The final interview in our 10-part “Art Works Every Time” series is with artist Ben Tegel. We’ve actually collaborated with Ben extensively, as he has also designed for Beautiful/Decay Apparel, contributing the shirt graphics for the “Manson”, “Greetings from LA.”, and “Greetings from N.Y.C.” shirts. Can’t believe the opening is already tomorrow- hope to see all of you out there, it’s gonna be a great night!
Chinese artist Qie Zhijie is known for working in mediums as diverse as calligraphy to performance art. Much of his work, though, is tied together by a subtle mischievousness. These two sculptures constructed by Qie, Oil Can Dragon and Cash Cow, are no exception. Both sculptures are entirely built from skillfully cut oil barrels. Considering the dragon and the tree are both symbols strongly tied to the natural world it’s clear Qie’s choice of using oil barrels wasn’t a trivial one. In Cash Cow, an imposing tree of six stacked oil barrels, Qie contrasts birds perching on boughs and cut from metal lids with an airplane high its branches.
I only wish that the world was as much fun as the one in Omar Meradi’s video.
Since the first photograph, photography has ushered forth in producing a consequential depiction of truths through the containment of fleeting moments in a tangible and archival format. Instances in time are revealed as light falls upon sensitized paper, asserting the presence of each photograph’s content. The picture plane remains uniform, constricted by its own variable, physical dimensions: a synthetic simulacrum of a three-dimensional reality that will forever remain in constant flux. And yet, in spite of presenting elements of proof based within reality, the upheaval of the actual authenticity of the photograph has found itself under siege.
Through a variety of executions, the following artists working with the photographic medium twist this truism in unique and awe-inspiring ways, abolishing preconceived notions of photography through a re-presentation of the photograph. In their reconsideration of the ordinarily static picture plane, form is pushed beyond the confines of the image through the destruction, manipulation or interference of the photograph.
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Portland, Oregon based artist Caitlin Ducey uses plastic drinking straws as the focus of her sculptures. In her exploration of material, process and pattern, Ducey appreciates the simplicity and accessibility of the straw. She notes that it is such a mundane, everyday, disposable item. For her the idea that it is so commonplace is part of the appeal. The act of devoting so much time and attention to something as simple as a straw becomes part of her process.
To create her pieces Ducey carefully stacks each straw usually using no glue or adhesive. Her method is obsessive and detail oriented. It also gives the sculptures a fragility that makes them all the more alluring. As a viewer passes by her works she will experience a kind of tunnel vision, only able to see through the straws immediately in her path. It is this feature that gives the sculptures the life-like quality that I found most captivating. Ducey manages to transform an ordinary plastic object into an entrancing sculpture with a remarkable organic quality.
The sculptures of Sayaka Kajita Ganz are gorgeous. Made out of plastic utensils to hangers, these sculptures are done in such a way that they capture the movement of the animals in action. My favorite piece would have to be the sculptures with the running horses, “Emergence”. Her work is so dynamic and depicts such an agility out of something as unconventional as kitchen utensils. Sayaka was born in Japan and currently lives and works in Indiana.
Toshihiko Mitsuya is artist who undoubtedly proves that it’s not the quality of materials that creates great art—it’s the way those materials are used. Mitsuya’s medium of choice is aluminum foil, which he cuts, shreds, and folds into astounding representations of medieval battles, mythical creatures, and undead warriors. Taking advantage of the foil’s malleability and reflective surface, the armor and weaponry look deadly; conversely, it also has been manipulated to convey the softness of feathers and hair. Mitsuya has brought to life an everyday, ordinary material that is often viewed as trash. In some of his installations, he has created epic battle scenes in ordinary rooms, so lifelike that you can almost hear the crash of miniature weapons. The foil, while appearing deceivingly formidable, represents the fragility of life.
In September of last year, Mitsuya participated in an exhibition at Studio Picknick in Berlin. Titled The Aluminum Garden, the show involved rooms full of plants made out of aluminum foil; Mitsuya turned a material that was born in a factory back into the semblance of an earthly organism. You can read more about the exhibition here, and learn more about Mitsuya on his website. (Via Booooooom)