Flowers made out of paper mache and Italian crepe create a beautiful aesthetic in the work of Tiffanie Turner. Her technique is presented in various petaled forms some which recall a state of purgatory. These are striking in their faded and withered state somewhere between life and death. They could be her most interesting work because the subjects are not traditionally beautiful and possess character. Through a delicate design they become a metaphor for life and speak about aging beauty. Besides dying flowers, Turner has created giant umbrella sized replicas of Dahlias, Marigolds and Chrysanthemums. These resemble not only the natural state of the subject itself but also hand hooked rugs. Their narrative takes on a more jovial tone celebrating the beauty of these vibrant buds. In larger pieces one can see the minute detailing and extreme care needed to create such an object.
Turner says her interest in the work stems from a lifelong obsession with floral and botanical drawings. Her process begins with a longing for the repetitive and a challenge to create pieces which explore scale. She is a licensed architect who lives in California with her family.
Pennsylvania-based Charles Huettner is a 2D animator who crafts symbiotic relationships between doughy eyed pudges, shapely humanoids, and anything with a blank stare and bulbous limbs. His animations employ seamless transformations and an athletic flow that quickly cuts and softly glides at all the right moments. The blankness and mushiness of the figures make them capable of anything, making them perfect vessels for experimentation with form and motion.
His 2013 short entitled The Jump, is a beautiful glimpse at a spirit world where two teenagers dabble in visionary experimentation with suddenly tragic results. With a sophisticated Akira-esque score, we watch as these teens’ innocent curiosity leads to a dark tragedy, all the while a red ghost stares empty and indifferent. The Jump was a standout in “Ghost Stories”, a recent release from Late Night Work Club. Along with many other animators he contributes to the Late Night Work Club, “a loose, rotating collective of indie animators”, which has been shown to put out some of the most impressive shorts in the online animation community.
Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm has been developing an ongoing series of “One Minute Sculptures” since the late 1980’s in which he poses himself or his models in unexpected relationships with everyday objects close at hand, prompting the viewer to question the very definition of sculpture. He seeks to use the “shortest path” in creating each piece — a clear and fast, sometimes humorous, form of expression. As the sculptures are fleeting and meant to be spontaneous and temporary, the images are only captured in photos or on film.
“This spot was once a prosperous place” says Mexican artist Raúl Gasque. “It used to be one of the top commercial shrimp fishing ports in Mexico and now its an abandoned space.” This photography series, Metonymic Tropic, is Gasque’s way of capturing his nostalgia for what was: an affluent port that thrived during a prosperous economy and the rule of prolific leaders.
The decay shown through these images serve as a visual metaphor of an overall state of destruction and crisis. Although apocalyptic and dark, Gasque’s way of juxtaposing decay and bright blue waters or skies gives the composition an alternate uplifting meaning, one he hopes his viewers can somehow find upon careful and willful inspection.
The photos are metaphors of the present time in humanity: ghost towns, crisis, climate change consequences, but in the horizon the blue skies transmit us a way of hope and redemption.
Even in the darkest of photographs in the collection we are able to pinpoint a source of inspiration and beauty. Destruction always call for re-birth and rehabilitation and it is safe to say that through his photographs, Gasque makes a case of nostalgia but most importantly a myriad of observations that may in fact rebuild his faith in something that might return to the way it was.
Chen Chen’s products are at once beautiful and repulsive, which is what I love about them. Imagine serving your guests a frosty beverage on his “Cold Cuts” coasters or arranging your Lilies of the Valley in his “Swell” vase.