When the photographer Douglas Sonders met Emma, a Pit Bull, black Labrador mix, he was touched by her gentle disposition and knew he had to take her home. With his ongoing personal project Not A Bully, the artist hopes to change public perception about so-called “bully dogs,” breeds like Pit Bulls, Boxers, Rottweilers, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers, who together make up 40% of shelter dogs.
Tests by the American Temperament Tests Society conducted in 2009 displayed excellent behavior and tenderness on the parts of these breeds, and yet unfair prejudice continues to cloud the judgement of adoptive families, and many dogs go without finding a permanent, loving home. Emma, for instance, was nearly put down and subsequently went nine months in the foster-care system before finding Sonders.
Through a series of poignant images, Not A Bully hopes to change all that. Sonder’s canine portraits are shot with the same careful reverence displayed in his commercial and editorial captures of celebrities; seen in high resolution and saturated in rich color, the animals are desperately emotive. Personalities shine through expectant eyes and eager tongues; the dogs pant excitedly, peer curiously at the viewer. Set against the most brilliant black fur, radiant topaz eyes shine bright, and chests perk up at attention, revealing soft and tender patches of white fur. Similarly, heads bow down slightly below the center of the frame in a show of trepidation and approval-seeking. These deeply-feeling creatures—capable of joy, fear, wit, and wisdom— are clearly anything but bullies. (via My Modern Met)
If you’ve ever renovated a home you know how challenging it is to find floor coverings that fit in with your Eames Eiffel chairs and Eli Walker paintings. And if you’re looking for something that’s made in the USA, great quality and environmentally friendly, it’s an even greater challenge. That’s where Stonepeak Ceramics comes in, they offer Italian quality tiles made in the USA using advanced technology to reduce waste and even carry a Greenguard certification.
A portrait tries to capture the essence of a subject. By honing in on a solitary figure usually from the chest up, we’re able to delve into the eyes and see beneath the surface. There’s some seriousness involved because the traditional portrait is used to capture a visual record which can act as a long standing account of that subject. Taking this and flipping it, painter Austin Lee creates cartoon-like portraits of re-imagined people and animals. Bursting with neon color and loose line, his subjects have nothing to hide and let it all hang out. His work associates with characterture and gestural expression mostly ending up as vignette laden pictures.
With titles like Dunno, Mr. Worry, Facepalm, and Taboo the idea of community and friends surface as the subject for many of his pictures. In one, two figures appear in the front windshield of a car, the anticipation in their faces is that of a destination thay are unfamiliar with. In another, “Crush” a Mona Lisa type portrait peers out from a cabinet frame portraying someone the artist has a crush on?
Using a similar approach Lee creates heads out of 3D prints and acrylic paint. These look like self-portraits and capture certain aspects of his personality with the least amount of rendering. To some degree both his painting and prints reference minimalism in their quest to strip away and find the core of its subject.
Savoir Adore’s Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro performing at the Echo in Los Angeles on August 7, 2013.
I was able to catch one of my favorite Brooklyn-based bands, Savoir Adore playing their first ever headlining show at the Echo in LA last week. Dressed in all white and sounding as blissed out as ever, the band performed both old and new songs to the intimate sing-a-long crowd. Stand out songs included, “Dreamers” and “Imagination”that are both on their recently re-released second full length album, “Our Nature” on Nettwerk Records after releasing it last year with a successful Kickstarter campaign which of course I supported.
The band recently premiered their new video, “Regalia” with our friends over at Buzzbands.LA and are about to perform their biggest hometown show to date next month at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sep. 21st. You can also check them out at DC9 in Washington DC on Sep. 24th, at Philadelphia’s Boot & Saddle on Sep. 25th, and at Great Scott in Boston on Sep. 29th. Check out the video for “Regalia” and make sure to catch them next month on the East Coast!
Guy-Olivier Deveau’s sculptures would be fascinating in any medium, the fact that he works with sand and ice makes them that much more appealing and interesting. Deveau started out sand sculpting as a summer job in Quebec City so he could earn money to finance his education in the filed of philosophy. Now that he’s a sculptor full-time the Canadian artist travels around the world creating his ephemeral sculptures and competing in competitions. Though he also works with wood, snow and ice, Deveau appreciates sand as a medium because he feels he can achieve his desired texture, shadow and edges. Indeed, his final products are amazing feats considering their medium. Each of his sculptures takes approximately three days to create and each requires an immense amount of patience. Deveau starts with a sold sand block and slowly and carefully carves from that.
Deveau will often include themes relating to philosophy, mythology or psychology, incorporating his interests along with his talent. For instance, his most recent sculpture made on a beach in Texas, Bleeding, features a horizontal face, seemingly melting back into the ground. The agony and expression of the face are remarkable taking into account that they were carved out of sand. Though his was one of many sand sculptures created for Sandcastle Days 2013, the sophisticated emotion of Deveau’s Bleeding allowed it to stand out as eye-catching and thought provoking.
Originally from Japan, illustrator and graphic design artist Fumi Mini Nakamura now works out of the NYC area. Her works in graphite and colored pencil feature a unique cast of characters: human figures rendered in striking photo-negative-like detail; flocks of feathered and toothed creatures; the occasional skull. The mixture of natural and imaginary elements always seems just right, rather than chaotic and disorganized. Examine some more of her works for yourself after the jump.
In 1888, Vincent van Gogh severed his left ear with a razor blade—an act that would solidify his reputation in art history as a tortured genius. Last year, in a grim-but-fascinating project titled Sugababe, Dutch artist Diemut Strebe recreated the lost “artifact” as a living replica. She created it using 3D printing and genetic material derived from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo. The ear has been sustained in a nutrient solution, and remarkably, it can hear you; using a microphone, visitors can speak to it, and the sound is processed by a computer that simulates real-time nerve impulses.
The purpose of the project is part science, part literature, part theory. It is an investigation into human replication—can the artist’s essence be reborn, or replaced? Drawing on the Theseus paradox from Plutarch, the ear invokes questions about bioengineering and authenticity. The project’s description on Strebe’s website goes into more detail:
“In the late 1st century Plutarch asked in The Life of Theseus whether a ship, which was restored by replacing all its parts, remained the same ship. In the course of time, many variations of the principle have been described. One of these variations refers to the title of the project. The famous paradox is carried out with biological material making a particular form of human replication, from historical or synthesized material, a central focus of this project. The ear is one of a series of a limited edition, made of different scientific components referring in various ways to the same principle of replacement.” (Source)
Visitors wishing to view this curiosity and “speak” to the deceased artist will be able to see it at the Ronald Feldman Fine Arts’ show Free Radicals, which runs November 7th-December 5th, 2015. (Via The Creators Project)
Vasily Klyukin is a business man, architect, charity supporter, space patron and now super-yacht designer, on a mission. After supporting commercial art initiatives and hosting art events for many years, the Russian powerhouse has turned his hand to the world of yachts. And just like his attitude to buildings, Klyukin believes yachts should be individualized, recognizable, and memorable. Luckily for us, his futuristic designs are exactly that.
Drafting up plans for yachts that look as surreal as they do expensive, the accomplished designer will make you wish you could afford one just to see his ideas realized. He has come up with ideas like a floating Manhattan skyline, an over-sized Swan, a modern Mondrian homage, and a sleek ‘Red Shark’ design that will be sure to impress.
He talks about the inspiration behind his aesthetic:
Even if you would build the largest yacht in the world, there always is the sea lover who is richer than you, and he would beat your record to have the biggest one. But he would be a champion only for a certain period of time. A couple of years more and the garland will float away on the new boat, bigger than the previous ones. I’m not captivated with such a competition. I do not want to compete at all. I just want a special yacht: one of a kind. I do not want its beauty to float away from me when somebody will build its copy. (Source)
Klykin has also put together a 300 page book with publishing house Skira showcasing 50 of his land-based designs. Called Designing Legends, it contains images and ideas for towers, opera houses, museums and office buildings. As an extension of his interest in architecture, Kylkin has also exhibited his first professional sculptural and fine art show in 2013. Be sure to check out his impressive resume and more design work. (Via The Creator’s Project)