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Caleb Charland’s Photographs Of Electricity Made Out Of Fruit

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Caleb Charland (previously featured here and here) newest photography project features mesmerizing light displays using mostly fruit, a nail, copper wire, and the long exposure technique. These organic batteries produce enough of a current for Charland to capture the light’s illumination in these long exposure photographs.

“My current body of work, Back to Light, expands upon a classic grade school science project, the potato battery. By inserting a galvanized nail into one side of a potato and a copper wire in the other side a small electrical current is generated. The utter simplicity of this electrical phenomenon is endlessly fascinating for me. Many people have had the experience of drawing power from fruit in the classroom, and it never ceases to bring a smile to the face or a thought to the mind. This work speaks to a common curiosity we all have for how the world works as well as a global concern for the future of earth’s energy sources…my hope is that these photographs function as micro utopias by suggesting and illustrating the endless possibilities of alternative and sustainable energy production. The cycle that begins with the light of our closest star implanting organic materials with nutrients and energy, is re-routed in these images, Back to Light, illuminating earth once again.” (via this isn’t happiness)

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Ralph Steadman’s Rare Illustrations Of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”

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A long-time fan of Ralph Steadman, I still encounter works of his that have somehow missed my radar. Published in 1995, a special edition of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” (currently out of print) features 100 full-color and half-tone illustrations by the artist. Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings was able to find a copy of this rare edition, citing quotations from Orwell’s “The Freedom of the Press,” the proposed but unpublished preface to the original “Animal Farm” that accompanies Steadman’s raw and gritty illustrations.

Steadman has long been known as a Gonzo artist, a reputation due in large part to his long partnership with Hunter S. Thompson, but has also illustrated other books in his signature inkblot style including, “Alice in Wonderland,” “Treasure Island,” and most recently, “Fahrenheit 451,” in addition to drawing everything from political caricatures to wine and beer labels. NPR notes that he’s even written an opera libretto.

Of his fluid style, Steadman says, “You don’t pencil in anything; you just start going and see where it leads you. It’s an adventure, a little journey. Every drawing is a kind of journey. There’s an organic quality that is quite potent, you know. You surprise yourself, and that’s quite nice.”

A documentary about Steadman narrated by Johnny Depp, titled “For No Good Reason,” is set to release later this year. The film’s director, Charlie Paul, says,  “I was concerned that Ralph’s art would be the man and that I’d end up trying to make a film with someone who had this kind of aggressive attitude towards the world. But Ralph is such a lovely, warm and generous man, and yet he goes to his table and creates these pieces of art which are dangerous and, to be perfectly honest, quite upsetting sometimes.” ( via brain pickings and npr)

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London’s Veronica Falls, Waiting For Something To Happen

Roxanne Clifford from Veronica Falls performs at the Troubadour on March 29, 2013. Photo by Saunter Lee

“I’m Broken Hearted, Dearly Departed”, sang Roxanne Clifford as Veronica Falls played their very first single, ‘Found Love in a Graveyard‘ to a very happy crowd at the Troubadour in West Hollywood this past Friday night. Their new album, Waiting for Something to Happen released this past February on Slumberland Records is definitely a step in the right direction. A lot more polished and confident then their first release, the band had plenty to celebrate on this second to last show of their US tour.

“We’re not used to the heat, it’s pretty crazy”, said drummer Patrick Doyle as they launched into ‘Bad Feeling‘, another song from their self-titled debut. Funny enough, I don’t think it topped more than 70 degrees on the day of the show, but I guess living in the UK, every day in LA seems like a hot one. The band played a mix of new and old songs that kept everyone dancing and head-bopping through their 50+ minute short set. Standouts from there new record were the title track, ‘Waiting for Something to Happen’ as well as their new single, ‘Teenage’. Closing the show with their cover of Roky Erickson’s ‘Starry Eyes’, the band immediately left the stage and almost instantly came back out to chat and take photos with the crowd.

Check out their new video for ‘Teenage’ shot entirely on 8mm film and be sure to catch them when they tour Europe this month and next.

 

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Marci Macguffie’s Wall Works

Marci Macguffie’s work ride the line between relief sculptures and wall paintings. My favorite works are her When Animals Attack series (pictured above) which have a great playful nature to them while dealing with issues of space and abstraction.

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Sebastian Wahl

Sebastian Wahl

I’ve walked past this mural on 2nd Street just east of Bowery on my way home a bunch of times, but for whatever reason, it finally caught my eye last week. And wouldn’t you know it, the guy who made it has a super sweet website full of amazing artwork! Sebastian Wahl is originally from Stockholm, but now works out of a studio in the South Bronx. Using a resin based technique, he creates psychedelically super-charged mandalic inspired collages.

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Sarah Hallacher’s Gifs Show The Painful Effects Of Technology And Social Media After A Breakup

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Sarah Hallacher’s gifs explore the different opportunities for pangs of heartbreak that exist in social media and technology. She uses texts, instagram, facebook, linkedin, googlechat, and email, to demonstrate the difficulties of the remnants of a relationship that linger in the age of the Internet. Each gif is set in the format of each platform, to show how the different type of information and notifications can have effect on you. They’re all pretty familiar, even probably to people who haven’t gone through a tough break up. For instance, the text message notification buildup when none is from the person you wish they were could even extend outside the realm of a romantic relationship; Everyone’s experienced disappointment or annoyance in not receiving a response from someone. Others are very specific to relationships, like the Facebook relationship status.

Hallacher presents these everyday difficulties in the most straightforward way, allowing the viewer to understand the significance of the aspects of a relationship that echoes through the Internet. Of the project Hallacher states:

 “My goal was to pinpoint the exact place where something might feel painful for a moment,” she says. “I was trying to capture both the technology and the experience of it. If you’re not speaking to a person, you don’t know why they are taking these actions online. The online version of their action is very dry and cold, without context. I just wanted to highlight that. The computer is just a computer, and it doesn’t feel sorry for you.” (Via Co Exist)

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A Journey Into Four Decades Of Unique Signage And Breathtaking Typography From The Streets Of Paris

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There is no shortage of art and creativity in the City of Light. As Louise Fili shows us in her upcoming book Graphique de la Rue, even Paris’ signage has a resplendence that conveys generations of art styles, from Art Nouveau to Art Deco to Futurism. As an esteemed graphic designer, Fili wandered the streets of Paris for four decades, documenting signs that combined art with typography. Among her photo diary are images of ornate metro signs, vintage café signs, mosaics, and of course, the iconic Moulin Rouge cast in its red glow. In the press release for Graphique de la Rue, Fili describes the source of her inspiration:

“From my first visit to Paris at age twenty, just as I had begun to embrace the world of graphic design, my eyes were opened to the spectacular signage that appeared everywhere . . . With each successive visit, I would continue to be struck by the uniqueness of the signs; in no other city had I seen such distinctive typography on the likes of public school buildings, police stations, funeral parlors, and patisseries.”

Fili’s book comes at an important time, when such original signs are being replaced by their cheaper, poorly designed, and mass-produced versions. Sadly, many of the art pieces documented in Graphique de la Rue have already been destroyed. Fascinated by vernacular design—that is, the designs that give Paris its distinctness as an epicenter of art and history—Fili’s book is a “typographic love letter to Paris,” one that will both immortalize these signs and inspire the imaginations of designers and travellers alike (Source).

Graphique de la Rue can be ordered from Princeton Architectural Press.

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Walter Oltmann Weaves Wire Into Haunting Images Of Skulls And Babies

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Walter Oltmann is an artist from South Africa who weaves together aluminum wire “doily” segments to create gauzy, black-and-white images. His more recent works—which were featured recently in an exhibition titled Cradle at the Goodman Gallery in Cape Town—depict skulls and sleeping children. Through tonal layering, Oltmann creates a ghostly, semi-transparent depth, and each of the drawings are their own sculptural objects. The result is a series of eerie, ancient-looking images that invoke a theme (and contemporary relevance) of ideas surrounding death, the fragility of life, and the passage of time.

Oltmann is fascinated by the processes of geology, evolution, and human history. As the press release for Cradle informs us, his work draws on the ideas set forth by Simon Calley in Sculpture and Archaeology (2011), which describes archeology as a discipline of “examining our relationship to time and our place to its continuity [. . .] It is an activity concerned with the present [and] with projecting ourselves into the past” (Source). Historically and culturally, skulls have been enduring symbols of death and transience; the image of a sleeping child, which has been used as a grave marker, is representative of tranquility, rest, and the final “long sleep.” By finding and exploring the similarities in these motifs, Oltmann unearths an age-old melancholia and retrospective on the finitude of human life.

You can learn more about the theories behind Oltmann’s work on the Goodman Gallery’s exhibitions page, and view his Artsy page here. (Via Faith is Torment)

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