Mexican artist Pedro Reyes’ works in a variety of media from scale models of hypothetical museums to performances involving a clinic that provides unexpected therapies. However out of all of his projects the one series that stands out is the Capula sculptures. Made out of steel and woven nylon, these incredible structures are part furniture, part clubhouse, and all awesome. The Capula provides an alternative to the conventional room. A selection of the Capula manifesto reads: “If a room has rigid walls the Capula shall be elastic, if the room is grounded, the Capula shall hover, If a room needs furniture the Capula will turn itself into furniture…etc.” (via)
Los Angeles based artist Laurie Lipton draws fantastical worlds built of dystopian technology and waste. Her recent work, which she refers to as Techno Rococo, explores “society’s relationship to technology and how it’s uniting us while simultaneously disconnecting everyone from each other.” Her epic, painstakingly detailed drawings are giant, allowing the viewer to fully enter them — Lipton’s work is not just a vision, its an experience. Lipton explains her unique style; “it was all abstract and conceptual art when I attended university. My teachers told me that figurative art went ‘out’ in the Middle Ages and that I should express myself using form and shapes, but plashes on canvas and rocks on the floor bored me. I knew what I wanted: I wanted to create something no one has ever seen before, something that was brewing in the back on my brain.” Originally inspired by the Flemish School of painting, Lipton developed her drawing style based on traditional egg tempera techniques of creating depth through a meticulous process of cross hatching. Using only charcoal and pencil on paper, her black and white work, despite its futuristic content, aims to hint at a sense of classicism. She states, “I used to sit for hours in the library copying Durer, Memling, Van Eyck, Goya and Rembrandt. The photographer, Diane Arbus, was another of my inspirations. Her use of black and white hit me at the core of my Being. Black and white is the color of accent photographs and told TV shows…it is the color of ghosts, longing, time passing, memory, and madness. Black and white ached. I realized that it was perfect for the imagery in my work.” (via Hi Fructose)
Australian artist CJ Hendry takes the items consumers long for: fashion accessories, high-end labels, designer purses, shoes and luxuriously-packaged perfumes, and spends days recreating them with absolute precision. Although there is precious little information to be found about the artist online (she maintains an active Instagram account, but does not seem to have a website or bio), it is quite obvious that she has an interest in seduction. By using the items which seduce consumers and inspire fashion choices, Hendry in turn makes them more seductive through her large-scale, pen and ink renderings of them, stating “It is all about the object. I am a product person and that is obvious through my obsession with the particular placement of each piece. It starts with the acquisition of the product I am intrigued by or have been obsessing over.” Hatching, shading and intricate line-work are used to entice the eye, an extension of the principles used by the fashion industry, designers, and advertisers to tempt the desires of consumer culture.
When asked to describe her detailed but simplistic rendering style in an interview with Youthedesigner, Hendry stated “There are so many ways to describe my style and I am sure people will have different things to say. I look at finished pieces and feel a strong feeling of simplicity. That might sound strange because most pieces are so detailed in their own right but the intentional use of negative space encourages an uncomplicated reaction with all focus on the object.” (via booooooom and youthedesigner)
Twisted, tangled and braided to perfection, the knots in sculptural artist Yuni Kim Lang’s work are drawn from folktales about hair. Fueled by a curiosity for superstition and magic, Lang’s work creates a space for itself between the real and the surreal, showing us how we can separate, expand and re-imagine parts of the self.
By considering the human connection to hair, she uses the sculptural medium to full effect, twisting intricate knots and braids into a discussion about the cultural significance of one’s appearance, tangled up with notions of perfection, beauty, stereotype and personal identity. Lang is currently completing the MFA program in Metals at Cranbrook.
The multitalented, Berlin-based artist James Reka uses striking colors and organic shapes to create his unique style of painting. Known as “REKA” as a street artist, his large-scale murals steal the spotlight in any setting, whether it be the railway lines of Melbourne, where he is originally, from, or the alleyways of Berlin. Heavily influenced by pop-culture, cartoons, and illustration, his work possesses a pulsating rhythm that brings the streets alive. His abstracted figures take on new shape and form in psychedelic waves that weave back and forth. With a palette reminiscent of the 70’s, Reka’s curved lines swirl around his compositions, creating a sense of depth that is both flattened and rounded, forming incredibly unique aesthetics.
Reka uses influence from his logo design background, integrating a pop-surrealist style into his murals and paintings. The sharp style of shapes and design used in his work creates a harsh contrast to the gritty walls and abandon buildings where his artwork often lives. His smaller paintings can be found in a more traditional environment, like on gallery walls, or in an even more unconventional place, on discarded, found objects. Reka’s newest body of work can be found at Avant Garden Gallery, located in Milan, Italy. The solo exhibition of the artist’s work, titled Olympus, exhibits paintings of Reka’s that pulls inspiration from ancient Greece. While still using his signature style, Reka renders scenes of bathhouses and Greek columns. This exhibition is on view now until July 10th.
Laylah Ali’s meticulous, exactingly executed drawings take months to complete. Her works investigate a variety of psychological and socio-cultural dramas, including race, conflict and violence. Interestingly, Ali seems to almost be drawn to the formalist implications of race and “color,” in a decidedly art historical sense of the word. Ali notes, “I’m fascinated, how a different facial color directs you. Green absorbs you into it. Pink or red comes out at you. Light pink doesn’t recede into the page but has a flatness. Bright pink jumps out. Those phenomena affect your reading of the figure- nothing related to anything but what a color does, how it affects your eyeball.”
Dale Dreiling takes inspiration from the everyday occurrences in Los Angeles, highlighting icons that are often overlooked, from street vendors and other characters, to liquor stores, swap meets, and catering trucks. Though his paintings bring color and focus to those images that go unnoticed, his subjects are often eerily faceless. Perhaps this is just for the sake of anonymity, or maybe Dreiling is attesting to the idea that we are not as different from others as we think.
London-based Japanese photographer Chino Otsuka has created a series of time-traveling photo manipulations that allow her past and present selves to exist in the same time and place. Titled “Imagine Finding Me,” the series is a result of Ostuka digitally splicing her image into old photographs from her childhood during the 70s and 80s, creating seamless collaged manipulations. These photographs represent a doubled identity for Otsuka, reflecting both her Japanese roots and the heavy influence of Western culture. They also raise questions about how we remember our pasts and how these stories intersect with our modern lives. Otsuka explains, “The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.” (via my modern met)