“If I didn’t go to art school, my mother would send me to a military academy.” A week or so ago, we featured the work of Brooklyn based artist Mu Pan. Here’s a brief interview with the artist in his studio from Kristen Holmes in which he expounds on some of his influences, inspirations, and process. Video after the jump.
Artist Patricia Piccinini has a very impressive and eclectic range of artistic talents. Her body of work includes drawings, installations, and even a giant hot-air balloon that has floated across Australia. Her astonishingly hyper-real sculptures, however, truly give you an image that you will not soon forget. Made from silicone, acrylic, and fiberglass, Patricia Piccinini forms creatures that appear to be somewhat human, but altogether alien. They seem to be alive, as they stare back at you with emotion-filled eyes. They exhibit traits of humans, like lifelike hair and fleshy skin, but are unmistakably not. It is as if they are hybrid animals living amongst us. Many of her sculptures include one of her hairless, mutated creatures alongside of what appears to be a real human. The dichotomy between this possible mutated creatures and a “human” is interesting, because neither one is actually real.
Patricia Piccinini’s work explores ethical issues surrounding cloning, DNA, and genetic mutation. Her shocking sculptures point a firm finger at human kind’s manipulation of nature and the possible consequences. The effect science has on the natural world and the creatures inhabiting it are a reoccurring theme in Piccinini’s work. We see her sculptures that look so realistic; it is as if these grotesque creatures really do exist. Portraying them with human-like features gives way to pity and empathy for the creatures. The artist’s incredibly intriguing work is one of unbelievable skill that holds a strong, often controversial, message on genetic alteration and mankind’s hand in nature.
Los Angeles based illustrator and designer Linda Kim’s work is the stuff of dreams – wind-swept scapes just slightly off-beat of reality. Her inspiration comes from direct observation of the actual world, using as many of her senses as possible to create her interprations. I’m particularly excited to see that Linda binds her artwork into beautiful, well-crafted books that act as mini-portfolios!
I was pleasantly surprised last week to receive a poster tube in the mail, which, when the plastic-stopper was popped off, revealed a lovely hand-signed print by Mark Warren Jacques. He has some lovely mystical transfigurations on his website- see more of his mandalic works after the jump.
Tattoos, historically, have been on the bodies of sailors and prisoners. It’s only in relatively recent years that they’ve entered mainstream society and lost some of their negative social stigma. Arkady Bronnikov collected photographs of tattooed Russian prisoners between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s. The amount he obtained was massive – 918 images worth – thanks to his position in the government. As a senior expert in criminalistics at the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs for over 30 years, part of Bronnikov’s duties involved visiting correctional institutions of the Ural and Siberia regions. He interviewed, gathered information, and photographed convicts and their tattoos, which gradually helped him build this comprehensive archive.
The images were later acquired by FUEL, a London-based design group, in 2013. Some of the photographs and official police papers authored by Bronnikov from the Soviet period will be published by FUEL in two volumes, the first of which was just released. Now, they are part of a current exhibition titled FUEL present: Russian Criminal Tattoo Police Filesat Grimaldi Gavin in London until November 22 of this year.
When these photos were taken, Bronnikov wasn’t concerned with composition or style. They were meant to act as a record and served a purely practical purpose. The gallery explains, “Their bodies display an unofficial history, told not just through tattoos, but also in scars and missing digits. Closer inspection only confirms our inability to comprehend the unimaginable lives of this previously unacknowledged caste.”
The images of Andrea Delo Toro Sicsik seem to relish their weirdness. Her work is a series of photographs that don’t hide that they’ve been digitally manipulated. Rather they revel in their clearly altered states like a digital hallucination. Faces both playful and sinister materialize behind a pastel fog. The photographs are arranged much like traditional portraits. Indeed, there is nearly a religious atmosphere in each image’s composition.
Surrealist Chinese fashion designer Yang Du’s collection entitled, “It Is a Dream” blurs the lines between art, fashion, and fetishism. Du has already established a cult following in both Japan and her homeland with a reputation as an artist-turned-fashion designer extraordinaire. Her collection, inspired by a spiritual journey to India, is set to go on exhibition in the UK, Scotland, and New York. Awesome to see a representative from the motherland coming up in the fashion industry! Check out more images at Chinese Designers’ Region.