I don’t neccassirily associate Italy with Communism, so I was shocked to find so many hammer and sickle logos and graffiti in every single city that I traveled in. The above plaque is actually part of a Communist bulletin board that I ran into in a small town called Montepulciano in Tuscany. For those of you uber nerds New Moon was filmed there. The entire country was covered with political graffiti, stencils, and posters. It’s interesting because you don’t find too much of that in the states. Sure you’ll run into an occasional “stop the war” bumper sticker on a minivan but seeing so many hammer and sickle’s and anti-government slogans spray painted on thousand year old buildings gave Italy a surprising twist. Here’s a collection of some of my favorite finds.
In applying vibrant colors to discarded containers, Tony Feher’s objects become transformed into beautiful and arresting pieces of sculpture. Evoking lanterns or hummingbird feeders, these majestic works have a meditative mood, and, although constructed from manmade materials, present a relationship with nature. A personal favorite is the tower of green fruit baskets. Appearing fragile and ephemeral in its airiness, the piece hints at architecture and minimalism. With a strong interest in transparency and suspension as an aesthetic tool, Feher provides a
French illustrator Denis Carrier keeps his images simple but his ideas profound. His work was featured in B/D Book 3 and he co-founded PNTS design studio. Carrier’s clean imagery is a breath of fresh air, employing uncommon ingenuity to modern-day icons.
Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos created a military vessel that holds the sun—well not really but beyond its moon exterior is an illuminating golden life-size sculpture made by Brazillian artistic duo Os Gemeos. It’s small lemon peep hole is difficult to avoid as it entices you to look within.
The magnificent glow and brilliant tones of sharp cheddar and canary yellow draw you to the hidden figure inside by its projection of warmth. It’s like discovering an oyster with a pearl. The flame of color that shines from the tiny circular barred glass on the vessel’s exterior allures the viewer to take initiative and discover what’s beyond its walls. Opening the door exposes the true color from within and a human sculpture who’s physique is slender, expression content and dressed in a golden glimmer buttoned up top with floral patterned bottoms—carefully constructed from head to toe, visit site.
His shirt is detailed with hundreds of gold pieces mended together one by one. Surrounding him are unique sketches and disheveled illustrations; from the back of the vessel is another glass window to take a look in from behind him. (via design boom)
Artist Jeffrey Gibson blends art histories and cultures with seeming effortlessness. His work isn’t the pastiche of past decades, a witty pairing of disparate influences. Rather, Gibson’s work appears more to be rooted in contemporary remix culture. Portions of modern and contemporary art styles inhabit art pieces along traditional Native American artwork with an inclusiveness that’s refreshing. Interestingly, the gallery statement of his latest exhibit at Shoshana Wayne Gallery notes:
“This mash-up of visual and cultural references comes from the artist’s Choctaw and Cherokee heritage, moving frequently during his childhood—to Germany, Korea and the East Coast of the U.S. , and his early exposure to rave and club cultures of the 1980s and 1990s. Gibson cites that the sense of inclusiveness and acceptance, the celebratory melding of subcultures and an idealistic promise of unity all galvanized by the DJ’s power to literally move an audience to dance to his beat, continues to serve as a primary inspiration for his inter-disciplinary practice.”
Still, the way in which the Native American styling especially stands out makes the Native American artists largley left out from the discourse of modern art history conspicuous. The gallery statement continues about this relationship: “The paintings are done on elk rawhide stretched over wood panels. Gibson arrived at this format after years of looking at painting techniques found in various non-Western art histories, of paintings on shields, drums and parfleche containers (animal hides wrapped around varying goods). The paintings also read within a modern and contemporary art context whereas artists from the 1950s and 1960s were looking towards traditions such as Native American and Oceanic art to create ideals of spirituality, animism and purity. One can infer artistic influences from Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, and Donald Judd.”
It’s in this way that Gibson inserts himself and his heritage into art history: by this smart mixing and remixing, and an artist’s eye at the past.
Argentinian artist and architect Tomás Saraceno is internationally known for his visionary and surprising installations accessible to the public and able to modify the perception of architectural spaces. His oeuvre, inspired by the tradition of 20th-century utopian architecture, stems from the desire to create aerial structures that can be inhabited by people, are self-sufficient and have a low environmental impact.
At Hangar Bicocca Saraceno creates On Space Time Foam, an incredible floating structure composed of three levels of clear film that can be accessed by the public, inspired by the cubical configuration of the exhibition space. Functioning as the ultimate moon bounce, Saraceno’s piece floats participants high above the ground creating a surreal (and frightening) experience that gives the feel of weightlessness and flight without the hassle of going off into space. The work, whose development took months of planning and experimentation with a multidisciplinary team of architects and engineers, will then continue as an important project during a residency of the artist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT in Cambridge (MA). (via)
There’s nothing like having a ladies touch when it comes to street art. Case in point, the work of paris based Juliana Santacruz Herrera. Juliana fills in potholes and cracks in the cities streets with yarn and knitted piles of colorful material. It’s as if the ground has cracked open to reveal an alternative psychedelic world full of color and wonder.