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Artist Of The Day: Hannu Karjalainen

Hannu Karjalainen’s photos of paint covered figures are absolutely amazing. I love how the paint takes on the texture and detail of the fabric and brings out every single stitch.

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Katrina Grosse’s Gigantic Installations Of Brightly Painted Soil

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The installations of Katharina Grosse are disorienting in scale, color, and material.  Her use of color is wild bordering on violent.  Brightly colored paint is sprayed over any surface the artist pleases, from the floor to walls and windows.  Huge heaps of painted dirt fill the gallery space transforming the space from an architectural to a geological one.  The dirt, paint, and various objects seem to intentionally undermine the white box that houses the installation.  Her installations raucously question the very space they inhabit by allowing visitors experience it in a transformative way.

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Chen Long-Bin’s Meticulously Crafted Book Sculptures

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“In my artwork I always use printed matter – discarded books, magazines, and computer printouts; the cultural debris of our information society.  The sculptures I create reference Eastern and Western icons and intellectual figures, thereby exploring cultural meanings and concepts. I always use text in my work and the content of the texts are relevant to my sculptures. My finished sculptures often seem to be wood or marble, though they consist of paper. They are constructed in such a way that the various parts fit together in a seamless manner.” – Chen Long-Bin, from Volta NY

 

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An Insiders Look At An Indoniesian Tribe Who Slaughters Animals As Part Of Ancient Death Rituals

Nat Wilkins - photography  Nat Wilkins - photography
Nat Wilkins - photography
Nat Wilkins - photography

Photographer Nat Wilkins spent two weeks documenting the ceremonies and death rituals of the Troajan tribe in the highlands of South Sulawesi in Indonesia. In his series Dealing With The Dead, The Troajan Of Tana Toraja, he takes a close up look at this fascinating world and wishes to examine his own understanding of death and decay. The funerals carry on for a number of days and are one of the most important part of the culture in the highlands of Tana Toraja. When a family member dies, they are embalmed and lay waiting inside the family home until the ceremony can take place. Wilkins explains a bit more about the process:

When the time of the funeral comes illegal cock fighting, illegal gambling, buffalo fighting and the slaughter of buffaloes and pigs mark the occasion. The wealthier the family the grander the funeral, with this grandness being marked by the number of buffalo slaughtered, a minimum of one buffalo is required to pass to the land of souls but wealthier families will slaughter 10 to 20 sometimes 30 buffalo and the richest Torajan’s will kill hundreds.

To some these rituals may seem over-elaborate, and excessive, but to the Troajans, it is essential to ensure their loved ones cross over safely to the ‘land of souls’. Devoutly Christian, the tribe places great emphasis on life after death, or the treatment of the body and soul once dead. The living who are left behind, make great sacrifices to provide what is needed for those who have passed. But with the weight of this responsibility comes much hardship. Wilkins explains again:

From an outside perspective it can seem that to the living these funerals are used as a reflection on the importance of the deceased’s family, a status symbol for the rich. On the flip side though, death can be a serious burden on the poor. Every spare penny earned by the living goes to honoring the dead and the importance of a good funeral puts serous weight on the poorer Torajan’s with the poorest getting serious debt problems just to slaughter a buffalo.

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Joana Vasconcelos’ Sculptures Made Out of Doilies, Tampons And Other Unusual Materials

 

Paris-born and Lisbon-based Joana Vasconcelos is the foremost Portuguese artist of her generation. Known for her aesthetic extravagance, her oversized textile sculptures of everyday items toe the line between whimsy and aggressiveness, and she is noted for her use of unusual materials. Vasconcelos’ beautiful hanging chandelier “The Bride”, for example, is ever so fittingly made from tampons.

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Devin Troy Strother’s Color Bonanza!

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I recently came across these great collage paintings of Devin Troy Strothe (thanks for the link Mr.Redwood) and was blown away by the recent Art Center grads color explosion and the humorous content. The work is playful but dabbles with social/political issues which is always a nice mix as too often political work = boring and predictable. Visit his site and make sure to read the titles as they are fantastic.

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Stunning And Bizarre Geometric Fashion Photography

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Maiko Takeda is a student of jewelry design and fashion, a fact that is apparent in these stunning photographs. Takeda’s portraits feature figures adorned or ornamented, creating interesting juxtapositions of light and shadow, geometry, space, and logic. Out of a simple and seemingly ordered concept emerges something intricate, chaotic, and mysterious. Takeda’s work is both elegant and bizarre, a world where beauty is revealed through obfuscation and composition. Takeda is currently pursuing a Masters in Millinery at the Royal College of Art.

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The Secret Life of Toys

recession Times secret life of toys Attention: Toy Collectors with a bad case of paranoia – your delusions are real!  Your toys really do lead a secret life when you’re not watching over them!  The Secret Life of Toys is a collection of photographs that captures toys in their everyday life, when they’re not busy being played with.  This particular series features Star Wars characters who have been hit hard by the recession.  I hope the stimulus plan reaches the Death Star!

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