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Hubert Duprat Collaborates With Flies To Produce Bejeweled Cocoons

Hubert Duprat - fly sculptureHubert Duprat - fly sculptureHubert Duprat - fly sculpture

In a very unique collaboration between man and nature, this exhibition as a part of the Venice Biennale will no doubt impress and amaze you. French artist Hubert Duprat has come up with an interesting and yes, controversial, idea which not only produces a dazzling product and art object, but also comments on the relationship between humans and nature, worker and manager, curator and artist. He has been invited to exhibit his work as a part of the group show Slip Of The Tongue, which addresses friendships, relationships between artists, and the idea

that the activity of the artist is aimed at the preservation and afterlife of objects rather than of their interpretation. (Source)

The art project of Duprat and the Caddis Flies is a perfect example of those themes. He has taken these insects, known for their collecting habits (they naturally collect bits of wood, sand and stones from their environment and build a cocoon around them to fend off any predators) and has instead replaced them with bits of precious and semi-precious stones – rubies, pearls, opals, sapphires, coral, lapis lazuli and diamonds. After several weeks of building up these defensive layers, the insects crawl out of their shells, leaving behind a bejeweled shell.

Critics say Duprat’s practice is no different to acts of animal cruelty, and that he plays no part in making the final product. Duprat even says himself:

……I am playing a bad trick on them… I feel as if I am exploiting my workers….It is their work as much as it is mine. (Source)

And while it is true the Caddis Fly does all of the physical work itself – it’s excreted silk thread is what joins the pieces together – Duprat has applied his imagination and experimentation to turn something quite mundane into something extraordinary. He has made visible what would normally remain unseen, and that is truly an art form. (Via Design Boom)

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Aryz Only Paints Massive Murals

 

Some people live life large not having time for life’s small obstacles. such is the case with street artist Aryz whose massive murals start with size xlarge and go up. Aryz’s murals of invisible men, bathing beauties, and humble farmers in fields of flowers demand our attention not only with their massive scale but with their gorgeous and bold colors which can be seen from miles away.

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Carly Janine Mazur Paints Nude Figures In Emotional, Metaphorical Settings

Repose - Metamorphosis (2015)

Repose – Metamorphosis (2015)

Cupid's Target (2014)

Cupid’s Target (2014)

Unearthed - Metamorphosis (2015)

Unearthed – Metamorphosis (2015)

Turmoil - Metamorphosis (2015)

Turmoil – Metamorphosis (2015)

Carly Janine Mazur is a Connecticut-based artist who paints portraits of realistic nude figures in metaphorical, emotional settings. One woman surrenders her heart to a monster; another is feverishly overcome by black, smothering roots; and another meditates deeply as shadows slowly arise around her. Each of Mazur’s portraits have an almost mythic or esoteric quality; using nudity and abstract forms together to unearth spiritual experiences, Mazur captures scenes of rapture and agony that transcend the limitations of the corporeal body.

Resonating with Mazur’s expressive content is the artist’s own experience of creating it. Several of the images here are from Mazur’s Metamorphosis series, which is currently being exhibited at the Arch Enemy Arts gallery in Philadelphia. Characterized by organic imagery and dark, flowing forms that both embrace and overwhelm the figures, this series teeters on the edge between life and death, ecstasy and despair, chaos and serenity. For Mazur, Metamorphosis involved finding balance in her process, and allowing art and emotion to flow naturally—although the journey was uncertain.

“While working on Metamorphosis, I broke, and I’m not afraid to admit it,” Mazur explains in her Artist Spotlight. “I was completely cut down by the challenge of creating a visual theme. My first attempt at pushing through the ‘cocoon’ left me disheartened and doubting my ability to create. The first piece in the series, then titled ‘Limbo,’ fell apart emotionally and compositionally, and I felt crushed by looming deadlines, although still a ways away, dominating the horizon.” (Source)

After a few days of creative purgatory, Mazur realized that “metamorphosis is an organic process, following a limited set of rules and drawing from a limited set of resources.” By setting these boundaries, Mazur was able to let her artwork and energies flow between them. The result is a series of stunning portraits that embody both intensity and clarity, bound seamlessly together by their style, theme, and emotional resonance.

Metamorphosis will be on view until August 30th. Visit Mazur’s website and Tumblr to view more. She also has a YouTube channel where she uploads time-lapse videos of her paintings. (Via Hi-Fructose)    

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Dan Witz’s Creepy Wall Prisoners

Check out this new video of street art legend Dan Witz putting up creepy pieces along the freeway just in time for Halloween!

B/D Cult trivia: Did you know long before Dan was a big name in the street art community B/D featured him in Issue: C? You can still get the issue on our shop and read about Dan before he took over the street art world!

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Johnny Negron’s Comics And Curvy Ladies

Jonny Negron - Pen and Ink

Jonny Negron - Pen and Ink  Jonny Negron - Pen and Ink

When I met Jonny Negron at the Small Press Expo two years ago, I had him sign a copy of his book, Negron, for me. Rather than just signing his name, he drew on the back cover, which coincidentally is a large picture of his face. Negron completed his doodle with a lizard tongue, drawn with a gold paint pen. This act of an excessive signature is a metaphor for the type of work that he creates. It’s in your face and unapologetic, as well as being stylish, humorous and at times, scary.

Negron is best known for his comics and propensity for drawing large women. They are extremely curvy and wear crop tops, bikinis, and leggings, or nothing at all. Couples engage in sexual acts, and while often NSFW, the drawings don’t have the same vulgarity of something like an ad for a porn site. In an interview with The Comics Journal, Negron says that he doesn’t fetishize these women, and that he’s gotten a very positive response from women regarding his drawings. He goes on to say, “You go to a magazine stand and half the magazines are the same very thin woman. Beauty is not limited to that kind of person. Anyone can be beautiful. That’s part of the statement I’m trying to make with those drawings.”

Oftentimes, Negron’s work is without context. His characters exist in blank space, and his comics focus on a moment rather than a long passage of time. Negron cites films as an inspiration to his work, using their sense of lighting and stasis as a way to pace his sequential art. Looking at his style of drawing, it’s evident that he enjoys manga and video games, but it is more well rounded than that.

Negron is really active on Tumblr and is constantly listing his work for sale in his online shop. He is also an artist with PictureBox, a small press publisher.

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RAMMELLZEE’s Singular Visual Stylings

Recently deceased Hip Hop legend RAMMELLZEE was such an enigma. I often have a hard time deciphering some of his rhetoric. But his genius is so evident. His work (on any platform, vocal or visual) was always a cut above. He always had something slightly different going on. Take his “Letter Racers” (above), for example. Customized skateboard warriors fighting epic alphabet wars? Always on another level. See more from the late great artist after the jump, and listen to “Beat Bop”, the game-changing single that included cover art from Jean-Michel Basquiat.

All photos Copyright The Estate of Rammellzee, Courtesy the Suzanne Geiss Company, New York.

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Amy Elkins’ Thought-Provoking Project Born From Correspondence With Death Row Inmates

Amy Elkins- Photograph Amy Elkins- PhotographAmy Elkins- Photograph Amy Elkins- Photograph

Los Angeles based photographer Amy Elkins recently won the 2014 Aperture Prize for her project Black Is The Day, Black Is The Night, which explores identity, time, and masculinity through correspondence, memorabilia, and composite landscapes, involving death row inmates. Elkins based this project on a number of long-term friendships she developed with men either serving lifetime sentences or on death row. As a pen pal to these inmates, Elkins explores an alternate sense of reality, reaching toward that of the 1,500 people currently on death row in the United States.

Drawing from these conversations and histories, she formulated composite photographs representative of what she learned of these men, and then created a method of aging and manipulating the photographs based on how much time had passed since they were first incarcerated. What comes from that are these gauzy, dreamy photographs that are clotted with layers but still delicate and vague, nearly transparent. The loose metaphor of memory, clarity, and vision are entangled in this series, heightened by photographs of the actual correspondence, memorabilia, and quotes from various letters.

The title of the project comes from a poem Elkins received from an inmate, “It spoke about that environment so well. The idea of being pulled away from anything. Experiencing no variance. Everything is the same; everything is dark. The poem is mind-blowing. Better for him to describe the situation than me.” (Excerpt from Source)

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Li Jikai

BD-Dialogue-Space-Gallery-Ll-Jikai-mushroom-boy-Los-Angeles-LA-art-show-photo-article-by-Daniel-Rolnik

Li Jikai is a Chinese artist who makes wonderfully melancholy sculptures and paintings. And even though he is well known in Asia, I had never seen his work before visiting Dialogue Space Gallery’s booth at the LA Art Show – a massive art exhibition being held in the convention center downtown. His piece “Daydream” of a young boy laying on his back and holding his legs against his chest drew me straight towards it, so I battled the waves of artwork at the convention center to get a closer look. And after inspecting the piece and meeting the gallery’s director, I turned the corner and became totally entrenched in Jikai’s world full of lonely characters and heavy symbolism. Especially one piece that I found most interesting of a boy sitting underneath a giant mushroom, because it existed as both a sculpture as well as a painting. According to some online sources Li Jikai is a member of the Ego Generation – a group of Chinese artists born after 1970 who deal with personal matters in their work as opposed to cultural ones. However, it doesn’t really matter if he belongs to that movement or not, since his work is so powerful at expressing its intentions that it doesn’t need to be lumped into a group.

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