Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain is a large site specific sculpture by Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth that is a roller coaster for those of us who don’t like the sensation of falling to our death over and over again at hundreds of miles an hour. Built as the ultimate roller coaster for pedestrians, this magnificent piece sits on top of a man made hill in Duisburg that acts as a giant green pedestal for the work. Visitors are invited to walk through the maze of loops and turns using the LED lit handrails and the even spaced steps that casually guide them through the official roller coaster for the speed challenged.
Indonesian painter Haris Purnomo started painting babies covered with dragon tattoos over 20 years ago and has slowly included women and men into his oeuvre. Initially starting illustrating babies because “they were cute”, Purnomo quickly realized they could be a effective symbol for the Indonesian lower class. His portraits now include all ages, demographics and classes. Like some sort of branding or gang symbol, the faces he paints all bear a marking of a certain culture. They all belong to the same time and place. Purnomo was a painter during the time of the military dominated government of Suharto and his work shows a certain sort of forced introspection – a focus on pain and mysterious, subtle symbols.
His paintings are highly political as well as highly stylized. As a member of the Gerakan Seni Rupa Bary, The New Art Movement, and of PIPA, two innovative art movements from Indonesia in the seventies, he not only challenged Suharto’s power and the preexisting aesthetic, but also people’s understanding of their own culture. These are his own thoughts on why he produces artwork and it’s social importance:
Once we are faced with the necessity to make a choice or a stand, everything that makes up our backgrounds will play its part: time, age, economic, social and political considerations, idealism, behavior, creativity, et cetera. All these may alter, strengthen, undermine, or develop anything we believe, and the ‘Pipa’ artists are not exceptions in this. As a father seeing his children growing up I experience a sense of losing [sic], I feel the strong drive to give more attention to children, including others’ children; that is what has been going on in me Being hopeful about my children and wanting to be more attentive to children in every aspect, I think these two things provide the basis of the central theme of my works.(Source)
Purnomo’s artworks are not only culturally relevant for Indonesia, but can teach us a whole lot about the human condition, it’s strength, fragility, resilience and adaptability.
I’m completely blown away by the illustrations of Finland based Riikka Sormunen. Her delicate lines, amazing earthy color schemes, and dense patterning make me want to stare at these forever. I also love the subtle influence of Japanese woodblock prints that comes through in some of the works. (via)
Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardottir (also known as Shoplifter) created a playful inanimate entourage. Her series Imaginary Friends is composed of a number of various sculptures which seem to each vaguely resemble a person. The Friends appear to be sparsely constructed and made of familiar materials. It is intriguing for how well they imply human figures considering the little they use. Imagining a unique personality for each piece isn’t difficult. Arnardottir also seems to touching on the way identity is expressed in personal adornment and dress.
Really, much of Arnardottir’s work tip-toes between fashion and art. In fact, her familiarity with style and design has garnered her collaborations with several magazines. Arnardottir’s art, however, has teamed her up with some especially high-profile creatives such as legendary musician Bjork and super-artists Assum Vivid Astro Focus.
Taravat Talepasand’s work is anything but subtle. As a dual citizen between Iran and the US, Talepasand work deals with both contemporary and traditional issues of both nations. Talepasand work puts symbolic and iconic images in new contexts, forcing you to view them in a new ways. “I had my own way of depicting things,” she explains. “I wanted to work on my own terms.” Beautiful and thought provoking. If you like what you see, Talepasand’s work will be featured in Beautiful/Decay’s upcoming issue! Subscribe today to view more works by her, as well as other great artists!
Jane Benson is a multimedia artist who talks quite a bit about suffering. Her art speaks a lot about observation and the human psyche. Her relation to the earth seems to be something she constantly questions. Every moves beckons to test the difference between want and need. Let the games begin.
A fantastic short video for the British Art Show of world renowned photographer Wolfgang Tillmans discussing abstract photography and its relationship to the history of painting. Watch the full video after the jump.