Through a process of experimentation and manipulation, Italian artist Daniele Papuli creates sensual paper sculptures that evoke feelings of quite nature and grandeur. Active as a sculptor since 1991, Papuli’s work has developed through various stages of materiality and process. His early pieces were focused on stone, wood, and plaster, however, in 1993 he learned to make paper, and by 1997 he began solely focusing on the potential of paper’s materiality. He explains his admiration for the material. He states; “according to the way in which it is moved, touched, cut, paper offers me numberless sensorial, visual and tactile suggestions engendered by its new structure. My work proceeds by returning these experiences, and searching about sculpture, its physical character, its connection to space.” In order to fully understand the material he turned to paper handling and production. He tested and trailed myriad combinations of mincing different types of paper, mixing them with herbs, grounds and colors. This process in which permits the artist to become intimate with his martial allows his work to have a distinct personality that exudes a certain essence of delicate vibrancy. He explains;
“sometimes the sculpture shows a sort of inner energy, the bending of the different sheets suggests the trend and development in the round. I am extremely interested in these manifold variations. Sometimes the shapes become paper monoliths faceted in many light lamellae where the different layers are like veins and the chromatic variations of the surface, yellowing as paper does in the sun, follow the metamorphosis by which the sheet traces back to wood, to the tree, to its primary mother-matter.”
Marta Soul’s alter-ego unapologetically kisses 18 different men in the photography series “Idilios.” The red headed protagonist moves from idealized scene to idealized scene engaging in a single kiss with a different suitor each time. Soul says on her site, “immediate satisfaction is found in the kiss. It is the begin[ning] and end[ing] of the entire narrative scene and it is the iconographic element of the image too.”
It is true that the kiss is the central role of the series. Soul poses the lovers with their back turned towards us, bodies entirely choreographed, masking their expressions. Perfectly dressed and suited, the kiss is the only thing we know about the lovers, aside from the incredible wealth demonstrated by their scenarios. With these gestures, the passion between them is concealed from us and allows us to imagine the story between them.
In some ways, the saturation of colors in these passionately distanced and stylized environments are reminiscent of a 1950’s film. They might provide us with the possibility of Hollywood romance: exquisite clothes and remarkable vistas. But, more aptly, the unidentified lovers offer us a paperback romance experience where we can transfer our own fantasies into a world that does not exist outside a creative director’s imagination.
Clément Guegan is a Montréal-based photographer and filmmaker from Paris. His works are dark and conceptual, exploring nightmares and states of alienation. Interested in the loss of control, he depicts characters who are struggling within the remains of identity; their faces are always turned away or obscured, putting the viewer’s focus on their bleak surroundings. In some photos, people fall from the sky, and in others, the camera follows them as they walk through graveyards and down empty mountain roads. There is a sense you are being guided through a surreal world with no certainty (or even sense) of where you’re going.
Existential voids aside, there is a beauty that arrives through the fearlessness of Guegan’s work. He is not afraid to unravel identity and reality by exploring existence as a strange wandering. At the same time, the stillness he conveys is inspiring, and the mystery is provoking. His characters (when they aren’t plummeting from the clouds) seem brave going into the unknown, even though they merely represent the physical remnants of the self. In this way, Geugan’s images make meaning where meaning seems to have been stripped away.
On January 1st, 2015, Guegan started a 365 Day Project, which means he posted a picture every day of the year. The project is almost at a close, but the results are impressive, blending portraiture with his unique surrealist style. Some of the photos from the challenge are featured here, and you can see a bigger selection on his website. He also has a Tumblr and Flickr to check out.
Through the use of bright color, spray paint, and clever distortions, Atlanta based artist Christina West’s work puts a fun, humorous and contemporary spin on a classical aesthetic. West sculpts busts and full figures that begin as traditional looking white ceramic pieces, yet are matched with moments of almost ice cream cake or jawbreaker like slices. Her process begins as the classic method of creating a casted sculpture does; she creates her portraits based on a desire for likeness. However, once the piece comes out of the mold, West gives herself a freedom to play and likeness no longer becomes her purpose. Instead, she aims to, as stated in the gallery statement for her upcoming show at CG2 gallery in Nashville, TN, “highlight the alienation that I inevitably feel with others because their thoughts and feelings are inaccessible; I can never be in another head as completely as i am in my own” (source). Her work tends to highlight poses and facial expressions of distress or discomfort, allowing her work to, as she states, nod to an existential notion of being, of confusion, isolation and, perhaps more simply, just being human. However, it is her parings of neons and day glows that take the heaviness and maybe overtly dramatized nature of sculptures such as these, and transform these works into something relatable. It is their absurdity that makes them more human, more relevant. West’s works takes a traditional type of sculpture and truly makes it fun and beautiful, but perhaps more importantly, absolutely her own. (via Juxtapoz)
Christopher Chiappa has been casting sculptures of eggs in plaster for the past five years and now they have taken on a life of their own. His work,“Livestrong” uses 7,000 eggs in a gallery installation and makes us wonder if we should be worried about an imminent egg invasion or if he’s simply putting egg on our face.
The pieces, which are the outcome of countless drawings and photos, have been painstakingly attached to Kate Werble Gallery (NYC) and look like an infestation climbing down walls, oozing across floors, and dripping from ceilings. But the Gallery provides us several ways to access the significance of the work, not all of which include a perilous plague. Perhaps the eggs are the energy of a large group, a non-threatening crowd, a recommended high-protein “Livestrong” recipe, or a nod to the “this is your brain on drugs” advertising campaign.
Premier website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up again to bring you exclusive artist features. We show you exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create a clean and modern website. But it doesn’t just help artists create a minimal, mobile-responsive website; Made With Color also allows them to do it in only a few minutes without have to know any coding.This week we’re excited to share the work of Made With Color user Francisco Alarcon Ruiz.
In Francisco Alarcon Ruiz’s work one finds a surprising harmony between nature and technology. Ruiz brings digital techniques such as routers, 3D printers, CAD and animation software and seamlessly blends them with wood and other natural materials to create abstractions that look like a futuristic archeological dig. The surface of each piece is carved and scraped by machines exposing a hyper spectrum of color that was once hidden. Using chance and randomness to his advantage he intentionally adds a method that can potentially add errors. These elements of chance don’t hold his work back. In fact they add a playful element to the work that brings about unique elements that might not otherwise appear. The artist states
‘My work oscillates between contingency and control, visualized through material experiments resulting from new techniques that I develop to negotiate with the representation of abstraction.’
Amsterdam based designer, art director, and animator Rosa de Jong creates tiny worlds in test tubes. The series, in which she has titled Micro Matter, almost acts like a physical miniaturized moment of nostalgia. Her work, in instants of logic and irrational, act like tiny encapsulations of deep rooted memories that are to uncover mysteries . Due to their scientific glassware, her pieces seem like they are something to investigate, to question, to figure out truth from. Their nonsensical yet somehow, almost recognizable nature, allows them to insist on a true moment of contemplation. Is this the depiction of something, somewhere, that belongs? Is this something that should be recalled, known? They are fantastical — they are a replica, but of something of a dream, of half remembered childhood homes, or fantasy houses, or fictionalized dwellings. Their beauty and their delicacy become even more inciting once it becomes known that they are hand made with simple products such as paper, cardboard and found materials from nature like tree branches and moss. Her work aims to tell a story, whether it be recognizable or not, she states;
“since people are naturally drawn to stories and people that are different, the goal is to tell the real story of the brand, an set it apart from the crowd, making every piece of communication authentic and personal.”
Artist Rosa de Jong uses her work to create a new narrative, to delve into the unknown through known resources; her work pushes us to feel and search, while holding our hand throughout the journey. (via design boom)
The paintings of artist Benjamin Björklund unearth and obscure the emotional states of his subjects. Working from a rustic, nineteenth-century farmhouse in Uppsala, Sweden, his muses are often those around him: family members, Solomon (his Great Dane), his pet rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs, as well as the wild animals outside. Faces are painted in soft colors, seeming to reflect the pale light of the northern sun. However, everything seems a bit out of focus; eyes and hairlines and skin meld together, giving the portraits an impressionistic style. Dual forces are at play as the figures shift imperceptibly between reality and abstraction, presence and distance.
Ben’s project is to interpret and convey the inner worlds of his subjects. This is a compelling concept, given that portraiture is traditionally a desired projection of someone—a veneer of their character. Ben’s work, however, is more honest in that it connects the physical surface to the intangible swirl within. His about page explains his approach further:
“Ben’s figurative and portraiture work can, at times, depict scenes bordering on the surreal with characters influenced by those around him existing in various physical or emotional situations. These are usually emphasized through the use of abstracted light and darts of color. These, Ben refers to as ‘happy mistakes’ being borne from spontaneous actions and serving to focus the viewer’s attention whilst adding to the emotional impact on the viewer.” (Source)
In their abstraction, Ben’s subjects become deeply individualistic, while also exploring the metaphysical depths and complexities of human identity.
Ben’s paintings are held in private collections in many cities around the world, including LA, Melbourne, and throughout Europe. You can explore more of his work on his website and Instagram. (Via Hi-Fructose)