Emma Powell‘s photo series “In Search of Sleep” is a sequence of snapshots straight out of a semi-lucid dream. To create her photos, Powell uses the cyanotype process and also tints them with tea and wine. The result is a layer of haziness and off-kilter colors that enhance the surreality of her artwork, making them almost seem like paintings of the mind.
Marion Bolognesi makes emotive watercolor portraiture that seems to appear out of the nothingness of their stark, white backgrounds. She often uses drips and large blots to echo the transient feelings that make us human. This technique also adds a nice aesthetic to the artist’s work, which has spawned a few biters and copy artists. Bolognesi demonstrates a lot of economy- the artist’s ability to do a lot with a little is commendable. With such fundamental subject matter, it’s probably best to keep things simple anyway. It’s not always easy to capture the deeper elements of life with grace, but she pulls it off. The artist, who also does illustration and design work, lives in NYC.
Lui Bolin is not a ghost, but a Chinese artist who is very mysterious in his ways of producing art. Is it performance art? Photography? Conceptual? All of the above? Either way, I couldn’t find him in the tractor picture for a good 5 minutes.
Heavily inspired by the relationship between nature vs. artificial, artist Steve Newberry attempts to explore the questions of our society’s relationship with nature, and what our true intentions are in our attempt to replicate nature.
Photographer Joanne Leah works in “seduction, ritual, and tension”. Her pieces capture relationships, between two people or art and its viewer, as it alternately relaxes and strains. In the series featured in this post the angle of the light is severe recalling the chiaroscuro of baroque painting. The light, though, is cold, almost lonely, emphasizing the solitary figure in each photograph. Whether, the subject holds teeth in her palm or wields a knife a drama is clearly unfolding.
Rose-Lynn Fisher’s Bee is a visual exploration of the anatomy of bees; she used an electron microscope to capture close-ups of honeybees from 10 to 5000x! She first became involved in this project nearly 20 years ago, when she noticed that the hexagonal field of a bee’s eye nearly perfectly mirrored the six-sided pods they created in their honeycomb, leading her to wonder if there was a more profound relationship between vision and action; does the way we see affect the way we construct our world? Her book is a marvel of science and design – as are the bees she shoots – and provides incredible insights to the nature of the insects that so many of us take for granted. It’s an educational read without trying too hard, (you won’t have to try either, it’s mostly pictures). Read it.
This dream-like mural is the result of two long weeks rubbing clay, mud and dirt, day and night into the walls and floor of Rice Gallery in Houston. Since 2008 Japanese artist Yusuke Asai has been creating these earth paintings. His latest one, titled Yamatane (meaning Mountain Seed in Japanese) was created purely with locally sourced natural materials. With the help of volunteers and the staff of the gallery, Asai collected 27 different shades of dirt from around Houston. His palette is surprisingly varied – the fertile soils of Texas provided him with many tones of yellows, reds and even a rare shade of green. Wanting to form a connection between his visual art and the location he is working in, he says digging for the various samples is an important part of the process. Asai speaks of his fascination with dirt:
I choose to use the earth as a medium because I can find dirt anywhere in the world and do not need special materials. Dirt is by nature very different than materials sold in art stores! Seeds grow in it and it is home to many insects and microorganisms. It is a “living” medium. (Source)
Not formally trained, Asai learned his image making skills from sketching animals in zoos and visiting the museums of his native Japan. Observing different mark making techniques from other cultures and folklore, he has been building his own version of the natural world for some time. His subject matter also echoes those that are fundamental to primitive societies – that of the nature that surrounds us. Asai says:
The following are B/D’s picks for today’s awesome architecture. Sometimes it seems architects don’t get enough recognition for their work as artists, but they are truly masters of sculpture and design (and not only that… they know calculus). Read on to drool over the art works that you (wish you could) live in.