Unbelievably, the stunning and incredibly realistic works of artist Robin Eley are not photographs, but meticulously created paintings! The artist uses oil paint to render hyper-real portraits with fragmented hues and picturesque, nude figures. Each figure looks so photorealistic, it is hard to believe that it is a painting. Every last element is executed perfectly, as you can even see every detail in the tattoos on the figures. As if painting realistic nudes with this high level of skill was not impressive enough, Eley displays his figures through fractals of color, as if they are behind stained glass. The geometric shapes cutting through the composition offer us a stark juxtaposition to the organic, soft bodies that are behind them. This sharp pattern dissects the human body into segments so that we may see it in a different light.
Eley not only paints his figures behind brightly colored, intersecting shapes, but also wrapped in materials like plastic. This highly textural element also gives an interesting contrast to the bare skin of the figures. The crinkles and creases in the plastic create a sort of fractured impression, just like Eley’s pieces with the “stained glass.” Originally from Australia, this L.A-based artist has had his work exhibited internationally and also has work in private collections all over the world. If you have the chance to see Eley’s prolific work in person, make sure to take advantage of it and experience every tiny detail of these hyper-real paintings.
These melting disco balls are the work of German collective Rotganzen. The installation, titled Quelle Fête, features scattered disco balls in various stages of melting. No longer operable or spinning, they lie lazily on the floor. Regarding the concept, Rotganzen says:
“Our conscious choice of the material and form contains a contrast to the message. It’s a reminder of the momentousness of glamour and swiftly passing glory. What once may have been a perfect shape takes on a new character and meaning. However, rather than a cynical take on reality, our intention is to offer a playful approach to observing our object of depiction.” [via]
Twin brothers Trevor and Ryan Oakes create works which investigate and analyze perspective, perception and the shapes that are intrinsically connected to the way we view the world around us. In addition to incredibly-detailed renderings on curved paper, the brothers Oakes create particularly interesting sculptural works from metaphorically-loaded materials, like the matchstick sculptures pictured above.
Though made from simple materials, their construction was anything but. The Colorado-born, New York-based artist’s match sculptures were difficult to create, as the review in Ignant documents, the “first form was a small grid of matchsticks which curved in two directions to become a portion of the surface of a sphere. After that, they set out on building an entire dome, starting with a ring of matches on a table surface upon which additional rings were stacked. The form didn’t quite want to emerge into a dome though unless a small amount of space was manually added between the match heads. Curiosity eventually caught them an they began to look for a form that would emerge if they didn’t manually space the heads and let the matches truly guide their own behavior. A sea-shell-like spiral unexpectedly emerged.”
The Oakes describe the shapes created from the matchsticks as a reflection of naturally developing forms. “Forms that occur naturally predicated upon simple rules, or building codes; in this case placing one matchstick next to another and allowing the fact that as the head is a slightly different width than the stick, a form will occur naturally.”
The sculptures possess an immediate cultural recognition being made from commonly used objects, and are given more weight when thousands of them are collected together. But they also hold a seductive energy because the inherent reactive possibilities of the materials. Matchsticks immediately insinuate fire, and collected matchsticks offer the potential for a chain-reaction, a possibility which adds to the idea of power in great numbers. (via Ignant)
Brazilian artist Rodrigo Torres creates intricate collages by combining bank notes collected from around the world. Beautiful and painstakingly detailed, they are visually arresting and require a closer look. The ones I find most interesting single out common themes found within a variety of notes, such as crowds, portraits, and buildings/architecture, and showcase unexpected similarities between multiple countries’ approaches to currency design. In Rodrigo’s portrait collage, he positions heads to the right or left, with those silhouettes facing directly to the side seated at each respective end. The majority of head positions are in varying degrees of ¾ perspective; very few bank note portraits seem to face directly forward. Most notes are monochromatic, but differ on the single color used; this in turn creates an aesthetically pleasing rainbow effect. It’s uncanny to see a multiplicity of notes side by side in this constructed context. Despite countless cultural, historical, and environmental differences in nations around the world, their money appears strikingly similar.
Torres’s has been selected by Art Basel Switzerland to be featured in the month’s Art Feature sector in Switzerland, which runs June 14 – June 17.
New York-based artist Brian Dettmer’s sculptural, multi-layered books are so intricate that they require him to use surgeon tools in his process. He carefully carves illustrations and text out of old medical journals, dictionaries, maps books, encyclopedias, and more. Nothing inside of the books is implanted – pieces are only removed. The idea is that these subtractions will reveal new histories and memories now that the story and context has changed. Dettmer sees his work as a collaboration with the existing work’s past creators.
He writes about his creations, which are a comment on the changing landscape of technology. From Dettmer’s artist statement:
The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress.
The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. (Via Demilked)
According to a famous anecdote, three pioneers of modern art Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Duchamp, and Fernand Leger are said to have visited the 1912 Paris Air Show. Observing a propeller, Brancusi said, “Now that is what I call sculpture!” A hundred years later, Paola Pivi’s How I Roll suggests that the modernist romance with industrial design lives on.
Pivi’s sculpture (made possible by the Public Art Fund) incorporates an entire six-seat plane that has been specially modified, enabling it to rotate through 360 degrees while held aloft on its wing tips. The artist’s transformation allows this Piper Seneca to be seen in an entirely new way. Airborne but flightless, its steady circular movement is mesmerizing. The shift of context from airport runway to New York City plaza is equally dramatic. It creates the striking and surreal experience of a familiar object seen in an unexpected place doing a very unfamiliar thing. Like a child’s dream come to life, How I Roll is typical of the artist’s bold and playful imagination. Watch a video of the sculpture in action after the jump. (via)
David Welch’s photographs document sculptural assemblages that form pseudo monuments, or totems of consumer goods and debris. The totems speak of accumulation and materiality and encourage debate about consumption, media, class, gender and the ways in which we feel compelled to consume.