Chinese artist Qie Zhijie is known for working in mediums as diverse as calligraphy to performance art. Much of his work, though, is tied together by a subtle mischievousness. These two sculptures constructed by Qie, Oil Can Dragon and Cash Cow, are no exception. Both sculptures are entirely built from skillfully cut oil barrels. Considering the dragon and the tree are both symbols strongly tied to the natural world it’s clear Qie’s choice of using oil barrels wasn’t a trivial one. In Cash Cow, an imposing tree of six stacked oil barrels, Qie contrasts birds perching on boughs and cut from metal lids with an airplane high its branches.
I know what you’re all thinking. Enough with this serious art stuff, right? It IS summer after all. Well here’s something exciting for all of you: the Netherlands division of Toyota recently commissioned a couple lucky typographers, Pierre Smeets & Damien Aresta of Please Let Me Design, to create a typeface made entirely from the movements of a car. The car, driven by professional driver Stef van Campenhoudt was equipped with large colored dots on the roof, which were then tracked with a camera and some software custom written by media artist Zach Lieberman. The result, entitled iQ font, is up for download here.
U.S. Marshals is American photographer Brian Finke’s fourth and most recent series. The artist documents the everyday activities of the law enforcement officers. The photos are particularly relevant in light of police violence in the U.S. The most recent case is in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed teenager was shot by a police officer, the issue of race, of course, being a huge factor. The photographs provide a privileged glimpse of the conduct of these federal officers, something that should certainly be available for examination.
U.S. marshals function at a federal jurisdiction, transporting prisoners, judges, prosecutors, witnesses, and arresting “the country’s most dangerous fugitives”. According to Finke’s website, they have been involved in “missions ranging from tracking down train robbers in the Wild West, to protecting African American school children segregating the south in the Civil Rights Era, from enforcing all U.S. laws in Antartica, to seizing and auctioning off fraudster Bernie Madoff’s property.” A diverse resume to be sure.
The photographs are not surprising in what they portray – men and women in uniform and bulletproof gear – but there are moments of intrigue. I’m definitely interested to know what the story is behind the pink cuffs when all of the other gear in the photographs is so much more severe. I’m also curious to know what’s going on with the shirtless and shoeless man in nothing but a bathing suit being escorted away by a marshal.
Finke is releasing a book of his U.S. Marshal series November 20th and will coincide with a solo exhibition at ClampArt.
We live in a visual culture. Our daily ability to understand cultural references and have collective visual experiences shapes our discourse with our greater surrounding. Imagine never knowing what the mystery smile of the Mona Lisa looks like, or not being able to experience any work of art at all with out being told what it looks like. Imagine never being able to experience on your own how a piece of art makes you feel. For millions of blind people over the world, that is an everyday reality. Unseen Art, a project creating 3D models of master artworks, will change the art experience for the blind forever. With the help of resources from all over the world, the Unseen Art team is gathering information in order to create 3D documents of classic works, such as the Mona Lisa, to be printed in 3D form. Even better, the project is sharing these models for free, making sure that their information can be accessed anywhere in the world there is an 3D printer. Through the collaboration of 3D technicians, artists, and the visually impaired, the project has started to become a reality. With a little help, the project will be able to launch major gallery shows, create a 3D art community to constantly improve the project, and, ultimately, make art more accessible than ever.
“It would be a revolution to get blind people going to art galleries,” states Eija-Liisa, the cultural director of The Blind Federation of Finland.
Brian Tolle’s soft silicone sculptures of mass produced houses are juxtaposed with a variety of found objects resulting in hilarious juxtapositions and unusually delightful pairings.
Jessica Stoller‘s porcelain sculptures exaggerate the objectification of female bodies using 18th century French aesthetics. Through the medium of clay, Stoller sculpts fluid and grotesque shapes, emphasizing the lack of boundaries between bodies and other materialist images related to consumption. She embellishes this unsettling bodily abundance with a soft, feminine, candy and ice-cream color palette and opulent adornments. These figures are often erotically or mythically charged.This creates an experience of surreal bodily and material abjection for the viewer, while addressing cultural concerns about the control of the feminine body. Stoller’s work, “Spoil,” is currently on view at PPOW Gallery in New York until February 8. (via hi fructose)
If you were ever a fan of Powell Peralta in the 80’s and 90’s then you know that Rodney Mullen was the king of freestyle skating. Hands down he was one of the most skilled skaters inventing tricks that left viewers scratching there heads in disbelief. Freestyle skating doesn’t get much hype these days but Kilian Martin is taking the torch and bringing freestyle back with a vengence. I don’t even know if there are names for half the tricks in the above vid! Amazing.
ps. I put Rodney’s part from Questionable after the jump for all you old schoolers. I
Eric Hibit’s work has often been described as being a breed of “New American Folk Baroque.” Hibit has a strong understanding of color and texture and this is evident in his collection of hand made and found objects. His work can be seen at the Eric Hibit: Picture Cohesion exhibit located in Washington, DC at the Curator’s Office.