Being in flight is one of the most unnatural, extraordinary, ordinary experiences of modern life. When we climb to 30,000 feet, our perspective looking down at the world becomes that of a deity, and the rules of time and space are altered as we rush over the earth. In flight we are able to view the most remote corners of the natural world and the vast spread of the world we have constructed. It gives us the unique perspective to look at the interaction of the natural and constructed in a truly holistic way. In its totality, the unnatural or extraordinary experience produces great fear and excitement. We confront death a little every time the doors close – and this closeness to death intensifies the extraordinary experience of being in flight. On the other hand, our ‘in flight’ experience is filled with the most unremarkable daily activities: reading a comic book, finishing a crossword puzzle, eating, sleeping. The cabin becomes our shared world, temporally removed from the world that we’ve left back on land. What connects the ordinary and the extraordinary is a powerful trust in the human capacity to take us beyond the mundane. The plane becomes a temple of humanism, where we put faith in all that get us and keeps us up in the air – engineers, pilots, researchers, air traffic controllers – a web of people, underwritten by collective knowledge, keeping us alive, together.- Phillip Kalantzis-Cope
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to hold a copy of Beautiful/Decay Book: 5 in your hands here’s a short video sneak peak that shows you the wide range of artists and designers we’ve featured. Remember that we have about 150 copies left available for purchase and they will sell out. Watch the full video after the jump!
Arguably the most low-brow of all popular artists of the mid 2000’s, Porous Walker is sorely missed. Now existing as a torrent of blog posts and a flickr, Porous’ rapid-fire drawings and punchlines remain as appropriately inappropriate as ever. His untimely ‘demise’ in 2007 can only remind us that… well, maybe we shouldn’t take art so seriously.
When I close my eyes and dream of outdoor furniture, I see visions of Loll’s cheery Vang Chairs, or whiling away the hours in their rocking Racer Chair , or napping in the shade on a 405 Chaise. Loll’s furniture has a strong architectural presence while remaining friendly and homey. See more after the jump.
This last decade in art has turned out a ton of larger than life sculptural work, specifically in the realm of inflatable sculpture. As adults, we never seem to get over the pure bliss of bouncy houses from our childhood, and as art lovers we are drawn to these works, made from thin plastic that are able to tower over us once filled with air. Artists have used this medium to make shocking and conceptually multilayered statements, such as Paul McCarthy’s “Complex System,” a building-sized pile of poo that made international headlines when it deflated in Hong Kong this past spring, leaving behind quite the brown mess. Other artists have merged inflatable sculpture with architecture and infused it with an interactive element that takes the classic “bouncy house” into a sophisticated architectural wonderland, such as Alan Parkinson (also known as “Architects of Air”) has done with his Luminaria. Other artists included below are: David Byrne, Eder Castillo, FriendsWithYou, Florentijn Hoffman, Chad Person, Tam Wai Ping and Geraldo Zamproni.
This Labor Day Weekend, enjoy the following parade of images that reviews some of the most exciting and celebrated inflatable sculptures that have emerged within the past ten years.
If Ellie Cryer weren’t focusing on drawing she’d be chasing storms or spotting planes, both of which occupations are probably in high demand seeing as the recent events in Alabama and Pakistan (yes, us killing Osama means we should be on an even higher terror alert). Luckily, despite the allure, her focus seems to be on the drawing board where she brings together an exotic mix of color with human emotion attached to nature and other surreal elements. Enjoy more of he work below.
You won’t find cadavers or skeletal remains in ceramic artist Cynthia Consentino’s “Exquisite Corpse Series.” The project takes its name from the Parisian Surrealist parlor game, in which each player wrote a word or drew an image on a sheet of paper, folded the paper to conceal it, and passed it to the next player for his or her contribution. The results were wildly incongruous poems and images, gathered ideas from many minds.
In Consentino’s series, hers is the only mind at work, and the results are strangely charming and more than a little disturbing. The hybrid figures combine animal with human and the occasion household object. They play with the idea of gender stereotypes, something that began to interest the artist after reading a study where five-year-olds were asked to name a representational animal.
“The boys identified with animals that were predatory, and the girls with animals that were cute and cuddly. One girl even answered with a flower. I thought that there would also be girls who wanted to be tigers, but then I remembered loving playing a flower in a school play at that age. (Source)”
To loosen these gender constructs, she made varied heads, torsos, and legs then assembled them in ceramic sculptures of various configurations, some almost life-size. With their softly rounded limbs and pastel and pretty color palette they can seem almost sweet, but the fierce wolves heads and deadly weapons belie their innocence.
“My style seems a bit nostalgic, something from the fifties, or from folk art. It derives much of its character from children’s things: fairy tale, cartoons, dolls, games, as well as the domestic world. The work often incorporates imagery that is loaded with symbolism and history, such as flowers, animals and the ceramic figurine. It is very much about the familiar, things of our dreams, our stories, our childhood. (Source)”