Kathy Klein is a devout lover of plants, and she translates this admiration into a series of natural mandalas. They are called danmalas, which means “the giver of flowers” in vedic sanskrit. The colorful arrangements are comprised of different blooms, leaves, and even some vegetables such as peppers. She layers a variety of textures and shapes into circular patterns that converge in the center.
Klein describes how she crafts these pieces, and it’s about around being in the right state of mind. First, she situates herself in a meditative devotional space. Next, she gathers flowers and other natural objects while her mind continues to be still. She finds inspiration from the golden sound that resides in silence. “These offerings are reflections of the inexpressible, a gesture which points towards life’s abundance, an unspoken verse of Love,” Klein writes. “The danmalas remind us all to listen to the unheard voice of nature, creation, and the eternal mystery.”
If you too are a plant lover (or mandala lover), Klein has many, many more danmalas on her website. (Via Faith is Torment)
Waiting For Hockney is the story of what hard work, a bit of misguidedness, and a giant dash of dillusion can do for an aspiring artist. If you’re an artist you need to watch this film. Rent it on Netflix or oder it on the documentaries website. Read the the official synopsis below and watch the film trailer after the jump.
Waiting For Hockney is a comic and poignant tale of a man and the people who believe in him as they collude and collide for an entire decade in the service of a grand idea. The film explores the sometimes precarious line between dreams and delusion as it looks at the risks, payoffs and consequences when one man single-mindedly pursues his vision. Billy Pappas is a true American original. An art school graduate from a working class background living in rural Maryland, Billy has decided that his mission in life is to reinvent realism. He spends eight years on a single drawing of Marilyn Monroe working to show a microscopic level of detail he hopes will reveal something deeper than photography. Literally, he hopes to create a new art form. Aided, one might even say enabled, by an eccentric cast of characters including a clergyman, a professor and an architect calling himself “Dr. Lifestyle,” Billy finally completes the portrait and then begins a quest to show it to renowned contemporary artist David Hockney, the one person he thinks can validate everything for which Billy has been striving.
The world of German Illustrator and Designer Mathis Rekowski is flooded with color and shape. Rekowski’s designs somehow seem chaotic but well controlled. He intricately pieces together familiar shapes, patterns, and pop culture references, to create his highly detailed work. Through his work Rekowski has been able to acquire such high profile clients as Volkswagen, Delta, and Mercedes. Further, he’s been able to reach this level of talent and career success as a self-taught artist.
Sonya Fu’s digital paintings seek to open the third eye and unlock the limbo between wakefulness and sleep. Rendered in soft vibrant colors, her characters are lit up, though from within or without we are uncertain. Shapes and bubbles of light play on their faces, like projections from an unknown dimension. Their half-closed dreaming eyes add to the eerie yet somehow peaceful quality of the paintings, as though we’re witnessing some mystical wandering of the mind.
“Art is a powerful visual language and creating art is a calming and therapeutic process,” Fu says. “I would like to share with people my dreamscape, its beauty and its oddity.” Her paintings are the product of sleep paralysis, a state where the mind is only half-awake and the body is still convinced it’s slumbering. In more superstitious times, sleep paralysis has been attributed to everything from death itself to hags who would come and sit on the sleeper’s chest. As though channeling that supernatural power, the girls in Fu’s paintings gaze off into the distance, thoroughly raptured away and unaware or perhaps undisturbed by their surreal surroundings. They are composed, high priestesses of some fantasy world that only blossoms in the twilight hours.
Fu explains: “It might be an eerie creature, a whimsical scenery or a disturbed beauty who speaks words of wisdom – they are all embodiments of my subconscious mind.” (via Hi-Fructose)
In a country with literally dozens of celebrated historical monuments, photographer Antonio La Grotta pays tribute to a different sort of relic: discotheques, abandoned and decaying. In their repose, there is an otherworldliness quality about them, looking as though they are the remains of crash-landed disco spaceships.
Mostly built in the 1980s, the buildings are sometimes daring with the occasional swooping bold line here and a vaguely extraterrestrial silhouette there. However, the design borrows more from chintzy Las Vegas glamour. One discotheque — fittingly named “Last Empire” — is decorated with reclining Greek statues and columns. Another takes the form of a giant boat, marooned on land and in time. Some are a little more abstract, such as the “Woodpecker,” which is comprised of a system of round covered pavilions in a marshy swamp.
Why photograph these places now that the glitz has turned to dust? La Grotta said in an interview, “I like to photograph what you cannot see, the suggestions a place can give you, even if it doesn’t declare it in a clear and open way.” He describes the discotheques as “inhabited by echo,” something that is certainly true in a number of ways. The dance halls are optimistically spacious, and the occasional pop of neon color is a reminder that this, too, had its heyday.
These discotheques are neither disco World Heritage Sites nor astounding feats of engineering, but they are nevertheless time capsules from life in the not-too-distant past.
This chair literally just blew my mind. Excuse me while the popping sounds subside…. It folds flat and according to this description, “Flux Chairs can be stacked 21 chairs high in just one foot of space. For those with space limitations, the Flux Wall Strap makes it easy to store folded chairs against the wall and can hold up to six Flux Chairs at a time.” If you live in a small space, any space really, and love to entertain these chairs seem beyond ideal. They’re amazing!
KOKOFREAKBEAN is a maker living in San Antonio, Texas. KOKOFREAKBEAN creates videos of fractured childhoods and psychotic emotions, wrapped around a bouncy ball that won’t quit. If you push the play button, there won’t be many options left. It’s do or die, and this artist likes Kevorkian.
Los Angeles based artist Laurie Lipton draws fantastical worlds built of dystopian technology and waste. Her recent work, which she refers to as Techno Rococo, explores “society’s relationship to technology and how it’s uniting us while simultaneously disconnecting everyone from each other.” Her epic, painstakingly detailed drawings are giant, allowing the viewer to fully enter them — Lipton’s work is not just a vision, its an experience. Lipton explains her unique style; “it was all abstract and conceptual art when I attended university. My teachers told me that figurative art went ‘out’ in the Middle Ages and that I should express myself using form and shapes, but plashes on canvas and rocks on the floor bored me. I knew what I wanted: I wanted to create something no one has ever seen before, something that was brewing in the back on my brain.” Originally inspired by the Flemish School of painting, Lipton developed her drawing style based on traditional egg tempera techniques of creating depth through a meticulous process of cross hatching. Using only charcoal and pencil on paper, her black and white work, despite its futuristic content, aims to hint at a sense of classicism. She states, “I used to sit for hours in the library copying Durer, Memling, Van Eyck, Goya and Rembrandt. The photographer, Diane Arbus, was another of my inspirations. Her use of black and white hit me at the core of my Being. Black and white is the color of accent photographs and told TV shows…it is the color of ghosts, longing, time passing, memory, and madness. Black and white ached. I realized that it was perfect for the imagery in my work.” (via Hi Fructose)