Sculptor Sophie Kahn has merged new technology with old to haunting effect in her sculptures of incomplete women. Kahn initially worked as a photographer but became frustrated with working in two-dimensions. Modern 3d scanners initiate these sculptures, but the fragmentation of the figures is achieved by using the scanners in a way for which they were not designed. Kahn says:
“When confronted with a moving body, it receives conflicting spatial coordinates, generating fragmented results: a 3d ‘motion blur’. From these scans, I create videos or 3d printed molds for metal or clay sculptures. The resulting objects bear the artifacts of all the digital processes they have been though.”
The absences in these figures is what makes them so arresting. The elements that are represented are death-like in their pallor and stillness. There’s no sense of motion, instead the women look like they were captured post-mortem. Their peaceful body language and impassive faces contrast with their layers and patches. Like the juxtaposition of new and ancient techniques Kahn uses to create these works, the figures are both enduring and fragile.
“These scans, realized as life-size 3d printed statues and installed in darkened rooms as a damaged ancient artifact might be, serve as a incomplete memorials to the body as it moves through time and space.” (Source)
The imperfect sculptures reveal flaws, empty spaces, and altered textures. It speaks of the inability to ever really know a person, as if these pieces of the mapped and printed bodies are all that could be gathered.
“This concern with the instability of memory and representation is the common thread that weaves together the ancient and futuristic aspects of my work.”
Kahn’s fragmented women give form to the futility of capturing the essence of a life.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Beautiful/Decay, then this is for you! A Day In Decay is a new ongoing column that will be appearing on the site penned by yours truly. I’ll be documenting our day to day shenanigans, daily life in the arts district of downtown LA, the ups and downs of running an indie publishing and apparel line and other things of interest both in and out of our office. Some posts will be related directly to what we do ( like photos of our office/neighborhood) and some posts will have nothing to do with art or design (like photos of my scuba diving instructor after the jump). ADID will answer all your long time questions about the who, whats, whys, and hows of living, breathing, eating, and sleeping B/D 24-7. So without further ado i give you A Day In Decay……
“Most of my pieces are small sculptural objects often based on found natural materials. I like giving time to the inconspicuous things that surround us and often go unnoticed, paying attention to small details and the tactile quality of objects. Appropriating traditional craft techniques like weaving and crochet as a means of sculpture brings a contemplative element to the development of my work. I am interested in unusual combinations of materials, the experimentation with fragility and strength and the individual stories that evolve and shape themselves in the process of making.” – Susanna Bauer
Photographer Antoine Rose captures Miami’s beaches and its coastline in the series Up in the Air Miami. Shot from a bird’s eye view, umbrellas, beach goers, and yachts are miniaturized and abstracted, and look like tiny toys used in a diorama. The candy-colored images offer an unusual glimpse into a day on the water, as we see only a general depiction of the beach yet its captured on a large scale. We aren’t offered many details, but still, there is a lot of energy in these photographs. Rose communicates leisure, and minuscule figures evoke the famous French post-impressionist “bathers” series by Cezanne.
Emmanuel Fremin Gallery in New York City is exhibiting Rose’s works, and they describe how the extreme point of view affects what we’re seeing:
… people sharing common behaviors and exposing themselves like hedonistic herds. The stills of people swimming, surfing or just sitting down on their beach pads suggest a showcase or, given the distance, an Insectarium. One can even see a religious connotation: the bird’s eye view makes people seem insignificant dots in the infinite space of the universe, crushed by the immensity of the water field, recalling the biblical universal flood; seen from the sky, like through god’s eyes, people and nature coexist in harmonic or tense relationships. -Eduard Andrei
Miami isn’t the first or only place that Rose has photographed. Previous series of Up in the Air include the Hamptons, Long Island, and Wollman Skating Rink in New York City. To capture these images, he is situated outside of a helicopter that flies as low as 600 feet.
Richly pigmented work from Canadian Aleksandra Rdest. Her organic paintings are inspired by “sound waves, clouds, particles and cells on a microscopic level. The point of departure for these works is growth and decay; cellular division and multiplication, weather patterns biological colonization. My love affair with colour gives rise to these paintings which are created by richly layering veils of paint to form a deep surface.” Find Aleksandra’s work at Newzones in Calgary, and Sopa Fine Arts in BC.
Self-taught artist YaYa Chou grew up in Taiwan, but has lived in Los Angeles since 1997. Her Soft Tissue series, collected here, combine glass sculptures with drawn schematics on paper, both of which strive to explore the protected anatomy of people, plants, and animals on a conceptual and figurative level.
Especially when juxtaposed, these pieces indicate an interesting study of the body: where eastern ideas of emotional organ frequencies meet western philosophies of organism functionality. Chou’s work playfully dialogues with our own creation and confinement of thought.
It takes some serious skills to make photorealistic watercolors, but that’s exactly what Christopher St. Leger has going on in his work. He’s rendered a series of skateboarders kick-flipping and cruising which are particularly fluid, along with a range of impressive cityscapes. Like a looser, more colorful Richard Estes, St. Leger will trick you into thinking your looking at the real thing.
Entering the studio of Joseph Walsh is like embarking on a vessel of imagination. His “Magnus Celestii” piece begins as a desk and then spirals upwards from the floor to the ceiling to end as a slender shelf. The great heaven; as the title of the piece translates in latin; is taking up the entire space, making the viewer the center of the sculpture wherever he is located in the room. Not only is the piece a beauty, but it’s also made out of ashes of wood. A detail that transports us to the premice of the creation, in the midst of nature, in a magical forest somewhere in Ireland, where the artist is from.
Regarding Joseph Walsh, the barrier between him being acknowledge as an artist or a designer is slim, almost inexistant. The fact that he is challenging the technical boundaries of wood carving demonstrates his talent and love for his passion.
He is a visionary redefining design as art. A piece of furniture created by his hands is a sculpture. He wishes to honor the collaboration man has had for decennies with the material of wood.
Once again through this sculpture he has our head swirling in a dream of wooden ribbons. Over the years, Joseph Walsh has created a language of curves, sensuatity and voluptuousness. There is not one way to appreciate his work. How the lines float and the silhouettes undulate leaves us in an eternal spin. No matter how many times we look at a piece, there will always be a new angle to discover it.The simplicity of the material and the complexicity of the lines are what makes his work so captivating.
Joseph Walsh has new work currently showing at Chatsworth House in Bakewell, Derbyshire, UK until October 2015.