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We Are A Nation Of Sheep

In a world desperate for uniqueness and originality, the greatest irony may be that we ultimately succumb to “following the herd”. Whether we like it or not, we the “sheeple” have become fervent disciples of a globalized economy. Sheep Nation, a series of photographic works by Montreal-based contemporary artist Davide Luciano, explores this fertile ground through a characteristically satirical yet compassionate lens.

This large-scale photographic series includes 23 intimate and introspective portraits of sheeple. Behind every mask lies a personal truth, an innocence, a sense of individualism, a longing to be seen and heard. The 6 mises en scène depict people unable to think for themselves. Allowing the influences of different forms of media to undermine their own identity and wander mindlessly in herds, like sheep. 

With the help of a special effects make-up artist to create prosthetic masks, the 3 hour transformation began. The use of product branding in each scene puts forth the idea that we live in a world where we are slaves to consumerism and where advertising has us chasing a need to be accepted. 

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Anders Krisar Creates Surreal Sculptures By Dissecting Bodies And Puting Them Back Together Again

Anders Krisár

Anders Krisár Anders Krisár Anders Krisár

Stockholm-based Anders Krisár is interested in exploring issues surrounding the human body.  Employing realistic casts of body parts Krisár then modifies them.  He imbues typical torsos, arms or faces with atypical assets and surreal qualities that are at once quiet and horrific, striking and bizarre.

Evoking a sense of how fragile the human body is, Krisár’s forms stir up feelings of discomfort.  Unnatural, ridiculous and sometimes even violent, the sculptures are so successfully disturbing because they are so meticulously executed. Rendered exactly and simply—skin looks like skin, body parts almost appear to be moving and breathing— Krisár’s works are convincing.  But at second glance there is always something distinctly wrong.  Torsos are freakishly imprinted, headless or morphed.  Bodies are severed, separated or broken. Krisár’s works thus become visual representations of the unfeasible.  This un-reality gives the pieces a psychological edge.

Beyond the challenge of confronting the bizarre so perfectly portrayed Krisár incorporates ideas of splitting, mirroring and twinning, which are frequent themes in psychoanalysis.  Erie yet captivating this psychological aspect gives Krisár’s work the ability to be emotional.  Though the work has a quiet quality, its effects are powerful.  A viewer’s sense of certainty is challenged and replaced with insecurity, question and an overall awareness that what we know only scratches the surface of what is possible.

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Brandon Bird’s Subversive Pop Culture Paintings

Brandon Bird lives and works in Los Angeles. Utilizing an array of pop culture references he creates disarming paintings. The work is whimsical, dark, and subversive in equal measure. One piece depicts a child on Halloween dressed as Philip Seymore Hoffman’s nurse character from the film Magnolia. Despite being downright bizarre it is a hilarious reminder of the cheap Character Costumes of old that consisted of nothing more than a plastic mask and an image of the character on a sticky vinyl wardrobe. Another painting shows the eccentric actor Christopher Walken in the middle of creating a robot in his garage. A visual such as this embodies the joy that permeates through Bird’s hysterical pop culture laced paintings.

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Erik Sommer’s Cement Paintings

These textural paintings by Erik Sommer are created using cement. Let’s hope he doesn’t have a twenty pound concrete business card too.

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Fiona Roberts’ Visceral, Surreal And Bodily Creations Might Gross You Out

Fiona Roberts - sculptureFiona Roberts - sculptureFiona Roberts - sculpture Fiona Roberts - sculpture

Fiona Roberts‘ new show Intimate Vestiges is a collection of wonderful and weird objects. She loves taking mundane items and adding creepy details to them. Items that we are used to seeing in our house everyday now seem to be encroaching on our personal space, and even seem to be a bit threatening. Roberts has transformed a simple chair into an anthropomorphized Frankenstein creature: the leather sections now feature tiny pink gaping mouths, baring their teeth and ready to chomp at whatever touches them. The menacing orifices are bordered by shiny plaited strands of hair; the legs of the chair wrapped in the same hair. The chair seems to have murdered the occupant of the house, and now wears the attributions of it’s victim on the outside.

Intimate Vestiges deals with questions of the ‘other’ – what is human, and where do our human bodies, memories and experiences end? We undoubtedly transfer these emotions into the objects around us – but what keeps them as foreign bodies? As writer Stephanie Lyall asks:

What can constitute humanity? At what point does a collection of disparate parts become a being? How much of a body can be rearranged before becoming something ‘other’? (Source)

Roberts’ sculptures have a beautiful philosophical poetry embedded in them. She has pillows made from plaster frozen in the middle of a kiss. They seem frozen and unable to enjoy their passion. They pillow lovers are able to extract empathy from us immediately. She has a rug made made from hundreds of ceramic fingers that might make us think twice about treading so heavily on our own carpets at home. Roberts has the power to make us re-evaluate the inanimate objects around us we take for granted and combines our outside worlds with our inside worlds.

Her exhibition is on at Kick Contemporary Arts in Cairns, Australia until June 13th.(Via Design Boom)

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Amy Hill

YoungWomanw_HeadphonesC044New York based artist Amy Hill modernizes the Renaissance.  As you can see from the majority of her work, Amy draws her inspiration from fifteenth century Flemish painters.  I really enjoyed her Bohemian series.

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Steven Montgomery’s Hyper-Realistic Ceramics Focus On Society’s Infrastructure

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Taking every day industrial objects as his starting point artist Steven Montgomery turns nuts and bolts into huge sculptural forms. Not only are they built on a scale much larger than their original size but instead of metal he uses ceramic to achieve highly detailed forms. By taking these objects and turning them into art Montgomery is able to record the evolution of society through the physical structures which hold it all together. His forms range from relief painting to monumental sculpture and impact the viewer with both bright and muted hues. His use of an unconventional material such as ceramic to complete his process allows for illusory aspects to filter in. These highlight nuances which might be lost using other materials. The glazed aspects of ceramic give it a beautiful surface which lend an aesthetic which would probably be lost if another was used. His infinitely accurate attention to detail almost make it hard to believe these are made from the porous material and despite the subject matter have the same precious beauty as porcelain Chinese drums and  figures.   
In the purest sense, art should record the present time in which we live, Montgomery follows this path focusing on the internal infrastructure of society to achieve this goal. His work gives credence to the inanimate objects which helped shaped our culture recording the times in which we currently live.

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Lee Bul’s Infinite Installations Will Fracture Your Reflection Into A Thousand Pieces

Lee Bul - Installation

Lee Bul - Installation

Lee Bul - Installation

Lee Bul’s transformative installations pull you into a fractured space of infinite mirrors. The Korean artist, both well versed in illustration as well as installation and sculpture, forms complex, maze-like structures with interiors made of mirrors that reflect in all different directions, creating a disorienting effect. Bul takes seemingly small, secluded spaces and magnifies its size by making the space seem never-ending, keeping you exploring each layer of the multi-faceted structure. The highly industrial installations create such intricate depths and perspectives that allow you to fall into a place of vertigo. Each fractured mirror bounces back color and light in a way that transforms and bends the space around you into an intense kaleidoscope. Bul’s interactive artwork gives way to a fractured universe of distorted shapes and space.

The artist, being multi-talented, mixes elements of architecture in her work to design the sleek exteriors of her installations. Adding to the lustrous, reflective surfaces of the interior walls are the reflective floors of the exhibition, creating even more confusing space perception. This unique work creates a range of emotions from the anxiety caused by the ambiguity of depth, to the overwhelming awe from the beauty and sublime of the endless space around you. Each installation is a portal to another world, absorbing you in its abstracted images that include your own reflection. This unearthly theme is present in much of Bul’s work, as her illustrations often include unknown beings and aliens. Bul’s stunning mirrored labyrinths are now on view at the Museé d’Art Moderne in Saint –Eitienne in France. (via Design Boom)

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