At first glance the Stone Fields of designer Giuseppe Randazzo seem to be akin to stoic environmental art a la Andy Goldsworthy. Under closer scrutiny, however, these pieces are far from ‘natural’. Randazzo begins with optimal packing algorithms – algorithms that determine the most efficient way to fill a certain amount of space with various sized objects. He then modifies the algorithms to produce different arrangements of stones in the circular field. Further, the stones aren’t ‘natural’ – that is, they’re not real! Rather, the images produced by Randazzo are actually hyper-realistic 3D renderings.
Mithu Sen did not begin her career in visual expression. Her work has evolved quite a bit to get to the point of creating an 80-foot long installation that is essentially one giant denture. She began as a poet, inspired by her mother, writing in Bengali as a child. She was published quite a few times before she moved to Delhi and began to lose her connection to her mother tongue. Afterwards, she made the transition to “artist.”
Her artwork now is often categorized as highly sexual. She has said of this: “I don’t really care if my sexual works are the reason people are looking. Sexuality is the means by which one can enter the self and the psyche. The so-called sexual overtone in my work is to provoke and trap people, to force them to see and to contemplate. I’ve tried to bring tabooed sexuality out of the closet… I try to draw sexuality from both living and inanimate objects.”
Definitely her work pushes boundaries, but in her drawings as in Border Unseen (the tooth wall) there are details and subtleties to be discovered beneath the most obvious aspects of her work. On Border Unseen, little figurines of people, skulls, toys, etc. of similar dimensions to the teeth, are camouflaged all throughout the installation. Likewise, although her drawings are overtly and uncomfortably sexual – as in the piece where a finger seems to be inserted inside an animal within which is another animal – if you are able to overcome the initial disturbance, there’s a great deal of tenderness below. Although the work is challenging, it is not so heavy-handed, and always demands more open-mindedness of the viewer; always a worthwhile exercise. (Via BOMB Magazine)
No matter the type of installation Guiseppe Licari creates, he seeks to encourage direct public engagement in one way or another. For some of his work, he brings natural elements into the gallery space, while other work takes the form of public art. Obviously, most of Licari’s installations should be experienced firsthand, like his ongoing community dinner project Spaghetti Forever, an interactive swing-set Serial Swing, a mobile Illegal Busstop, or his education horticulture workshop, Hortus Publicus. Licari’s work is concerned with creating spaces of engagement that reference nature and the built environment. He lives and works in Rotterdam.
Artist Randy Ortiz has been tantalizing the eyes of illustration fans for years, illuminating concert and movie posters both professionally and as creative tasks for a great imagination. While past work emphasized ink line work and detailed black and white charcoal drawings, recent work has become more colorful, with flat background colors which perhaps surprisingly emphasize the darker thematic weight in the mystical figures and composition.
The self-taught Canadian artist uses evolved techniques to illicit a near-Surrealistic response from his often-human figures, draped in masterfully rendered drapery and fabrics. Despite the often serious undertones immediately noticeable in his work, the obvious sense of humor is evident (mutant visual remixes of Drake’s oft-mocked album cover seen below for example). In other works hooded figures clamor over each other, all reaching for a disembodied hand holding a small heart talisman representing love, or mystical-triangle-eyed cats eye floating balls of string. With Ortiz’s visual narratives and painting style evolving at a rapid pace, he is definitely ahead of other illustrator/artist to watch.
Sarah Hallacher’s gifs explore the different opportunities for pangs of heartbreak that exist in social media and technology. She uses texts, instagram, facebook, linkedin, googlechat, and email, to demonstrate the difficulties of the remnants of a relationship that linger in the age of the Internet. Each gif is set in the format of each platform, to show how the different type of information and notifications can have effect on you. They’re all pretty familiar, even probably to people who haven’t gone through a tough break up. For instance, the text message notification buildup when none is from the person you wish they were could even extend outside the realm of a romantic relationship; Everyone’s experienced disappointment or annoyance in not receiving a response from someone. Others are very specific to relationships, like the Facebook relationship status.
Hallacher presents these everyday difficulties in the most straightforward way, allowing the viewer to understand the significance of the aspects of a relationship that echoes through the Internet. Of the project Hallacher states:
“My goal was to pinpoint the exact place where something might feel painful for a moment,” she says. “I was trying to capture both the technology and the experience of it. If you’re not speaking to a person, you don’t know why they are taking these actions online. The online version of their action is very dry and cold, without context. I just wanted to highlight that. The computer is just a computer, and it doesn’t feel sorry for you.” (Via Co Exist)
This winter, frozen castles made from innumerable icicles are available for your full exploration. It all started with Brent Christensen, a devoted dad. He moved to Utah with his family, where he built an elaborate winter playground for his daughter, complete with an ice slide, cave, and castle. From there, the concept of Ice Castles was born—a beautiful, crystalline landscape for families to enjoy. There are four locations this season: Midway, Utah; Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Lincoln, New Hampshire; and, for the first time ever, Edmonton, Alberta.
Each awe-striking structure is built by hand. The architects “grow” 10,000 icicles every day, which are then placed throughout the castles for the water to freeze to. As time passes, each individual piece becomes a part of the icy walls and caverns, creating a megalithic labyrinth of tunnels and caves. The structure appears blue, due to the deep thickness of the ice, and the quality of water to absorb all colors of the spectrum. At night, the castles are illuminated with different hues, making it resemble a fairy-tale landscape. Watch the video above for a tour of the Eden Prairie location.
When I think of New York City I imagine rough and tough grandma’s cussing you out and not taking shit from anyone. Other cities just don’t produce in your face, loud mouth senior citizens. This can get annoying in most situations but not when it comes to amazing Sister Helen Travis. In Sister Helen you’ll find one of the most unanimously acclaimed documentaries in recent years and winner of the coveted Sundance Film Festival Directing Award. A recovering alcoholic who lost her husband and sons to substance abuse Sister Helen fights the South Bronx’s drug wars one person at a time with more off-the-top catch phrases than a 1990’s rap song.
Sister Helen is an inspiring documentary filled with an equal dose of comedy and drama. The love/hate relationship between this tough-as-nails nun and the men who both fear her and rely on her to help them battle their own inner demons is unreal. Inspired by Sinatra’s “my-way-or-the-highway” mantra, Sister Helen runs a tight ship in which everyone must obey her rules and the hand that writes them. For the residents who wish to permanently kick the habit, this sobering dose of tough love may be their last and only hope.
Adam Harvey is an award-winning designer and technologist whose work deals with the increasingly relevant topics of surveillance, computing identity and personal privacy. Harvey, whose projects combine fashion and product design, computing science and programming, takes an artist’s approach to problem-solving – identifying a problem, developing experiments and possible solutions, and learning any number of skills to fabricate and achieve a solution that calls into question the nature of the problem.
Harvey, whose company ahprojects is based in Brooklyn, New York explains,”I became interested in spoofing and camouflage when cameras metamorphosed from art making tools into enablers of surveillance societies. This happened gradually over the last decade starting with the Patriot Act in 2001. To me, this document marked the beginning of the end of photography as I knew it from art history books.”