Lee Gainer attempts to question what we all constantly question ourselves, and that is true beauty. What is true beauty? Are they the faces we are asked to notice on billboards, TV, postcards, magazines, etc? Is it something we can buy and physically manipulate ourselves for? In her series, Frankenlovely, Lee Gainer asks us to observe the faces that have been advertised as “true beauty,” and reflect.
Elisa Strozyk is a unconventional textile designer. Instead of fabric, she uses wood to construct rugs, carpets, and blankets. While we often think of wood as rigid surface, her work breaks this convention and transforms it into something much cozier. Elisa’s textile art acts like fabric. They easily conform to a surface and can bunch together, allowing something or someone to be wrapped up in wood.
Each piece is comprised of tiny shapes, variations of triangles and squares. Paired together they make tessellations, or the tiling of shapes to insure there are no gaps between them. Tessellations can be in 2D or in Elisa’s case, 3D. The general idea is that shapes are used to stack and fill space.
These textiles are meant to have us consider a new perspective on material. They challenge our notions of what is possible out of something like wood. Elisa’s textiles can be functional or art object. They can be used as a blanket or on the floor as a rug. But, depending on the design, context, and manipulation of shapes, they can be a sculpture, too.
Elisa gives more insight to her work, writing:
The world around us is becoming increasingly immaterial. We are now used to write emails instead of letters, to pay online, to download music and touch virtual buttons on touch screens. We live in a society of images, a visual culture full of colours, advertisements, television and the internet. There is not much left to feel. Giving importance to surfaces that are desirable to touch can reconnect us with the material world and enhance the emotional value of an object.
“Wooden Textiles” convey a new tactile experience. We are used to experience wood as a hard material; we know the feeling of walking across wooden floors, to touch a wooden tabletop or to feel the bark of a tree. But we usually don’t experience a wooden surface which can be manipulated by touch.
The incredibly multifaceted and complex sculpture by artist Sterling Ruby is in a realm between veins filled with dripping blood and stalagmites forming inside a cave. Sterling creates massive and intricate installations using ceramic, paint, collage, and urethane to form his uncomfortably oozing sculptures. Although the striking reds combined with the system of lines used primarily in his work resemble veins and arteries, they possess an attractive quality that draws the viewer in. It’s seemingly endless drips demand your constant attention as it keeps your eye moving across the entirety of the installation. Often installed along with his sculptures are red drops referencing blood created from Formica, wood, spray paint and fiberglass.
This Germany born artist, currently based out of Los Angeles, has a wide range of influences that are apparent in his all-encompassing body of work. Influenced by graffiti and street art, many of Sterling’s sculptures are purposely defaced with “graffiti” by the artist himself. He also pulls inspiration from the punk movement, accounting for the chaotic and bold nature of his work. Sterling has a wide range of style, as he does not always create dripping installations. Many of his sculptures are modeled after soft, plush items resembling everyday objects such as a stack of pillows. His soft sculptures are no doubt the influence of infamous and controversial artist Mike Kelley, who Sterling worked under during his graduate studies. His unique take on installation allows him to completely transform a space, taking the viewer into another world. Sterling’s talent has made him widely successful as he continues to exhibit his work both nationally and internationally in galleries, festivals, and biennales.
With her recent series Displaced, the photographer Linda Kuo examines the illegal importation of exotic animals into the United States; her subjects, some torn from their habitats and others unable to adapt to their environments in captivity, give voice to the 300 million animals similarly brought to the states as pets.
Each photograph captures the life of a creature being treated for illnesses or wounds at New York City Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine; placed within the sterile context of the hospital, the displaced beasts oscillate between confusion, curiosity, and lonesomeness. The emotional core of the work is rooted in each creature’s supreme isolation; a bird sits alone on a scale, searching for some sort of recognition. Simultaneously, a guinea pig resigns himself to the clean, white basin, and a bird turns his puffy green back.
Amidst this sorrowful sense of displacement emerges an unexpected warmth, fueled by the desperate yearning of both animal and man to feel safe. After a failed resuscitation, a yellow bearded dragon falls into a gentle set of female hands that tenderly enfold his delicate flesh in a bright blue towel. Similarly, a turtle is offered carefully diced vegetables, which he cautiously accepts from giant human fingers; a bird’s heartbeat is measured anonymously but tenderly. Amidst a chaotic world, the hospital is shown to be a respite for the animals, fighting for their wellbeing against the odds.
For Kuo, the series is personal; bullied as a child, she empathizes with those oppressed, alone, and out of their proper place. The work’s resounding message is one of compassion—for ourselves, for the earth, and for those we share it with. Take a look. (via Feature Shoot and Slate)
Tasty illustration work from Melbourne artist Annita Maslov. You gotta love the pen and paper approach. It’s so direct- you can almost feel the labor involved in every calculated line and stippled shadow. And Maslov’s subject matter fits well with her inky media of choice. Dark and brooding, the images sort of require drawing’s organic touch to stave off a cold, disconnected vibe. I’m pretty sure things would turn out okay if I never saw a vector skull presented as “art” again. If you’re doing stuff like this, then, well, do it like this. Please.
If you’re a fan of Batman and Joker like I am, then you would know who Jerry Robinson is. Jerry Robinson was part of the original Batman team, and the creator of Joker (my all time favorite superhero and villain.) So I was particularly excited that we received this book about him and all his work in the mail today. This book is not only filled with his time on Batman comics, but even goes into his other projects. I was also pleased to find out that this book was created in collaboration with Jerry himself. It is filled with old comic pages, sketches, paintings, illustrations, photos, etc. It was very fun to look through and find weird illustrations like the Penguin getting away from Batman on an ostrich (what?) I’ll have to find time to read through this thing one of these days.
Michael Mallis, former candidate for Pittsburgh mayoratorial race, is now a devout scientologist. He makes sloppy drawings, comics, videos and animations that rely on toilet humor. His work has been screened on every continent except Australia. You’ll weep, you’ll laugh, and you’ll knit your eyebrows in ecstatic confusion. His video Natural Selection, in particular, sort of reminds me of Fantastic Planet…and that story I read as a child about some big man lost in in the sea who woke up being strapped down by midgets.
Young Hungarian photographer Noell Oszvald creates elegantly surreal images. Her black and white photographs resemble mid-century fashion photography as much as it does the work of her surrealist influences. Severe contrasts between light and dark create graceful lines and a definite composition for each piece. In this way each image is intriguing, not only for its dreamy content but also because they are simply pleasing to look at. Perhaps what is most surprising, though, is the fact Oszvald’s relationship with the camera is relatively new. Only twenty-two years old Oszvald has only been using the medium for a little over a year. [via]