Dilok Lak’s recent series “The rabbit ears” is the graphic designer’s respite from everyday tedium and a retreat into imaginative play. Drawing on children’s books and the trope of the talking animal, he imbues his illustrations with a minimalist innocence and charm. The title of the work harkens back to whimsical fables, but it also applies to the artist’s own persona, as he was born in the zodiac year of the rabbit. The work lightheartedly examines the existential questions of a young human mind: the caption for a few images reads, “Why is life so boring?”
Placed starkly against a white and pale pink backdrop like murals on a child’s bedroom wall, furry friends perform unlikely feats. Some of the illustrations are brilliantly nonsensical; in a sort of modern Dadaist exploration, Lak combines a vintage photograph of a young girl with a high-resolution duck and collaged orange. Collaged creatures appear to wander in and out of his frame of their own free will, teetering on its edges and leaving empty space in their wake.
“The rabbit ears” is a childlike ode to the imagination, bringing with it hints of critical self-parody. The brilliantly ironic series reads like a 21st century kind of pop art, using commercial graphic design techniques to satirize human behaviors and pretensions. An absurd cat sips on a cappuccino and sports classic hipster-style glasses; an erudite bunny proudly displays a portrait of himself in a suit. A bored kitty chews on bubble gum. In Lak’s delightful world, animals play as humans and humans play as rabbits, and ultimately, all our everyday worries seem a little less serious, and life feels a lot more fun. (via iGNANT)
Critical Objects is a personal initiative of Berlin-based graphic design firm, HelloMe. The project began as a series of explorations that thrive on not having any particular goal. The project consists of a series of objects that transcend a blurry line between artistic sculpture and functional furniture. The beauty of the project is that it remains unknown to the user if these things should really every be used, touched, sat on, or turned on… We have a small collection featured here, so be sure to check out the full series at Critical Objects.
Italian charity La Collina dei Conigli ONLUS rescues rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs from labs or mistreatment. The now-adoptable pets were the recent subjects of a photo series by Rachele Totaro that’s inspired by Lewis Carroll’s famous novel Alice in Wonderland. Volunteer Attilia Conti had the idea, and it commemorates the first 10 years of the charity’s operation. So, why Alice in Wonderland? Because the book and organization both started with a white rabbit.
The fantastical photographs feature the animals holding objects, poking out of a teapot, and of course, gazing into the looking glass. “Mice were the most cooperative models, while guinea pigs were the laziest (they stayed still only with food present),” Totaro writes. “Rats were the most attractive, and rabbits… were the most disapproving.” You can see that with some of the critters, there was no coercing them into any sort of cutesy pose.
The charity’s rescue center is located in Monza, near Milan, and many of the animals are still looking for new homes. If you’re local to the city, you can adopt one. (Via Bored Panda)
Photographer Michael Zimmerer‘s series White Horizon captures a Midwest white-out. Zimmerer’s stark images capture a landscape shortly after a snow storm in which the horizon seems to disappear. Even the sun is lost in the sky. The expansive fields of white are interrupted by the dark shapes of buffalo, river, rock, or trees. A nearly abstract quality is lent to the photographs more often seen on the canvas. However, the subject matter – the untouched snow, clear rivers, wild animals – also seems to emphasize the absence of the human hand and its loneliness.
Artist Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels converts reclaimed wood into unimaginable installations that will leave you lost in their endless, repeating triangles. She builds these spaces in settings as diverse as a convent, an abandoned secret society hall, and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The reclaimed wood used to build these impressively complex structures, mostly lath wood, is from unused building materials that Fels finds behind old plaster walls. This Brooklyn based artist says she has always been interested in building mechanics and how things work, which explains why her process exemplifies this curiosity as she takes pieces of the whole to create an entirely new and intricate structure.
Her process starts by creating a blueprint of the future piece, which is an artwork in itself. She then begins to use the found wood to create structures that contain abstracted patterns. Using mostly triangles, each of Fels’s pyramid shaped installations are both organic and geometric. The receding triangles and repetitive lines pull you in and demand your attention. Each triangle in her installations seems to build off of itself, as it spreads and grows across each wall like moss. The structures beautifully transform and morph its surroundings into an entirely different environment that the viewer can often enter. The artist develops her inspiration from vast landscape and cathedral ceilings, both of which are apparent as her immense artwork adds a dramatic vastness to the space it inhabits. These cave-like installations are a wonderful way to make stunning use of salvaged material!
Matthias Duwel’s abundantly colorful paintings and black and white drawings operate in dynamic transition between clutter and streamlined clarity. Düwel’s work centers on the idea of flux, excess and superabundance. At first glance, the environmental issues addressed in his pieces deflect recognition, due to the skillful use of unique color spaces-from chromatic grays to highly saturated pinks, greens, blues and violets.
The worlds Düwel constructs are reminiscent of amusement parks, camouflaging so to speak the seriousness of the subject-matter. His chaotically vivid, whirlwind compositions spin out of control, however upon closer inspection, little areas of respite, little Edens appear: a snow globe, an Airstream trailer, a suburban enclave.
These idealized enclaves produce the realization that only deep inside ourselves, within the confines of our own inner sanctum, can we find the stability that we as humans inherently seek…our personal Eden.
Martha Otero Gallery in Los Angeles opens a solo exhibition of Duwel’s work entitled Eden on August 4th.
With a name like Daniel Danger, well, a certain excess of awesome is expected of you. Danger delivers. The product of an artistically-inclined family, Danger is an illustrator, printmaker, and musician working out of New England. His works feature mysterious figures wandering the midnight-shaded streets of cities in decay. Spirits rise in unison from old houses and barns where now dreams of daylight lie interred. Shadows loom, larger-than-life (or death?) in urban sprawl and twisted forest alike. Each piece tells its own dark tale.