Bethany Taylor’s spiraling and flowing threads create ethereal drawing installations that hold a keen eye to the shocking truth of our increasing water pollution issues. Each fiber-based drawing is formed by shaping and manipulating thread from woven tapestry. What makes Taylor’s installations so captivating is the fact that each “drawing” of hers is created from one single line. This line creates an energetic movement throughout the installation. The viewer can see where the thread begins and ends, as it appears to drip down the wall. Each image of a skull, snake, and algae seems to be unraveling.
Taylor’s installations in this series use motifs such as skeletons of sea life, skulls, and green and blue algae. These represent the effect chemical pollution in our lakes and rivers having on our environment. The artist is Assistant Professor of Drawing at the University of Florida. Because the ecosystem that surrounds Taylor is so prevalent with rivers and ocean, it deeply influences her work. Toxic blue-green algae have formed because of the incredible pollution, which in turn is severely harming, or “unraveling,” the balance of our ecological system. Her work shows the consequences of the pollution by creating delicate drawing installation that seem as fragile as their counterparts that are unraveling at the seems. Taylor explains in detail the intention behind her work.
Like many other places in the world, Florida’s water is threatened each year by the poison runoff from pollution caused by inadequately treated sewage, pesticides, manure and fertilizer. The toxic algae created by these unchecked industrial and agricultural practices, is literally choking our waterways, creating dead zones in our ecology that are harmful to both humans and wildlife.
Painter and illustrator Caitlin Hackett now works out of Brooklyn, but she spent much of her early life in northern California. It was in her home state that she first developed and nurtured a love of nature, animals, and mythology, all of which inform her art today. Using mostly ballpoint pen and watercolor, she creates wildly imaginative creatures that are somewhere between human, animal, and spirit.
Says the artist: “My work alludes to the boundaries that separate humans from animals both physically and metaphysically, and how these boundaries are warped by new scientific data, mythology, history and religious beliefs alike, blurring the lines between us as science, religion and culture clash over what it is to be human, and thus, what separates us from the beasts of the wild.”
Take a closer look at Caitlin Hackett’s dark imaginings after the jump.
For his series “Normal Town/Normal View” Michael ten Pas composed photographs with the seemingly mundane objects in what we tend to think of as equally mundane towns, but through his juxtapositions and re-framings, he shows us how much there is to look at in what we overlook. It’s easy to forget that we all effectively live in a museum if we choose to see it that way. Michael breaks it down in his series statement:
“Nothing is boring. I find myself perplexed, curious, and amazed when I look at my everyday surroundings – the things that are allegedly normal or status quo. This is what ought to happen because the everyday is not predictable, though it is made out to be. The world reveals irony and absurdity; it contains mystery and humor and is full of ambiguity and illusion.”
As soon as I saw these jumping guys on Stephanie Homa‘s homepage, I knew I was in for a treat! Her artist statement, below, perfectly describes her style:
“My works are of a spontaneous and impulsive nature. Inspired by the playfulness and imperfection I discover in everyday occurrences, I am interested in carrying these values into my work, intending an intuitive and instant expression.
I aim to visualize indistinct moments of perception, thoughts and ideas by creating series of swift and automatic works such as drawings and paintings. While experimenting with spontaneous thoughts, randomness and accidents in my practice, the boundlessness in the use of expression, material and format plays an essential role in my work.”
Founder of Los Angeles-based architecture and design studio Urbana, Rob Ley has yet made another venture into the world of interactive architectural installations. This time large-scale. His project “May-September” features a field of 7,000 angled multi-color metal panels constructed onto the facade of Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis.
According to Ley, the project began when he started wondering about the typical notion of the parking structure. Often these huge concrete constructions are unappreciated and ignored by public. Ley posed himself a challenge to turn it into a dynamic system that would interact with the viewers as they pass it by.
Together with Indianapolis Fabrications, they’ve built a huge angular aluminum and stainless steel installation (12,500 square feet) that also features an east/west color strategy (yellow and blue). The visual experience of changing colors and patterns depends on observers’ perspective and speed when they move across the hospital grounds or drive along the street. The piece also interacts with nature as every sun beam or cloud can shape the hues and saturation of colors.
As in nature, the volume and shade offered by the piece shies away from harsh, geometric patterning – instead tending towards a gentle, dappled variability in form <…> [parts of installation] work together as brush strokes to create a dynamic façade <…>.
What artist Francesco Spampinato lacks in interweb presence, he makes up for on his canvas. Francesco feeds us a kaleidoscope explosion of psychedelic decorations that pulsates in waves from the focal point of the canvas-to the deepest center of the viewer’s brain.
In the dark corners of the Internet lie Signe Pierce’s neon creations, full of nocturnal urban decors, poolside decorations and a message. Although her work has a strong aesthetic presence, it is the atmosphere that surrounds it and the energy that runs through it that are truly powerful.
A few years ago, her self-described “social experiment” video entitled American Reflexxx shot by fellow artist Alli Coates provided a visceral look into human prejudice, violence and, amongst other things, the male gaze. The 14 minute film depicts Pierce silently walking down a boulevard in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina dressed like a stripper sporting a reflective mask. Over the span of 14 minutes Pierce is catcalled, insulted, and shoved. Her project unintentionally created a portrait of the darker sides of human beings, and the anger and fear that result from a lack of understanding.
However Pierce’s work goes further than this, she also works a lot with photography and her girl power energy shines through her various projects which could described as a blend of feminism and humor dominated by the lurking feeling that something is not right. The settings of her photographs are a dominantly pink atmosphere, which gives off a strong 1980s Southern California/Miami vibe, providing the perfect backdrop for a vaporwave soundtrack. Through her body of work, Pierce manages to raise questions about gender, identity, sexuality and, on a greater scale, the reality we believe in.
Kris Aaron and Andy Walker are slightly modifying the purpose of fine China dishes. It’s now decorated with messages and gay illustrations. “Shit again”, “Cock monster”, “I’m going to fuck you” and pornographic images are hand drawn onto plates and kitsch ceramic ornaments. They either paint slogans or sexual images on small objets such as a tiger or a swan or desert plates. The couple just wanted to check “how cute it would be if they were more gay.”
All the pieces in the Pansy Ass ceramics series are one of a kind. Already collectors of similar items, they redoubled their research in thrift shops and vintage flea markets to find the perfect antique China dishes for their collection. Their intention was to accentuate the kitsch side of plates and objects. “For instance, we have this swan that’s the gayest thing I’ve ever seen,” Aaron says, “and we thought it’d be funny if we painted ‘masc’ (like masculine) on it.” The result is a weird combination of classic patterns and graphic scenarios.
Ideally, the artists would want their embellished dishes to be displayed at Macy’s. From porno chic to porno kitsch there could a part of the market interested in inviting their grandmother to a fancy cucumber sandwich tea party. (via Lost At E Minor).