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Julien Previeux’s Video Uses Dancing Lightsabers To Show Us The Power Of Gesture

Julien Previeux - video

Julien Previeux - video

Julien Previeux - video

Julien Previeux’s Patterns of Life uses dancing lightsabers to reveal the simplicity and power of gesture. This 15 minute video is a highly choreographed work whose opening section uses light to uncover the essence of human movement. Dancers wired with lights illuminate the darkness and reveal the simplicity of movement.

Part galactic warrior and part neon sign, the dancers fill the space with the linearity of their limbs punctuated by shining spheres that add curvature and depth to their geometry.

But this is just the beginning of Previeux’s exploration of the intimacy of gesture and its implication in a world shared with others. Through what looks like a strenuous eye exam, Previeux demonstrates that eye movements have the power to reveal our thought patterns and perhaps betray our inner world to those who observe us carefully enough.

Also compelling is Previeux’s fascination with walking patterns and our natural tendency to follow the same paths again and again. By mapping the route of a young Parisian woman, where she works, where she lives, and where she goes to school, one of Previeux’s dancers uses tape to create a three dimensional model. Once mapped, her movements, which were assumed to be open and carefree, seem controlled and confined.

Patterns of Life switches between time frames and points of view. In doing so it presents us with various choreographed vignettes. Narrator Crystal Shepherd Cross guides us tranquilly through the intellectual terrain with ease so we can enjoy the grace that is Previeux’s work.

Julien Previeux’s Patterns of Life can be seen at DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas, in “What Shall We Do Next” until 19 March, 2016.

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RANDALL ROSENTHAL’s Solid Wood

Nope this isn’t all the subscription money i’ve been stuffing in my mattress for the last ten years. Rather it’s a trompe l’oeil sculpture by Randall Rosenthal. Each sculpture is hand carved from a single block of wood and then painstakingly painted for months. See more of Randall’s amazingly realistic wood sculptures after the jump.

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How Conservators Repaired The 10 Million Dollar Punched Monet Painting

Monet repair - Art news

The painting after it was punched in 2012

Monet repair - Art news

Stabilizing the painting

Monet repair - Art news

Material testing

Monet repair - Art news

Securing the paint layer

In June 2012, a man named Andrew Shannon walked calmly into the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, and after approaching Monet’s Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat (1874), he put his fist through it. To Shannon, the act of vandalism was a way to “get back at the state” — by punching a famous, 141-year-old painting, appraised (before the damage) at $10 million (Source). In court, he claimed he had fainted and fallen onto painting; video surveillance later revealed the act was deliberate. Recently, in December 2014, Shannon was sentenced to 5 years.

Since that day in 2012, conservators at the National Gallery have been hard at work trying to restore the painting to its former, beautiful, impressionist state — as Monet intended it. The damage was severe; the painting was split open in the middle, the torn pieces twisting outwards. The first step was to collect the tiny fragments that were on the painting’s surface and the ground nearby. Fragments that were found were then collected and classified under a microscope, as the conservators tried to figure out where they fitted into the painting. 7% of the fragments, however, were too small to be identified; these were sent to a lab and tested with a chemical staining dye, to figure out what types of materials Monet used.

The actual repair process was a long and delicate one. First, the painting was placed onto a padded cushion, and the front was covered with a conservation-grade tissue that was adhered to the surface of the painting using water-based, animal glue to stabilize it while it was being fixed. The actual “surgery” proceeded like this:

“With the aid of a high-powered microscope and appropriately small tools, the tear edges were carefully aligned thread-by-thread. Re-joining of the realigned, broken canvas fibres involved applying a specially formulated adhesive to achieve a strong but reversible bond between the thread ends. This adhesive material has been used and developed by painting conservators in Germany over the past 40 years.

Examples shown here include small steel surgical tools for working on tiny areas using a microscope; mini hot spatula for applying controlled and localised heat to the painting; warming plate and glass containers for keeping adhesive at a consistent temperature. Hydrated collagen adhesive was made in-studio.” (Source)

After delicately suturing the canvas back together, the conservators then went through and pieced the fragments back in. Gesso and watercolor were used to retouch the areas where there were still missing fragments. To make sure the painting is preserved for the future, the conservators built a climate box “to reduce exposure of the painting to environmental fluctuations” (Source). The box includes a humidity buffer as another preventative measure.

It was a long and delicate process, but despite the extent of the trauma, the repair was a success. Check out the National Gallery’s website for a longer description of the restoration project. More pictures of the process after the jump. (Via Gizmodo).

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Pierre Schmidt’s Melting Faces Show Us The Terrifying Beauty Of The Subconscious Mind

Pierre Schmidt - Illustration, Collage, Photo-ManipulationPierre Schmidt - Illustration, Collage, Photo-ManipulationPierre Schmidt - Illustration, Collage, Photo-Manipulation

Artist Pierre Schmidt constructs surreal worlds filled with the inner horrors of the subconscious, both terrifying and beautiful. Using photo-manipulation, illustration, and collage, he combines both traditional and digital methods to create scenes of people with faces dripping right off their skulls. Many of his disturbing, melting face runs down the composition, only to reveal sudden bouquets of flowers. Using vintage photographs, he collages imagery of 1950’s housewife types lounging about, only to be caught up in a peculiar and fantastic scene. Schmidt’s work is highly psychological, as many of his pieces have titles based on the theories and writings of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. His flowing faces crack open the hidden psyche, pouring out its contents for us to examine. The face being a vessel of identity, Schmidt strips his characters of this so that we may look inwards into our own mind.

The Berlin based artist offers us a glimpse into a strange world of bizarre happenings, filled with faceless ladies, lush flora, and silhouettes that contain galaxies. Schmidt’s work is full of emotion and internal awareness, leaving us to sort out his stunning and complicated mash of imagery. We are left to decipher his sliced open heads, melting eyes, and rainbows oozing from faces. Like stream of consciousness, Schmidt melds together his illustrations with a unifying flow, effortlessly forming captivating and magnetic work. (via Hi-Fructose)

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Funwunce

Creative collective Funwunce brings together a group of talented artists from various genres to create mind bending artwork for your needy eyeballs. Some of my favorite works on their site has to be their album art and prints which seemlessly blend analog and digital skills for you to enjoy.

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The Seven Deadly Sins In The Artwork Of Gurt Swanenberg

swanenberg sculptureswanenberg sculptureswanenberg sculptureswanenberg sculpture

Taking cues from a 17th century practice known as taolennou, Gurt Swanenberg creates a new series of compelling sculptures. The original idea of taolennou was intended to provoke awareness of the seven deadly sins to a largely illiterate population through visual imagery.
Swanenberg takes the same idea and brings it into the present. Using various animal skulls he paints commercial logos related to each of the seven sins and makes statement about how they’re interpreted in the present day. Ideas such as gluttony are depicted on a pig skull with junk food logos painted on it. Wrath shows violent imagery on a lion head skull which includes gun and nazi references.
Even though the skeletons are painted Swanenberg takes references from sticker culture and collage. His overall aesthetic uses anthropology with brand name culture to comment on society’s ills. The original seven deadly sins surfaced around the 14th century. It was put forth by the Catholic Church to call awareness to man’s tendency to sin in the areas mentioned. According to the church there are two types of sin; venial which is relatively minor and the more serious mortal or deadly which is considered to compromise the grace and charity of a person’s nature. (via supersonic)

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Hiroyuki Shinozaki’s Open House

For anyone who grew up in the 80’s & 90’s, Hiroyasu Sakaguchi’s House T will look vaguely familiar, namely because House T is laid out like a level in Mario, or most other Nintendo games for that matter. All the spaces in a house that we have gotten used to as individual, semi-private rooms have been stripped of their walls and joined into one long inter-connected space. I love it because it reminds us of the tension between psychological and physical space, how we compartmentalize various aspects of our life into respective spaces. House T reminds me of Gordon Matta Clark’s work, albeit much cleaner, Japanese, and way less punk rock, but the altering of our perception of space is in them both. (via)

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Child-Sized Mannequins With Projected Faces Portray Displacement In The Photographs Of Ursula Sokolowska

Ursula_Sokolowska photographyUrsula_Sokolowska photographyUrsula_Sokolowska photographyUrsula_Sokolowska photography

If you had a sad childhood and wanted to make art about it look no further. Urusla Sokolowska has already done it for you. Taking child-sized mannequins and projecting images of her young face onto to them she explores the displacement and alienation she felt as a kid immigrating to the US from her native Poland. In her series The Constructed Family her messages are subtly and darkly humorous. By placing the figure in locations which do not hold cheerful memories for Sokolowska, we are reminded that art does indeed have cathartic powers and is a positive way to confront our demons. Her locations speak for themselves; a basement, a lonely street corner, a neighbor’s house, an alleyway, a bed. These domestic scenes which provoke unhappy memories are powerfully done from the perspective of an innocent child. Displacement is a serious feeling and perhaps even worse for a child who doesn’t have much control over their situation.

In moody dim lit photos, Sokolowska projects what she remembers from that time. Titles give hints but to the observer it’s clearly obvious what she’s thinking. We always hear about happy childhoods or outright abusive childhoods. Rarely do we hear about sad childhoods caused by normal occurrences that happen to families every day. Sokolowska brings this new dynamic to life with her powerful thought provoking images.

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