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Jae-Hyo Lee’s Exquisitely Smooth Wooden Sculpltures Give Tree Trunks A Second Life

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Jae-Hyo Lee’s latest work is a true work of perfect imperfection. He works with the imperfect forms and patterns of wood and reworks them in order to produce smooth, polished, and functional works of art. The combination of the wood’s natural shapes and the work he puts into the wood himself make for a series of pieces that are a perfect balance of nature and the presence and interference of man in nature. He creates a sort of hyper perfection which relates our relationship with beauty to our relationship with nature.

The process of Lee’s work is equally interesting to note: he spends time assembling an assortment of bits and pieces of wood, which he then spends time polishing and burning. This process allows him to rework the structure of the wood and create the meticulous shapes that can be seen in the final product.

Lee’s work is however not only a process of creation: he expresses the way in which he works very much with the natural structure of the wood, He says that he likes to “ make the most out of the material’s inherent feeling”, which underlines the fusion of nature and the man made. His project is full of a positive energy that brings a new perspective on the roles of wood its presence in our everyday lives. The fact that his series includes both sculpture and furniture adds to its beauty and complexity.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Gentlemen Drivers

 

Music video director Allen Cordell mixes hypercolored imagery, grotesque story lines, and tripped out low-fi effects like its nobodies business. Case in point, the below music video for Gentlemen Drivers single Valdor. Yup, that’s a giant muppet attacking your family during a holiday dinner. Yes sir, someone gets their arms cut off during this 5:10 minute video. Yes ma’am, you want to watch this incredible music video after the jump!

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Walter Potter’s Curious Victorian Taxidermy

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In 1850, Walter Potter was 15 years old when he first began experimenting with taxidermy. By the age of 19, Potter had already created his best-known taxidermy tableaux, “The Death and Burial of Cock Robin” which was displayed, along with his other work, at a pub his family owned in Bramber, West Sussex. Potter’s taxidermy dioramas feature anthropomorphized animals acting out Victorian life scenes. During the Victorian era, taxidermy was a popular practice, and in 1880, a dedicated museum building was opened because the tableaux at the pub had created quite a scene. Over time, the interest in taxidermy declined, and the museum was moved before closing down.

Though Potter’s dioramas could be considered morbid, especially by modern standards, there’s something Beatrix Potteresque (no relation) about his work, mostly in its strange and whimsical Victorianism. “Kittens’ Wedding” was Potter’s last tableaux before his death in 1890; this piece was auctioned at Bonham’s (along with most of the collection) in 2003 for £21,150 (around $35,500). Among those present at the auction were artists Peter Blake, David Bailey, and Damien Hirst, who reportedly bid £1 million (almost $1.7) for Potter’s entire collection, but it was rejected by the auctioneers. This caused the owners of the collection to sue Bonham’s because they believed such an offer should have been immediately accepted in order to keep the collection in tact. In 2007, Hirst told The Guardian that “Kittens’ Wedding” was one of his favorites of Potter’s work: “All these kittens dressed up in costumes, even wearing jewellery. The kittens don’t look much like kittens, but that’s not the point.”

The Telegraph notes, “To a modern eye […]these ‘freaks of nature’ appear eerily macabre. Indeed, some Victorian viewers were outraged by the grotesquery and criticised Potter for abuse of animals, despite a museum disclaimer stating that no animals had been deliberately killed for the collection.”  But then they later explain that not all of Potter’s tableaux were sourced ethically. Before neutering was commonplace, freely roaming farm kittens would often be killed off. Potter had an agreement with a local farmer who provided the kittens; this would explain the high number of participants in his tableaux.

The accompanying images are sourced from Dr. Pat Morris and Joanna Ebenstein’s book about Potter and his work, “Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy,” released earlier this year. Ebenstein says that she’s interested in “the context that creates these things, and why certain things come to be seen as bizarre to us, when obviously they weren’t at the time.” (via telegraph)

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Julia Kozerski Catalogs Her Dramatic Weight Loss In Powerful Series On Body Image (NSFW)

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When the photographer Julia Kozerski lost literally half her body weight, dropping from 338 to under 178 lbs, she cataloged her complex emotional reaction to her transformation in a series titled Half. In a jarring response to most weight loss media, the artist avoids the display of any cheerful confidence, forcing viewers to consider the murky and provocative intersections of body image and identity.

In each frame, the artist performs intimate rituals, using her form as an aesthetic means of translating her feelings about identity and metamorphosis. In Ruins No. 1 and No. 2, she treats her flesh as if it were the remains of an ancient monument or temple; her skin, colored by stretch marks and curvatures shot in vivid contrast, appears less like an emerging new shape than a worshipful testament to the body she once lived in. For Kozerski, her weight loss is complicated by the suggestion of a confused identity; as she navigates her “halved” body, we quietly mourn the loss of the other.

As the photographs courageously expose this sense of loss and confusion, they paradoxically serve as a forum for self-actualization. In exposing her deepest vulnerabilities, Kozerski surrenders herself to her transformation, allowing for a richer and gorgeously nuanced identity to emerge. Throughout the series, the artist’s emotional and physical bareness become increasingly related to this idea of selfhood re-discovered, a theme which is often explored through her erotic connection with her husband.

In “…or for Worse,” Kozerski is tragically shown to be too small for her wedding gown, but throughout the series, sexual barriers and insecurities fade. An image titled “Lovers Embrace,” for instance, presents the pained and uncertain subject laying beside her mate, their wedding bands providing a flicker of hope as they glisten in the evening light. Ultimately, the viewer bears witness to “Eclipse,” a shot in which husband and wife stand nude, embracing one another and visually condensed into one powerful and resilient figure. After weathering this complex emotional terrain with the artist, we are presented with an image simply titled “Self,” left breathless and in awe of the woman before us. (via CNN, Phototazo, and Jezebel)

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Gregor Gaida

I love these brutal figurative sculptures by German artist Gregor Gaida. Amazing forms and texture!

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Liu Bolin Is The Invisible Man

Chinese artist Liu Bolin doesn’t need to be in the spotlight at all times. He prefers to kick back and literally blend into his surroundings. Watch him as he disappears into piles of trash, various landscapes, and literally merges with buildings after the jump. 

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Christian Oldham’s World Wide Web

Christian Oldham loves the internet googles image search. By combining, manipulating, and blending found images he creates work that is playful, funny, experimental, and down right bizarre.

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Book Artist, Jody Alexander

WRAPPEDWORDS001 I am in awe of Jody Alexander… one could spend hours sifting through a single work by this book & installation artist. Librarian by day, book & installation artist by night, the Santa Cruz artist is incredibly detailed in her execution – teetering on the obsessive – and sparks in the onlooker, a childlike curiosity.

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