And you thought Sharpies were just for labeling boxes and writing notes on post-its. Hollis Brown Thornton has elevated the humble permanent marker by using it as one of his primary tools in his artwork. Thornton also does some really cool things with canvas and paper transfers, resulting in different variations on his original works with worn textures.
Wasma Mansour decided to document single Saudi Arabian women (living in the UK and Saudi Arabia) for her PhD thesis. She knew this was a subject that interested her due to its lack of coverage. She found there was a lack of investigation of women on their own, far too often women were measured with male counterparts; spouses, partners.
At first Mansour reached out using facebook and email, phishing randomly. She found this didn’t yield enough results. She found that making a more personal connection with the women, unsurprisingly, had them trust her more readily. Both the fact that the work was being done for educational purposes, and that Mansour herself was single, had the women open up to Mansour more enthusiastically. According to Mansour, they identified with her approach and saw that she could truly understand their lifestyle. Her subjects were in school themselves in Saudi Arabia and the UK.
Interestingly, Mansour had her large-scale film developed in the UK. This was in part because there were not many labs that were able to process her film in Saudi Arabia, but also because she found negotiating autonomously on a daily basis was very challenging. This being exactly the type of theme Mansour sought to confront in her work. (Via Emaho Magazine)
There is a long-standing tradition of artists blurring the boundary between art and design. With institutions such as MOMA featuring an entire department devoted to architecture and design, it is considered an important part of art history and culture.
I recently heard New York Times art critic Roberta Smith lecture and she mentioned that it’s a shame our society doesn’t place more emphasis on visual literacy education. If we did she believes that everything in our world, from buildings to city layouts, to objects, would be more aesthetically pleasing. Here are some instances of artists who emphasized the concept or appearance of an object rather than simply its function, bridging the gap between art and design:
Donald Judd, one of the leaders of Minimalism, has an amazing legacy in design. Another well-known architect who creates highly designed furniture is Frank Gehry. Roy McMakin is a Seattle-based artist who usually incorporates an element of verbal pun. McMakin’s designs feature an overarching investigation of how perception influences meaning. Hannes Van Severen and Michael Beitz both create captivating, surreal furniture. Artists like David Shrigley and Adam McEwen work humor into their design-work. Even artist Yves Klein has a table, created under the direction of his widow, that features his famous blue. Damien Hirst designed a chair replete with his signature butterflies and Yoshitomo Nara designed “doggy radio,” a fully functional radio in the form of a dog.
It’s not uncommon for artists to create functional objects, but those objects do often stand out for their elevated level of design and conceptual consideration. If indeed everyone put as much thought into form as they did function the world would probably be a much better looking, or at least a more visually interesting, place.
These incredibly realistic birds are not alive – surprisingly they’re only paper models. In fact, artist Johan Scherft out of only paper, glue, and paint. He models each bird’s unique shape on his computer than constructs and paints the rest by hand. While the fold-and-glue-tabs model provides each bird with their distinctive body shape, the realism is in Scherft’s careful painting. He says of the painting, “For this part, I take the most time. With very fine brushes, I try to achieve the most realistic effect in color and detail. I use watercolors or gouache paint. It’s always an exciting moment once the template has been painted to assemble the bird and see what the result is.” [via]
At RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, lecturer Claudia Diaz has implemented an unconventional project in order to inspire her anatomy students. After teaching human anatomy for over 20 years, Diaz decided to try something new as she found the regular routine of anatomical memorization boring and uninspired. Over the past 3 years, Diaz has explored human anatomy with her students by having them paint the bodies of 10 students, revealing tendons and bones that would be visible if the person’s skin were stripped. Featured in these photographs is chiropractic student Zac O’Brien who patiently sat for around 18 hours while fellow students painted him. The finished result is what Diaz likes to call “anatomical man,” first brought to one of her classes in 2010.
”We walked him in and I still remember the looks on the kids’ faces. They were just in awe,” she said. ”I realised it shocked them, it inspired them and it motivated them.” Previously shy about taking off their clothes so classmates could study their bodies, the students began to shed their inhibitions through this painting exercise. ”I couldn’t get the kids to keep their clothes on. They were all throwing them off,” Dr Diaz said. (via)
Swiss born graffiti artist TIKA’s website states that he is based in Zürich, Berlin and Rio de Janeiro, raised in Cairo, Bruxelles, and Cologne, with longer stays in Cape Town, Vienna, New York and Mexico D.F. . With a full passport like that It’s no surprise that his work employs a wide mix of cultural and international references. Like an globalized set of hieroglyphics TIKA’s graphic imagery opens a discourse of today’s global society and the nearly forgotten traditions and sagas of the past right on your cities streets and walls.