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Azuma Makoto Installs A Dazzling, 13-Foot Floral Tower In The Middle Of The Ocean

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Off the coast of Hinoba-an in the Negros Islands region of the Philippines, artist Azuma Makoto has constructed a floating, 13-foot-tall bouquet of Heliconia flowers and banana leaves. Shimmering against the ocean horizon in stark contrasts of red, green, and blue, the installation rises like a paradisiac mirage. Entitled “In Bloom #2,” the project juxtaposes terrestrial environments with the sea, bringing art and floral life where there would otherwise be open space. The following artist’s statement describes the construction and context of the art-island:

“A 4-meters long botanical sculpture consist[ing] of approximately 10,000 red Heliconia [was] installed on a simple raft used by the local fisherman. With nothing block[ing] the harsh sunlight, blown by salted water, the sculpture of flowers quietly floated in the cobalt blue ocean. The ocean accounts [for] 70% of the surface of the earth, and therefore it created [a] magnificent stage for the project.” (Source)

Following “Exobiotanica” — an exceptional project wherein Azuma sent boticanical arrangements into the stratosphere — “Bloom #2” demonstrates his creative goal to explore the visual and thematic effects of putting flowers in “environments where nature does not allow them to exist” (Source). The result is a detached form of beauty. Azuma’s work brings up questions of nature and place, and, by doing so, fosters an appreciation for the Earth’s harsh, disparate, and yet ultimately connected environments.

Click here to watch the video documentary of the construction of “Bloom #2,” and be sure to check out Azuma’s website to view more of his projects, including a collection of beautiful flowers embedded in ice, which we featured earlier this year. (Via Spoon & Tamago)

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Taxidermy And Furniture Blend As Disturbing Comment On Consumer Culture

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Designer Armin Blasbichler‘s work is often jarring.  His series ORSON, I’m Home strikes a special chord, though.  The series is composed of three “dining sculptures” created primarily from the bodies of various farm animals.  While we may be more accustomed to farm animals adorning plates on the furniture, seeing them as taxidermy furniture makes for a surreal juxtaposition.  The furniture confronts its users with the consumption it usually facilitates.  Interestingly, for the series Blasbichler features a quote from professor and writer Don Slater: “In talking of modern society as a consumer culture, people are not referring simply to a particular pattern of needs and objects […] but to a culture of consumption.”

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Aya Kato Flowers Pillow

Here’s another brand new artist series Pillow for you to rest your head on. This time we’re featuring an Aya Kato graphic called Flowers taking inspiration from both Japanese Scroll painting and Art Nouveau.  Find out more  and see detail shots of  Flowers as well as our other pillows on the B/D shop.

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Michel de Brion’s Epic disco Ball

Michel de Brion created the wolds largest disco ball suspended high above the sky in Paris which illuminated half the city with its 1000 mirrored panels. Make sure to watch the short video of it in action after the jump.

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Richard Butler’s Masks

Simple yet beautiful paintings of masked figures by Richard Butler.

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Lisa Yuskavage’s Paintings Of Voluptuous Women Reclaim Femininity

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If her voluptuous women with their cartoon eyes weren’t enough, Lisa Yushavage captured my soul by saying:

“As an artist you’re supposed to spend your life doing something that’d be an utter waste of time for anyone else. And even so, there’s no proof you’re not wasting your life making some total crap.” (Source)

Using her exceptional skill in oil paints to create hyper-hued landscapes with ripe, almost blowsy, nudes is clearly not making crap. With a career that started in the mid 1990s, her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions, including the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Royal Academy of Arts, London; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

“I don’t want my pictures to be up to any good. I like the idea that they’re troublemakers. So if I’m told they’re bad for the world, it pleases me. I don’t want to make something that’s an antidote. I want to pose questions. That’s what I do. I suppose I strive to bother people and be loved for it. That’s the dream.” (Source)

These are erotic pictures of women, painted by a woman. Rather than the patriarchal view of sexual woman as object, these women are sexual for themselves. Sometimes kinky, often controversial, these paintings have been compared to soft-core porn. It’s intended as an insult, but it’s actually a reclaiming of power and the ability to depict women in all their forms. “It’s not about being well behaved,” Yaskavage says. “It’s not about behaving for others.”

The essence of female power is not that women must be desexed, it’s that women can decide how they want to be seen—sexy, silly, powerful, maternal, erotic, masculine, intelligent, profound—any combination of these, and much more. Yaskavage’s women are the creatures of her mind, brought to life through her skill with a paintbrush, and behaving in exactly the way they’re meant to in the worlds she’s created.

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Maria Walker’s Back Is The New Front (Of A Painting)

Why paint the front of the canvas when you can turn it around, add a few more stretcher bars into the mix, and create work that blurs the line between sculpture and paintings. Well Maria Walker has done just that with her colorfield paintings covered with tumor-like bumps and protruding limbs.

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Alexandra Mackenzie

 

I could spend months staring at Alexandra Mackenzie’s ultra detailed drawings. Featuring tribal shamans, flesh eating wolfs, and tiny unicorns running around in balls of hair, Alexandra’s drawings have something for everyone. The only thing missing is that there aren’t more drawing on Alexandra’s site. While the drawings are in short supply she does have a great series of collage work that relate to the drawings in a very interesting way.

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