A memorial to the victims of the worst mass shootings in modern history was recently announced, as the country revealed the selection of a design by Jonas Dahlberg. Almost three years ago on the island of Utøya, Norway, a gunman set off several bombs and killed 77 people. Rather than erecting a building or edifice in remberence, Dahlberg’s submission chose to focus on nature itself, separating the end of the island with a man-made fjord where the shooting took place. Across the channel, the names of the victims will be etched in stone, which will be seen by visitor’s in the viewing area. Separated from them physically, Dahlberg explained, “The concept for the Memorial Sørbråten proposes a wound or a cut within nature itself. It reproduces the physical experience of taking away, reflecting the abrupt and permanent loss of those who died.”
The Swedish designer’s submission was unanimously selected (his project description can be read in full here) Dahlberg explained the presence and loaded feelings upon visiting the future building site, “An emotional observation informs my overall concept. During the initial site visit to Utøya, I noticed how different the feeling was of walking outside in nature, compared to the feeling of walking through the rooms of the main building. The experience of seeing the vacant rooms and the traces of extreme violence brought me — and others around me — to a state of profound sadness. In its current state, the building kept close within it the memory of the terror acts of July 22, 2011. Like an open wound.” (via gizmodo)
Walking the line between fine art and craft, Brent Owens has a characteristic style of woodworking that he incorporates with a somewhat irreverent sense of humor and applies to a myriad of subjects. Conspicuously hand-carved, embracing the flaws and all, Owens enhances his imperfect look by selecting wood with notable imperfections. The casual woodwork is not a comment on Owens’ talents. Rather it is done to emphasize the fact that the human hand has influenced the material. Conceptually, Owens works from the notion that humans have a tendency to render nature amenable to their own agenda. Describing this “healthy disrespect for nature” as a “shameless manipulation of a gorgeous natural material,” Owens considers his woodworking to be “imposing his own desires on the material” in the name of progressing culture.
Owens’ exploration of craft takes him in several directions. His “Turkish rugs,” for instance, are carved freehand and modeled after Googled images. These works are juxtaposed with carved paintings of appropriated text of medical queries and responses, which have been translated from Chinese to English. The results are a mix of park signage and conceptual art exhibited as a confused mix of words that have lost the nuance of human translation. The works becomes symbolic of how epically the human desire to understand and control everything so often fails.
Both funny and frightening Owens’ works are ultimately a representation of the fact that craft as fine art becomes a commentary on fine art itself. Thereby becoming commentary on culture, and human nature at large.
Artist DarkAngelOne has taken a collection of sculptures created by different artists and brought them to life! Using photos of these sculptures, the artist transforms them into stunning, moving GIFs full of energy. The variety of sculptures is incredibly eclectic, ranging from artistic fashion to bronze. Even more diverse and unique, is what part of the sculpture is moving in each photograph. In one photo, buttons seem to endlessly skid across a woman’s face. In another, a crystallized substance is exploding from a person’s body. Sometimes, the fabric of the sculpture itself transforms and morphs back and forth between patterns and materials. What is so impressive about this series is how seamless the editing seems to be. The sculptures really do seem to have gold dripping up continuously or have safety pins eternally sliding across a face. This transformation has truly taken some incredible skill from the artist that created the GIFs.
The movement created in this series not only transforms the sculpture itself, but the mood and the meaning as well. A new sensation emerges from each of these photos as they now pulsate and flow with a new life right in front of our eyes. They become more surreal, magical, and in some cases, a bit unnerving. Several of the sculptures take on a new feeling of anxiety or perhaps fear as they now have new elements added to it due to the movement. For example, one sculpture now has a fluttering iris that moves back and forth out of her skull. Another simulates a threaded face with black string moving across the eyes. Each sculpture is amazingly transformed into a new image full of life and meditative movement. (via Fubiz)
Paint slipping off the canvas, woodpeckers poking holes through landscapes, and watermelon paintings rotting right off the stretchers are all images that can be found in the beautifully decaying paintings and sculptures of Valerie Hegarty. See more deconstructed, mutilated, and decomposing artworks after the jump. (via oriental)
French photographer Eric Lafforgue has dedicated his craft to documenting various cultures around the world, from Panama to North Korea and beyond. In this particular series, titled “Scarifications Ethiopiennes,” Lafforgue provides a close-up view on the scarification practices of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley tribes, including the Bodi, Suri, and Mursi peoples. Lafforgue traveled throughout the region, visiting the locals and observing their cutting ceremonies. In stunning detail, Lafforgue provides images of the scars—both healed and in process—as well as ethnographic descriptions and insights into the scars’ social and ritualistic purposes.
Among these peoples, scarification plays an important role in tribal life. Patterned lines and dots are embedded into the skin using thorns and razors—a process that one of his photographic subjects, a teenage girl, confesses to being very painful. But enduring the pain holds several social significances: the Suri people see it as a sign that the participant will be able to endure childbirth, while the Mursi embrace it as a mark of beauty and strength (Source). While some urban Ethiopians view scarification as a sign of “primitivism,” for many it remains a valuable signifier of cultural belonging.
Lafforgue’s oeuvre is impressive, spanning the globe several times over. His works can be viewed on his website and Facebook page.
Dev Harlan is a multidisciplinary artist whose hybrid practice combines the physical and the virtual with the use of sculpture, light and projection. Utilizing innovative video projection mapping techniques, Harlan controls and shapes the projected image into precision alignment with his sculptural forms. Through his masterful use of this hybrid video technique Harlan makes the intuitive a reality and gives the works rhythms and a dialogue that set their own pace. Using a palette of strong, assertive colors, kinetic geometries, and varying vantage points the artist projects an intuitive dialogue onto the sculptures that is succinct and cohesive. (via stacythinx)
British artist Chris Agnew Predominantly works with drawing and a self-developed technique of etching into panels with oil painted details. Agnew’s practice is focused upon the cultivation of belief systems through legends, mythologies and actual events. The works take the form of intricate and highly-detailed examinations of specific locations where the origin or destiny of particular events are/will be played out.
Designed and authored by Richard Hefter, Martin Stephen Moskof, A Shufflebook is a nonstructured reading and storytelling “book” which is designed to offer children maximum variety and flexibility of image grouping. The 52 illustrated cards can be arranged to make an endless number of word and picture stories.