Li Hongbo is a Beijing-based artist who builds elaborate and flexible paper sculptures that ripple and shift before our eyes. Featured here is “Irons for the Ages, Flowers for the Day,” a large-scale installation currently on display at the SCAD Museum of Art. The work—which spans the entirety of a gallery—involves thousands of small paper objects bound together by honeycomb layers of glue. Close up, the bright shapes align themselves like an undulating, flowery rainbow; step back, however, and you’ll see that together the shapes amass into the greater form of guns and artillery. In a surprising clash of innocent colors and delicate paper with the brutality of war, Hongbo produces a curious (and potentially deceitful) optimism for deadly weapons.
Hongbo’s work draws upon the ancient, cultural tradition of paper-making in China, which dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). Inspired by this art form, Hongbo has reinvented it on a grand scale. Other projects include malleable bodies and busts, such as a version of Michelangelo’s David that unfolds spectacularly. The ability to metamorphose is integral to Hongbo’s works; with the politics left aside (or at least ambiguous), his sculptures challenge our perceptions by unsettling solid forms with their built-in fluidity. Whether it’s guns or classical statues, we can’t help but to reconsider the materiality and purpose of objects as they transform before our eyes.
“Irons for the Ages, Flowers for the Day” will be showing until January 24th, 2016. Check out SCAD’s website to learn more. (Via designboom)
With the availability of digital mapping systems, the tabletop globe seems almost like a vestige of ancient times. The globes we do encounter—in our classrooms, or in antique stores—are either cheap and mass-produced or delicate and expensive. In a fascinating project to reinvigorate the art of globe-making, Peter Bellerby of Bellerby & Co. Globemakers is creating globes entirely by hand, from stretching the gores (the strips of paper) and applying them carefully onto the sphere, to painting and illustrating the maps. The process takes at least 6 months to complete, and it’s not easy—without careful measurements, the globe will remain incomplete. Blending science with art, a perfection-derived sense of beauty inspires Bellerby’s work.
Bellerby’s project began when he was trying to find a good-quality globe for his father’s 80th birthday. His options were limited or unsatisfying, so he decided to create his own globe from scratch—an endeavor into which he poured months of research, money, and work. Realizing that there was a lack of globes being made by hand, Bellerby created his studio in 2008. Now, he works with a team of passionate (and patient) artists to bring back this ancient craft, creating everything from mini artisan desk globes to the “Churchill,” a behemoth globe spanning 127cm. His work has been widely recognized, and deservedly so; in an age when Google Maps magnifies and digitally fragments our perceptions of the earth, Bellerby’s globes demonstrate an intimate understanding of and respect for our planet as a whole.
Slinkachu has continued to carry out his poetic, mini street installations since we last checked in with him. The British artist continues to up the ante with each new, ephemeral piece. Employing miniature figurines and various objects, the artist stages tiny dramas (often humorous, and socially aware) in site-specific public locations. Click through to see some newer images of his “Little People Project” (previously) and some selections from the slightly older “Inner City Snail” series.
The Michelin Man has been given a new lease on life. Thanks to Terry Lawrie, the Michelin Man has evolved from a company mascot to a muse and art model. Terry has ‘re-interpreted’ famous sculptures with the Michelin Man; from the Thinker to the Statue of Liberty. So have a laugh at the expense of the tire spokesman, until you get… tired. Michelin Company does not endorse these sculptures or the previous cheesy pun.
Every artist and designer has had to find the balance between their ideal vision of their home renovation and a realistic budget. After all how can you hang your favorite artwork in a space that didn’t feel like your own? IKEA cabinets are budget friendly, but their selection can be very limiting, which is why we love Semihandmade. They’ve elevated the IKEA hack beyond your wildest dreams. With a wide variety of finishes from oak to walnut and even eco friendly woods, Semihandmade’s custom doors for IKEA cabinets can transform your IKEA based project from mass market to bespoke chic.
Joseph Parra is an artist working with the human portrait and figure. While he obviously draws and paints very well, Parra is not necessarily concerned with perfectly replicating what someone looks like. He finds this notion limiting to an artist; after all, a photo or realistic painting can only go so far. You’ve made someone look like their outward appearance, but now what?
Parra strives to delve deeper into the figure or portrait and reveal what is unseen. His work questions what it means to be human using a couple of different methods. One way is through layers. Aside from a portrait, he adds of media that distorts the face or the body. Parra scrapes, pricks, and sands his subjects. In his words, this is “acting as reminders that we are merely a union of ideas.” Additionally, he will cut, braid, or fold paper as a way to express the complex nature of humanity. Oneself (directly below) is the same portrait but manipulated in three different ways. It references the fractured, multiple, and twisted ways we often view ourselves. Some days we think we’re great, while others we are loathsome.
Much of Parra’s work is screen prints and digital prints, which I think enhance his ideas and again parallels the human experience. We see these images mutilated and/or distorted, and they look very textural. Yet up close, they are mostly reproduced images and have a smooth sheen – the rawness is kept contained. I compare it to having a friend who appears very put together on the surface, but beneath you know they are a mess.
Parra was featured last year on Beautiful/Decay, not long after graduating college. Since then, he’s created more work that focuses on the braiding or manipulating of paper, which are some of my favorite pieces. I’m looking forward to seeing where Parra goes from here.
Building on the metaphor of the “dome of heaven” as a visual container holding what we know, Carol Prusa creates work consisting of acrylic hemispheres ranging from bowl-sized to six feet in diameter. Initiated in silverpoint drawing on the convex surface and completed with fiber optics, programmed LED’s and videos housed within, these domes are a visual embodiment – a download of sorts – of what it feels like to be alive while in conversation with contested cosmologies.
“My constructed domes are provocative symbols that invoke the idea of the universe and physical objects that allude to real-life structures. In my “canopies,” I explore a number of mathematical models that physicists developed to explain our universe. The mathematics of my expressed geometries offer a spiritual force that organizes structures from the microscopic to the political. Here, geometry isn’t simply abstract but creates a real world, sustained by its own logic.
To realize the startling phenomena that shape our everyday world, I incorporate digital projection and video technology. Like scientists and mathematicians who model emergent behavior, I too yearn to create a radical vision, one that takes into account the chaotic interactions that are central to formation of the universe.
As artists and scientists seek to explain our place, I join the most advanced daydreamers – those who imaginatively visualize a creative matrix and explore otherworldly possibilities – those who embrace indeterminacy and the fundamentally unstable boundaries between infinitesimal and immeasurable realms.”