Combining steel cast human body parts with various members of the animal kingdom, Rona Pondick has been riffing on the art world’s fascination with physical transformation for over a decade. Her animal/human hybrid sculptures look like the monsters in my nightmares!
Jeremy Floto and Cassandra Warner of New York-based photography studio Floto+Warner have created a fascinating series of photographs of colored liquids thrown into open landscapes. Titled “Colourant,” the series emerges out of the artists’ ongoing interest in vast environments, as well as the relationships between place, figure, and form. The images feature colored, environmentally-friendly water mixtures floating in the air like alien clouds or frozen waves. There is a palpable tension between motion and stillness, created by the clash between the rapid event and the peaceful backdrop of the Nevada desert. Incredibly, no Photoshop was used in the creation of this series. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Floto and Warner shared their method:
“We shoot with a high-speed shutter to freeze the action of the throw. Typically, our shutter was around 3200th of a second. Each photograph is set in the open landscape. We don’t stick to the rules of traditional landscape photography in this series. We choose instead to shoot under the harsh midday sun to amplify the adverse feeling of the scene. We use hard lighting and prefer atmospheric space to allow the sculptures space to breathe. For the preparation, we mix a small amount of non-toxic color by hand with a gallon of water and then literally throw it into the air.”
With their bright colors and dramatic forms, the “Colourant” images do an excellent job seizing our curiosity and attention. Floto and Warner call them “floating sculptural events,” or “short-lived anomalies that pass you by at an imperceptible flash.” Not only do they visually defy categories of “liquid” and “solid” matter, but they trouble the line between transience and eternity; captured by the camera, the airborne splashes seem as though they could exist forever, embedded in the landscape. “Colourant” also unveils our perceptual limitations, as such chaotic and beautiful forms cannot be seen without the intervention of technology; just as we cannot fully perceive the fleeting details of waves crashing onto the shore, Floto+Warner’s series remind us that there is more to nature and reality than meets the eye.
As exploratory images, “Colourant” will likely foster a variety of inspiring (and potentially conflicting) interpretations. When asked about how they viewed the series, Floto and Warner explained:
“We see this series as representing a clash between man and nature, [as] giant blobs taking over and obstructing the landscape. That said, we also feel they are quite ambiguous and let people enjoy them as if looking at clouds. Typically, when people see them, they react with a moment of joy, elation, or wonder (which we are happy with), but then there are a lot of people that see the stain. We love the duality of the image.”
Check out Floto+Warner’s website to see more of their works, including “Fume” (2009), the thematic precursor to “Colourant.” Be sure to follow their work and see what creative explorations of various landscapes they dream up next. (Via Honestly WTF)
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Our planet is a truly magical work of art; complex, multifaceted and textural. Perhaps this is why Andy Warhol, a name that is unlikely to be associated with this topic, once said, “Land really is the best art.” Viewed in this simplistic yet profound light, land, or Earth, serves almost as found object in the implementation of Earthworks. In other instances land becomes the canvas, or the sculptural negative space for installation, or even a foundation and medium to explore sociocultural patterns.
Lita Albuquerque has used the earth and its materials for decades to create ephemeral and spiritually infused work. Her incorporation of performance, photography and installation creates multiple dimensions and lenses to experience our world, our relationship to earth and the stars, as well as their rhythms and cycles. The images featured here of her project Stellar Axis document an artistic expedition into Antarctica, which was the first and largest ephemeral work created on the continent. The installation of ninety-nine spheres across the icy landscape mimics the pattern of the ninety-nine Antarctic stars above- visually linking Earth to the cosmos.
Chris Duncan is a fabulous Oakland based artist that I have had the pleasure of spending some time with over the past year. His installations, performance, drawing, painting, book making, sculpture and print-work are not only ambitious, but easy to get lost in, and most importantly, totally gorgeous! One of the hardest working artist in the game.
It seems there is nothing that Paris-based performance/design/art collective Shoboshobo cannot do. Led by Mehdi Hercberg though faceless, the group covers entire map of artistic expression. Responsible for countless exhibitions, books, installations, design projects, and oddball acts of goofiness, Shoboshobo is a reliable source for inspiration, intrigue, and confusion.