My friend over at Champagne Valentine recently designed this out-there website for Lost Planet studio. Not your typical web 2.0 approach, the result is instead a more abstract, intuitive and interactive experience. Is this the future of the net? Will the days of Twitter icons and blogs be gone, replaced by ethereally floating moon-orbs surrounded by hands? In their own words, the site “is an experimental online video channel and porfolio showcase for the Lost Planet editing studio. The site is an otherworldly portal into the psyche of Lost Planet where visitors can explore a porfolio of work via a bizarre planetary interface. “
The art of pencil carving is becoming more and more widespread, intricate, and skilled. Over the past few years we have come to see many incredible things being carved from the humble pencil. Whether it is colored, or plain graphite, a leaden tip can be transformed into many icons, symbols or dioramas. Artist Tom Lynall‘s effort sees him shaping pencil tips into emojis, tiny characters and landscapes. From an artist’s paint palette, to idyllic pastoral views, to Rapunzel in her tower, to the hearts, lightning bolts and happy faces from our smart phones, Lynall is capable of achieving great detail on a minute scale.
A bespoke jeweler by trade, Lynall is no stranger to working at this level, or at the pace required to finish a delicate piece. But only having started his pencil carving hobby last November, he is quickly adapting to his new material. Being malleable and dense, graphite is an ideal material to carve intricate and complicate details into. He says about his new time consuming hobby:
I love art but I have never been able to draw so this is a good way for me to create things with the limitations of my skill. The main tool I use is the scalpel blade shown in the pictures as well as a few pins which I have altered the end of to give me different blades.
This is great fun to do so if you would like to give it a go the best advice I can give is to not get annoyed when they break, they are extremely fragile but once your done they are fantastically satisfying. (Source)
Artist Mehmet Gozetlik has designed a series of popular trademarks into neon signs. The series called Chinatown takes popular logos and adds a description of the represented product in chinese neon letters. The sign’s unusual characters reminisce experiences tourists have wandering aimlessly throughout the world’s Chinatowns letting themselves get seduced by these exotic bright letters. The irony is that nine out of ten times the logo itself is recognizable on its own and the words are unnecessary. Is there anyone on the planet who cannot identify Starbucks or Pepsi brands on sight?
Mehmet’s signs are made from handblown painted glass. Each letter and product logo is stenciled out and designed from a printed drawing. The process of blowing glass is long and tedious. The flame has to be exactly the right temperature in order for it to mold into the desired shape. After it hardens the glass is painted. Upon studying the signs and seeing them together you realize people cannot digest more than a few colors at once when making a decision. Each logo Mehmet chose has three colors or less which is not a coincidence. It’s been documented that the brain can only handle six choices at once. If it goes over that number it shuts down. Corporate culture wouldn’t dream of this happening and explains why these logos are kept simple.
A few years ago, Gozetlik designed another interesting series which minimized logo packaging. The study “Minimalist effect in the maximalist market” showed how a product becomes more desirable as the packaging is stripped away. He used brands such as Nutella and Pringles to achieve this goal. (via designboom)
Enter Jon Jaylo’s dream world where surreal images that are equal parts playful and thought-provokingnspill out straight out of his subconscious.
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.
Lola Dupre’s collage visions can make Hilary Clinton look like Jaba the Hutt and Virginia Woolf look like a camel. Dupre cuts and pastes her pieces by hand, stretching or shrinking features of the face and/or body of politicians, celebrities, and anonymous characters. Strange though this may sound, her approach to collage seems so obvious it’s almost surprising no one’s thought of it before. This is what makes her work so strong. A really great idea can often seem familiar because it makes so much sense.
In her most recent work, Dupre has been transforming nude figures into unexpected (and sometimes ‘Human Centipede’-like) forms. Whereas in most of them she multiplies limbs and genitals, she throws you a curveball in Osa Desnuda, where she sticks a the top half of a teddy beat head on a nude woman with an ample drooping breast and strange proportions throughout. This one in particular is reminiscent of Wangechi Mutu’s work. She also creates hybrid forms with women’s bodies: confusingly erotic while also disturbing and unexpected, though Mutu’s work is more extreme than Dupre’s.
Although the images are made manually they don’t escape the digital. They reference (accidentally or intentionally) a computer screen that has frozen up where the user has tried to drag the image across the screen, only to have all the repetitions of the image remain as it is moved along. Though similar imagery could probably be made on photoshop, the handmade aspect is essential. The images would loose the sensual textures of skin achieved in the overlapping paper, and the process itself is more mysterious.
Text phrases, words and letters abound in contemporary art, ranging widely from direct witty phrases to text that has become illegible in its adaptation. With increased crossover between different fields of art, the craft of editing text in literary arts is a skill and practice that has been incorporated into the visual arts more frequently. Jenny Holzer is an artist who comes to mind in this regard.
However, in this article I am examining the other polarity of text in art. As an artist who regularly uses text in my own art work, I am always interested in discovering the ways in which other artists step beyond the all too prevalent witty-one-liner on the wall into an artistic language that is far more expansive and uniquely cultivated. The artists included here demonstrate the beautiful grey area that emerges between abstract painting, graffiti, constructivist painting and the written word, to name a few. Here text becomes a vehicle for additional forms of communication, used as a foundation to expand upon with the artist’s particular vision or agenda.
Wendy White, Feodor Voronov, Glenn Ligon, Annie Vought, Jose Parla and Jel Martinez are all artists whose work takes text and language and pushes way outside the box. Wendy White’s use of the lines and structure of letters themselves is deconstructed and echoed in lines that emerge within her abstracted and color washed work. In the images of her work shared here, I particularly love the way in which she goes beyond the canvas in architecturally reconstructing the text-like elements along the border.
Vlasta Žáková is a Slovakian artist who uses fabric to create pictures and soft sculptures that quite literally “explode at the seams” with human emotion, experience, and desire. Her technique involves hand and machine sewing, and various materials are layered and embroidered into her works until they take on a painterly, three-dimensional effect. In addition to her textile “paintings,” Žáková also creates life-size human figures, which are realistic, surreal, humorous, and saddening all at once. Her sculptures include a woman crying alone in the corner, with red threads to indicate her tear-stained face; a man straddled by a nearly naked woman in a hallway, while a dog looks bizarrely on; and a headless body slumped against a wall, its knees split open and arms frayed off.
In both her pictures and sculptures, Žáková’s main inspiring influence is the party scene, and the types of intimacy and shattered states these events often result in — hence why her work consistently depicts despair, eroticism, and/or debauchery. In one particularly striking sculpture, Žáková took the image of a crowd of people, fused it together, and created a horrifyingly exuberant and multi-limbed creature. This work was presented at the Red Gallery (London) in a performance titled Ultraviolet Movement (2013). Combined with physical animation and UV lights, the soft sculpture embodies the darkness, hedonism, and semi-lucidity of a late-night party. The video Nocturne (embedded above), which Žáková made in collaboration with Jakub Gulyás (video) and Martina Vyskupová (performer) as part of an exhibition project in the Bunker of the Nitra Gallery, features this grotesque “puppet” as it takes on an eerie life of its own.
What is beautiful and provocative about Žáková’s work is that she has brilliantly infused her textile creations with their own emotional and erotic lives; many of us can probably relate to the states of disrepair and desire she expressively depicts. Visit Žáková’s website to see more of her work. You can read about her time at the Red Gallery here and here.