Olga Ziemska’s artistic statement appears as a poem on her website. And one of her lines, “The body is nothing without that which surrounds it” is especially important when it comes to art. The Ohio based sculptor has been refocusing her energy into fully serving it too – seeing as how most of her work in the last couple years has involved outdoor installations, which can incorporate a lot more people encompassing them than the few invited into collector’s homes. However, what I like most about her recent work, other than its ability to be shared, is that it’s made up of mainly organic materials sourced from nature. (via)
In the creation of Autobiography, the photographer Jacinda Russell was inspired by collectors and hoarders, those compelled by the impulse to save seemingly insignificant objects as markers of meaningful experience. Driven by the photographic impulse to catalog her own life, she turned to what she calls “inconsequential objects are one aspect of [her] identity, easily disposable yet somehow kept:” cut hair, an old toy, fallen teeth.
Each meticulously-shot object serves as a tangible reminder of a particular section of her life; for example, the artist tracks the years from 2000-2007 with hair and swimsuits. The obsessive lens through which she views each cherished object expresses the desperate impulse to fix moments and spans of time within discernible possessions. Like a catalog of carefully pinned butterflies, each object is preserved multiple times over: once they are set aside, they are vacuum-sealed or placed in jars, only to be framed in the center of each shot with unnerving precision. Russell’s high-resolution shots scrupulously reveal and memorialize even the smallest details: the fibers of towels, the stains on clothing, the remarkable tonality of nail clippings.
The narrative of the series is hard to follow, and therein lies its power; the viewer is tasked with the impossible exercise of constructing a life between bookend-like photographs of chopped hair. What emerges from the powerful work is not the objects themselves, or even whatever personal and mysterious experiences they might symbolize, but the artist’s movingly frantic and ultimately futile attempt to immortalize what is already gone. Take a look. (via Lenscratch)
Bizarre and surreal animal manipulations are artist Sarah Deremer’s specialty. In her series titled Balloon Zoo, she transforms colorful balloon animals into the real life animals they represent. At first glance, you may think that the balloons have been painted to look hyper real. However, once you see the animal eye looking back at you, it is unmistakable that something is different about these balloon animals. Each creature is still in the shape of a balloon animal, but appears to have characteristics and features of its living counterpart. Their bright colors and fun shapes contrast against the visible textures of fur, shell, and skin. Both cute and a little odd, her quirky critters will have you staring, trying to decipher what is real and what is not.
After receiving her bachelor’s in photography, she took her work to the next level through digital manipulation. It is truly amazing how the details of the real animal bend and form around each part of the balloon version. Animal manipulation is a common theme in Deremer’s work, as she has other work titled Animal Food and Big Mouth Birds that will change your perception of what could be possible in the animal kingdom.
“Balloon Zoo is a photo-manipulation project showing the realistic rendition of children’s balloon animals. The balloons are all re-imagined with realistic elements, made by combining photos of balloons with photos of the animals they represent.”
The Queen of lush and juicy paint Allison Schulnik opened up her studio to Beautiful/Decay and Visual Creatures to give our readers insight into the world of sad hobo clowns and her painting and animation process. Allison discusses how her paintings inform her animations and vice versa, the long history of artists in her family, and how Los Angeles allows artists to have quiet time in the studio yet have a community.
Debra Broz, a ceramic artist in Los Angeles, has a dedication to manipulating the conventional ceramic animals used and loved for kitschy home decor. Through her art surgery, she forms nearly mythical renditions of hybrid-animals. Although they still look cute, there is something inherently off and relatively creepy about them. Starting by sourcing and finding old ceramic pieces she is attracted to, Broz then re-assembles and grafts parts and pieces of different ceramic sculptures together. Arms, legs, multiple heads- she tries it all. The doe-eyed Franken-furries still contain an element of innocent, their new freakishness framed with such subtlety that it is nearly camouflaged; for many viewers it takes a second glance to even notice that something is amiss within the structure and proportion.
Broz eloquently articulates her work in an interview, “The thing is, it all depends on perception. Though kitsch may act as if it is the antithesis of fine art, if you start trying to analyze it you run into many of the same complex issues you would if you were analyzing fine art. Personally, I enjoy the intellectual play that is part of analyzing objects. It seems funny to me that people desire to take content away from things rather than explore it. Part of what makes the world interesting is how complex it is, and I’d rather have the complexity, with all its difficulty, than a watered-down, idealized and simplified version. That is part of why I’m interested in kitsch. If you really start looking into it, it is just laden with references.” (Excerpt from Source)
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Yuko Takada Keller creates detailed and intricate sculptures out of paper. Since 1996, she has been using small triangular pieces to create her designs, which she says “symbolizes something like a molecule.” Her work is inspired by dreams she’s had, and her delicate, cascading designs resonate with ethereality. She claims her work has also evolved over time since she’s realized the connection between the thin delicacy of the paper and skin membranes. From her website,
“Tracing paper has a transparency and an untransparency.
I’m interested in how tracing paper is like a skin membrane.
The skin membrane lies between dream and reality.
The skin membrane lies between consciousness and behavior.
The skin membrane is there when life is born.
The skin membrane is part of a human being.
I want to represent the space that people are aware of
The skin membrane is unconsciousness.”