Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrap and accent their environments with millions of square feet of rope shroud and fabric. Their wrapped and accented installations recontextualize the objects and their surrounding spaces, asking the viewer to consider both the presence and absence of the wrapped objects and the perception of new landscapes. At once conceptually simple and physically difficult to bring to complete fruition, the new environments are breathtaking in their starkness and beauty. Their installations often consume years of commitment and devotion. Wrapped Trees were the outcome of 32 years of effort.
German sculptor Stephan Balkenhol‘s carved, expressionless wooden figures and reliefs have many critics wondering just what they are about. Balkenhol sculpts stoic characters standing on top of plinths with minimal detailing, wearing basic, unfussy clothes and who are often staring off in space. His figures are everyday people, caught in a disengaged daydream. Working in African Wawa, Oak, or Lebanese Cedar wood, Balkenhol uses a hammer and chisel to reveal the figure, choosing to leave bits of shavings, knots, grains and cracks visible in the finished piece. The rough hewed sculptures are then painted over in bright block acrylic color, emphasizing the plainness of their shape. Balkenhol manages to remove all personality and emotion from his figures, effectively turning them into a blank canvas, ready for the viewer to project their own story, and interpretation onto them. The artist explains:
I’m perhaps proposing a story and not telling the end, just giving a beginning or fragment. There is still a lot for the spectator to complete… (Source)
Balkenhol has been carving the human form for a few decades now, and has shown it in many different forms. He has figures dancing on top of plinths, carrying out various dance steps; a lady in a green dress with an animal head, standing still with her hands on thighs; a man in black trousers and a white shirt with his hand slouched in his pocket. But all are as nondescript as the next. One critic dissects his work:
In the crowd, the individual is freed from the tyranny of distance and transcends the limits of his own person. If Balkenhol’s heads remain anonymous individuals, it is because they have a memory of the crowd embedded within them. (Source)
Blankenhol’s figures are a little bit of all of us – humans as individuals, and humans as a mass group; the everyday people.
Mark Twain once noted, “Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to”, indicating more than just a lack of fur separates us from our fellow mammals. Swiss photographer Vicky Althaus is known for taking risks to achieve unique scenes for capture, but her newest series offers something even more primal.
Going beyond setting the human body in a natural environment, Althaus has set her subject in what appears to be the familiar scene of a natural history museum. This combination, rather than simply pairing a model with live or taxidermied animals in a more natural state, calls into question our ideas of conservation, our relationship to animals, as well as our relationship to our own bodies. Offering very little titillation, the model’s nudity mirrors the animals, though the interaction appears off-putting, enhanced by the dimly lit room and drab staging. Perhaps the most interesting observation is that the nude model, merely stopping in and solely as a visitor, appears as unnatural as the stuffed animals that are meant to portray some example of our natural world. (via juxtapoz)
An amazing video for We Have Band‘s song “You Came Out” created from 4,816 still images! Not a single moment was used to make this mini masterpiece. If you don’t believe me just take a look at their Flickr page to view all the hi res images that were used to create the video. Directed by David Wilson in collaboration with Fabian Berglund and Ida Gronblom from Wieden + Kennedy.
That good stuff right here.
Ice Man, beauti-loser, and love letter scribe Steve Powers is hitting NYC’s Joshua Liner Gallery with a solo show on September 6th. You can expect some pretty tasty typography and graphics from the artist this go-round. The show is entitled A Word is Worth A Thousand Pictures and is definitely one to check out in person. The works on display range from 10-x-8 in. to 10-x-10 feet, and include Powers’ “Metaltations”- spontaneous enamel works on aluminum. And if you can’t make it over to Chelsea before September 29th, check out a preview of the show below.
“La Chapelle des Calvairiennes, the field of sculpture that it will invest. A unique piece, which, as the exhibition title suggests, we will return to the job of carpenter. A full implementation of allusions, which will take an architectural form in which you will be prompted to enter and help both the framework that calls, but his work completely change the existing space. A glance over this formerly Bible Chapel resolutely shifted …”
The first descriptors that come to mind when viewing the photography of Andrew Newson are: still, quiet, repose. This UK based photographer holds still moments of peace to take in his rich and varied imagery; whether it be the hidden treasures of Sussex or the splashes of red from seaside to city.