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Adam Gondek

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Keeping with my collage theme for today I present the work of Chicago based artist Adam Gondek. Am I crazy or do some of these have a Richard Prince feel to them? Maybe it’s just the naked ladies.

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Deenesh Ghyczy’s Fragmented Figures

Deenesh Ghyczy’s fragmented figurative paintings take the human figure and weave it in and out of itself as if dozens of film negatives were laid on top of one another to create a constant state of motion. This technique serves as a metaphor for multi-layered identity and a look at individuals as living structures with more than one center. (via)

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Life Of Cats: An Exhibition Exploring Japan’s Historical Obsession With Cats

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In the age of the internet, we are used to seeing cats, cat videos, and cat-related memes permeating our social media. But delve into the archives of art history and you’ll see that people have always been a little obsessed with cats (it was no secret in ancient Egypt). In a show held at Manhattan’s Japan Society last spring, over 120 artworks—consisting largely of ukiyo-e prints from the Edo period—were exhibited that explored Japan’s own infatuation with their feline companions. Most of the pieces were on loan from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation and the rest were gathered from collections around the US.

The show was divided into five sections: “Cats and People,” “Cats as People,” “Cats versus People,” “Cats Transformed,” and “Cats and Play.” The animals were represented in a variety of ways—sometimes in the cute, domesticated contexts we recognize from the internet, and sometimes in courtly (and even eroticized) scenarios. Many are anthropomorphized to partake in human activities, from argumentative social gatherings to traditional dances. In other prints, they take on a more sinister appearance, conjured as muses for cryptic samurai duals. Coupled with nude or reclining women, cats take on a sensual symbolism.

The exhibition ended last June, but you can learn more about it on the Japan Society website, and there is a video tour available here. (Via Hyperallergic)

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Design Watch: Moustache

The French really do design the heck out of home goods! Moustache is another French design firm designing some of the most exciting new chairs and home items around. And like any new artist they reference the important works that came before them enough to seem familiar, while adding their own touch to make it feel brand new. And using a Versaille’s-like setting for their campaign? Pretty brilliant.

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An Imaginary City Of Famous Artists’ Buildings

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Italian architect and illustrator Federico Babina has created 27 fantasy buildings that meld famous artists and the places where they might live. The series “Archist City” is a clever melding of cross-sectional drawings of buildings and the signature styles of artists including Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Pablo Picasso, Keith Haring, Joan Miró, Josef Albers, and Piet Mondrian. The result is a cohesive group of easily identifiable buildings—in fact, pairing the artist with the correct drawing is part of the fun.

“Art, architecture and sculpture are historically linked by an unbreakable thread, we find examples of paintings and sculptures having a direct influence on architectural design. … Painting sculpture and architecture have always been complementary disciplines that influence each other and feed to grow and develop along common paths.”

Babina’s skilled artwork makes this look easy, but in actuality first fitting the artists’ iconic styles into an architectural framework, then keeping all of the buildings consistent in execution is the mark of a very skilled artist. Some of the artists play well together: Mondrian and Albers and Rothko for example. Others would seem to defy architecture, like Dali, Haring, and Miro, yet Babina has brought them into his imaginary cityscape. The identical background texture and color, font, and scale relative to the paper help tie the pieces together.

The silhouetted figures help sell these as buildings instead of artworks and the cross-cuts reveal wonderful details: Andy Warhol’s building includes soup cans and his Marilyn Monroe paintings; the huge shark in Damien’s Hirst’s building references his 1991 work “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.”

“These images represent an imaginary and imagined world of shapes that uses the brush to paint architecture.”

What fun it would be to inhabit this world of huge imaginations, awesome ability, and lasting artistic legacy.

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Clement Valla Finds The Uncanny Landscapes In Google Earth

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If you’ve spent any time looking at Google Earth, you’ll notice that the photography isn’t always perfect; sometimes things appear a little weird. Brooklyn-based artist Clement Valla looks for these oddities, scouring the site and viewing places from different vantage points. At certain angles, highways appear as if they’re melting, dipping into ravines and rivers. It’s trippy. He collects these images and calls them Postcards From Google Earth.

These scenes aren’t the result of glitches or of errors in the algorithm, but are the logical result of the system. Valla explains, “They are an edge condition—an anomaly within the system, a nonstandard, an outlier, even, but not an error. These jarring moments expose how Google Earth works, focusing our attention on the software.” 3D images like we see here are generated through texture mapping, where the flat satellite image of earth is applied over 3D terrain. Most of the time this is seamless, but sometimes, when the spaces are so different, things look wrong. Valla goes on to remark:

Google Earth is a database disguised as a photographic representation. These uncanny images focus our attention on that process itself, and the network of algorithms, computers, storage systems, automated cameras, maps, pilots, engineers, photographers, surveyors and map-makers that generate them. (Via Amusing Planet)

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The Big Dig- A hole Dug From Germany To China

Some ideas are so ridiculous that you have to make them a reality. For instance Berlin’s Open Urban Space design team Topotek1, asked the question “what if we dug a hole all the way to china?” This simple but absurd question lead to the creation of The Big Dig, an overzealous dig whose opening emerges  in the 2011 XI’AN garden show. This massive installation not only looks amazing but also had a clever audio component that further drove home the concept. Riffing off the megaphone like shape of the hole Topotek1 created a soundtrack of sounds from Argentina, The United States, Sweden, and Germany that would emit from the hole creating the feeling that you could hear sounds from the other end of the hole. These soundtracks piqued the imagination of the visitors, transferring them away from china, away from the garden, away from the hole, and to the other side of the world. ( via jobs wife)

 

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Ellen Jantzen’s Arresting Photo series ‘Disturbing The Spirits’

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Ellen Jantzen‘s newest photoseries, Disturbing The Spirits, explores the photographers recent interest in the healing power of nature. In her series’ statement, the St. Louis-born photographer questions, “As human actions impact the natural environment, can artists heal nature? Does art bring “special powers” to the table? If so, what are they? What is ‘art’? What is ‘nature’? What needs healing?

Focusing on the cameras ability to record fleeting elements of natural elements, Jantzen hopes to bring attention and connection to our environment, often represented in the series by trees. The artist explains, “In “Disturbing the Spirits” I am using imagery to convey my feelings about the state of nature, the nature of trees, and how to express their connection to past, present and future.” The added element of digital manipulation, pulling the image into sheets of linear veils both obscures the focus, yet creates an alluring, gossamer magnetism. Jantzen continues, “By obscuring a portion of the image through a veil, I strive to heighten the remaining reality through discovery and reflection.” The work is made more convincing by using these digital aftereffects, bringing attention to the necessary connection (and beauty) possible when both human and nature coexist. 

Although many of the photos present human-altered versions of bucolic landscapes, forests and watery reflections, Jantzen’s work does not seem to say that the natural world is perfection. Rather, the images she depicts are impermanent, and simply reconnecting with nature is not a remedy to our human condition. Instead, the transience (if respected and protected) is the beauty, and will continue to regenerate forever if allowed. Jantzen acknowledges this, stating “(trees) are seen as powerful symbols of growth, decay and resurrection….a tree’s longevity can lull us into a false sense of immortality. It is this very impermanence that I long to understand through my photographic explorations. There is an ineffable natural beauty…. too great to be expressed or described in words.” (via lancia trendvisions)

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