Australian artist Troy Emery’s practice is an ongoing project of producing a series of artworks that investigate decoration and the aesthetics of craft associated with natural history and the animal form . In his sculpture practice, taxidermy foam bodies are covered in bright polyester pompoms and craft textiles such as tassle fringing. The artworks, non-descript predator animals with their playfully colorful pelts, become hyper exotic specimens in a menagerie of art / animal objects.
Watch a fantastic short documentary on Troy Emery after the jump.
In collaboration with the Vatican, a coalition of artists and humanitarians from the documentary Racing Extinction projected a stunning light show on the edifice of St. Peter’s Basilica. The videos display endangered animals and ecological crises from around the word, including whales, pandas, imperilled rainforests, and melting icebergs. As pointed out on My Modern Met, this demonstration follows a letter released from Pope Francis that makes clear the role humans play in the destruction of natural environments and non-human species. The goal of the light show was to foster awareness from the public, and on a political level, to encourage other influential figures and world leaders to acknowledge the loss and devastation.
Helmed by Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos (director of The Cove), Racing Extinction features never-before-seen images that explore endangered species and the threat of mass extinction. Much like the light show—which is part of an ongoing (and vital) campaign to provoke action—Racing Extinction seeks to change the way we view the planet and the global beauty and vitality we will lose in the pursuit of our unsustainable practices. Such projects remind us that no matter where we are situated, even in our urban, human-centered habitats, we are always responsible and capable of changing the world’s grim outlook. (Via My Modern Met)
Indonesian painter Haris Purnomo started painting babies covered with dragon tattoos over 20 years ago and has slowly included women and men into his oeuvre. Initially starting illustrating babies because “they were cute”, Purnomo quickly realized they could be a effective symbol for the Indonesian lower class. His portraits now include all ages, demographics and classes. Like some sort of branding or gang symbol, the faces he paints all bear a marking of a certain culture. They all belong to the same time and place. Purnomo was a painter during the time of the military dominated government of Suharto and his work shows a certain sort of forced introspection – a focus on pain and mysterious, subtle symbols.
His paintings are highly political as well as highly stylized. As a member of the Gerakan Seni Rupa Bary, The New Art Movement, and of PIPA, two innovative art movements from Indonesia in the seventies, he not only challenged Suharto’s power and the preexisting aesthetic, but also people’s understanding of their own culture. These are his own thoughts on why he produces artwork and it’s social importance:
Once we are faced with the necessity to make a choice or a stand, everything that makes up our backgrounds will play its part: time, age, economic, social and political considerations, idealism, behavior, creativity, et cetera. All these may alter, strengthen, undermine, or develop anything we believe, and the ‘Pipa’ artists are not exceptions in this. As a father seeing his children growing up I experience a sense of losing [sic], I feel the strong drive to give more attention to children, including others’ children; that is what has been going on in me Being hopeful about my children and wanting to be more attentive to children in every aspect, I think these two things provide the basis of the central theme of my works.(Source)
Purnomo’s artworks are not only culturally relevant for Indonesia, but can teach us a whole lot about the human condition, it’s strength, fragility, resilience and adaptability.
Rebecca Stevenson’s figurative sculptures are both eerie and beautiful. Using primarily polyresin and wax, her concept usually begins with a human or animal figure cast in a subdued monochromatic color that then appears to blossom or decay with varieties of multi-colored organic compounds. These blossoms almost consume the figures, resulting in provocative, surreal sculptures. Her work embodies the process of creation and destruction, revealing the beauty that emerges from this organic cycle. Some of it reminds me of walking around farm pastures when I was younger, and discovering various animal skulls that the grass had begun to climb through. If her work is disturbing, it is only because it doesn’t try to mask the macabre beauty of the growth/decay process. “My work is concerned with the visceral and the sensual. It draws upon anatomical drawing and botanical illustration, but occupies a liminal territory between scientific enquiry and the subjective, imaginary body.” (via)
D-BROS, a Japanese design company that produces ultra-modern housewares, has crafted the beautiful Waltz Cup and Saucer — a teacup with a mirrored, palladium finish that reflects the geometric patterns of the plate on which it is placed. The product is well-named, for like two dancers, the saucer and cup must be in proximity and working together in order to create a work of art. The product is made out of Hasami porcelain on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan, which is known as one of the world’s great pottery hubs. Each cup is carefully handmade so that the surfaces are completely smooth; “after all, even the slightest scratch would create distortions throughout the reflection.” (Source)
The cups, once removed from their beautiful saucer-companions, will of course reflect everything else surrounding them — the color of your sweater, or whatever ordinary items are lying around your kitchen table, for example. And at ¥7560 (approximately $62.00 USD) per set, the cups and saucers are less practical than a piece of art, but there is something to be said for the integration of art, geometry, harmony, tranquility into our everyday lives; interestingly, these are the spiritual and aesthetic values which are present in the Japanese traditional practice of tea ceremonies (Chanoyu), wherein the functionality and practicality of drinking tea is subsumed into ritualistic acts that achieve refinement, simplicity, beauty, and peace. Thinking of it this way, there is much significance to be appreciated in the harmony and creativity ingrained in D-BROS’ designs.
While sold out elsewhere, the Waltz Cups and Saucers can still be bought from D-BROS. Visit their website and explore some of their other intriguing designs. (Via Laughing Squid)
Rosa Borreale is an Italian artist who graduated with a degree in Modern Literature. She’s worked as an actress and performer, but eventually decided to teach herself oil painting by copying the Old Masters. Her work is hyperrealistic and self-aware, depicting layers of thoughts and perceptions. Her paintings that feature street art and images as a background to human activity are her most compelling. These juxtapozed images highlight the contrast of real and virtual worlds. In most of them, she includes a small mouse pointer image of which she says, “The presence of the mouse pointer in the paintings symbolizes the illusion that a click would be enough to change the order of things.”
When I was a kid I was obsessed with turtles. Not sure why but I just loved turtles. I even had a pet miniature turtle named Skatey. Why did I name him Skatey do you ask? Because I liked to skateboard…. I know I know… I’m very good at naming pets.
This video goes out to my buddy Skatey up there in turtle heaven. RIP