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Impossibly Teeny Tiny Crochet Animals To Melt Your Heart

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Imagine your favorite teddy bear and or snuggly stuffed animal shrunken down to fit atop your fingertip, and you have the magical creations of Su Ami, an artistic company in Vietnam devoted to creating delightfully miniature crochet animals. The family run business includes only 5 expert craftsman who work to imbue the tiny woven creatures with unique and touching personalities.

Because of the animals’ itty bitty frame, each stitch is noticeable, highlighting the careful handmade nature of the work. In each turn of the yarn, we imagine the delicate movements of human fingers, and each being becomes impossibly precious. Heightening their dearness is the fact that delightful creatures are so easily lost; like microscopic pets, their vulnerability inspires us to cherish them and hold fast to their tiny bodies. In this way, the pieces recall the nostalgic yearning of a child for his toy.

Despite their smallness, each creation has an impressively distinct character.  With the slightest opening of the mouth, a gecko exudes a curious and playful attitude; a long-beaked bird stares in awe of her own crochet egg. Two squirrels tell a story, peering up at the sky in unison; similarly, a parent elephant watches over her child, whose plastic button eyes seek approval. A lion turns his head with a poignant frown, as if startled by his own size. All animals great and small, from the littlest snail to the tallest giraffe, inhabit the same magical space, cautiously yet courageously exploring the large world they miraculously inhabit. (via Demilked)

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Fragments From The After Dark: Maxime Ballesteros Captures The Intense And Intimate Moments Of Nightlife

Merle in Black on the Bed

Merle in Black on the Bed

Les yeux dans les yeux

Les yeux dans les yeux

Half-Bride

Half-Bride

First Date

First Date

Maxime Ballesteros is Berlin-based photographer who captures the strange, incidental, and oft-intense encounters that punctuate our late-night sojourns into debauchery, pleasure, and excess. The openness and playfulness of his subjects (many of whom are his friends) denotes a party that has reached a fevered, dissociative pitch. Not unlike the fragmentary memories flickering through the brain after a night of indulgence, his photos always suggest there is a much greater narrative going on: from cars abandoned along a dark roadside, to entangled legs, to people kissing and groping in the company of others, we are privy to only one piece from such nighttime revelry, making us curious voyeurs into a fleeting moment from a stranger’s erotic and/or emotional life.

Something happens to us human creatures after nightfall – our energy changes, an “edge” develops that wasn’t there while the sun was still shining. We become desiring, sensate, and slightly odd night-dwellers. Given the recurring images of heels and garter belts and glimpses into the world of BDSM, it is not surprising that Ballesteros’ repertoire is commonly identified as “provocative” and “sexual.” However, it is important not to reduce his photography to such; Ballesteros expresses that his “work is [only] as provocative and sexual as the world is,” and that we interpret sex in everything because — of course — it’s what “driv[es] us most” (Source). What he also explores is the humor, beauty, pain, and gracelessness that motivate and underwrite these late-night experiences.

The way Ballesteros manages to capture the honesty and frankness of these experiences lies in his photographic techniques. His core tactic, in his own words? To “get lost” (Source), to become invisible in his surroundings while remaining receptive to the energy of the people around him, so that he can decipher people’s facades and understand the true dynamics of an encounter. With his camera, he tries to get in close; he avoids re-cropping so that the image is a true representation of that moment; and he uses a high flash, centering the object or body of interest. The result is raw, stark images that confront you with their candor and intensity. And even when his work dips into the surreal — the latex-clad woman screaming while being pushed down a hallway in a wheelchair, for example — the photos still bear a realist, honest aesthetic, as if they truly could be moments from a strange, semi-lucid night.

Following Ballesteros’ wisdom, I encourage all readers to “get lost” in his website, where he has organized his collections under such intriguing titles as “entre chien et loup” and “love me – i’m trying.” You can read an interview with Sang Blue here. The Corner Berlin also features a fascinating video of Ballesteros comparing the nightlife in Paris to that in Berlin. More of Ballesteros’ work after the jump.

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OX’s Billboard Manipulations And Alterations

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We’re absolutely loving these clever and graphic billboard alterations by Parisian street artist OX. Not only do they cover up the ugly advertising that we are bombarded with on a daily basis but they also interact with their surroundings in witty visual plays that construct and deconstruct space, depth and optical illusion. (via)

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Artist Survey: Free Sketchbook & Discount Code

Deadline: August 3rd, 2009 6:00pm PST

Have you ever wished that your favorite brand of black pens came in different sizes? Or that paint wasn’t so expensive? Or that spray paint came in a wider variety of colors? Beautiful/Decay would like to share a survey that offers the creative community a chance to change the way art materials are packaged, sold and priced. And, there are perks for your time and wisdom! 500 artists will be randomly selected to receive a free sketchbook, and, ALL participants will receive an exclusive discount offer of 15% their next purchase from Jerry’s Artarama art supplies.

Please click on the below link to participate in a short survey:

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Splendor And Power At The Origin Of Dark Ceramic Sculptures By Anne Wenzel

Sculpture 14Anne Wenzel - Sculpture 3 Anne Wenzel - Sculpture 5Anne Wenzel - Sculpture 6

Through dark and melancholic ceramic sculptures Anne Wenzel shares her views on the world’s fears and tragedies (natural catastrophes, bomb attacks, fear of millenarianism…)  She draws away the tradition of ceramic to create her contemporary and intense sculptures. The artist’s ‘modern day vanitas’ sculptures not only shake the core but also question the role of splendor and power within a deformed and vanished piece of art. Recently, Anne Wenzel has created two sets of sculptures: busts in ‘Damaged Goods’ and blossoms in ‘Attempted Decadence’.

In the first group of work, she uses the classic military bust and shiny dark brown tones of glaze to condemn the glorification of authority during times of war. She questions the fact that we worship emblematic figures that have caused violence and have damaged entire populations and their countries.
Power, destruction, heroism and violence, themes dear to the artist emerge from her strong historical awareness and political engagement; she sheds new light on the role that art plays in depicting them.

The glamour and glorification expressed in the sorrowful blossoms is raising intentional open questions that Anne Wenzel is not willing to answer for us. She wants the viewer to take a stand and ask: I am seeing this beautiful metaphor of greatness and beauty, but am I being manipulated? The purple and rust tones petals are liquefied, dripping over the structure that’s holding them. Turning healthy and fresh flowers into a devastated and agonizing dying bouquet, the visual creates a balance in the expression of abstraction and figurative art.

Anne Wenzel’s art pieces will be showing at the following events:
Emergent Gallery in Belgium until September 2015
Rijks Museum in Amsterdam until January 2016
Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht until February 2015

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Dean Monogenis’s Epic Landscapes

Dean Monogenis‘s paintings of architecture in untouched natural landscapes creates an interesting contrasts.

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Kitschy Ceramic Animals Grafted Into Cuddly, Creepy Frankenfurries

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Debra Broz, a ceramic artist in Los Angeles, has a dedication to manipulating the conventional ceramic animals used and loved for kitschy home decor. Through her art surgery, she forms nearly mythical renditions of hybrid-animals. Although they still look cute, there is something inherently off and relatively creepy about them. Starting by sourcing and finding old ceramic pieces she is attracted to, Broz then re-assembles and grafts parts and pieces of different ceramic sculptures together. Arms, legs, multiple heads- she tries it all. The doe-eyed Franken-furries still contain an element of innocent, their new freakishness framed with such subtlety that it is nearly camouflaged; for many viewers it takes a second glance to even notice that something is amiss within the structure and proportion.

Broz eloquently articulates her work in an interview, “The thing is, it all depends on perception. Though kitsch may act as if it is the antithesis of fine art, if you start trying to analyze it you run into many of the same complex issues you would if you were analyzing fine art. Personally, I enjoy the intellectual play that is part of analyzing objects. It seems funny to me that people desire to take content away from things rather than explore it. Part of what makes the world interesting is how complex it is, and I’d rather have the complexity, with all its difficulty, than a watered-down, idealized and simplified version. That is part of why I’m interested in kitsch. If you really start looking into it, it is just laden with references.” (Excerpt from Source)

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Valerie Hegarty And Three Other Artists Who Have Mastered The Art Of Illusion

Valerie Hegarty

Valerie Hegarty

Fanette Guilloud

Fanette Guilloud

Kyung Woo Han

Kyung Woo Han

Thomas Quinn

Thomas Quinn

Valerie Hegarty’s Alternative Histories was installed at the Brooklyn Museum in one of their Period Rooms.  Hegarty’s site-specific installations toy with a viewer’s perception—they create the illusion that the process of destruction or decay has been accelerated and what we see are the remains of the real artwork.

Thomas Quinn is a Chicago designer who experiments with something called “anamorphic typography.”  When viewed from a certain angle the text looks just right, but when one moves around the text morphs and warps.

Fanette Guiloud is also interested in anamorphic projection and used the method to create a series of photos titled Géométrie de l’impossible (Impossible Geometry).  Only 22-years old, the illusion is impressively successful.  Influenced by artists such as Felice Varini, Guilloud is certainly an artist to keep our eye on.

Creating installations that defy logic and inspire wonder South Korean artist Kyung Woo Han says of the work, “All the facts are relevant. People see what they want to see. One fact can be interpreted in several ways depend on our perceptions. In the opposite, two different facts can be looked the same. My work deals with perception and illusions. Everything we see or what we know is not absolute. I suggest various ways to perceive things with slightly different perspectives.

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