Jody Xiong has created a wonderful collaboration between man and machine, art and science, expression and technology. He has enlisted the help of 16 people with physical disabilities and set as part of an innovative experiment. With a person sitting in a chair wearing headphones, electric signals from their brain are captured and transmitted to a Neurosky processing unit. On the other end of the installation, Xiong has set up a structure with four blank canvas walls in a box shape. Inside is a hanging balloon – filled with the subject’s chosen color. The brain signals stemming from the person then trigger detonators attached to the balloon, resulting in an explosion of paint, splattering on all four walls. This installation is quite literally painting what is coming from inside the mind.
You can see the variations between the abstract paintings from all of the subjects and just how different the thought patterns of each of us are. Ranging in large violent bursts to small, stuttered splatters, the paintings are beautiful recordings of the inside of our heads. Each painting was then sold for 800 Renminbi (about 300USD) and donated to different charities. This installation is a beautiful way of getting back to the core of expression. And hopefully our ideas about limitations and potential will be changed because of it.
It shows that the capacity of the human spirit is unlimited, even though it may be trapped within a disabled body. (Source)
Xiong has been connecting ideas of expression and technology for over 16 years. With a background in creative advertising, he is adept at capturing people’s attention with interesting, simple ideas. He seems to have tried his hand at most artistic disciplines, and is known as an expert and innovator in the worlds of painting, environmental design, video and other cutting-edge technologies. To see more of his unique projects, go here (Keyboard of Isolation) and here (Walk for Green). (Via Designboom)
Artist, Designer, Filmmaker, and all-around dude-that-makes-stuff, Greg Ruben, just released a new music video project for So Many Wizards‘ “Inner City.” The video follows an average joe dressed in business-usual as he embarks on the ultimate lunch break in and around a lot of unique spots in Los Angeles. The film’s aesthetic approach is really hypnotizing. You’ll have to see for yourself after the jump…
Abu-Bakarr Mansaray creates futuristic images using an aesthetic similar to blueprints. Engineering plays a large role in these works that lay out a design for space-like machines and hybrid alien-robot figures. His works are intricately constructed with scientific precision and laboring detail combining image and text. While these futuristic prototypes draft the structure of machines and figures, they also reveal an inner narrative of conflict, war, and turmoil. Blueprints are highly neat and organized, yet Mansaray chose to subvert this aesthetic and portray his vision as chaotic, powerful, and in motion as though they have a life of their own.
Ellen Schinderman curated the first part of her contemporary needlepoint exhibit Home is Where The Needle Marks at (Sub)Urban Home, with a second round of art to follow on Saturday, June 16th at PopTART gallery. After building a network of artists working within the medium via personal interactions and social media sites like Flickr, Ellen assembled a group that is really pushing the boundaries of concept and subject matter. For example, Mark Bieraugel presented several pieces that featured the titles of porno mags he used to keep hidden in his room as a teenager, which were hand sewn onto camouflage patterns – in essence, still keeping them hidden. There was also Robert Marbury who took pictures of graffiti in bathroom stalls and turned them into circular pieces that you’d expect to see in a wonderful little old lady’s house, except for the fact they say things like “I heart boobs” and “I heart dicks for din-din.”
These headless figures resemble ancient Venus statuettes. However, the sculptures’ construction betray their modern origin. Artist Etienne Gros pulls, tucks, and pins foam to resemble the classic nude. The full curves and folds of the foam mimic human flesh in strangely similar manner. Gros contrasts the age-old form with modern industrial material to highlight concerns that have never disappeared – the body, sensuality and sex. Gros is familiar with the human figure beyond this unique medium. He’s explored themes of the classical figure in paint and even smoke.
Israeli artist Ronit Bigal transforms the body into a text. For her “Body Scripture II” series, Bigal uses digital photography overlaid with Biblical text (in Hebrew) and floral ornamentation drawn with black Indian ink to create these stunning images of body calligraphy. The body is exposed and abstracted, the text contouring bodily landscapes and capturing hidden textures and unspoken eroticism. Upon close inspection, the text on the bodies is hard to read. It’s small and intricate, but the overall effect creates a visually hypnotic pattern. Bigal places the text so thoughtfully around the curves of the body that it is hard to believe the text was not drawn directly onto the subjects. Her work also leaves me curious about which passages she placed on particular body parts, and if she was deliberate in the placement.
Her Saatchi profile explains that these images “…are almost abstract and enigmatic, arousing the viewer’s curiosity to discover what are the photographed objects, what meanings lies behind the texts; and whether there is a thematic affinity between them or, perhaps are the associations purely aesthetical?” (via my modern met)
Daniel Entonado‘s work is friendly and wonderfully disproportionate. He conjures up whimsical situations, and executes them in a style mildly reminiscent of patchwork. I enjoy how his colors are not quite bright and not exactly pastel, but a nice medium.
Moroccan painter Zakaria Ramhani creates large-scale portraits using Arabic calligraphy as a medium to convey form. Ramhani uses the beautiful painterly forms of Islamic calligraphy to depict and further expound and question political issues, Muslim identity, Islamic piety, text and image in the Muslim culture, amongst other things. Through his technique, the artist defies and contradicts the religious taboo on figuration, which is, to say the least, a very scandalous thing to do. These works are part of a collection called May Allah Forgive you, a name derived from childhood memories of his father, a landscape painter, trying to avoid working on commissioned portraits of the human figure for religious reasons. His father would explain to Zakaria that ‘only god will forgive’ him for the sins he committed whilst painting the commissioned portraits.
Ramhani’s earlier work, precisely a piece called You Were my Only Love (2012), incited much controversy, as the work questioned religious tradition and the prevalent coercion at hand during the last couple of years in Egypt and the Middle East. The piece was banned from last year’s Art Dubai.
Zakaria’s first U.S. exhibition opened November 6th, at the Julie Meneret Contemporary Art (JMCA), a new gallery on the Lower East Side in NYC.