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Lauren Napolitano’s Shrines To Love And Loss

Lauren Napolitano Lauren Napolitano Lauren Napolitano

“At age 17, I lost every possession I had accumulated in my short life span; ever since I have been a collector. My mission is to document and observe the world around me as if I have never seen it before. I take notes. Collect things I find during my travels. Document my findings. Notice patterns, Copy. Trace. Focus on one thing at a time. Record and follow what I am drawn to. It brings me immense joy to create space for what has been left behind. To preserve the history of others.”

Oakland-based illustrator and installation artist Lauren Napolitano works with found materials: wood scraps, old bottles, paper torn from old books, tattered lace and dried flowers amass in her subtle shrines, which are layered with the tiny, intricate painting style she has honed over the last decade. Entirely self-taught, Napolitano uses her thin, fragile, art-deco-inspired linework to coat forgotten relics of the everyday with new meanings, and new life. Her recent traveling project with street artist Shrine, called the “Reckless In Love Shack,” has been set up at Symbiosis and Lightning In A Bottle, and she continues to fill spaces with her lovely, lightly aged drawings and paintings, most recently at White Walls in SF and Old Crow in Oakland.

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Franz Szony- Photographic Painter

Described as a “photographic painter” or “character portraitist”, Franz Szony transcends traditional photography in order to open windows into a lush, seductive, and intricately detailed world of fantasy and dreams where his seductive imagery fuses the classical with the modern, and depicts baroque aesthetics with a bizarre twist.

Szony’s work explores the intention and meaning behind beauty, evoking a mythical, archetypical atmosphere that has the potential to summon a meditative, imaginative, and even transcendental state of mind. Many of the photographs find their direct inspiration from Szony’s dreams, which he keeps meticulously logged in a dream diary. “The worlds and characters I’ve dreamt have inspired both minute details, as well as entire works of art, both aesthetically and emotionally. ”

Franz explains that, while most people consider themselves unconscious while sleeping, many philosophies teach that we are, in fact, more conscious while asleep than while awake… “If so, I can’t help but think our dreams to be more real and truthful than the physical world.”

See Szony’s solo show at Project One in San Francisco from July 11th-August 4th, 2012.

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Love Hultén’s Artistic Gaming Systems Combine Technology And Craftsmanship




In his beautiful retro/modern gaming systems, Swedish designer and craftsman Love Hultén combines technology with classical artisan techniques. His wood encased computers and classic arcade games are both lovely and functional. Hand-crafted and refined, the technique, ornamentation and finish are traditionally Swedish.

“Hultén wants to resuscitate a fading culture and create curiosity towards the origin of video gaming, pushing gaming into a new context, making the arcade an artistic equivalent to the painting on your wall.

By working with materials that, without regular maintenance and daily care, grows a unique patina, the expiry date of a product is extended. The product will breathe through time, rather than get suffocated by it.”

For the gaming units, vintage arcade favorites such as Pac Man and Asteroids are encased in solid wood. Joystick pads and controllers are made from walnut, and custom leather bags are available for some portable units. Hultén’s works were recently shown in his first US show at the Holy Circuit exhibit at Austere in Los Angeles, California.

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Ali Smith’s Abstractions

If you’re trying to cut back on caffeine, try replacing it with Ali Smith‘s paintings; they are pure visual energy.  “With their rough edges, fractured compositions and unpredictable scale-shifts, the L.A. artist paints energetic pictures whose wild swipes and slashes are not expressive — in any way, shape or form. Rather than standing in as authentic emblems of inner turmoil or heartfelt emotions, the whiplash gestures in Smith’s paintings take on lives of their own.” – Los Angeles Times

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Self-Folding Paper Robot Assembles Itself In Less Than 4 Minutes And Even Walks Away

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US-based team of scientists has built a robot that folds itself into an origami-inspired shape starting from a flat sheet. The assemblage of such robot doesn’t require any human intervention. It is made from a polymer material which shrinks when heated, also has electronics and motors attached to it. When the heating elements affect the hinges made in paper, the robot starts transforming into a crab-like machine. The whole process takes about 4 minutes before the robot can start walking.

The team behind the project said their inspiration came from the complex 3-D shapes in origami: like in the Japanese paper art, various three-dimensional shapes are constructed from a single sheet of paper. This robot takes origami a step further. According to the developer team, such self-assembling robots can be greatly employed in construction or rescue works.

“[They could be delivered] through a confined passageway, such as a collapsed building, after which they would assemble into their final form autonomously,” states Marc Lavine, senior editor at Science.

Robot‘s small size makes is what makes it very useful because of the easy transportation and storage. Apart from search-and-rescue missions, a more advanced version of the robot could be easily used construction works, especially in places that are hard to reach. The whole project is said to cost $11,000 but with the initial designs in place, the mass-production robots should cost around $100 each. (via NPR)

Watch a short video about the project after the jump.

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UPSO In Motion!

Long time B/D friend UPSO made a fun video for Fuel TV. Check out the stache on this guy. It’s no joke!

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Mark Wagner’s Rich Collaged World

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Mark Wagner’s money collages are surreal, bizarre, and extremely intriguing. I’ve seen hundreds of artists use currency in their art over the years but Mark’s work pushes the technique to new limits. More images after the jump.

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The Haunting Paintings of Maja Ruznic

Artist Maja Ruznic paints what she remembers.  Ruznic acts in a literal way on the idea that remembering is a creative process.  Painting from experience and filling in the unknown, her paintings feel like their plucked directly from the middle of a narrative.  Speaking of the way past experience plays into her creative process Ruznic says:

“Sometimes I am drawn to someone’s hands, to one’s rhythm of speech, to one’s constant checking of their cell phone.  This interest usually serves as an incentive to begin a painting.”

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