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Max Streicher’s Massive Inflatable Sculptures

Inflatables have had an important place in Max Streicher’s work since 1989. In most of his sculptures and installations he has used industrial fans and simple valve mechanisms to animate sewn forms with lifelike gestures. His use of light and papery materials, like Tyvek (and more recently nylon spinnaker), have been significant to the character of their development, specifically to his focus on movement. The weightlessness of this material allows it to respond with surprising subtlety to the action of air within it. Streicher uses air to animate his work because it provides an effortless naturalism. It not only looks right, it feels right, recollecting our sensation of breath.

Inflatables are the medium of enchantment, fantasy and optimism, but things do go wrong. Take the Hindenburg, for example. Macy’s Parade balloon characters occasionally crash into the crowd. In Streicher’s work the distress behind the whimsy takes different forms. Scale is one factor. The giants, for example, are intended to overwhelm. In contrast to similar commercial counterparts, they are out of control. They appear to struggle, but why and to what end? However that sense of disruption is read also depends on what the individual viewer brings to the work. For some, gasping for breath, endlessly straining to rise, portray an image of playfulness, and even resurrection, while for others it is distinctly an image of torture. Both cases however involve physical empathy, a bodily recognition of the elemental—powerful and tenuous—forces that animate us all. (via)

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Scott Albrecht Is Alive

Scott Albrecht brings you encouraging thoughts and beautiful typography and patterns to keep you on the right path during your 9-5 grind. Next time you’re feeling down just hop onto his site and let the positivity flow.

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Clemens Behr’s Massive Geometric sculptures

German artist Clemens Behr puts his everywhere. Whether it’s illegally installed on the streets, painted on the facade of a apartment complex, or hanging in a gallery his geometric assemblage works bring together a mix of cardboard, wood, metal, and paint to create images that effortlessly move between abstraction and representation.

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Breathtakingly Ephemeral Portraits Created With Flowers And Seeds

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When vegetal artist Duy Anh Nhan Duc and photographer Isabelle Chapuis collaborate, the resulting images of people and flowers are anything but cliché. The series “Etamine” (stamen) and “Dandelion” are elegant and surreal, beautifully conceptual and expertly shot.

In “Etamine” a somewhat androgynous man is adorned in black and red and purple and yellow. “Fragile compositions of thousands of petals: carnations, anemones, irises and chrysanthemums merge with the skin.” The petals resemble feathers, as if these are sensual and captivating birds preening for the camera.

“Duy Anh Nhan Duc is an artist who handles vegetal art in a very singular way.… He merges plants with human bodies, integrates them with objects, combines them with his drawings or stages them though his short-films. Through his work, he weaves a poetic world where plants rule as masters.”

Like its seed head, “Dandelion” feels more fragile, suspended in time, as if the female model is holding her breath. Shot against a black background, the dandelion seeds are as impossibly delicate as snow or fog. Where in “Etamine” the petals have merged with the male figure, the seeds in “Dandelion” are ephemeral, pausing for a moment before floating away on a breath or a breeze.

Chapuis says, “I’m very inspired by the aesthetic movement in painting, Tim Walker. C’est l’art pour l’art. Art for its own sake. It’s only about emotion. I don’t want to accomplish anything beyond appealing to peoples’ senses”. (Source)

These series are proof of the magic that can happen when two extremely talented artists combine forces to make captivating work. (Via Ignant)

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Meghan Smythe Sculpts The Fleshly Contortions Of Passion And Death

Young Unbecoming (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.

Young Unbecoming (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.

Young Unbecoming (detail view) (2015).

Young Unbecoming (detail view) (2015).

Lunacy (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.

Lunacy (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.

Coupling (2015). Ceramic and glaze.

Coupling (2015). Ceramic and glaze.

Meghan Smythe is a California-based (Canadian-born) artist who creates expressively disturbing sculptures of crushed flesh and glistening viscera. The muted, peaches-and-cream colors are initially deceiving in their innocence; emerging from the twisted monuments are dismembered and defleshed body parts, shaved down and mashed together. Like a theater of the grotesque, faces gasp from beneath piles of entrails and moldering skulls, and limbs reach and splay in dynamic expressions of violence, love, lust, and tenderness. Much like the contortions of passion and death, the energy rolls throughout the compositions, oscillating between states of vigor and exhaustion. Leah Ollman, having reviewed Smythe’s recent solo show at the Mark Moore Gallery, provided this spot-on description of “Young Becoming” for The Los Angeles Times:

“Limbs are entwined, tongues extended. Clay is rarely, if ever, this carnal. Some of the skin is mannequin-smooth but veined with cracks. Some seep a pink foam or a pale fecal flood. Erotic pleasure plays a part here, but is only one of many competing charges” (Source).

By displaying representations of body parts in surprising (and unsettling) reconfigurations, Smythe brings the charges of pleasure and agony, beauty and squalor to the operating table. Displayed for us are simultaneous births and deaths, made almost indecipherable by the material realities of the body: the fluids, the waste, the mess of living, and the will to survive. In “A Light Culture”, for example, a man with a severed arm and scarred flesh sits quietly, wounded but pensive, while a disembodied hand gropes at his erection. Elsewhere, in “Lunacy”, a decapitated subject grimaces in despair while reaching for his heart. More tenderly still, in “Coupling”, two hands lie adjacent to each other and touch lightly. In moments of both intimacy and horror, Smythe turns the possibilities and limitations of the flesh into sculptures and makes them strangely beautiful.

Visit Smythe’s website and the Mark Moore Gallery to learn about her work and see additional images. Check out Ollman’s article for a captivating description of the solo show.

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Yoshimasa Tsuchiya’s Unknown Creatures

Yoshimasa Tsuchiya’s beautifully delicate creatures are painstakingly carved out of wood and hand painted. Check out the Making page on his site to see the process.

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Geometric Light Patterns ‘Dance’ In Streets Of Tokyo

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Night Stroll from tao tajima on Vimeo.

Night Stroll is a new digital short from Japanese filmmaker Tao Tajima.  In the film, quick moving abstract light patterns pulse through otherwise quiet Tokyo streets.  The light patterns are impressively realistic and almost resemble the light painting of still photography.  Bright bursts of shapes are reflected in wet streets and cast shadows from behind trees and street corners.  Though there is little information regarding the film’s production, Tajima seems to have skillfully created the light patterns digitally.  He executes a simple idea very well – simple but realistic light dances as if it were alive and alone in the city.  Check out the video to see what the GIFs only preview.

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Brendan Flanagan

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Observing Brendan Flanagan’s paintings is like walking through a dark dream of regrets, fears, and loneliness. Vague, human-like figures in physical, emotional, or silent turmoil completely transient within their own surreal environment.

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