally trained as a traditional Tibetan thangka painter with his father Master Urgen Dorje. From the age of twelve, he underwent six years of intensive training before travelling to Taiwan to study Mandarin and computer science. Since then he has returned to thangka painting but has added a contemporary twist to the traditional paintings leaving behind the traditional confines of the age old practice. His work now mixes the techniques and imagery of thangka with contemporary subject matter.
When asked about breaking from tradition Sherpa states:
“Sometimes if one gets too obsessed with the rules, there’s a danger of getting entangled in that very obsession. We then become more concerned about not breaking the rule. Because of that, from the traditional art’s point of view, the contemporary work with Buddhist imagery may even get categorized as sacriligious. I am working with some of the images that are viewed as the ultimate portrayal of certain deity. And to manipulate it, is obviously taboo.
However, if we scratch the layer a little deeper, and analyze these Buddhist images, one will find that they are a means to develop a practitioner’s (Buddhist) goal towards enlightenment, which means that the images are not the ultimate goal but rather a vehicle. A representation of a Buddha in 2- or 3-dimensional form is not the actual Buddha. It is a mere representation. And to fall into the trap of perceiving them to be the ultimate, is actually getting oneself entangled with the rules.”
Sarah St. Clair Renard‘s website is divided into “Fashion,” “Portraits” and “Stories.” I love that last section, as all the photographs have no captions. We’ll never really know what stories she refers to. Her photographs capture a etheral feeling, be it fashion spreads, intimate portraits or seemingly snapshots of a high school football game. Also check out her blog, she posts more pictures from her day to day life there.