UNIQUE LOS ANGELES is an exciting two-day shopping event that showcases the best independent design talent at great prices.
Lizzy Stewart is a British illustrator who makes incredibly charming images. Inspired by Eastern European folk art and medieval painting, her drawings are wonderfully flat and full of simple shapes. Her work reminds me of some of her contemporaries like Pia Bramley and Carson Ellis, all of whom practically force a better mood on their viewer. Aside from her drawing and painting, Stewart makes graphic novel-style books as well. A lot of her stuff is available for sale in the store on her website too, so if you haven’t donated all your extra dough to the Red Cross’ Sandy recovery efforts, you can do some one stop christmas shopping and support a young burgeoning artist all in one foul swoop! (via)
Everybody likes a dash of mystery. We got a submission from a German illustrator named Amrei. Her body of work is called Vertico’s Puppets. She also seems to go by the name Sosima. Which one is her true identity? You be the judge! Either way, her illustrations are cute yet deadly like a pink bunny rabbit with a switchblade. Enjoy the amazingness!
Japanese illustrator Susumu Fukuzaki’s surreal and uncanny creations.
We all know the story of Vincent van Gogh’s ear, an organ that the artist is rumored to have severed from his own head in a fit of lovesick madness. For her project Sugababe, the artist Diemut Strebe has recreated the living ear of the legendary Post-Impressionist. Teaming up with scientists and using an advanced 3D printing technique, Strebe constructed the true-to-life organ from a sample of the late artist’s DNA found in an envelope that he had licked in 1883 and live cartilage from the ear of Lieuwe van Gogh, a grandson of the painter’s brother. The replicated ear, now on view at The Center for Art and Media in Karlshruhe in Germany, is kept alive by being suspended in a solution laced with nutrients.
Strebe’s installation includes a microphone into which viewers can speak. The sound is then carried to the ear, which hears speech as a crackling noise that is projected through speakers for all to listen. For the artist, Sugababe is a physical manifestation of Theseus’ paradox, wherein the ancient Greek hero was asked if a ship would remain the same if all its individual parts were replaced with new ones. Here, Strebe asks if this clone of an ear might in fact be considered the same ear worn by van Gogh. Tragically unable to respond the viewers who speak to it, the organ seems startlingly alien. Though it is composed of the same elements as the original ear, it lacks the humanity and the romance we ascribe the artist whose molecular biology it shares.
Given the tragic history of the artist, Strebe’s work carries with it a sense of loss and poignancy. Where the living van Gogh was unappreciated— reviled, even—in his time, here even his tiny organ is preserved with the utmost care, his body transformed into a valuable work of art in and of itself. (via Design Boom and The Daily Beast)
I recently discovered Tara Donovan’s work and was blown away by her microcosmic creations that reference organic forms. Using mundane objects such as simple plastic buttons or number 2 pencils, she finds beauty in multitudes. Like schools of fish banding together to seem much larger than they are, Donovan transforms the singular and ordinary into grand and ostentatious.
I love it when you rediscover an artist for the second time! You may remember our post last year about Shary Boyle’s beautiful and grotesque ceramic work. Well I happened to run into her site again today and was surprised that I had completely missed her fantastic paintings and drawings. It’s like finding an extra cookie in a bag that you thought was empty!
Artist and designer Fabrice Le Nezet‘s series Measure precariously positions concrete blocks. Using metal tubing, Le Nezet supports the concrete in way that makes the industrial materials seem nearly organic. The brightly colored pipes cling to the concrete like webs. His intention with the work was to make the materials and its weight easily felt. He says:
“I worked here on a physical representation of the idea of measure. The objective was to ‘materialize’ tension in a sense, to make the notions of weight, distance and angle palpable…This work lies in the context of my search for purification around raw materials such as concrete and metal. This is why I played with simple shapes which catch light and transcend the volume structure.”