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Nick van Woert Covers Neoclassical Statues In Strange Chemicals

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Combining fiberglass statues with polyurethane, artist Nick van Woert‘s sculptures are swallowed up and overcome by texture and color. Artificial Neo-Classical statues are covered in multi-colored resin in a way that looks like they’ve been caught in the middle of a downpour. The visual weight of the translucent material (and emphasis on it) is something that’s at the center of van Woert’s work. In an article about him on Sight Unseen, the following is said about his philosophy of making:

Figuratively speaking, the idea is that the world we’ve built for ourselves is only as good as the materials we’ve used to build it — these days, that means all manner of plastics, strange chemicals, and the hollow plaster that replaces stone in the replica statues van Woert repurposes.

In the same article, van Woert’s practice is said to be driven by the mantra “you are what you eat.” Essentially, it’s the idea that we’d replace marble statues of Ancient Greek and Roman figures with cheap fiberglass will eventually catch up with us. The things we make now might not hold up the test of time as marble sculptures have. In his work, van Woert attempts to reconcile what it means to uphold the past visually, but not in terms of raw materials.

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david bertram’s Clay Face Portraits

 

French photographer David Bertram’s latest group of images are portraits of self-portraits, Claytime presents people who were asked to model their own faces out of clay.

“The Art of the portrait is often associated with the idea that the eyes of the pictured person are a window on his soul, his inner truth. Only eyes can really say that much ? This question is the basis of the work that is presented here, which offers a more psychological than physical lighting of each subject. I got inspired by an psychology exercise that involves asking the patient to model his own face out of a piece of clay, to unconsciouly reveal
his own traits, its complex, its fears, in short, his psychic identity to his analyst.

This playful exercise gave its name to the series, Claytime, which presents different people all having modeled their own faces in clay. Despite
differing modeling abilities, their faces are in some cases, rough, in other perfectly crafted, but always revealing.

In a second step, I photographed these people, inside their homes, within a framework that defines them both personally and socially, and
offers several clues about their personalities. Subsequently, a photo montage allowed me to replace their “real” faces by their mental projections in clay. Once placed on the shoulders, the head of clay either contrasts with the body which receives it, or rather is an almost organic extension of this body, mysteriously revealing the forces that espouse or oppose in the person’s mind, the game between subjective and objective acting as a revelator of the soul… A kind of X-ray of the mind. I chose to light those pictures in a rather painting mood and often privileged static poses in order to give each portrait the expression of an ancient statue, frozen in time as the remains of a personality, memory of the real identity, the one that never changes.”

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Stephen Ives’ Mr. Dictator Head

I’m absolutely loving this series of of dictator sculptures by Stephen Ives’ based on everyones favorite toy Mr. Potato Head! Saddam Hussain, Stalin, Kim Jong II, Lenin, and even Hitler call all be made with the removal and addition of a few pieces. Now you can have playtime and pretend to be an evil dictator all at once!  More dictators and other amazing sculptures based on toys after the jump!

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Hate Mail For Hire: Mr Bingo Send Postcards With Nasty Messages To Your Friends

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Throwing abuse at people is easy. Getting paid to do it is another matter. London based illustrator Mr Bingo does it with ease, and loves taking money for his efforts. The prankster receives offensive sayings from visitors on his twitter page, draws pictures to accompany the words, and sends the composited postcard to the chosen (willing, or unsuspecting) victims. For 50 quid, plus postage, you can receive a customized card that tells you exactly how crap you are. Quite surprisingly, the abusive service he offers has proven to be quite popular. Mr Bingo explains how it all began:

It all started one night in my studio in 2011 when I’d had a few drinks. I went on Twitter and said I will send a postcard with an offensive message to the first person who replies to this. (Source)

After receiving over 50 replies in a matter of minutes, he sent the postcard to ‘winner’ to Jonathan Hopkins from Forest Hill in London, stating that Mr Hopkins had shit legs. “Fuck you, Jonathan, fuck you and fuck your shit legs” the card read. Even though he was saying something that would be offensive, even repulsive to some, Mr Bingo’s card went down a treat and kickstarted a niche market for cards that knocked the receiver’s self confidence.

Essentially, what I was doing was enabling strangers to pay me to tell them to fuck off. All this is comedy. It’s clear that the hate mail is a joke and that I’m only sending it to people who want it. (Source)

Mr Bingo himself receives a lot of hate mail, but takes it all on the chin, as he expects his clients to do. He is the type of person that considers swearing funny, and in fact necessary, but refuses to poke fun at homophobia, racism, religion or disability.  The cheeky illustrator has also launched a (successful) kickstarter campaign to fund a printed collection of his postcards. You can see that project here. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Grotesque Photos Capture The Pains And Joys Of Womanhood

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In her visceral, raw still lifes, the 21-year-old photographer Madison Carroll captures the grotesque remains of meaningful moments gone by. Used condoms, pregnancy tests, and blood stains grace her compositions, punctuating a narrative that skips dizzyingly from girlhood to womanhood, from innocence to experience. As if plucked from last night’s waste basket, these soiled items emerge; in the context of Carroll’s clean, immaculate technique, they become all the more haunting.

As if part of some unusual crime scene, waste products are left out, forensically archived by Carroll’s lens. Here, rotting fruit and old bandaids mark not a murder but the more gradual, subtle trauma of growing up, of being woman. Like a pool of blood, tea spills from a delicate, shattered china cup; a lemon, once fresh and aromatic, rots. An egg cracks, the yoke spilling out into a satin pair of Victoria’s Secret underwear like a giant, monstrous ovum released during menstruation.

In Carroll’s disturbing yet thrilling realm, the dangers and joys of femaleness collide in a moment of brutal self-reflection. Death and fertility become indistinguishable. In a frilly, feminine doily, a cockroach lies dead, rotting beside a snuffed-out cigarette. A Clear Blue pregnancy test sits on an old rust-stained rag, the urine and tissue in the toilet simply a blurred afterthought.

Like a hoarder of significant items, Carroll’s lens seeks out that which might be thrown away, forgotten by time. A male lover, sprawled on the bed, is captured asleep, in a state of heightened vulnerability, his pale nakedness pressing against the border of the frame. At the artist’s feet, a condom evidences the intimacy that occurred minutes or hours before. (via Feature Shoot and iGNANT)

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Kameraet

Kameraet is a fun and silly video made by Marc Reisbig & Hanne Berkaak in 2009 for Gyldendal Education for a Norwegian digital educational website for children. The video was shot in a garage in Oslo, Norway using stop motion animation. If you like dragons blowing bubbles, mushroom happy faces, and dancing owls I suggest you press play.

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Stan Herd Uses Plants And Landscaping To Recreate A Van Gogh Painting So Big You Can See It From The Sky

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For the last forty years, Stan Herd has been transforming open plots of land into stunning works of art. His medium, which he refers to as landscape or earthworks art, involves sculpting the terrain by mowing outlines, trimming grass for depth, and using various plants to create shade and texture. His large-scale projects have cropped up across Kansas, reinterpreting famous art pieces and even delving into important social issues, earning him coverage and accolades from publications around the world.

In a recent piece commissioned by the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Herd reimagined Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 “Olive Trees” using an acre of land outside the airport. With expressive accuracy, Herd has transformed an otherwise flat, empty field into the likeness of van Gogh’s vision of nature and divinity, capturing the iconic, wistful trees and dancing sun. In the video above, Herd describes his inspiration and enduring admiration for the long-dead artist:

“The amazing thing about van Gogh’s painting is that there’s not a single straight line in the whole canvas; everything is organic and curved and flowing and it’s like a pulse. I’m just amazed that after months of looking at one painting that I continue to discover things in it. […] I think this is what van Gogh saw. Everything was moving for him, and everything was moving together.” (Source)

If you’re flying into Minneapolis this fall, be sure to keep an eye out for this masterpiece. You can learn more about Herd on his website and Facebook page. More images of “Olive Trees” and other works after the jump.

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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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