Kyle James Dunn’s intricate patterned sculptures are created using a plasma cutter and lots of patience. The imagery revolves around the American idea of vacation and the island get away. A pervasive cultural myth that presents itself in literature, art, Hollywood film, and more, this fantasy is projected onto real places regardless of local cultures or economies. As such, its tropes–the desert isle, the Aloha shirt–exist in a fantasy realm outside of a specific time or place. They create a seductive language of artifice and leisure that is both costly and escapist to uphold.
Jake and Dinos Chapman, ‘In Our Dreams We Have Seen Another World’ , 2013 -White Cube Gallery.
Yesterday was Miami Art Basel 2013’s preview, and B/D was there to get the scoop on Basel’s most innovative and interesting works. Here we’ve picked out a few pieces that caught our eye. Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!
Jakes and Dinos Chapman’s diorama fuses sensitive religious themes with mass branding and symbols of the global fast food chain, McDonald’s. The rather crude, and disturbing maquette juxtaposes, or rather, finds parallels between what seems to be violent scenes of apocalypse and crucifixions, and the globalization of American fast food chains. The artwork exudes great hostility; it truly makes for an uncomfortable yet very entertaining, and satisfying viewing. The piece pinpoints and creates controversy, as it look at a global economy superpower through the eyes of uncensored, critical, and dry humor.
Evan Penny’s sculpture was probably one of my top personal highlights from Basel. ‘Female Stretch’ is strange and confusing to look at. The artist accomplishes a flat look out of a three-dimensional sculpture. Besides the bizarre proportions, which I hope you can appreciate through the photos, I can say that Penny’s craftsmanship shines quite brightly through the sculpture’s accuracy when it came to small details. Hair, eyelashes and skin textures are almost impressively realistic looking.
Fiona Roberts‘ new show Intimate Vestiges is a collection of wonderful and weird objects. She loves taking mundane items and adding creepy details to them. Items that we are used to seeing in our house everyday now seem to be encroaching on our personal space, and even seem to be a bit threatening. Roberts has transformed a simple chair into an anthropomorphized Frankenstein creature: the leather sections now feature tiny pink gaping mouths, baring their teeth and ready to chomp at whatever touches them. The menacing orifices are bordered by shiny plaited strands of hair; the legs of the chair wrapped in the same hair. The chair seems to have murdered the occupant of the house, and now wears the attributions of it’s victim on the outside.
Intimate Vestiges deals with questions of the ‘other’ – what is human, and where do our human bodies, memories and experiences end? We undoubtedly transfer these emotions into the objects around us – but what keeps them as foreign bodies? As writer Stephanie Lyall asks:
What can constitute humanity? At what point does a collection of disparate parts become a being? How much of a body can be rearranged before becoming something ‘other’? (Source)
Roberts’ sculptures have a beautiful philosophical poetry embedded in them. She has pillows made from plaster frozen in the middle of a kiss. They seem frozen and unable to enjoy their passion. They pillow lovers are able to extract empathy from us immediately. She has a rug made made from hundreds of ceramic fingers that might make us think twice about treading so heavily on our own carpets at home. Roberts has the power to make us re-evaluate the inanimate objects around us we take for granted and combines our outside worlds with our inside worlds.
By now most of you have seen or heard about this brilliant documentary by LA filmmaker Nirvan Mullick about a 9 year old boy named Caine and his amazing incredible DIY arcade. Stuck at this fathers office on the weekends, Caine took his boredom and turned it into one of the most awe inspiring arcades I’ve ever seen, completely made out of discarded cardboard and packing tape. Unfortunately Caine rarely got any foot traffic in his little shop of fun. That is until Nirvan came by and decided to share this little boys inspiring story with the world. With a few Facebook invites and some help from strangers Nirvan managed to create an amazing day for Caine by way of a surprise flash mob.
What’s more amazing about this story is that since the videos launch just a few days ago Nirvan has helped raise over $114,000 towards a college fund for Caine. Watch this video, get inspired to do better, and get off your ass and make something. There’s no more excuses now that you have seen the amazing things that a 9 year old boy with no money and a bunch of creativity can accomplish! (via colossal,mefi)
In 2010, photographer and conservationist Robin Moore set out on a global quest in search of frogs and salamanders that were last seen between 15 and 160 years ago. The undertaking was accompanied by over 120 scientists in 21 countries and took four years to complete.
It was worth the time and effort, however, and Moore’s journey produced some incredible rediscoveries, such as: the Ventriloquial Frog from Haiti, capable of throwing its voice, and the Borneo Rainbow Toad, which was unseen in 87 years. And, amusingly, a new species from Colombia was introduced called the “Monty Burns Toad,” which is reminiscent of the cartoon villain from The Simpsons.
From this quest came a book titled In Search of Lost Frogs, which includes information about the project and shows over 400 gorgeous photos of Moore’s findings. The sizes of each creature, their variations in color, and image quality are crystal clear. When you compare all the different frogs and salamanders, it’s remarkable just how many variations there are. It is that sentiment- one of hope and wonder – that Moore wants you to feel; to motivate you to care about the amphibians and the potential loss of their species. He explains:
As conservationists we often get so caught up in communicating what it is that we are losing that we forget to instill a sense of hope,” Moore says. “We need to revel in the weird and the wonderful, the maligned and the forgotten, for our world is a richer more wondrous place for them. Stories and images of discovery and rediscovery can help us to reconnect with our inner explorer – they can make us feel part of a bigger, wilder world. Rekindling a connection with the world beyond our concrete boxes is the key to caring about the way we are treating our natural world.
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John Grade’s Capacitor is a site-specific installation which reacts to the climate of the site it inhabits. Located within the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, this enormous coil is roughly 40′ x 20′ x 20′ and slowly reacts to the changing wind directions and temperatures of the outside environment. Physically behaving according to statistics collected outside the institution, a mechanized controller within the installation powers the enormous coil’s shape. According to Grade, “the whole of the sculpture will appear to be very slowly breathing”. Capacitor also changes the brightness of the lights within the construct, giving an entire reaction to outside elements. (contemporist and artist’s site)