Erika Sanada is a Tokyo-born, San Franscico-based sculptor whose supernatural animal creations traverse the boundary between dream and nightmare. In many ways, her creatures seem soft and gentle — the colors are pale, the textures soft. However, many are riddled with terrifying bodily anomalies: dogs with several rows of fangs, others writhing in agony and tearing at their own skin, and mutant birds bursting out of torsos and faces. The blank, dead eyes of the animals further add to their moral ambivalence; without the pupil — that center of consciousness — their eyes could be those of a gentle, all-seeing spirit, or of the soulless undead.
Whether it is their eyes, human-like skin, or abnormalities (some of the animals appear to be painfully conjoined to others), Sanada’s creations rattle with uneasiness; they are both endearing and unsettling in their suffering and strangeness. In her Artist Statement, Sanada identifies her own experiences with anxiety as the source of her inspiration. “I worry about everything, even tiny things,” she writes. “Anxiety drags my mind to the dark side, which is more powerful and intense than my bright side.” Instead of being paralyzed by such fears, Sanada decided to confront them by molding them into beautiful, hideous life; it is her way of gaining control over her anxiety — and indeed, in embracing her own darkness and transforming it into art.
Sanada recently exhibited at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon, and will be showing again at the Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, California, this Februrary. Check out Sanada’s website for a stunning gallery of her beautiful and tortured dream-creatures. (Via Design Faves)
Artist Matt Nichols takes craftsmanship to a new level by pairing bold symbols with an acute sensibility for surface material. While stunning as photos, the work is best experienced in person. Physically interacting with these sculptures definitely forced me to reevaluate the relationship I had to the familiar iconography he often uses as a point of entry for the viewer. Nichols comes from a serious design back ground, being largely responsible for much of the visual branding associated with the clothing company Neff. While most would remain comfortable in that roll – he needed to push things further by shifting his focus towards a more physical realm. With the closing of an exhibition at Hungryman Gallery just behind him, new work is already on the way. Having recently returned to the Los Angeles area you can expect to see his name popping up in galleries across the SoCal area in the very near future.
I love the work of Laura Splan. She uses a combined knowledge of biological sciences and fine art to re-invent patterns and forms created by the human body. Because her work is closely linked to the biology of the human condition, it evokes an inherent discomfort. For me, this is most prevalent in “Purse #1”, a delicate evening bag constructed with remnant facial peels from her breast.
Premiere website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Website builder Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create minimal and mobile/tablet responsive websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code. This week we’re excited to bring you the exciting collaborative work of Linville And McKenzie.
Los Angeles based artists Annelie McKenzie and Tina Linville have been collaborating since 2011 under the name Linville And McKenzie. They work together to create site responsive installations and artworks that blur the distinctions between painting and sculpture. Using a mix of found objects, studio constructions, and contributions from viewers the duo creates order out of chaos with their multimedia works that not only fill the gallery space but transform it into a colorful and at times grotesque world.
‘Pataphor (pictured above)
East Gatov Gallery
Where a metaphor is the comparison of two different things to reflect their similarities, a ‘pataphor starts with the similarity in order to open up a new world, something completely its own. This exhibition’s starting point was our own individual art practices. Where our inquiries overlap might also create its own new world, our own collaborative ‘pataphor.
Diana Chryzynska’s photoshop-ed female faces seem surprising natural upon first sight. With most of the pieces of a normal face present, the viewer’s brain mashes them together to make sense of them, when actually they’re quite reworked. It’s fascinating how well your brain is able to reconcile two noses and two mouths sandwiched between two hands with eyes on top. Somehow, it takes a few seconds to realize what you’re seeing is completely surreal. Of course you realize what you’re looking at isn’t quite right, but it takes a while for your brain to sort out exactly what that is.
Maybe what makes the images more consumable is the appealing features: big eyes, luscious lips, unblemished skin. I don’t think it’s that, though. It’s like when you read a word like baeufitul, and your brain is able to organize it into beautiful (with some coaxing). The see-through hands over the faces are the most interesting in terms of theme. They feel like veils, hiding the strange faces from view, though not entirely. It feels like the women are hiding their mixed up faces, but some are peaceful while others are confrontational. Most close their eyes, but the confrontational ones stare out from behind their hands, self-consciously aware of their strange arrangement.
For all apparel and great-deal lovers in Costa Mesa, the Beautiful/Decay team will be participating in “The Swap” sample sale tomorrow, from 10am- 3pm. Just one measly buckaroo buys you entrance into this one of a kind shopping event, featuring sales, unreleased samples, rare merch and more from dozens of huge brands at unbeatable prices. Please be sure to come out, say hello to the B/D team- and get some of your holiday shopping done! (Because I haven’t even started yet….)
The wheel of life represented by 29 walking skeleton legs and feet. Monika Horčicová is a Czech artist who uses 3D printing to come up with the base of her sculptures. The legs are made out of plaster composite, molded and then casted into polyurethane resin. The legs are then assembled into one piece.
Symbolists, Buddhists and probably many more cultures and art movements have been using the wheel of life. It is the representation of the cycle of life and death. Usually depicted next to the Lord of Death; the wheel turns under his will. Birth and suffering, joy and sadness, alternatively march together. Thus, each of us has the liberty to interpret the meaning of life through the wheel. In this case, Monika Horčicová chooses to emphasize its morbid features.
By using skeletons, she takes a stand, and doesn’t give us the choice but to picture life as inevitably dark and painful. The direction, clockwise or counterclockwise, is important when looking at a wheel of life. Usually we are not given the choice but to visualize it going clockwise. Here, the artist has not set the orientation. As we move around the sculpture, we are free to give it our own meaning. Although death is predominantly present, we can choose to imagine the course of life going backwards. Our experiences and our knowledge as we move forward, are what make our inner self grow; allowing us to encounter the possibility of an indefinite renewal. (via Empty Kingdom).
Korean artist Sung-Myung Chun creates eerie sculptures of young boys wearing his face who are usually in a situation that revolves around drama. He works with his life experiences through these sculptures of himself, and presents it to us cinematically by freezing them in moments of great reflection, violence, fatigue, etc – much like in T.V. shows or movies.