Inspired by past experimentation with graffiti culture, Jakob Tolstrup paints eccentric and bizarre characters and worlds. Most of his work combines images from the animal and human worlds and either exposes or makes fun of various aspects of these worlds. He uses humor and straight forward but absurd imagery to subvert ideas associated with the worlds he portrays. “I’m very fascinated by why people make the choices they do in this world, why we live the way we do and all the contradictions I see in the streets all over the world. Often with an alternative reality in mind.” Tolstrup was born in Denmark but currently lives in Berlin.
I think I found my new theme song, courtesy of Das Racist.
Stuart Patience’s Ragnarok is a series of illustrations based on the writings of Norse mythology. Each drawing is taken from Ragnarok, the Norse aplcalyptic saga describing the destruction of worldly life. I also included a few delicate self portraits at the end of the post.
A visually interesting and literally engaging material many artists are drawn to mirrors and other reflective surfaces for their visually interesting qualities. Based in concept, Dan Graham’s “pavilions” blur the line between sculpture and architecture. Toying with perception the pavilions employ two-way mirrors and glass to engage a viewer and disorient his sense of space.
Inspired by artists like Graham, Danish artist Jeppe Hein is interested in illusion and turning passive visitors into participants. Hein uses mirrors and other reflective surfaces in his work. Finding the place there art intersects with architecture, and technical inventions, Hein often adds an element of humor to his pieces.
With similar interests Alyson Shotz also investigates issues of perception and space by using reflective materials. Often Shotz’s works become visual representations of concepts from theoretical physics (string theory, dark metter, etc). Other times her work exposes changing surroundings. Shotz says of her works such as Mirror Fence, “I’m interested in making objects that change infinitely, depending on their surroundings. The light at different times of day, the weather…what the viewers are wearing, all these are just some of the variables that will make the piece different every time one comes in contact with it. For me an ideal work of art is one that is ultimately unknowable in some way.”
Ryan Everson is a multimedia artist who reveals the sentimentality often associated with an idealized natural world. As he explains, Fear addresses the “abstract emotional states stirred up from specific self reflective moments.” Sometimes apparent, and sometimes camouflaged, Everson’s Fear creates a deeply rich symbolic metaphor for the feelings evoked by fear.
David Altmejd employs mirrors in his works to help him, and a viewer, explore a fantasy world that puts reality into perspective. Depicting mythical creatures, Atmejd blurs distinctions between real and perceived.
Last year Beautiful Decay featured Paola Pivi’s 360 Degree Rotating Airplane in New York City Plaza. Pivi is making art headlines again with her fantastical feather-clad polar bears. Influenced by the surrealists, Pivi’s plumed bears walk the line between dream and reality. They are her version of the ready-made. Prone to “visions,” Pivi says that she often sees animals located in a strange setting. For her most recent show, entitled Ok, you are better than me, so what?, at Galerie Perrotin’s new space in New York, Pivi created a series of sculptures influenced by a vision she had of a polar bear dancing with a grizzly bear. Rather than taxidermy actual animals, Pivi had an expert create bears from urethane foam, plastic, and feathers. The results are fantastic in the truest sense of the word. Meaning, they are imaginative, fanciful and slightly absurd.
In proper surrealist fashion the bears engage an element of surprise and unusual juxtapositions, which Pivi strives to create with all her work. The bears, for instance, embody several contradictions. All at once they are both real and whimsical, frightening and amusing, and serious and absurd. Mostly though, they seem like a lot of fun.
Pivi has lived all over the world, but currently resides in New Delhi, India. Her show that opened Sept 18th at Galerie Perrotin’s New York location will be up through October 26th.
Hiroko Kubota is a prolific embroiderer whose latest project of embroidering cats onto dress shirts has caused the cat-loving internet community to swoon. Kubota stitches cats who peek over and through shirt pockets and openings, giving plain dress shirts an adorable and unique accent. Her project began when her son – a cat-lover and collector of internet cat images – requested that she embroider some cats from his collection onto some shirts she made for him. After posting her work on the internet, her project quickly became popular and of high demand. Kubota then decided to put some of her shirts up for sell on Etsy, but her handiwork could not keep up with the demand – even at a hefty price tag of $250-300 apiece. Kubota also embroiders other figures, such as fish, Pokemon characters, dogs, and flowers onto a variety of objects. You can check out more images of her work on Flickr. (via colossal)
Artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski in a way treats her sculpture like a living creature. The piece titled (or maybe named) ADA is a large ball inflated with helium and covered in charcoal pegs. Visitors are encouraged to interact, even play with the ball thus leaving marks on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the room. The artist considers the piece not only a sculpture, but really a self-creating artwork. ADA’s shape even resembles a cell or virus emphasizing the idea of the sculpture creating on its own (with some help from visitors, of course).
Internationally renowned artist Florentijn Hofman does not settle for less. His sculptures are large, very large, and are bound to make an impression. Take Rubber Duck (2007) for example: a gigantic 26-metre-high yellow rubber duck. It is an inflatable, based on the standard model that children from all four corners of the world are familiar with. The impressive rubber duck travels the world and pops up in many different cities: from Auckland and São Paulo to Osaka. A very positive artistic statement that immediately connects people to their childhood. Hofman’s sculptures often originate from everyday objects. A straightforward paper boat, a pictogram of an industrial zone or mass-produced little toy figures can all serve as sources. They are all ready-mades, selected by Hofman for the beauty of their forms. Subsequently he crafts these into clear and iconic images; cartoonish blow-ups of reality that alienate and unsettle through their sheer size and use of materials. Nevertheless they are immediately identifiable and have an instant appeal. (via faith is torment)