Dutch photographer Arjen Born has a hell of a sense of humor which is perfectly displayed in this series of hilarious photographs of imaginary robots that help out senior citizens with all sorts of mundane yet challenging tasks such as getting out of a chair, eating breakfast, or simply seeing. I’m not sure if these robots are created digitally or if Born literally builds these futuristic creatures but either way there is a humorous charm to them that carries throughout the entire series.
I just got back from checking out the undergrad show at UCLA Design Media Arts, and I was impressed with a lot of the work, but there was one young artist that really stood out to me: Canon Call. Call’s work is largely comprised of illustration on found materials, and the sincerely charming thing about these little disruptive doodles is their ability to build upon the image they are layered on top of in order to develop a dialogue around pop-culture and society at large. The best part of the work is the hidden irony behind the naming of each piece’s source file… each JPEG on his site is titled “dontsteal.jpg” or “dontcopythis.jpg – and various other alterations of that phrase. Genius. The work itself feels like a weird mashup of pop art and a surrealist exquisite corpse of sorts. I am very much looking forward to watching Call’s work develop.
During his graduate studies in microbiology, artist Zachary Copfer invented a new type of photography, one grown entirely of living bacteria. By exposing sections of microscopic organisms to radiation, he accelerates their growth, allowing them to multiply and compose vivid photographic portraits. Copfer’s subjects include both artists and scientists who inspire him; famous images Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso are replicated in Serratia marcescens, a human pathogen often associated with infections of the urinary tract and respiratory systems. The portrait of Stephen Fry is made of bacteria found in the actor’s own body.
Copfer’s portraits closely resemble the art of Roy Lichtenstein; his faces bear the same comic book-style polka dots made famous by the legendary pop artist. Also like Lichtenstein’s paintings and prints, they are duplicates of mass-produced, iconic public domain images. But quite unlike the work of Lichenstein and his colleagues, Copfer’s images are imbued with an undeniably unique and human tenor. These bacterial cells, some drawn from the bodies of the subjects they portray, are corporeal and therefore inevitably personal. In contrast the ink used by the pop artists, these cells will someday die. Though iconic, these portraits are ultimately of mortal men, and the fact that they are rendered here in disease-causing bacteria only underscores that fact.
In addition to portraiture, Copfer experiments with photographs of celestial bodies. Here, in glowing green E. coli genetically modified with GFP, the vast cosmos are paradoxically formed from the microscopic, reminding us that in the end, all matter great and small is profoundly interconnected. Take a look. (via Jezebel)
For Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki, dyslexia prevented him reading music in the traditional sense. But that didn’t stop him playing it. Instead, he adopted a playful approach and created an installation that invites viewers to produce their own music using color markers. Visitors draw along the curvy lines on the floor, and then the robots translate their marks into one-of-a-kind sound pieces.
The robots are called Color Chasers, and they associate each color that they find on their path with a sound. This small, unique orchestra features five different machines that each have their own sound and shape. The Basscar has a Dubstep-like sound, the Glitchcar reproduces computer-like sounds, and the Melodycar, Arpeggiocar, and the Drumcar to add rhythm.
This imaginative work was recently selected by the New York MoMA for their collection. (Via Spoon and Tamago)
Mikael Takacs hand paints blurry portraits, distorted by a paper marbling effect. The outline of the portraits are clean and clear. From far, what’s inside the shapes seems messy and confusing but if we take a closer look it appears structured, almost forming a pattern. There’s a fine line between Mikael Takacs’ paintings and digital rendering. The diamond shaped patterns and the perfectly balanced and harmonized colors lead to confusion.
The artist applies acrylic painting onto an horizontal canvas with droppers to prevent the liquid from overflowing. He then painstakingly drags paint with small tools like sticks and combs in order to distort the portrait. The intricate work creates regular lines and shapes. If we look closely, we can see feathers, spirals and regular waves. The colors used are a blend of dark turquoise, camel and fuchsia. A color scheme that makes the series identifiable.
Mikael Takacs knows all the people he is depicting. He prefers to blur the lines and to present an abstract artwork. According to him, abstract art makes the dialogue between the viewer and the piece of art more interesting. The artist paints just enough for us to begin to have a idea of what we are looking at and leaves us halfway. To follow our imagination and introspect is the purpose of these paintings as they can lead to a million different interpretations.
Talk about impressive craftsmanship. In a stunning feat of virtuosity, the Chinese artist Ch’en Tsu-chang carved an astoundingly complex scene into a single olive pit in the year 1737. The tiny sculpture is complete with eight exquisite human figures enjoying a serene ride in the furnished interior of a boat with movable windows. To construct the piece, the artist, hailing from Kwangtung and having entered into the Imperial Bureau of Manufacture during the reign of emperor Yung-cheng, allowed his eye and hand to be guided by the natural shape of the olive pit.
Measuring 1.34 inches in length and .63 inches in height, the work was inspired by a poem titled “Latter Ode on the Red Cliff,” written by Su Tung-p’o some six hundred and fifty years before; it depicts the poet and his seven companions on one of his two journeys to Red Nose Cliff, the site of an epic battle that proceeded the poet-official by eight hundred years. On the helm of the boat, the artist meticulously engraved 300 characters from the beloved poem, whose moving lines served as an artistic theme well into the Qing Dynasty. Somehow, the delicate and intricate composition elevates the epic subject matter, making it all the more precious and highlighting its worth as a narrative worth careful representation. What better way to honor a poem about a natural landscape than by rendering its speaker in an organic substance?