Ofra Lapid’sBroken houses series is based on photographs of abandoned structures neglected by man and destroyed by the weather. The photos are found on the web while pursuing an amateur photographer from North Dakota who obsessively documents the decaying process of these houses. His photographs are used to create small scale models. Afterward, in the studio, the models are photographed again, omitted from their background and placed in gray. Eventually these are Digital pigment print size 30×36 cm.
On a crowded bus ride in Beijing, Chinese artist Liu Di noticed his surroundings. “Looking out at the decrepit housing blocks”, he said, “I had a vague but strong feeling that there was something missing between the ground and the sky.” It was then that he had the idea for his 2008 series, Animal Regulation, an almost cinematic display of enlarged animals sitting amongst the ‘urban ruins’ of the city of Beijing. Using photoshop, he seamlessly embedded these wild, large animals into Beijing’s forgotten and depleted back streets, construction sites and tenement courtyards.
With the addition of the gigantic,exotic animals, Di not only tries to fill the void that he notices as he travels through the city, but most importantly, he attempts to draw attention to these spaces in a big and scandalous way. We cannot help but notice ‘the big panda in the room’, and that, I think, is the kind of reaction the artist is looking for. The metaphorical animal living amongst the city of Beijing alludes to deeper issues here–the void is filled with an unwanted visitor and in order for it to go away something must change.
Di’s political undertones cannot be missed.
“Between nature and human society, between the material world and the intellect, between obedience to and violation of the laws of nature. It is only when our preconceptions are jolted that we wake up and truly see.”
These photographs are part of Barbara Pollack’s My Generation, an exhibition that acts as the first in the U.S to focus solely on the new post-Mao generation of dissident Chinese artists. The catalogue includes works by Sun Xun, Lu Yang, Ai Wei Wei’s former assistant, Zhao Zhao and many more. The show is currently being co-presented in two venues simultaneously through a unique collaboration between Tampa Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in St.Petersburg, FL. My Generation will be on view until September 28th, 2014.
Artist Romain Crelier has transformed the already ornate and beautiful interior of Bellelay Abbey with reflective pools of used motor oil. This unique and unlikely installation is created by pouring pools of motor oil into an extensive and organic-shaped vessel that holds the oil into its form, brilliantly complimenting the architecture. This Swiss Abbey contains intricate and ornate 12th century architecture, including Baroque style monasteries and elaborate stucco paintings. The dark, glossy oil is a stark contrast to the bright, white interior, creating a harsh but remarkable juxtaposition. The already dramatic interior is complimented by this reflective source, mirroring not only its complex architecture, but also the viewer.
Motor oil is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an attractive, shiny material. This is definitely not your traditional installation. Normally thought of as a messy material, the deep, sleek liquid creates a deep impact on the viewer, full of mystery and awe. The church is often a place of reflection, where you can go to experience a sense of stillness or tranquility. Crelier furthers this experience by giving you a literal reflective liquid to gaze into while you roam this space. The wonder you might feel by entering such a monumental place is magnified through this installation, moving you to a place of awe. This installation has a seemingly simple concept, but results in an immeasurable effect on the viewer, creating layers of visual possibilities. Romain Crelier’s installation, titled La Mise en Abime, is just one of the incredibly colossal installations the very talented, Swiss artist has under his belt. (via MyModernMet)
Complete with slick, bold colors and lens flares, artist Felipe Pantone livens up walls and urban environments with his murals. The neon-colored creations are text based and often coupled with geometric and monochromatic patterns. Their energy can’t and won’t be ignored, and it conjures up an aesthetic that’s contemporary, yet feels like it’s out of the late 1990’s thanks to a rainbow combination of gradients that fill the letterforms.
Pantone’s graffit straddles the line between traditional graffiti, typography, and design. It’s this mixture of popular cultures that gives a unique voice, and simultaneously looks familiar but is something all its own. For someone who might only be familiar with one aspect of Pantone’s multifaceted inspiration, they can find something interesting and meaningful within it (aside it just being fun to look at). (Via The Fox is Black)
Rosanna Webster’s Tribalism series is a response to primitive beliefs in a fluidity between human and animal forms, and therianthropes. In many early hunter gatherer societies animals were seen as messengers between worlds with costumes and ritual used to aid spiritual practice. The images here were inspired by the idea that through animal costume and imitation spiritual transgression could occur.
James McNeill Whistler, Whistler’s Mother (1871) / S&M, Rihanna
Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci (c.1503) / Super Bass, Nicki Minaj
Nighthawks, Edward Hopper (1942) / Girls Love Beyonce, Drake
Hell (1450), Dirk Bouts / Drop It Like It’s Hot, Snoop Dogg feat. Pharell Williams
Fly Art is a Tumblr account created by students and artists Gisella Velasco and Toni Potenciano. Since December 2013, the duo have been collaborating on mashups of hip hop lyrics and classic artworks, blending two seemingly disparate cultural artifacts into a surprising and often humorous cohesion. Velasco and Pontenciano pair Nicki Minaj with Mona Lisa, Rihanna with Whistler’s Mother, and Outkast with Matisse. The large text overlaying the classic art is a bit jarring at first, but creates an interesting effect, recontextualizing both the lyrics and the images, each informing a new reading of the other. The project’s Tumblr states that it is “paying homage to the good things in life: fine art and fresh hip hop.” (via artnet)
Javier Galindo, an artist of many talents, uses ready-made objects to create an interesting narrative that comments on possessions we value. By nature, humans are collectors. So much so, that we even have an entire T.V. series dedicated to this hoarder phenomenon. In Galindo’s series The Incomplete Tour, he creates objects that mimic, question, and alter keepsakes and mementos often collected by travelers and tourists. Specifically, he references “The Grand Tour,” a trip that many youth would take during the 18th century across Europe. The purpose of this journey was to gain knowledge of the Western world’s cultural history and to be exposed to its many treasures, such as classical antiquity. To preserve their memories, as we often do today, they would collect souvenirs. Galindo’s question is, what is this memento actually worth? It is by no means an original; it is just a fragment or a trace of what was experienced.
Influenced by classic antiquities, Galindo’s series transforms and skews these fractures of remembered treasures. The series is comprised of a wide variety of mediums including cast plaster and oil paint, as it also is included two-dimensional and three -dimensional works. Focusing on portraiture, the once traditional portraits and busts are now sliced and stacked, skewed by paint, or literally cut out of their frame. In a world where we are obsessed with documenting every moment through digital photos, it is interesting to see a reference to a time where the only way to keep the moment with you, was through collecting physical souvenirs. A photograph is like a still memory, a fragment of an event that can often warp the true memory. Just like a photograph, Galindo’s mementos are just fragments of the whole; they are hints of a narrative further skewed by Galindo’s artistic eye.
Portuguese artist David Oliveira’s work is technically a sculpture but I’d argue that It’s just as much a drawing. Using thin wires to carefully trace figures, Oliveira bends the wire at every bend, wrinkle and fold to create sculptures that have the looseness and spontenaioty of a fine figurative sketch. (via)