Walter Oltmann is an artist from South Africa who weaves together aluminum wire “doily” segments to create gauzy, black-and-white images. His more recent works—which were featured recently in an exhibition titled Cradle at the Goodman Gallery in Cape Town—depict skulls and sleeping children. Through tonal layering, Oltmann creates a ghostly, semi-transparent depth, and each of the drawings are their own sculptural objects. The result is a series of eerie, ancient-looking images that invoke a theme (and contemporary relevance) of ideas surrounding death, the fragility of life, and the passage of time.
Oltmann is fascinated by the processes of geology, evolution, and human history. As the press release for Cradle informs us, his work draws on the ideas set forth by Simon Calley in Sculpture and Archaeology (2011), which describes archeology as a discipline of “examining our relationship to time and our place to its continuity [. . .] It is an activity concerned with the present [and] with projecting ourselves into the past” (Source). Historically and culturally, skulls have been enduring symbols of death and transience; the image of a sleeping child, which has been used as a grave marker, is representative of tranquility, rest, and the final “long sleep.” By finding and exploring the similarities in these motifs, Oltmann unearths an age-old melancholia and retrospective on the finitude of human life.
“Dame Otro Papel” is the name of the new music video from Barcelona hip-hop group El Gremio. The video, featuring some nice stop-motion animation, was done by Spanish animation studio Home de Caramel. Check out their site for more work, including some cool industrial design stuff.
The Fresh Blood Hunt art competition is going strong in its second week with entries coming in from all over England. Open to all illustrators, designers, and artists residing in the UK, the Fresh Blood Hunt Art Competition is a chance to flex your design skills on the Tim Burton produced Vampire thriller Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter! Not only will the winner have their work immortalized in London by talented muralist Jim Rockwell but they will also win a brand new 17″ Macbook Pro and Adobe Creative Suite 6!
With a chance to collaborate with one of the biggest film makers of all time , have your work blown up to larger than life proportions, and win thousands of dollars worth of products there’s very little downside to this competition.
Did we mention that Beautiful/Decay gets to help pick the winner as well! If that doesn’t seal the deal I don’t know what will. The competition ends May 30th so get to it Britain and lets show the world how talented the Cult Of Decay really is!
Superb stuff from Brooklyn based artist Michael DeLucia. Equal parts humor, process, repetition, and abstraction, then dipped in a heavy dose of art world introspection, these sculptures have me saying ‘Oh Yeah!’ Looking at these pieces awakened memories of Jeff Koons, so I was amused to learn that DeLucia worked at his studio after graduating from RISD. Make sure you check after the jump for some serious mop mania, a reinterpreted bicycle, and a blinged out shopping cart – trust me it won’t disappoint!
Vietnamese painter Nguyen Xuan Huy introduces us to the disruptive effects and ongoing legacy of the Vietnam War. His works carry a rooted sense of grotesque which makes it impossible to stay intact. Huy outlines Vietnam’s grimreality by confronting pop art aesthetics with hints of Socialist iconography and heartbreaking results of Agent Orange warfare.
Huy, who is currently based in Berlin, aggregates many aspects of art history by mimicking famous painter’s artworks. Motifs from Matisse’s Dance, Bosch’s Garden Of Earthly Delights, and even Michelangelo’s Creation Of Adam are taken and distorted to outline the traumatic consequences country’s post-war experiences. Twisted naked bodies, guns and dead animals join in a feast of spite and sorrow.
Agent Orange, a poisonous defoliant, was used by the US military and its counterparts to spray on the Vietnamese countryside hoping it will destroy the food sources and thus, end resistance. Only later it was titled the Chernobyl of Vietnam because of it’s irreversible effects, specifically the crippling birth defects. Chemicals used in Agent Orange caused genotype mutations which are present even three generations later.
“It’s insensitive to imagine that because I was born healthy that I am untouched by this issue. <…> So many people are potential carriers of the altered genotype, this is a problem which could affect each and every citizen of Vietnam.”
I absolutely love these intricate and meditative carvings by Pete Goldlust. Not only is the artists medium of choice everyones favorite childhood drawing tool but each piece was meticulously carved by hand creating totem-like objects that could be held in the palm of your hands. There’s obviously a large Brâncuși influence in each of these works but a “sense of play” is intrigal to all of Goldlust’s creative endeavors. (via)
Working with one of the most socially relevant and controversial topics of recent years, artists Pascal Leboucq and Lucas De Man have installed a clever take about what it means to be surveilled, to survey and to be under surveillance. Their EYE project consists of 5 enormous eyes built into the sides of different buildings around the Dutch city of Den Bosch that viewers are able to inhabit and experience a dramatic view of the city from.
Once inside the different buildings of the project (including a theater, a modern hospital, an old building ready to under go construction, a monument and a corporate building), observers are ushered to a seat, fastened in and wheeled out into the hanging structure. They are then immersed into a multimedia sound and video experience altering the way they are able to see themselves, their peers and their environment. Artist Lucas De Man says about the metaphor of eyes in this project:
A city with eyes is a city that looks and shows itself. No closed doors or shut windows, but open. We gave the city eyes so you can hang in the air above the world and look. Just look. (Source)
Lucas also talks about his desire for a more connected existence within cities, and how important it is to have these immersive experience to change our interaction with each other and within our shared environment.
Man wants to be heard and seen and has the need to share his vulnerability every now and then. The city must accommodate this need by being a place for, of and by people. (Source)
The Eyes are still open for viewing until November 1. They will then be on tour in 2015.
We had written about the powerful duo photographer Zoren Gold, and graphic artist Minori Murakami back in May of this year. Now they are back with some new additions to their editorial section and it is just as packed with their wonderfully strong sense of collaborative design as before.