Decaying structures house the oddest assortment of memories. Without an explanation for why it’s there, a newspaper on the wall of an empty room can get pretty Murakami-esque. Mou Hoo, a young photographer working out of Beijing, explores the mysterious clutter of abandoned buildings.
Kotryna Zukauskaite‘s mixed media collages contain a variety of playful compositions, layers, colors and textures. A mixture of portraits, drawings and abstract landscapes, Kotryna uses the many variety of mediums to portray dynamic illustrations.
Bina Baitel is a French product designer whose takes previously distinct pieces of furniture–futons, stools, lamps– and combines them to make some wild looking objects. Like most great product design, they look more like sculptures than they do products. We could all probably use some more melting lamps in our lives. (via)
Artist Chris Maynard creates tiny ethereal designs on feathers. His process begins by collecting feathers of birds (usually not of North America descent) from aviaries and zoos. He uses delicate, detail oriented tools such as eye surgery scissors, forceps, and magnifying glasses that have been passed down to him through his family. With these tools, he is able to achieve intimate levels of detail, crafting miniaturized fantastical avian worlds. His uses his work to transform the ordinary into something surreal and perhaps a bit magical. He explains that he would like the viewer
“to take away being able to look at the world in a different way…I want people to be able to take a breath and look at something a little differently, something that they know. Feathers are a universal symbol. Feathers for different people will mean different things, but generally, it means flight, it can mean escape, something we want to strive for, a bridge between here and the heavens. I want people to take their own message from it, but I think what comes out are some of those themes.”
The original integrity of the feathers is important to the artist. He does not manipulate the color or over arching shape with the aim to “honor the birds and the feathers.” Maynard, having a strong background in biology and ecology, has published a book titled Feathers: Form & Function. He uses his work not only to express artistic notions but also explains origin and function of his material. Each work is intricate, delicate, and whimsical.
Los Angeles artist Arturo Oliva Pedroza produces the kind of photography I love. That grainy, seemingly accidental snap shot that you can’t stop staring at. Pedroza’s genius lies in capturing these quiet, easily overlooked moments of beauty that smack you in the face with their simplicity and honesty. Picking up a pizza on that cold walk home from the bar can be magic–if you let it be.
Taking her football player series and combining it with a product usually reserved for the masses, artist Asja Jung has found a clever, new way to market her work. She has created a limited 40 edition set of calendars featuring tightly drawn renditions of NFL players. Admittedly not a big football fan, Jung first became intrigued with these brutal ballerinas when she patroned a local sports bar in her Queens, NY neighborhood. Images in the following day’s papers of Mark Sanchez, Eli Manning and Geno Smith grabbed her attention and she started incorporating the stills into her narrative. Another series which she had been working on just prior to finding the players, entitled “Neighbors”, placed subjects in an elaborately detailed background similar to a dense, tropical forest. Her thoughtful rendering produced a positive/negative space offset by vibrant color. The figures in these, which have included chimpanzees and reptiles, acted as buffer points to highly imaginative designs. Jung proceeded to use the same aesthetic in staging her football drawings. The dramatic nature of sport provided a rich source of information and the players soon replaced the creatures in “Neighbors”. To arrive at a final draft, dozens of studies were made, showing countless variations of mid-air tackles, high catches, scrimmages and close up personals. The finished drawings feature a nice balance between unique draftsmanship and mainstream accessibility. To date, pieces have been shown in the VIP section of Jets Stadium, and The National Art Museum of Sport.
Ash Thayer photographs are the reflection of her life. Portraits, landscapes and places that represent the beginning of her life as a young woman braving the intense city of New York. ‘Kill City’ is her memoir through those years. It’s a compact diary comprised of photographs taken when she was living in the See Skwat squat after she got evicted from her first apartment in the city. The pictures are raw and incredibly emotional. It’s not a wish to uncover a way of living, it’s a desire to extract the beauty that lies inside the characters and scenes she witnessed.
At 19 years old, Ash Thayer found herself evicted. With no resources and no family, she found in a Lower East Side building a shelter, a roof to call home. She surrounded herself with a new family, punks surviving just liked her. Soon realizing that she was deeply touched by social activism and protest movements she took part in defending and documenting the subculture she was living in.
The subjects of her photographs are simple and honest. People from her daily life posing naturally under the dim lighting of the squat. There’s no intention in claiming a harsh living situation or showing off extreme conditions. In her pictures, the artist depicts vulnerable sincere souls supporting each other. “On the street [people saw us as] street hustlers, trouble makers, vandals—that just wasn’t really the case. We were hanging out, drinking and watching 90210 around one TV, like 15 of us”.
Ash Thayer’s photographs will be exhibited at Superchief Gallery in Los Angeles starting September 19th 2015. The ‘Kill City’ book is available for purchase here.
Conceptual artist Can Pedekmir creates digital portraits of imaginary creatures. According to the bio on his website, he works on the “deformation of human and animal body using various methodologies,” one of which he lists as applying “mathematical equations.” Other methodologies seem to include using hair. Lots of hair.
Pekdemir’s portraits are in stark black and white and appear like artifacts from an alternate dimension. His subjects are creatures with no distinguishable features; instead, their faces and entire heads are coiffed, tangled masses of hair and other biomatter. The result looks something like Where the Wild Things Are by way of Edward Gorey. Alternatively, it’s as though an entire forest undergrowth developed sentience and decided to pose for some erstwhile photographer.
Pekdemir’s work was featured most recently at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam, which ended late last month. He’s listed as a photographer, which only serves to highlight the eerie surreal quality of his art. Part photography and part elaborate fiction, his work blurs the lines between what is and what could be. (via Hi-Fructose)