Slightly gory yet somehow charming and fun, SEKDEK is part performative, part sculptural, part photographic, and part ritualistic. The artists behind the work refer to it as a “spirit extraction kit/ demon extraction kit.”
The project, in their own words,
“is a series of fantastically colorful, expressive & psychedelically gory sculptured head and torso images that were caught using an expressionistic painting/ messy visual chaos technique that includes throwing, spreading and or spitting clay, acrylic paint, glitter, fake blood, wigs, fabrics and flour etc.. all over ourselves.”
The inspiration for SEKDEK comes from a large spanning vat of various sources. To name a few, the project takes visual cues from artist such as Mathew Barney, Björk, and H.R. Giger (the guy responsible for the creature from Alien [which he won an Oscar for] and apparently also the inspiration for “biomechanical” tattoos). They also name film influences such as the 1990 dark fantasy horror film Nightbreed, the 1988 satirical sci-fi movie They Live, and the opening scenes from Where The Wild Things Are. Also the heavy metal band Gwar(still not sure if this band is a joke or not) and images from National Geographic tribal indigenous documentaries.
Extensively absurdist yet clever and elaborate, SEKDEK is a unique project that invites imaginative thinking as it lives between the borders of fetish, gore, kitsch, and perhaps just plain ol’ innocent fun.
Nicole Dextras takes typography into the final frontier creating three-dimensional words created purled of ice with some letters being as tall as eight feet high! Im a huge Andy Goldsworthy fan so this work immediately caught my eye! My favorite aspect of the project is that the type is continually changing due to weather conditions making the sculptures change as the sun comes up and goes down.
James Thurber said, “Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility,” which seems to be a tactic comic artist and illustrator Kate (Ellen) Lacour has mastered in her recent drawing series Bodies, which she has only described with three words, “body horror beauty.” The motives, inspiration, or goals behind the series have not been disclosed, yet appear to be a distinct side-project from her usual cartooning work, replacing a visually lighter style with a combination of human anatomical drawings found in textbooks. The results twist the familiar style of textbook, anatomical human renderings, creating drawings which utilize symmetry, unique and unusual body arrangements, and religious or spiritual iconography.
Symbolic poses are taken by transparent, headless bodies, such as the Lotus position, a pose with Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist relevance. Lacour (who perhaps tellingly also works as an art therapist) enhances this peaceful, evocative aesthetic by drawing lines with ink and pen but softly coloring the drawings in with food coloring. However, even with the emphasis of religious and anatomical text, the drawings evoke a humorous effect, replacing heads with comically screaming mouths and adding eyes to the Fallopian tubes of a levitating uterus. The most successful works are those which pack in detail, such as Devouring Mother (first drawing, above) where a creation myth entirely new is presented by mixing tales and traditions of the past. (via hi-fructose)
For those with a sweet tooth, the work of Peter Anton might make you hungry. The artist’s hyperrealistic sculptures of cakes, candies, and ice cream bring the sugary treats to life. At first glance, they pass as real food rather than as convincingly-painted and crafted artworks. “I like to alter and overstate foods to give them new meanings,” Anton writes in an artist statement.
The colorful, larger-than-life works showcase an acute understanding of texture and lighting. Anton was very aware at how luster plays into the believability of his objects. As a result, some of the “frosted” donuts shine just as you’d imagine. In non-glazed objects though, he applies a matte finish.
Anton has an innate reverence for what we eat, and it’s what leads to these works creation. He says:
Food brings people together and there is no better way to celebrate life. Through the use of humor, scale, irony, and intensity in my forms, the foods we take for granted become aesthetically pleasing and seductive in atypical ways. I like to create art that can lure, charm, tease, disarm and surprise. My sculptures put viewers in a vulnerable state so that I can communicate with their inner selves in a more honest and direct way. I activate the hunger people have for the things that give them pleasure and force them to surrender. The sensual nature of the works stimulates basic human needs and desires that generate cravings and passion.
Every winter about 125 miles North of the Arctic Circle a hotel is built entirely out of snow and ice. While definitely a unique hotel, ICEHOTEL, as it’s called, is just as much an art project in its own right. In a way the structure is contemporary interpretation of traditional homes built of the same material. However, each year brings an entirely new design to the hotel. In addition to being filled with guest rooms and a bar, the art and design group at ICEHOTEL also work from a handpicked group of artists. The hotel becomes a temporary home to art and people, to be destroyed and rebuilt next year. [via]
Photographer Jefta Hoekendijk’s series Aura features shimmering bodies in motion and dazzling colors. The feel of these images is electric as nude models are coated from head to toe with a metallic covering. Bright greens, purples, teals, and more radiate from their every movement.
The eye-catching effect was done without the use of post-production enhancements. “This is metal body paint and lighting effects directly made [from] shooting,” Hoekendijk writes. Any sort of movement will cause these trails of jewel-toned light. The result is a series of seductive and alluring photos where you’re focused on the invisible now made visible.
Hoekendijk experiments with painting, photography, sculpture, and video that’s centered around movement and the human body. Above all, his work is interested in the body as a vessel for expressing his varied artistic voice.
Polish artist Lukasz Patelczyk paints censored landscapes. The series, actually titled Censored Landscape, depicts natural scenes in severe blacks and whites. Portions of each landscape is hidden behind a white block. Some of the paintings titled variations of Avalanche and Tornado censor the effects of such natural disasters. The censorship leaves a monument like shape in the foreground of indifferent, even harsh landscapes.
A self-declared lover of beauty and gentleness Nir Arieli‘s photographs of male dancers combine those passions with great technical skill. For this series, which he titled “Tension,” Arieli described his role as being a “visual choreographer.” The portraits are the outcome of a verbal dialogue between the photographed dancer and Arieli and of the work he says, “I don’t pre-determine the result-insisting on well-planned perfectness-but rather establish a strong understanding, let the dancer improvise and capture his movements. Afterwards, I experiment with layering various photos on top of each other, searching for intriguing combinations.” Dependent on coincidence and uncontrollable movements, Arieli trusts the physical intelligence of his subjects.
Arieli began his career as a photographer for the Israeli military. Perhaps this is where his interest in capturing the physical abilities of the male body emerged. Unusual in their depiction of the male (versus female) form as a source of grace and beauty, the images are striking for their sense of movement. In his statement Arieli says, “I can’t dance, I can’t in my room, nor in a club, let alone any kind of stage. Whenever I am forced to try I stumble or freeze or drink enough to disappear. However, this time, for the first time, I found myself actively involved in dancing-even if by using someone else’s body.” Indeed, as a viewer, we feel involved with the dancer, as impossible as the postures might be for us. Arieli wonderfully captured the movement and allowed us to feel a part of it. (via LensCulture)