The late and great author Kurt Vonnegut was a visual artist, too. If you’re a fan of his writing, then you probably already knew that drawings by him appear in 1973’s Breakfast of Champions and that he illustrated the cover for Man Without a Country in 2005. But in the mid-1990’s, Vonnegut shipped his daughter Nanette a plethora of drawings. She kept them in her studio’s flatfiles (she’s a visual artist, too) until now, when the artwork was made into a book and is part of a touring exhibition titled Kurt Vonnegut Drawings. The book is published by Monacelli Press and features 145 selections of his work.
Playful line drawings are composed using pen and marker. The abstract and surreal works, in which things transform and morph to become something other than themselves, include fragments of the written word. One drawing includes a steep set of stair and muses, “There is a ceiling on human thoughts.” Other wordless works often include a minimalist portrait or figure. They are free-flowing images that feel like a stream of consciousness.
The published book includes essays written by his daughter and scholar (and Vonnegut friend) Peter Reed. He writes, “great value of this collection is that Vonnegut’s artwork gives us another perspective on his restless imagination and his creative genius. … There are constraints in writing that even the iconoclastic Vonnegut felt, but in his art he seems wholly uninhibited.” (Via Hyperallergic)
The collisions between art and life can create an interesting space for an artist to create work from—and something that Atlanta-based installation artist Gyun Hur seeks out. Even though she works abstractly, Hur chooses to charge her work by using the medium’s significance as a conceptual starting point. Artificial flowers and colorful woven fabrics are hand-shredded into a brightly colored powder, which she disseminates throughout the space.
Hur creates her soft, delicate, vibrantly-colored installations through a carefully choreographed “performance,” in which she works to create perfect arrangements of materials that have been released from their original forms. Tweezers, masking tape, and a ruthlessly meticulous attention to detail all play a part in Hur’s impressive, site-specific works. The simultaneous tangibility and impermanence of the works force the viewer to become startlingly aware of every breath, every step—every movement made while in the space.
Since October 2014, photographer Chris Forsyth has been capturing the architectural beauty and sophistication of Montreal’s metro stations. The city’s underground network is massive, with four lines, 68 stations, and over a million daily passengers. Forsyth’s vibrant, long-exposure shots accentuate an impressive side to the Metro, beyond its functionality: a creative and brightly bold character, which is both a hallmark of modernism and architectural design.
Construction on the Metro began in the 1960s, during the tenure of Mayor Jean Drapeau. Each station was assigned to a different Canadian architect in order to create unique designs for the spaces. For passengers today, it may sometimes be challenging to appreciate these artistic, historical nuances while in the midst of urban mayhem, but as Forsyth’s project description points out, “architectural portraits show that beautiful design is all around, even when we don’t have the time to slow down and notice.” Forsyth’s contemplative images reveal there are signs of human expression and ingenuity embedded in the very foundations of Montreal.
Visit Forsyth’s Instagram page to follow his ongoing project. For readers living in or visiting Montreal, be sure to share your photos of the Metro using the hashtag #mtlmetroproject.
Melbourne based designer, photographer, illustrator, animator, and collagist Hilary Faye creates animated gif collages with images culled from the internet. Faye stumbled across gif-making accidentally, while creating her static collages: “When collaging, I often alter the composition slightly, scan, and repeat the process until I’m satisfied. Flicking through the scans on the computer to determine my favourite version, I saw them move and come to life.” Faye’s gifs often include juxtapositions of contrasting time periods, creating odd and surreal narratives. You can find more of Faye’s gifs on her Tumblr page, and some of her animations can be found on Vimeo.
Kate Shaw captures the magnificence and mystery in nature in her hypnotizing landscapes created from acrylic paint, glitter, powder, and resin. Each piece exudes the undeniable and powerful force that the rolling hills and mountains hold. Shaw portrays monumental forms of beauty, such as glaciers and cliffs, in an environment swirling with vibrant color. These mesmerizing, whirling hues are created from pouring paint, letting the movement of the color form naturally. Although these paintings show nature and landscapes, they look anything but natural. The colors Shaw has chosen are completely abnormal. Her mountains drip with oranges and pink while her trees rage with rich reds and blues.
There is a strange balance of natural and artificial brilliance captured in Kate Shaw’s work. Her use of different types of materials creates different textures and reflective surfaces that transform the landscapes even further. They are like environments from another planet, just as incredible as they are unfamiliar. Kate Shaw’s landscapes conjure conflicting emotions of growth and manipulation, showing natural beauty with synthetic qualities. Kate Shaw explains her intentions behind this dichotomy.
“My practice aims to convey ideas of nature, alchemy and cycles of creation/destruction. The paintings and video works deal with the tensions and dichotomies in the depiction of the natural world and our relationship to it. I am concurrently exploring the sublime in nature whilst imbuing a sense of toxicity and artificiality in this depiction. My intention is to reflect upon the contradiction between our inherent connection to the natural world and continual distancing from it.”
Her captivating work will be on display at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco in February of 2016.
We are comparable to moths. This is what I think Bernardi Roig is doing with his mixed media pieces: allowing us to see our own attractions to the glowing lights brought forth with the Information Age. From computers to iPhones to tablets– our desire is instinctual or . . . mindlessly animalistic. I’m thinking here also about near death experiences: going towards the light. Remember that iconic scene from Poltergeist? Carol Ann. This too. It’s not about where our bodies gravitate or evolve, but how we speak to the light and what we leave behind as we travel towards it.