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Junya Ishigami’s Enormous Helium-Filled Monolith

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Junya Ishigami (also identified by Junya Ishigami + Associates) has long been known as someone averse to the labeling or differentiating between art, design and architecture. Case in point, one of Ishigami’s most famous works which straddled various disciplines, and even played with ideas of weigh and weightlessness. Titled Cuboid Balloon, the helium-filled reflective vessel filled the hall with it’s five-story presence when it was installed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. Although it appears massive, and therefore massively heavy, it is actually weightless (as seen in the video link below, when a museum staff member pulls it down with one hand). The reflective material responds both to its environment and surrounding architecture, but also to the people around it, an important creative rule for Ishigami’s work.

In a review of the architect by Magali Elali for All Items Loaded, they described the artist-slash-architect-slash-designer as such.

“Junya Ishigami is one of the most controversial architects, for his artistic approach to his practice has helped to redefine the ever closer boundaries between art and architecture. He draws inspiration from the way nature appears to man and aspires to an architecture that floats, is infinite, transparent and has hardly any substance. It is not the logic of the design of a building that should stand out. Ishigami wants his buildings to appeal through their new spatiality and environmental richness. His work is a quest for the pure and essential in architecture.” (via 2headedsnake and allitemsloaded)

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Sarah Muirhead

Hailing from the Edinburgh College of Art, Sarah Muirhead’s portraits of eccentric strangers conjure an immediate feeling of intimacy.  With poignant insight towards her subjects, she offers a sympathetic narrative of their lives by meshing together scraps of the subject’s environment and superficial appearance; these carefully selected details are window dressing compared to the clarity of soul that is depicted. A beer bottle, patch of leopard fabric, facial wrinkles around the eyes, brick with graffiti, a strip of red fence, bodies covered with tattoos – each have their place within the individual’s story. The subject’s gaze is often to the side and aloof; however, this does not prevent the viewer from being captivated. Beautifully painted in acrylic on canvas and board, Sarah’s paintings are compelling representations of passersby easily forgotten in everyday life.

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Ashkahn Shahparnia

I recently found Los Angeles based designer/illustrator Ashkahn’s portfolio. I fell in love with quite a few of these bizarre and quirkly little ideas–they’re deceptively simple, goofy and fun. Somehow “Good Vibes” made out of green shag grass just sums it up.

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Ryan Lauterio

A nice mix of sculpture and painting on Ryan Lauterio’s portfolio site. My favorite piece is the above monorail. It looks like an ancient ruin from Disney Land.

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An Interactive, Illuminated Tunnel Installation That Appears To Breathe

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Renowned for its experimental installations and out-of-this-world designs, self-proclaimed “spatial laboratory” Loop.pH crafts site-specific, highly collaborative works all over the world. For their latest piece, Atmeture, the studio has created an illuminated structure that, through the use of vitreous, inflatable membranes and a system of air pumps and circulating smoke, appears to breathe.

Woven from thin fibres comprising a geometric trellis, the structure is cited as “an ephemeral luminous architectural tunnel that draws visitors into an open and animated form woven from lightweight fibres.” As viewers walk through the tunnel, they become surrounded by swirling smoke and ethereal luminescence and are able to interact with the seemingly sentient structure.

Like much of Loop.pH’s pieces, Atmeture was imagined and created as a site-specific piece. Commissioned by onedotzero, a cultural organization praised for “curating and producing memorable and engaging events, exhibitions and experiences,” Atmeture was intended for Letchworth’s ‘Fire & Fright Festival,’ which took place from October 28 through November 5, 2014.

While Atmeture’s glowing presence in the festival has unfortunately come and gone, you can still take a stroll through the otherworldly tunnel with the click of a mouse! Be sure to check out the video for the living, breathing experience. (Via The Creators Project)

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Peony Yip

What musings I have read by Peony Yip – aka The White Deer – express her true passion for drawing, something she has pursued, as she says, because it is the only thing she knows. The Hong Kong native of only 21 honestly asserts that she is no professional artist, instead describing herself as just a recent college graduate, broke, and looking to freelance a bit. Of course, the young woman can claim what she would like, but I think her talent is undeniable. Amateur or not, I have been loving her varied works. Take a look at some of her creations here, and maybe show this up-and-coming artist a bit of love after the jump.

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Austin Lee Strips Away And Finds The Core Of His Subjects

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A portrait tries to capture the essence of a subject. By honing in on a solitary figure usually from the chest up, we’re able to delve into the eyes and see beneath the surface. There’s some seriousness involved because the traditional portrait is used to capture a visual record which can act as a long standing account of that subject. Taking this and flipping it, painter Austin Lee creates cartoon-like portraits of re-imagined people and animals. Bursting with neon color and loose line, his subjects have nothing to hide and let it all hang out. His work associates with characterture and gestural expression mostly ending up as vignette laden pictures.

With titles like Dunno, Mr. Worry, Facepalm, and Taboo the idea of community and friends surface as the subject for many of his pictures. In one, two figures appear in the front windshield of a car, the anticipation in their faces is that of a destination thay are unfamiliar with. In another, “Crush” a Mona Lisa type portrait peers out from a cabinet frame portraying someone the artist has a crush on?

Using a similar approach Lee creates heads out of 3D prints and acrylic paint. These look like self-portraits and capture certain aspects of his personality with the least amount of rendering.  To some degree both his painting and prints reference minimalism in their quest to strip away and find the core of its subject.

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Dana Oldfather’s Globular Structures

Through an emotive abstraction, Dana Oldfather examines the transitory nature of comfort, power, and security. Globulars and structural forms float and morph, at times propped up, and at times annihilated by something hard and sharp; objects overtake one another. The scene is a dance and a battle as contrasting forms converge and a soft, lyrical, electric spreads. Dana is drawn to the combination of sweet and dangerous, solid and ephemeral, natural and man-made. This combination of diametric elements results in a bio-mechanical environment and organism as one; something that has no birth or death and is beginning to show signs of autonomy.

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