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Kar­ley Feaver’s Stuffed Birds With Bizarre Haircuts

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New Zealand-based artist Kar­ley Feaver creates assemblages that involve a mix­ture of stuffed birds and various costume-like adornment ( human hair, gold plated metal, wood, and more). The artist claims that the animals she uses are ethically sourced and have died of natural causes.

Through her grotesque yet beautiful sculptures, the artist explores the idea of trans­for­ma­tion and adorn­ment, as her cur­rent inter­ests rest in nature’s abil­ity to sur­vive in dif­fer­ent forms by adapt­ing, adjust­ing, and mutat­ing into an increas­ingly man-made environment.

She intends to make these birds look other-worldly. Interestingly enough, she is successful at doing this by using materials that we are very familiar with (human hair, gold, and wood). She makes an interesting juxtaposition between the natural and the unnatural, the familiar and the unfamiliar- specifically to make a point about the unnatural efforts animals (in general) have to make in order to survive in a man-made environment.

Through the ages peo­ple have made beau­ti­ful things for them­selves and oth­ers by using mate­ri­als from their nearby envi­ron­ment. Birds are known to do the same, espe­cially when seek­ing to attract a mate. Feaver’s new works bring the image of beauty almost to the edge of absur­dity, their appear­ance is both bizarre and extra­or­di­nary, unlike any other crea­ture on earth.

(via Brown Paper Bag)

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Xavier Antin’s home printing

"Just in Time, or A Short History of Production"

Xavier Antin is a recent grad of Royal College of Art currently based in London. His piece “Just in Time, or A Short History of Production” is a clever recycling of old technologies to make something new. A book printed through a printing chain made of four desktop printers using four different colors and technologies dated from 1880 to 1976. A production process that brings together small scale and large scale production, two sides of the same history. The final piece is a product created from a very strange offset printing process and doesn’t quite look how you would expect it to! Check out more pictures of “Just in Time” and other works by Xavier after the jump.

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Beomsik Won’s Collages Form New Buildings From Disparate Architecture

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Artist Beomsik Won collages images of different architectural works to form one unified structure. The photographs feature a gray wash over the disparate features to increase their sense of cohesion. Won calls this the Archisculpture Photo Project, writing:

René Descartes viewed as beautiful the order and coherency of structures designed by a single architect; the purpose of the Archisculpture Photo Project, however, is to create architectural sculptures by collaging photographs of diverse architectural works from various architects. In this way, Archisculpture Photos are both similar and different to the organic romanticism of old cities built through the works of myriad architects, for they represent the artist’s subjective interpretation and decisions regarding various architects’ numerous designs.

Won’s assemblages create the illusion of a metropolis. “Like collectors who arrange and classify their acquisitions with great care, artists analyze selected city fragments gathered from here and there and with them create their sculptures.” He goes on to write, “What exist[s] now as disparate structures are reborn as beautiful sculptures which retain their diachronic or synchronic histories, or else encompass it all.” They should be looked at as the sum of their parts. (Via Ghost in the Machine)

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Shusei Nagaoka’s sci-fi illustrations

Earth, Wind & Fire: "I Am" (album cover inside), 1979

Earth, Wind & Fire: "I Am" (album cover inside), 1979

Shusei Nagaoka (born in 1936) is a Japanese illustrator whose best known works were for music album cover art in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the artists he did covers for include, ELO, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Caldera, and Pure Prairie League.

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Design Watch: Basil Bangs

If you’ve ever had to shop for an outdoor umbrella, you’ve experienced the utter lack of well-designed options. Enter Basil Bangs, whose Le Pixel umbrella would look great on the deck of any discerning home-owner.

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Unnerving Artworks Created With Deadly Disease-Causing Bacteria

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Miniature woven felt lungs injected with sterilized tuberculosis bacteria

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In collaboration with microbiologists, the English artist Anna Dumitriu has honed her unique talent for working with bacteria as a means of staining fabric; her high-art fashions feature organic patterns made by microorganisms. In her most recent installation project, The Romantic Disease, she works with a more dangerous type of bacteria: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism responsible for Tuberculosis.

In combining now-killed TB DNA with found and altered relics of late 19th and early 20th century technologies, Dumitriu creates a vivid medicinal—and often foreboding— landscape. Before the invention of antibiotics, TB patients were taken to “sanatoria,” hospitals built at high altitudes (then thought to be beneficial to sufferers), where they were confined to bed and given extreme treatments. For a piece titled “Rest, Rest, and Rest!” Dumitriu constructs a model sanitarium bed; for another piece, she carves the pattern of lung tissue onto an actual Pneumothorax Machine, once used to collapse patients’ lungs.

The Romantic Disease is neither a historical or scientific tour of old hospital machinery; on the contrary, is is an emotionally dangerous and poignantly subjective exploration of the disease. Although the exhibit avoids mention or representation of actual sufferers, individual pieces are imbued with a distinctly human touch. The sanitarium bed and curtain are small and delicate as dollhouse pieces; beside the larger pieces, they appear lonesome and afraid. Similarly, a group of miniature woven felt lungs, each containing sterilized Mycobacterium tuberculosis, appear to flutter like tiny, fragile birds beside the Pneumothorax Machine.

A maternity dress, dyed with supposed TB cures like safflower and madder root, hangs loosely on a dress form; this piece becomes all the more heartbreaking with the knowledge that at a time when the disease was thought to be spread genetically, pregnant women underwent forced abortions. The historical reverence and tender craftsmanship with which Anna Dumitriu presents The Romantic Disease serves to humanize those who suffered at the hands of this politically and socially fraught disease. The work is currently on display at West London’s Waterman’s. (via Smithsonian Magazine and Anna Dumitriu)

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Francois Chartier’s Photorealistic Crumpled Paper Still-Lifes

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Montreal-based artist Francois Chartier creates still-life paintings with a photorealistic quality. He often pairs the still-life object with an image of crumpled tissue paper that is dramatically shaped around each object, creating an overall presentation of the still-life object. The juxtaposition of these textures – matte and crumpled with the bright and shiny – demonstrates Chartier’s level of skill as a realistic painter. Surprisingly, Chartier hasn’t always been a painter. After 30 years in advertising as a commercial artist, he entered the fine art world full-time at the age of 50.

Chartier applies the acrylic paint with an airbrush onto a smooth gesso base. He explains, “Although my paintings are realistic, my goal is to create through the layering of mediums and the play of the brush, the illusion of depth and sense of presence beyond what is found in photographs. . . I am drawn to painting large scale works where my subjects, always painted bigger then life size, are given room to seize the viewer and where life’s smaller details are revealed in their beauty and simplicity.” (via juxtapoz)

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Hirotoshi Ito’s Rocks and Stones Look Like Anything But

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When not attending to his family’s masonry business, Hirotoshi Ito turns a more playful eye to the stones of his work day.  Hirotoshi deftly works stone transforming it into sculptures that appear to be anything but the hard material.  Rocks look as if they’re thin skinned pouches, melting like butter, and laughing faces.  Hirotoshi’s sculptures – their playful forms and use of material – betray the artists sense of humor and a desire to pleasantly surprise the viewer.  Indeed, the artist’s statement says that his work welcomes  a laugh and a smile.

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