Barnaby Barford is a British artist who works primarily with ceramics to create unique narrative pieces. He works with both mass-market and antique found porcelain figurines, cutting up and exchanging elements or adding to them and repainting them, to create sculptures which are often sinister and sardonic but invariably humorous. With irony, he draws a portrait of our contemporary lives.
In Barford’s world a kitsch figure of a 19th century peasant boy becomes a 20th century teenage thug in a hoodie; cute little girls roast adorable lambs on a spit; a rosy cheeked boy beats and cracks humpty dumpty into hundreds of pieces. Through his unique works, Barford explores all aspects of our society. Following in the tradition of Hogarth, Chaucer, Dickens and Shakespeare; with a dark sense of English humor and satire, Barford’s work explores and celebrates the human condition.
Noell Oszvald, a Hungarian photographer with a penchant for dark, elegant, self portraits, is becoming a master of the surrealist photographic image. The 23-year-old photographer found wide acclaim after releasing a series of 22 photos to her flicker page early this year. The images are remarkable, but she’s only been shooting photos for a little less than two years. It makes you wonder what the motivations are of this emerging prodigy.
“I don’t want to tell people what to see in my images,” said Oszvald. “This is the reason why I never really write any descriptions other than titles. It shows what I wish to express but everyone is free to figure out what the picture says to them. It’s very interesting to read so many different thoughts about the same piece of work.”
Oszvald’s soft, black and white palette is a touch grainy and filled with contrast. And her images posses a striking amount of warmth in a dark frame. These compositions are solid—and the artist’s own physical beauty, and her affinity for a minimal frame add to the overall conceptual depth. (my modern met)
Lutz Bacher‘s recent exhibition at San Francisco’s Ratio 3 included the series The Celestial Handbook: offset book pages taken from found copies of amateur astronomer Robert Burnham Jr.‘s 1966 handbook of the same title. Each page — there are 85 in the series — is individually framed, forever capturing timeless subjects in a dated format. What we see are images of things that surpass the power of imagery with captions that can’t help but fall short in describing things that surpass the power of language. (via)
I’m always pleasantly surprised by the great work that artists post to our Flickr Creative Pic Pool. This time around I present the work of Brendan Lee Satish Tang . The images in this post come from Brendan’s Manga Ormolu series which “enters the dialogue on contemporary culture, technology, and globalization through a fabricated relationship between ceramic tradition (using the form of Chinese Ming dynasty vessels) and techno-Pop Art.” You can read more about Brendan’s work on his site and see a few previous bodies of work.
If you would like to possibly featured on the B/D blog make sure to join our flickr pool. You never know who we’ll pick next!
South Korean artist Lila Jang is a sculptor who creates distorted effigies of traditional 18th-century French furniture. From bloated footstools to levitating wall lamps, Jang’s anthropomorphic furniture subverts upper-class affectations into warped Lewis Carroll-inspired imagery, evoking wonder and bewilderment in equal measure at the surreal shapes her furniture take on. Jang received her BFA in Sculpture from Honik University in her hometown of Seoul before moving to Paris to attend École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts for her MFA, and has since gained international acclaim through group shows and art fairs around the globe. According to Jang, her work is a representation of the current state of humanity, stuck “in the midpoint of that constant struggle between reality and the ideal.”
Jang drew inspiration for the series of fantasy furniture from the limitations she found within her cramped apartment in Paris, where tables and chairs only seemed to fit if they were bent out of shape first. The surreality behind the work is also inspired by Jang’s desire to break away from a quotidian routine, turning familiar, unremarkable furnishings into exceptional works of art. Although the pieces are gestural and whimsical in design, the true achievement of the work lies in its retention of the practical applications of the furniture. Even with the canapé climbing the wall, don’t you still want to curl up in it with a book? It’s all the same with Jang’s less functional pieces, such as the warped dining chairs: one can easily picture her pieces fitting right in at any number of houses built by contemporary architects. Jang’s most recent solo exhibition took place at the Centre Culturel de Coreen in Paris where she now lives, presumably in a larger apartment filled with her collection of fantastically anthropomorphic fittings.
It’s difficult to discern whether Lisa Kellner‘s silk installations are natural or intrusive, peaceful or menacing. Her delicate fabric structures resemble jellyfish or coral as much as something cancerous or viral. Kellner’s work intentionally inhabits this duality. Each installation is made out of silk – a medium that is at once organic but also extremely strong. Her sculptures illustrate the curious path of growth organic matter can take. Lisa Kellner says of her artwork:
“The quickest path from point a to point b is a straight line. But nature is filled with curves and crevices. And human nature always seems to prefer a more circuitous path. Whatever means are chosen, the journey one takes presents a perfect painting problem: what is the essence of a moment that took everything to get there?.”
British artist Tom Phillips released the first edition of A Humument in 1970. To create this stunning book, Phillips illustrated and/or collaged each page of a found Victorian text – WH Mallock’s A Human Document – leaving parts of the original text exposed and uncovering a new story line with a new protagonist named Bill Toge, whose name appears only when the word “together” or “altogether” appears in Mallock’s original text. Of the text and his project, Phillips says,”It is a forgotten Victorian novel found by chance …I plundered, mined, and undermined its text to make it yield the ghosts of other possible stories, scenes, poems, erotic incidents, and surrealist catastrophes which seemed to lurk within its wall of words. As I worked on it, I replaced the text I’d stripped away with visual images of all kinds. It began to tell and depict, among other memories, dreams, and reflections, the sad story of Bill Toge, one of love’s casualties.”
Over the years, Phillips has revised and replaced pages of the text, resulting in updated editions. The most recent 5th edition was published in 2012. In 2010, A Humument made its digital debut as an app for the iPad and iPhone. Assisting in its develop, Phillips is very pleased with his work’s transition to the digital realm. For Phillips, a bright screen enhances his illustrations, lending them a glow his pens and paints couldn’t achieve, “almost like church windows at times.” After Phillips started working on the book in the 60s, he dreamed that it could one day be used as an oracle. Forty years of technology later, Phillips’ dream has been realized, and he’s become his own consumer: “Each night after midnight I consult, somewhat furtively (even though alone), the Oracle I have made. I’m often surprised by pages made long ago and almost forgotten, as well as by the sometimes uncanny predictions they offer their maker.” (via the guardian)