Shawn Smith’s sculptures investigate the slippery intersection between the digital world and reality. Specifically Shawn is interested in how we experience nature through technology. When we see images of nature on TV or on a computer screen, we feel that we are seeing nature but we are really only seeing patterns of pixilated light.
For the past few years, Smith has been creating a series of “Re-things.” These whimsical sculptures represent pixilated animals and objects of nature. Finding images of his subjects online, he creates three-dimensional sculptural representations of these two-dimensional images. By building his “Re-things” pixel by pixel Shawn hopes to understand how each pixel plays a crucial role in the identity of an object. Through the process of pixilation, color is distilled, some bits of information are lost, and the form is abstracted. Making the intangible tangible, Smith views his building process as an experiment in alchemy, using man-made composite and recycled materials to represent natural forms.
Allison Shulnik recently created a wondrously hallucinogenic claymation short film set to Grizzly Bear’s song, “ready, able.” Her hauntingly hypercolor vision starring an eyeless, melting psychedelic-priest from mars are dazzling, surreal and beautiful.
Alvvino, Berlin based design/illustrator creates a style that seems long past. When i first peeked at his website I thought to myself “Classic!” Then I thought “no no, you’re just an intern here. You have no authority to make judgements like that” But the craftsmanship of these pieces are inevitable and their atmosphere is both pleasant and consuming.
In 1951, surrealist artist Salvador Dali teamed up with photographer Philippe Halsman to create In Voluptas Mors or Voluptuous Death. A black and white photograph, this image is simultaneously strange, complex, and alluring. It features a giant “skull,” a living picture that is made up of seven nude female models that took three hours to arrange and photograph. The final product has the artist standing next to the skull, looking like the ring leader of a circus. And, in many ways, he is.
Additional photos have recently surfaced that reveal some behind-the-scenes moments of In Voluptas Mors. Not only do we see the apparatuses needed to hold the models, but we see how the skull was constructed with bodies. From the looks of it, there was a process of getting one section of the skull situated and balanced. This would repeat until the structure was stable enough to be captured on film.
In Voluptas Mors was not the first time that Dali and Halsman collaborated, nor was it the last. They originally met in 1941 and worked together over the course of 30 years. All of their efforts were eventually published in a 1954 compendium titled Dali’s Mustache, an homage to the artist’s facial hair. Check out the upcoming exhibition at The Musée de l’Elysée, which runs from January 29 until May 11, 2014 to see these images in person.
For Translated Vase, Korean artist Yeesookyung assembles broken and discarded pieces of ceramics into new and contemporary work. According to Yeesookyung, about 70% of ceramic work does not reach the perfectionist standards of many ceramic professionals and masters. From this ceramic trash, she puts these broken pieces together as if she’s assembling a jigsaw puzzle, finding pieces that seem to connect from disparate shards, then covering the seams with 24 carat gold leaf. “While the use of gold lacquer is seemingly related to Japanese traditions of mending ceramics known as kintsugi 金継ぎ for Yeesookyung her choice of gold is based on the Korean homophone of “gold” (geum) and “crack” (geum). She observes, ‘I wanted to add a sense of humor to my work by filling geums (cracks), which are considered as defects, with a valuable material, such as real geum (gold).'” (via)