There are some things that are just too awesome to be forgotten…. in a sea of trends that the design world is often forced to weather. Take for instance, the 1960’s revolutionary trend of poster printing called The Black Light poster. You’ve got to love the free form type, the over-the-top color, the hand-drawn graphics. How could we ever say this art is dated? This was Plus, these posters have the dual ability to look great in daylight, and look even better under the glow of a black light in a dark room, (that may or may not smell like marijuana). Everybody loves stuff that glows in the dark, even if they’re not high – though I suppose they’d be even more mind blowing when viewed through the colorful lens of LSD.
Toward Obliteration, 2012 Ash wood, Glass, Laser-cut Baltic Birch and 4000 live Honeybees
From 2010 to the present, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy has been collaborating with bees in the creation of her artwork. Despite a bee allergy, Murphy remains committed to her practice, which she describes as being “research-based.” Seeking to understand the nature of bees, Murphy depends on them to make works such as Listen, symbolizing the need to pay attention to the signals bees use for communication. Or We’re Sorry, Murphy’s apology and simultaneously the bees’ apology for any disruption either collaborator may have caused the other. Similarly, her honeycomb sculptures are co-created with the bees. Murphy chooses to work with bees, or other materials that she feels allow her to appropriately explore issues surrounding ecological and political concerns.
Other than the current threat to the bee population Murphy has recently been concerned about nuclear power, particularly following the tsunami-induced collapse of Fukushima. Murphy produced a series titled, Doilies of Imminent Destruction. That’s an amazing title for some pretty delicate work. The series began as a “meditation on the banality of our dialogue surrounding our fearsome power to irreparably alter an environment, and an investigation into the corporately chosen, idealized representations of these disaster sites prior to the disaster.” Each doily depicts the site of a nuclear disaster: Chernobyl, Deepwater Horizon, Fukushima and Three Mile Island. Why doilies? Murphy recognizes the doily’s function as beautifying, or covering up the ugly or tarnished. They also reference an old-fashioned nostalgia of domesticity and desired perfection.
I am drawn to Murphy’s work not for the beauty of it, although it is quite captivating, but rather for the delicate, yet powerful call to arms it requests of the viewer. Whether it is her work about nuclear disasters subtly imploring us to concern ourselves with the danger of this technology, or her work about bees suggesting we need to be aware of the beauty and vulnerability of the bee’s ecosystem, Murphy’s work merits our contemplation.
The work of the street artist known as 108 is much like his pseudonym: simple and mysterious. Often large black masses of abstract street art inhabit walls. Devoid of most or any detail, these masses are frequently punctuated by bursts of color. In a way the colorful abstractions feel like offshoots or biological growths on the larger black masses. There is a larger flow to his murals that are somehow familiar. The shapes, the way interact with their surfaces, and the way in interacts with itself feels organic. 108 explains this idea in a 2006 interview saying:
“Usually I work in public spaces, you know, and the background is the most important thing. I must find a good shapes for that place, usually I prefer old walls and abandoned places, and my “thing” grow by it self, as a tree or moss did, but I know nature do that really better than me! It’s very hard for me to work on a blank white surface… in that situations I must find a good inspiration elsewhere, maybe in another work I did before or working with a good friend with good ideas.”
Other times his abstract murals almost hint at an iconography, symbols, or recognizable shapes. Like much abstraction there is a lot of room for interpretation. Still, he goes on to say:
“Most of my works come from my unconscious and are totally irrational. You can see the abstract, soft and gloomy shapes… My works are also very symbolic. The same old example of the wheel, I found it in my unconscious, it was a big fixation for me… usually I have drawn it with 8 rays inside… In fact it was the sun wheel, one of the most important symbol in ancient Indoeuropean cultures (you can find it in a lot of Indian and Celtic stuff). This is just one example.”
The women in Ewa Juszkiewicz‘s portraits have experienced a decapitation of an unusual sort: their heads replaced by a series of inanimate object from plants to mollusks.
“In my paintings I take critical view on the way women have been pictured in history of painting and other visual media up to today,” Juszkiewicz explains in her artist’s statement. “I work mostly in the field of portrait, which I intend to approach from a different angle that avoids focusing on the appearance.”
Her paintings, which are based on real historical portraits, seem to draw on some sort of surreal symbolism, perhaps meaningful partly because of their inscrutability. “I am interested in how the replacement of the face by different forms changes the perception of the human figure,” Juszkiewicz says.
In pursuit of that, she erases the identities of the women she portrays, completing their objectification literally. Her subjects are robbed of any sort of expression, instead gazing out at the viewer with an impassive beetle’s head or a shroud of cloth. (via Artnau)
Artist Matt Barton graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 2006, spending his time there setting up mechanized taxidermy animals in strange and colorful situations. In “Time-O-Rama: Electric Infinity with Real Plastic,” made in 2006, there were 20 of those said motorized animals, two video projections, 5 sound cd’s, flowers blooming, leaves falling and changing colors, lightning and thunder, wine was dispensed from a nozzle sticking out of the deer’s ribs…and a partridge on a pear tree. That last one I added myself. Matt has also collaborated with Extreme Animals, hyper bitmosh-rock-band of artist Jacob Ciocci (Paper Rad).
David Herbert has such a strange and beautiful way of playing with material, form and imagery within his works. They reveal a kind of innocently childish love for the imagery of a boyish youth–star trek maquettes, space ships, odd automobiles, and copious “Disneyland” references– as well as an adult understanding of the architecture and connotations behind them.
Marcel Christ creates a series of photographs in which he tries to deviate from his usual commercial photographs. With clients like Sony, Nokia, Samsung, Evian and L’Oréal-Chirst is used to photographing still lives, essentially objects arranged in interesting and appealing but static ways. In his latest artistic series, Christ extends his modern, clean lighting and sense of composition (characteristics that resonate with his commercial photography), but takes it to the next level. Christ aims to transform what would be a static representations of colorful powders to something that is undeniably energetic- everything moves, jumps, and flies.
Christ succeeds at photographing unpredictable action. The powder’s movement and expansion are the main characters; they sporadically spread throughout the composition.
I think my work has some heritage from Dutch tradition, in its choice of props for instance – the vase. But different in its own way at the same time. Because it is not ‘still’ at all. It’s frozen in time, but very energetic in its appearance.
Ofra Lapid’sBroken houses series is based on photographs of abandoned structures neglected by man and destroyed by the weather. The photos are found on the web while pursuing an amateur photographer from North Dakota who obsessively documents the decaying process of these houses. His photographs are used to create small scale models. Afterward, in the studio, the models are photographed again, omitted from their background and placed in gray. Eventually these are Digital pigment print size 30×36 cm.