Russian graphic designer and artist Yulia Brodskaya draws with paper instead of on it. Her highly detailed pieces are constructed of rolled, folded, and carefully placed strips of color paper. The intricate curls of paper are intriguing in themselves while creating a larger image – it took me a moment to realize what I saw in the top image. Brodskaya’s process and style has garnered her some serious attention. Her long client list includes companies such as Starbucks, Anthropologie, Penguin Press, and HOW Magazine. [via]
Through elegantly beautiful works, Vandana Jain uses corporate logos and symbols, to study the effects of institutionalized repression. Her metaphor, an illusory philanthropy implies how corporations subliminally demoralize and enslave cultures. Her depiction manifests most commonly in an architectural setting, and through icons of religious nature including mandalas and totems. These logos are beautifully manipulated by Jain into mesmerizing works, that distract from the symbol’s intended purpose. Mostly working in installation, Jain engages all media in this format including drawing, sewing, painting and video. Her most recent project, “Dazzle” is the result of her residency at Brooklyn’s Smack Mellon. For the project, Jain created a series of murals, inspired by naval camouflage used during world war l. Before sonar, brightly colored lines were painted on warships in various patterns. These were used to confuse the enemy of a ship’s size, speed and direction. Jain applied the same technique to the huge interior walls of Smack Mellon. In colored artist’s tape, her familiar corporate logos are masked behind camouflage, which continues her conversation with the corrupt and exploitive nature of corporate brands. Her training as a textile designer comes through in the pattern making ability needed to make the walls come alive. The dazzling lines recall circus tents and opt art made in the 60’s and 70’s.
I’ll be the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about dance, especially when it comes to ballet. I am, however, a huge Fall fan, which led me to these videos of choreography by Michael Clark, a British dancer who famously shook up the modern dance world by staging avant-garde productions often set to experimental or post-punk music. These clips come from a 1988 ballet called “I Am Curious, Orange” which was scored entirely by The Fall. As far as I can tell, there hasn’t been much proper documentation done of this work, but these YouTube clips, taken from Charles Atlas’ long out of print film Hail the New Puritan will have to suffice.
Aspen Valley based multimedia artist Tania Dibbs has created an epic series of barnacle infested sculptures. Her work, generated with various materials such as resin, paint and found objects, acts as a timeless collection of discovered underwater treasures. The beauty of her pieces lay in the simultaneous precision and playfulness within the materiality. Each sculpture demands a second look, an investigation, a questioning of origin and time. Dibbs‘ work, which ranges well beyond sculpture, also touching media such as oil and encaustic, holds a constant theme of questioning nature and man’s relationship to it. With pieces such as her denatured alcohol containers, rusted waste cans, and bottles being infested by, if not entirely submerged, in tentacle-barnacle-algea reminiscent formations, she forces perspectives on how and why. Where it is the made man objects that take on the action of being disturbed and manipulated, it is, in fact, the object that does not belong. Dibbs transforms every day garbage into fragile and precious works of art, concurrently creating an environmental debate. Her work, she describes, portrays an “unstoppable nature, creeping along and encrusting and covering” (via Hi Fructose).
In deconstructing Barbie dolls and repurposing them as jewelry for “Plastic Bodies Series,” the designer Margaux Lange forces us to enter an uncomfortable space between disgust and worship of the iconic toy. Barbie, who has been a target of the last decades’ feminist debate, occupies an ambiguous role in the social and sexual development of girls; she exudes sexuality with her adult figure, but she also remains virginal, never revealing her nipples or genitalia.
Lange’s work powerfully evokes the girlhood tension between reverence and anger felt towards the doll and its conflicting representation of female eroticism. At its most practical, the art is a function of style; elevated to the status of precious jewels, Barbie’s eyes and breasts inspire nostalgia and desire. Yet the doll is so clearly dismembered, and therefore violently objectified, and her selfhood becomes reduced to a series of nearly identical body parts, arranged for your consumption.
Arguably, the most compelling of the works include Barbie’s male companion doll Ken. Although the dolls often serve as play actors for a child’s early exploration of sexual desire and experience, their plastic forms obscure and confuse concepts of intimacy. In isolating the dolls’ features, Lange is able to express more clearly-seen longings within the previously sterile dolls; they become fixated between metal filigrees, robbed of their eyes but permanently in contact with one another. In use, the relationship between the owner and the doll also reaches new levels of fetishistic fascination. In one pair of earrings, doll hands reach out to touch the curve of the human neck; a necklace allows a tiny pair of metal lungs, filled with the breath of Barbie and Ken, to lay atop the wearer’s own chest. Take a look. (via Margaux Lange and BUST)
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Michael Werner is a photographer from Germany. His work has been exhibited internationaly and is included in several private and public collections, such as the Museum Hanau, Germany or Michael Steinberg Fine Art, New York and published in many catalogs to the exhibitions.