Yuichi Hirako is a Japanese artist whose paintings and sculptures blend humans, the city, and the forest together into in alternate, animistic realities. The works feel like they’re made by someone who feels life around them as one unified force and doesn’t envision a cataclysmic end to humanity, but just a change in how our form of life is expressed biologically. In Hirako’s work, it’s as though a nuclear catastrophe had dissolved the boundaries between all life forms on earth, leaving behind husks of cars, trees that grow houses, varicolored trees and rivers, and people who have very literally become one with nature. It’s interesting to think about alternate possibilities for life on earth, and if humanity does decide to use all our nuclear weapons, I hope we end up in Hirako’s paintings.
Delilah Jones‘ ‘Portal’ collage series forms entrances into other worlds through ripping and layering found photography. The artist, currently residing in Portland, uses traditional techniques in the digital world to seemingly travel through time itself with her fantastical juxtapositions. More after the jump.
Originally from France, graphic designer Jean Julien lives in London. Julien designed “Le Nid”, a bar in the shape of a bird, which stretches 40 meters and sits on the top floor at the Tour de Bretagne in Nantes, France. It’s clear that lots of thought went into this detailed project. The bird’s eyes blink, and chairs are shaped as eggs. (via)
Glass bottles, broken ceramic statues, buildings, and an oven are all things you’ll find in Sabine Timm’s work. If this sounds excessive, I assure you it’s not. All of these things are miniature-size and require no heavy lifting. The Dusseldorf-based artist uses found and vintage objects to assemble tiny sculptures and arrange items in an amusing way. The images, captured in photographs, don’t seem like permanent installations. Instead, Timm’s handiwork feels fleeting, like we’re seeing a scene from a play.
Timm often utilizes the same objects among assemblages. This practice weaves a narrative through several images, and we can start to imagine a world where all of these things exist. They are vignettes, depicting a fantastic yet logical place. A pile of small petals nearly cover an entire house. Broken ceramics are given a second chance by simply drawing a new body parts. Timm also solves issues like overcrowding simply by stacking houses on top of each other. Build up instead of out, right?
There is obviously a lot of play at hand in Timm’s work. Her sense of humor is very sweet and goofy; for instance, she adds a face to plastic containers, using a comb as a wild hairstyle. It’s has a broad audience and is amusing in a couple of ways. She’s giving personality to inanimate objects, which is absurd. Additionally, the things she uses to create these faces are ingenious. Timm uses a lot of toys, such as the trees out of a train set. It’s nostalgic for many viewers, but also fun for kids, too. There is a quiet sophistication to her work. The fine details are refined and innovative, yet the attitude of the images themselves are very accessible. You don’t need a formal art education to enjoy Timm’s work, and it’s able to be appreciated on a number of levels.
Rajni Perera’s work is a wondrous fusion of different mythologies, cultures and viewpoints. Her wildly colored drawings combine Hindu imagery, pre-historic animal beasts, galaxy prints produced by the Hubble Deep Field Telescope and the figures of exotic women. She works with techniques and symbols from Indian miniaturist art, Blaxploitation and pop culture references, forming her very own mythology.
Born in Sri Lanka, Perera is drawing on her own immigrant background and her transient state moving between Eastern and Western cultures to illustrate a unique standpoint that it both specific and universal. Her work is an exploration of what it means to be cross cultural in today’s world, and is her trying to dissect those layers in a way she, and us, can understand. A big subject in her work is the representation of female sexuality, and also the presentation of Asian and South Asian cultures in a predominately male Caucasian world. But she says perhaps it isn’t that straight forward.
I don’t know if I really want to make statements about racial prejudice, at least maybe I feel I’ve moved past that in my work. More like I try to make images questioning the projected, or fabricated sexuality behind circulated images (be it on screen, print or the web) of the colored female body in pop culture or otherwise, i.e. ethnic pornography. (Source)
We’ve all seen them- they’re these hyper-stereotypical web images of African girls in beads and wood, Japanese girls in kimonos, and Indian girls in saris; all very subservient, all very saleable; this is my point. There’s something for sale there. (Source)
For Perera the thing that is a common thread connecting Eastern and Western cultures is Kitsch: The idea of culture being re-appropriated by, or passed between, one another. Hollywood and Bollywood are essentially two heads of the same beast, and Perera certainly draws that beast spectacularly.
We each seem to know someone caught on Google’s Street View – even I can be found in my driveway on the online map. While its surreal finding a part of real life online for anyone to see, artist Paolo Cirio brings it back to real life again with his series Street Ghosts. Cirio finds images of people in Google Street View and prints life size posters of them. He then wheat pastes each person in the physical location he found them on Street View. Cirio makes a point of mentioning that the wheat pastes were printed and posted without authorization. This underscores that these images of various were acquired without permission to begin with. The series raises questions and concerns in regards to salvaging privacy in an increasing technological and commercial world.