Real life Tetris (my favorite video game) by Sergej Hein…
Miami Project, one of the biggest fairs in the Wynwood district this year, celebrates some of the most sought after artists this year. Most importantly though, as Jillian Steinhauer brings to light in her article ‘The Women of Miami Project’, most of the impressive works here were created by women. Consequently, most of my favorite works in this fair were created by women too!
Here are some of the highlights at the Miami Project art fair:
Brooklyn based artist Kate Clark creates sculptures that are a lifelike fusion of a human and an animal. The surreal object, almost human-sized, investigates which characteristics separate us within the animal kingdom, and more importantly, which ones unite us.
The unexpectedness of the human face on these animals also evokes curiosity. They are obviously reconstructed yet they are not monstrous, they are approachable, natural, calm, innocent, dignified. The facial features are believable and the skin, which is the animal’s skin, has been shaved to reveal porous and oily features that we recognize as our own. The viewer has an intimate relationship with the face and then identifies with the animal, acknowledging the animalistic inheritance within the human condition.
Vanessa German, a multidisciplinary artist [sculptor, photographer, painter, actress, poet] and advocate for the black female experience, creates these female figures that are made out of plaster, wood, glue, tar and found objects: hair, shells, old jewelry. They each represent aspects of female experience, power, and her cultural heritage.
Aaron Hobson’s Cinemascapes series of open ended narrative photographs are amazing. Here is more about him and the project in the artists own words:
“I was raised in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in one of the poorest city neighborhoods. It has been described as “Appalachia in the city”. I’ve had my back fractured by baseball bats, been picked on, and did too many drugs before I was 14 and then dropped out of High School in the 10th grade. It wasn’t until 3+ years ago that I picked up a camera after a decade of living in a small town in the remote Adirondack Mountains and decided to mix my memories with imagination.
The cinematic style of my work intentionally mimics a society full of oversaturation to TV, cinema, youtube, video games, and more. The images pull inspiration from the most basic elements of human emotion; fear, sex, abandonment, and curiosity to name a few. The moments of each image are fleeting and never exact, but hold an untold story of what happened before and what will happen after. It is up to the viewer to decide how far or how comfortable they feel delving into them or even sympathizing with them.”
What the inside of my brain looks like after a long day of art making about Beautiful/Decay working!
Combining Japanese architectural influence with a concern and skill for using reclaimed materials, Australian firm March Studio decided to make a statement to the entryway staircase to the Nishi building in Canberra, Australia. Already being called “Australia’s most radically sustainable mixed-use building and apartment complex,” the building’s design makes an effort to harmony with its natural surroundings, treelife, and wasting as little as possible in it’s construction.
Hotel Hotel Blog explains March Studio’s design goals well, quoting, “Let the location inform the materials, and then let the materials inform the design. In Nishi’s case, the creative catalyst was the splendour of the construction site itself: chaotic but precise. March also prescribes to the philosophy of “letting the material be the material” (ah so desu ka, sensei) by using them in their natural state.”
Made of 2,150 recycled (or upcycled, whichever word seems more appropriate), the repurposed wood from homes, basketball courts, and the remnants of the construction site of the building itself. Held in place with over 2000 steel rods, the installation creates a striking effect, yet balanced with an ordered peacefulness. Beautiful yes, but dusting seems like it will be a pain. (via colossal and hotel hotel blog)
German conceptual artist Wolfgang Laib creates his installations from natural materials displayed in very unnatural ways. In “Pollen from Hazelnut,” Laib collected pollen from the area around his studio for over 23 years. In the gallery, he carefully sifted the rich yellow powder into a saturated rectangular field. He says,
“I wanted to have this very intense, concentrated experience … with the pollen. So, the meadow with flowers where I collect the pollen is something very different from how you see it here, a real concentrated experience without any distractions, nothing else.” (Source)
Traditionally, conceptual art is primarily concerned with ideas—aesthetics are mainly disregarded. Laib’s pollen fields are unusual in that they have a strong conceptual basis, yet they’re also lovely and striking. The geometric shapes, as large as 380 square feet, have been described as a “vast luminous field of color” and “a blanket of pure pigment.”
Interestingly it is in the collection of the pollen and the amassed pollen itself where Laib finds the most meaning. The sifting onto the floor is almost irrelevant to him. This exchange is from an interview in The Journal of Contemporary Art
Ottmann [interviewer]: Your pollen pieces are for sale. If a collector wants to own one how exactly does that work?
Laib: He buys three jars of pollen and it’s his choice of keeping it in the jar or to get rid of his furniture and spread it out on the floor.
Ottmann: Would you go to his home and do that?
Laib: Yes, but of course I would be even happier if he would do it himself.
Some critics of the work are concerned with Laib’s “waste” of natural materials. This is not a concern for Laib, who, although he works with natural materials, does not consider himself a naturalist. It’s important to remember that the pollen is gathered by hand over a long period of time, not mass harvested, denuding the environment in one obscene swoop. From concept to exhibition, every aspect of Laib’s work displays patience, precision, and peace.
Read more about Wolfgang Laib on PBS’s wonderful Art21 website and look out for his episode airing soon!
The installations of Argentine artist Leandro Erlich are known to be visually playful. His most recent installation definitely follows suit. For Dalston House, Erlich constructed a facade of a three story home which lies horizontally on the ground. A giant and cleverly angled mirror gives the facade, and those on it, the appearance of being vertical. Visitors hang from roofs, sit casually perched on ledges, and effortlessly walk down the wall. Also check out Erlich previously here.
Prominent homoerotic artist Sadao Hasegawa’s amazing work. His work combined cultural icons from all over Asia: his native Japan, Thailand, Bali and India, creating graphically and sexually compelling images.