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Sean Norvet

Sean Norvet has work in many mediums on his site but my favorites are these ultra detailed and slightly grotesque portraits.

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Government, Conspiracy and Art Converge at SMoCA In COVERT OPERATIONS

Ahmed Basiony, 30 Days of Running in the Place (still), 2010/2011. Two-channel color digital video installation with two-channel soundtrack; run time and dimensions variable. Footage from the 2010 performance of 30 Days of Running in the Place and the 2011 Tahrir Square protests, edited by Shady El Noshokaty. Courtesy of the Basiony Estate. © Basiony Estate

Ahmed Basiony, 30 Days of Running in the Place (still), 2010/2011. Two-channel color digital video installation with two-channel soundtrack; run time and dimensions variable. Footage from the 2010 performance of 30 Days of Running in the Place and the 2011 Tahrir Square protests, edited by Shady El Noshokaty. Courtesy of the Basiony Estate. © Basiony Estate

Jenny Holzer, Ribs, 2010. Eleven LED signs with blue, red and white diodes, text: US government documents, 58 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 5 3/4 inches each. Courtesy of the artist and Cheim & Read, New York. © 2010 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay

Jenny Holzer, Ribs, 2010. Eleven LED signs with blue, red and white diodes, text: US government documents, 58 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 5 3/4 inches each. Courtesy of the artist and Cheim & Read, New York. © 2010 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay

Trevor Paglen, Untitled (Reaper Drone), 2010. Chromogenic print, 48 x 60 inches. Courtesy the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco; Metro Pictures, New York; and Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne. © Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen, Untitled (Reaper Drone), 2010. Chromogenic print, 48 x 60 inches. Courtesy the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco; Metro Pictures, New York; and Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne. © Trevor Paglen

Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns, curated by Claire C. Carter, recently opened at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), occupying the museum’s four exhibition spaces with intense focus.  Encompassing digital media works, large scale photography and interactive installations, the exhibition questions what we know and what we think we know.

SMoCA writes: “Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns is the first major survey of a generation of artists working in the violent and uncertain decade following the 9/11 terrorist attacks to collect and reveal previously unreported or under-reported information. This group of international artists includes Ahmed Basiony, Thomas Demand, Hasan Elahi, Harun Farocki, Jenny Holzer, Trevor Paglen and Taryn Simon. They use legal procedures as well as traditional research methods and resources such as the Freedom of Information Act, government archives, field research and insider connections. The thirty-seven artworks included in Covert Operations employ the tools of democracy to bear witness to attacks on liberty and to embrace democratic ideals, open government and civil rights.

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Craig And Karl

Bold colors, playful typography, and iconic illustrations are the key ingredients that make the work of New York and Sydney based design duo Craig And Karl stand out from a sea of repetitious designers.

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David Mach And Four Other Artists Who Cleverly Create Creatures

David Mach

David Mach

Marta Klonowska

Marta Klonowska

Kristi Malakoff

Kristi Malakoff

Diem Chau

Diem Chau

Irving Harper

Irving Harper

Because it’s still the beginning of the week, and because who doesn’t love animals, here are five artists who cleverly create creatures as part of their work.

David Mach uses everyday items to create large-scale sculptures and installations.  His cheetah and tiger, for instance, are created solely out of coat hangers.  Laying hundreds of them together Mach created two rather ferocious creatures.

Polish artist Marta Klonowska assembles carefully broken shards of colored glass to create translucent animals of life-like proportion and size.  Influenced by the animals seen in baroque and romantic paintings, Klonowska sought to re-make an old idea in a new way.

Kristi Malakoff is a Canadian artist interested in using animals in her art because of “swarm theory,” or “swarm intelligence,” which suggests that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  In other words, the theory posits that the limits of the individual are overcome by collective intelligence.  This installation consists of 6000 color copies of butterflies on transparency material.

An unconventional use of the medium, Seattle artist Diem Chau works with graphite pencil leads to create intricate and delicate sculptures of animals.  Using a rather common medium to create an uncommon result, Chau’s work touches on the value of storytelling and myth and their ability to connect us to one another.

Industrial designer Irving Harper creates beautiful paper sculptures.  Humble materials for such intricate results, Harper is interested in using brilliant design and craftsmanship to integrate the natural world.

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Noah Scalin’s “Anatomically Correct” Guns

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Artist Noah Scalin has created a series of fantasized “anatomically correct” guns. Within his series Anatomy of War, the artist aims to humanize guns in order to depict gun violence as an even more sensitized and complex topic. He wants these pieces to provoke a discussion about the possibilities of violence if guns were “as fragile as the lives they can potentially take.”

Noah Scalin creates these “anatomically correct guns” with a mixture of polymer clay, acrylic and enamel. He has sculpted a handgun and an AK-47 from their own parts, literally making these machines from their own “guts.”These works act as tiny metaphors for the actual act of human choice within gun violence; as if the weapon is in fact a part of the human that uses it. These sculptures remind us that it is not the machine that commits an act of violence, but the brain that has decided to use it. These pieces take away the notion that a gun shoots someone, but in fact, a living thing does. He states “…too often the discussion around guns in America gets wrapped up in emotional terms around the 2nd Amendment. Anatomy of War brings the discussion back to the individual human level.” (via Lost at E Minor)

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Able Parris

changing_imagination_collage670 East coast Collage artist and lover of type, Able Parris, offers any art-tuned web-explorer a selection of delights. I suggest starting with his collage collections and Able’s sketchbook videos. and viewing his other work as featured on tumblr. Able shares his collage art through downloadable wallpapers, and shares his editorial perspectives as a frequent contributor to both Graphic Hug and We Love Typography. Thanks for sharing, Able!

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Split Screen Portraits Of Drug Addiction Show Subjects Before And After

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The photographer Roman Sakovich has gotten some heat for his project Half, a series of images detailing the effects of drug abuse, particularly with respect to methamphetamine addiction; his subjects stand, face forward, their lefthand side polished, even proud, while on the right, their bodies are ravaged by scars and scabs characteristic of addiction. The jarring split-personas are achieved not through photoshop but with expert make-up and styling.

The artist has been criticized for his simplified portrayal of drug dependency; by his own admission, the images, in their shocking nature, exclude a more nuanced exploration and rely in part stereotypes. Problematic for some is the fact that the non-addict self is styled professionally in suits and crisp button-downs, while the addict wears more urban attire, the implication being that class and drug use are profoundly connected.

Regardless of the controversy (and perhaps even because of it), the shocking series inspires much-needed and critical discussion on drug addiction, an illness that plagues tens of millions nationwide. Avoiding blaming and scapegoating individuals, the artist provides an intimate approximation of selfhood torn by addiction, one that inspires empathy, not disgust or prejudice.

Sakovich’s subjects, their identities split in two, are as you and I, lead by hopes, fears, and complex yearnings. A doctor, stethoscope slung over her shoulder, hair in a tight chignon, directs a placid glance comfortingly at the viewer; only after allowing our eyes to drift across the print do we see this figure of heath and safety cruelly overtaken by substance abuse, her eye downcast and purpled, a dried lip furrowed and lined. We read these bodies from left to right like strange texts, imagining personal and intimate narratives in order to reconcile the two faces before us. Ultimately, we are left with the powerful warning, “This could happen to you.” What do you think? (via My Modern Met and Feature Shoot)

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Sarah Palmer

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When looking at the photographs of Sarah Palmer you can’t help but notice the playfulness with light and colors. I find her body of work from the series, “The Riddle of Lumen”, quite interesting, and although clearly documenting an urban landscape, I also find it quite mystical. As if unfolding an urban exploration of a city, or finding a hidden gem in plain view. At least when I look at her work, it almost seems to portray and unidentifiable sentimentalism of the unknown urban setting depicted. It plays quite well with the colors and spacial composition in the photographs.

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