International architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has created a life-sized wooden maze reminiscent of European hedge mazes of the 17th and 18th centuries, currently on view at The National Building Museum in Washington D.C. Eighteen feet high and made of baltic birch plywood, this installation offers a glimpse into BIG’s work and their forthcoming exhibition, scheduled to open in early 2015. The thoughtful design of this labyrinth allows visitors to see the entirety of the maze elevated around them once they fully descend to the center of the structure. BIG describes the project, “As you travel deeper into a maze, your path typically becomes more convoluted. What if we invert this scenario and create a panopticon that brings clarity and visual understanding upon reaching the heart of the labyrinth? From outside, the maze’s cube-like form hides the final reveal behind its 18 foot tall walls. On the inside the walls slowly descend towards the center which concludes with a grand reveal – a 360 degree understanding from where you came and where you shall go.” (via design boom)
Xavier Barrade is a French artist and designer that does many creative things. My favorites are these wacky installations and sculptures. You’ll love the Bob Marley installation after the jump… Trust me!
I believe we were at Adobe Books on 16th Street in San Francisco when Sonny Smith first told me about his ambitious project 100 Records. It was one of many conversations Sonny was having with other artists; simply asking them if they would make artwork for the record cover of a fictitious band. The exhibit opened a few weeks ago at Gallery 16 and instead of writing more about the project, I would invite you to read Victoria Gannon’s review on Art Practical. I would also suggest that you watch KQED‘s feature with words from Sonny Smith himself. Exhibition closes May 28th. Will travel to other cities this Summer/Fall. Enjoy more images after the jump…
*All images courtesy of Gallery 16 San Francisco
Langdon Graves is all about the mystery of deception and illumination. Her drawings utilize two contradicting devices, photo-realistic rendering and surrealist narrative, all to create trompe l’oeil images that astound and leave you wanting more. Each drawing has elements that are immediately recognizable, but the second you think you know what is going on, you realize something is amiss. Some drawings are easier to decode, while others have a ‘wait a minute…’ quality that would make M.C. Escher proud. Unlike Escher, Graves saturates her drawings with a folk-like narrative that evokes the feeling that we should be learning some kind of lesson. As if we are seeing just a glimpse of a much larger, more complex story, and are hungry for more.
There is a delicate sense of instability that disrupts the calm in each drawing. Whether it’s Grave’s beautifully subtle use of color, or the quiet violence implied in many of the images, we are not looking into a world of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Instead, Graves creates a world where a dark cloud hangs over each perfectly coiffed head. The combination of innately feminine symbols with clandestine actions produces a tension that lures you in like a moth to a flame. Yet, like any successful illusionist, Graves is careful to not reveal too much, leaving us in a state of expectation similar to the feeling of anticipation when opening a present. You know something special is inside but you only have a few clues to guess what it is.
Ryoji Ikeda’s Test Pattern project, which was first shown in 2008, converts any data – from text to photo to sound to film – into barcode visualization and binary patterns of 0s and 1s. The visuals are set to a soundtrack, creating an overwhelmingly impactful experience with stunning black and white video. Throughout October, Ikeda’s project will be on display on five screens in Times Square from 11:57 to midnight each night until the 31st.
There have been many iterations of the Test Pattern project. This is the U.S. premier. Ikeda works primarily in Kyoto, Japan and Paris, France and is internationally renowned. His artwork is highly mathematical, and divided equally between sound and imagery. For all of the complex programming and equations that go into Ikeda’s work, the final product of Test Pattern is refreshingly simple in presentation, though monumental in scale.
In contrast to Test Pattern, Ikeda’s most recent work, Supersymmetry examines particle physics, a far loftier subject to tackle. Although it is beyond my own comprehension I’m going to have a go at it anyway. Apparently supersymmetry is an extension of The Standard Model, and helps to converge two types of elementary particle models, to explain how particles have mass. These two models have explained basic elements of our physical universe, but cannot explain everything, which is where supersymmetry helps to fill in the gaps. Ikeda’s installation is an experience that allows the viewer to witness his artistic vision of this phenomenon (I think…) (Via Papermag)
A native of Hungary, Rita Ackermann moved to New York City in the mid-1990s, arriving to find a culture— and art world—in transition. Rave and zine culture was in full swing; collaborations between artists, musicians, and magazine and book publishers were pervasive; and the age of the Internet was upon us. Within a few short months, Ackermann received widespread attention for her work, particularly a group of canvases populated with figures inspired by the cult German film We Children from Bahnhof Zoo about the heroin subculture of the 1970s. Her work forged a new visual language: paintings, drawings, and collages which telescoped between a virtuoso—and sometimes brutalistic—expressionism and taut, precise figurative drawing. Ackermann’s work explores the paradoxical relationship between fragility and violence, as she derives inspiration from literature, film, philosophy, and popular culture.
Zach Lewis lives and works in New York. He has just released his book There Are No Sins Here which is a 6″ x 9″ 110 page survey of work from 2010-2012. Lewis describes it briefly saying it is a “A narrative driven documentary photography book reflecting the sentiment of contemporary American life.” It serves as an honest portrait of a twenty-something taking in the city of NY during a time of political unrest. We see the push and pull of organized religion and ideologies of faith. Current events like the death of Osama bin Laden and Steve Jobs are presented as a reminder of the speed and influx of information in our current culture. Joy, paranoia, frustration, and hope are presented in equal measure. You can pick up a copy here.
In self-described “experientialist” artist Lee Walton’s most recent project (though on his Vimeo, it seems the last upload was 9 months ago…), he will perform what his Friends on facebook are doing. This online project will only be viewable to those listed as Friends on the web site. The man is hilarious and ridiculously clever- I’ve added him as a friend, so should you!