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Turning Books Back Into Trees: The Deconstructive Work of Jan Reymond

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With a background in craftsmanship and carpentry, Jan Reymond creates sculptures by recycling discarded objects. His most well-known installations are made of books. Even in his smaller scale work with furniture, his eye for architectural design is apparent. He’s also created large scale designs made out of discarded cell phones. In addition to this installation work, he crafts furniture and other domestic objects with an eye for practicality and aesthetic pleasure. His work asks us to consider the boundary between functional and non-functional artwork.

 

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Interview: Marsha Pels

Marsha Pels poetically recontextualizes found objects of power and politics. Cohesion in her works is achieved though this particular modus operandi, though not necessarily in subject matter. Her gutsy recent exhibit at Schroeder Romero, “Dead Mother, Dead Cowboy,” made a connection between the recent death of her mother and abandonment by her partner. Artworks within this exhibition included a fluorescent lit, crystal-clear casting of Pels’ mother draped in mink stoles, her ex-lover on a deconstructed motorcycle, and castings of her own hands made in her mother’s gloves. For lack of a better word, this personal and haunting expose on desire, loss and morning is brave—laying bare an honest, and witty personal narrative. Recently Marsha discussed her creative inspiration, and her in-depth thought process behind her recent sculptural series. 

 

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Challenging Architectural Installation from the Festival Des Architectures Vives

 

The Festival Des Architectures Vives, of Montpellier in Southern France, is an annual exhibition showcasing new talent in architectural installation. The Festival is currently in its 7th year. Here are a few images of some of the stuff that’s gone down. Repetition seems to be a popular theme this year, as many of the installations involved in the event feature identical or similar elements multiplied a few times over. The small alcove spaces that contain each piece work really well. They restrict the work just enough to create a slight amount of tension, but don’t distract from or impede any of the installations. See more from the show after the jump. (via)

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Rafael Gómezbarros’ Giant Ant Installations Shed Light on the Plight Of Migrant Workers

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Casa Tomada is a project of traveling installations started in 2007 by Colombian artist Rafael Gómezbarros in which giant sculptures of ants are fixed in swarms on buildings and structures. Self-described as “urban intervention” by Gómezbarros, the ants have been showcased in locations varying from London to Cuba with a very specific goal in mind: shedding light on immigration, forced displacement, and uprooting through historical points of departure for travelers and immigrants. The 2-foot ants themselves are crafted out of tree branches for legs and two joined skull casts made of fiberglass resin and fabric to make up the torso, making for a particularly morbid, visceral depiction of migrant workers in Latin America who are looked at as nothing more than vermin.

When placed on the facades of government buildings and blank gallery walls alike, the ants give off a chilling sense of foreboding and encroachment. By placing them in swarms, Gómezbarros makes the insects even more strikingly representative of the peasants displaced by war and strife in Gómezbarros’ native Colombia. The giant insects that make up Casa Tomada, which translates to Seized House, are certainly works that are bound to linger with viewers, whether in nightmares or otherwise.

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Portraits Of Patients With Facial Paralysis Show A Terrible Beauty

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Sage Sohier spent three years at a facial nerve clinic, photographing people in the beginning stages of treatment of facial paralysis for her series “About Face.” The portraits of men, women, and children of all ages and ethnicities with varied causes and visible extents of paralysis are striking. Looking directly into the camera, directly at the viewer, the patients smile.

Most people I photograph are acutely aware of their imperfections and try to minimize them. Some have confided in me that, in their attempt to look more normal, they strive for impassivity and repress their smiles. They worry that this effort is altering who they are emotionally and affecting how other people respond to them.

In our image obsessed society, facial oddities can be difficult to live with. When we see images of celebrities with shaved noses and plumped lips, carving and injecting their way to plastic perfection, having a face twisted and pulled by nerve damage seems unthinkable. In an absurd twist, some of the patients are treated with Botox, which is a medical treatment as well as a cosmetic one. The strength of character it takes to allow a portrait when one’s face is so far from “the ideal” is astounding. The pictures that include loved ones show them touching, kissing, and connecting, illustrating how appearance doesn’t matter, that they person they love is still there.

As a visual artist, I find myself fascinated by the intensity of glimpsing two expressions simultaneously, a literal “two-facedness” that mesmerizes by its terrible beauty. At the same time, I hope these pictures bear witness to the incredible courage required to deal with medical afflictions, especially when they affect one’s primary appearance. Even minor facial problems challenge and potentially diminish a person’s sense of self; the poise and inner strength that it takes to deal with this, while at the same time presenting oneself to the world, is remarkable.

It’s important that images like these are taken, and even more that they are seen. These people have a medical condition, reversible to differing degrees, that makes them look different than what we expect. And this is what humanity is composed of—people who look like themselves at any given point in their lives. (via Design Taxi)

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Collages That Technically Balance Disparate Imageries

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The artist known only as strng on Flickr creates technically impressive and visually compelling collages. He combines imagery from human, animal, natural, and mechanical worlds into one image. Elements that don’t seem to have much in common become a part of each other, and strng illustrates these startling images in such a way as for them to appear natural or ordinary. Part of this involves strng’s aesthetic, which is resonant with the pages of anatomy and biology textbooks.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Don’t You Want Me

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“Official Music Videos” are usually lame but this hilarious video for the movie “Take Me Home Tonight” is 3:57 minutes of fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Enjoy the full video after the jump!

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Dominic Paul Moore

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Check out these lovely graphite works by Chicago artist Dominic Paul Moore. With a pretty diverse selection of work in his portfolio and not many years under his belt, this is a guy you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

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