We can like status updates on facebook… we can favorite tweets on twitter… we can give videos a “thumbs-up” on youtube… but why can’t we cry? As the first part of an intensive study into the role of crying in a networked culture, the I cried button is an experiment conducted by Dee Kim & Bistin Chen. Using Google Chrome, you can install the button as a plug-in in youtube and press it when you cry while or after watching something from youtube. The button functions similar to the ‘like’ button, because it quantifies and saves your input, but instead of rating the material with a set of shiny stars, your emotions are gauged by tear drops…
In master paintings, beauty lies in the romance of an instant, with movement expressed only through form, balance, and color; for the animation artist Rino Stefano Tagliafierro, emotional potency is lost in immobility, their dramatic narratives lost to the stationary canvas. By animating famous Renaissance, Romantic, and Neoclassical paintings using modern technology, he revels in the joy of storytelling through art.
In his video Beauty, Tagliafierro uses mostly Academic paintings, relying on the balance and mythos of Neo-Classicism and the sentimentalist nature of Romanticism to celebrate the female body in motion. Animating mostly paintings by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, he heightens the sensuality of the work by adding slow, gentle movements and soft musical notes. The delicacy of both the young female and the mother figure is exalted to the angelic, her creamy flesh revealed through the coy lifting of her skirt.
Tagliafierro subverts the traditional gentleness of his woman subjects by including Baroque heroines, whose rapid movements only heighten their power. In Caravaggio’s Judith Beheading Holofernes, we are given the just moment of impact, left breathless in the moment before the kill; in his adaptation, the modern artist affords viewers the satisfaction of closure, allowing Judith’s weapon to effortlessly glide through the neck of her enemy.
The gifs of Caravaggio’s Isaac and Luis Ricardo Falero’s witches, played in a loop, relieve viewers of the suspense of the famous biblical and mythological images, allowing us follow a visual story that moves from terror to a sort of redemption. The human body is seen as a creative force, in constant flux between tension and release. (via Design Boom)
Nobuhiro Nakanishi produces beautifully mesmerizing atypical landscapes. The Osaka, Japan-based artist creates the works, which he called “Layered Drawings,” by photographing a scene over a period of time. He then laser prints each image and mounts it to acrylic. Subtle changes emerge in each frame, and once they are layered they portray an untraditional landscape. As a viewer walks passed the work he or she experiences, to some degree, the passing of time within this particular place.
Interested in the way sculpture is defined by the thought, awareness and the method it employs, Nakanishi seeks to analyze the way we perceive the world. Experiencing a photographic landscape is generally a two-dimensional process whereby a viewer stands in front of an image. She can then empathize with the artist, seeing what he saw in the captured scene, but the experience is always a viewer looking at a flat surface. With Nakanishi’s works, the results are wholly different. The more physical, dimensional aspects of Nakanishi’s sculptural landscapes contain infinitely more detail. The effect is a richer experience. Our minds momentarily transport us to Nakanishi’s foggy forest in the morning, or to his hill overlooking a gorgeous sunset. Nakanishi’s landscapes trigger our memories and senses in a way traditional landscapes cannot.
Lorena Garcia Mateu has created a series of stunning portraits of young women, but almost all of them have their faces obscured. Mateu’s warm colors and thick paint strokes create a soft ambience to his paintings, without hard lines or defined edges. But in these beautiful, soft settings, his figures are twisted and mutated, with obstructions growing out of their faces. The obstructions themselves are organic and natural things, like coral or flowers, but are growing in unnatural places. These figures leave the viewer wondering: are we supposed to find these images beautiful or horrifying? Are these harmonious mixtures of women and the natural world, or monsters?
Oakland based artist Christopher Blackstock creates the ‘The Lone Stranger’ a series of illustrations that explore the life of an imagined character who finds himself experiencing the ultimate journey of self-discovery in a hallucinatory, post-apocalyptic remote desert area. The vibrant, cartoonish aesthetic puts emphasis on the surrealism of it all. Finding yourself in a desolated space can become lonely but exciting all at once.
According to the artist, the stranger, the recurring character, has experienced his fair share of tragedy and is now in search for answers, and maybe some sort of redemption through a spiritual quest. His tale, one of existential turmoil, redemption and self-discovery coincides with the collapse of the ecosystem as climate change reaches a more advanced stage and renders California completely arid.
Blackstock, a muiti-media artist who works in painting, sculpture and illustration, rendered these as digital drawings first and then turned them into laser-cut panels which were then placed onto canvas and hand-painted with acrylic and spray-paint.
Blackstock’s ‘The Lone Stranger’ will be on view at Oakland’s Loakal, starting July 4th through July 30th, 2014.