During his graduate studies in microbiology, artist Zachary Copfer invented a new type of photography, one grown entirely of living bacteria. By exposing sections of microscopic organisms to radiation, he accelerates their growth, allowing them to multiply and compose vivid photographic portraits. Copfer’s subjects include both artists and scientists who inspire him; famous images Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso are replicated in Serratia marcescens, a human pathogen often associated with infections of the urinary tract and respiratory systems. The portrait of Stephen Fry is made of bacteria found in the actor’s own body.
Copfer’s portraits closely resemble the art of Roy Lichtenstein; his faces bear the same comic book-style polka dots made famous by the legendary pop artist. Also like Lichtenstein’s paintings and prints, they are duplicates of mass-produced, iconic public domain images. But quite unlike the work of Lichenstein and his colleagues, Copfer’s images are imbued with an undeniably unique and human tenor. These bacterial cells, some drawn from the bodies of the subjects they portray, are corporeal and therefore inevitably personal. In contrast the ink used by the pop artists, these cells will someday die. Though iconic, these portraits are ultimately of mortal men, and the fact that they are rendered here in disease-causing bacteria only underscores that fact.
In addition to portraiture, Copfer experiments with photographs of celestial bodies. Here, in glowing green E. coli genetically modified with GFP, the vast cosmos are paradoxically formed from the microscopic, reminding us that in the end, all matter great and small is profoundly interconnected. Take a look. (via Jezebel)
Argentina-native and -based artist Irana Douer‘s works are delightfully deceptive; often, simple lines and minimal color are combined to create works fraught with symbolism. Women are the stars of her productions. Many of her illustrations and sketches show hurt or sad, yet strong women.
Whether through painting, illustration, sculpture, or installation, Kenny Scharf displays an aesthetic saturated with bright colors and playful figures. Think: Pee Wee’s Playhouse + Keith Haring on acid. With his work, Scharf seamlessly integrates pop culture into fun and fluid forms. With his pop culture appeal, it’s no surprise that Scharf has been commissioned to do commercial work by companies such as Kiehl’s, Vans, and Swatch. While other artists might have a different viewpoint on commercial work, for Scharf, the opportunity to bring his playful forms into everyday products is of significant cultural value, “One very important and guiding principle to my work is to reach out beyond the elitist boundaries of fine art and connect to popular culture through my art,” Scharf writes in his artist statement.
French illustrator Denis Carrier keeps his images simple but his ideas profound. His work was featured in B/D Book 3 and he co-founded PNTS design studio. Carrier’s clean imagery is a breath of fresh air, employing uncommon ingenuity to modern-day icons.
For Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki, dyslexia prevented him reading music in the traditional sense. But that didn’t stop him playing it. Instead, he adopted a playful approach and created an installation that invites viewers to produce their own music using color markers. Visitors draw along the curvy lines on the floor, and then the robots translate their marks into one-of-a-kind sound pieces.
The robots are called Color Chasers, and they associate each color that they find on their path with a sound. This small, unique orchestra features five different machines that each have their own sound and shape. The Basscar has a Dubstep-like sound, the Glitchcar reproduces computer-like sounds, and the Melodycar, Arpeggiocar, and the Drumcar to add rhythm.
This imaginative work was recently selected by the New York MoMA for their collection. (Via Spoon and Tamago)
In a daring undertaking, MoMA’s curator Klaus Biesenbach has pulled together an immersive exhibition concentrating on the last twenty years of Björk’s musical career, her eight full length albums and also features the launch of her new video Black Lake. Taken from her new album Vulnicura (2015), and filmed in Iceland in the summer of 2014, the 11 minute long video uncharacteristically explores the personal life of Björk and her break up with long time romantic partner Matthew Barney. The video was commissioned by the gallery and gave Björk another chance to work creatively with director Andrew Thomas Huang, whom she teamed up with on her previous video Mutual Core. For Black Lake, she also worked with the talented Erna Ómarsdóttir – a choreographer who gave life to Björk’s emotional journey through the break up. The video moves through the different stages of separation, including grieving, processing, and reincarnation.
The exhibition also features a retrospective of her music videos, from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011) across from the screening of Black Lake. In the lobby of the gallery, there is a showcase of the instruments used on Biophilia: a gameleste, a pipe organ, gravity harp and a Tesla coil. And to compete the experience,
…Songlines presents an interactive, location-based audio experience through Björk’s albums, with a biographical narrative that is both personal and poetic, written by the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón, along with many visuals, objects, and costumes, including the robots designed by Chris Cunningham for the “All Is Full of Love” music video, Marjan Pejoski’s Swan Dress (2001), and Iris van Herpen’s Biophilia tour dress (2013), among many others. (Source)