Encased in white-framed boxes are Crystal Wagner’s intricate cut paper sculptures. Like specimens meant for studying, parts of textured tentacles and honeycomb-esque patterns wrap around themselves as well as non-representational wavy shapes. Wagner’s work is meticulous, and each scalloped edge has its own slightly-curled edge. It’s reminiscent of a dragon or a reptile, but not one that we’ve ever seen before. The vibrant colors feature jewel-toned gradients that push her sculptures from quasi-reality into full-blown fantasy.
These works first made their appearance at the Hashimoto Contemporary gallery in San Francisco in 2014. Her exhibition was titled Synesthesia, and the intention was to explore the psychological realm between the familiar and strange. The gallery writes, “…combining screen printing, cut paper and various dollar store items, Wagner meticulously assembles her sculptures with a sense of organic growth. Allowing her materials to build upon themselves, layer by layer, each structure swells into a mass of movement, as if grown from the soil of another planet.”
Like many people, Greg Krehel loves cacti and succulents. But, living in Jacksonville, FL was not conducive to keeping these plants happy and healthy. The desert-loving flora would drown in the sogginess of Jacksonville. That was until he randomly selected a cactus from a local garden store. Instead of dying, it thrived, and produced beautiful, large blooms in a mixture of colors. It turns out that Krehel selected a echinopsis, which is a genus of cactus from South America that loves humidity. And, better yet, there were hundreds of other varieties out there. Krehel photographs them with an iPhone 5 or a Cannon 6d camera and post them to his Instagram, under the username @echinopsisfreak.
Once his first cactus thrived, Krehel bought more. Many more..“My single echinopsis acquired by accident was soon joined by 5… 25… 50… and now I’m at 100 other echinopsis species and hybrids, ” he told the Instagram blog.
Krehel is passionate about imaging the echinopsis, which blooms in a day and peak for only an hour or two. “Their brief existence pushes you to photograph the heck out of them,” he says. This led him to using time-lapse photography to capture their beauty in short, mesmerizing videos. The echinopsis’ gently-opening blooms are easy to watch in hypnotic fashion. You’ll probably find yourself click the “play” button over and over again.
It’s a girl’s world in these scenes of playful mischief created by an eclectic array of delicate materials by Amanda Michelle Smith. Rendering tiny girls full of energy and angst, the artist uses oil paint, golf leaf, and ceramic pieces to construct her highly textured work. Smith’s talents in painting spritely girls are only matches in her ability in ceramics. Her light and airy palette combined with the rich glazes of the ceramic creates incredibly eye-popping aesthetics. The surface texture and detail in each leaf, tree, and flower jump out at you as they are formed from ceramic, creating a relief.
Although Smith’s work is full of little girls in dresses and bows, things are not always giggles and tea parties. Except, when there is actually a tea party, there are strange ghoulish guests dining in front of a black sky. Each scene has a bizarre flare that is both whimsical and somewhat dark. These are places where grumpy girls hide in a house while tons of little people seek to get inside. Proportions are skewed, size doesn’t matter, and little girls have a mind of their own. These feisty young ladies get into peculiar situations that are so beautifully and intricately constructed. Smith’s use of clay is flawlessly blended into her painting style, creating finished pieces that are begging to be touched. This California based artists creates three dimensional ceramic pieces as well, make sure to check them out on her website!
(via The Jealous Curator)
It’s not everyday that we post an artist who works with yarn but Jo Hamilton’s crochet portraits are really interesting. I’m really happy that Jo decided to not over finish these and left them without a background and with the yarn hanging down. Sort of looks like paint drips and adds another dimension to the work that you don’t see often in crochet.
Robert Lazzarini is best known as a sculptor. But that is actually an oversimplification of what he does. Walking the line between reality and illusion, Lazarrini creates compound distortions of common objects, challenging perception and what we understand to be the limits of the material world.
Lazzarini’s works are not mere deformities. Using mathematical distortions and algorithm-based operations, such as mappings and translations, Lazzarini bases his alterations in reality. Along the same lines, he chooses to fabricate the warped objects in their true material. A skull is made of reconstituted bone, a hammer of wood and steel, etc. This intense attention to detail is important to Lazzarini. Earlier this year he and his team attempted to create a series of broken liquor bottle sculptures. Despite consulting MIT experts and Dale Chihuly’s team the project was sidelined because it was too difficult to realize. Such dedication and through research are major components of Lazarrini’s artistic practice. Part of this obsessive thoroughness is his desire is to eliminate art-specific materials from his work. In doing so the viewer’s experience is completely different. There is a sense of authenticity, which makes the distortion all the more extraordinary.
Violence is another component of Lazzarini’s work and it extends beyond the fact that he chooses to work with guns, bullets, knives and skulls. The objects themselves are disturbing, and the way they exist in our visual field is also disquieting. We so want to make sense of them, to right the disfiguration so that we can easily understand them. Ultimately though, Lazzarini’s works completely refuse that possibility, making them all the more compelling.
After spending a few decades shooting high-concept high-fashion spreads for the likes of i-D, Vogue, W Magazine, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Christian Dior, photographer Nick Knight has recently launched a body of work in London, nearly 10 years in the making. Inspired by paintings from the Baroque period, Knight’s altered large-format photographs of elegant floral arrangements take on a psychedelic, gorgeously twisted liquidity. By exposing the prints to various combinations of heat, chemical and water treatments during the printing process, he’s able to interject each piece with an intriguing, painterly flair.