Jae-Hyo Lee’s latest work is a true work of perfect imperfection. He works with the imperfect forms and patterns of wood and reworks them in order to produce smooth, polished, and functional works of art. The combination of the wood’s natural shapes and the work he puts into the wood himself make for a series of pieces that are a perfect balance of nature and the presence and interference of man in nature. He creates a sort of hyper perfection which relates our relationship with beauty to our relationship with nature.
The process of Lee’s work is equally interesting to note: he spends time assembling an assortment of bits and pieces of wood, which he then spends time polishing and burning. This process allows him to rework the structure of the wood and create the meticulous shapes that can be seen in the final product.
Lee’s work is however not only a process of creation: he expresses the way in which he works very much with the natural structure of the wood, He says that he likes to “ make the most out of the material’s inherent feeling”, which underlines the fusion of nature and the man made. His project is full of a positive energy that brings a new perspective on the roles of wood its presence in our everyday lives. The fact that his series includes both sculpture and furniture adds to its beauty and complexity.
Sean Landers creates sometimes proud, other times dejected characters with oddly proportioned or placed body parts. Their exaggerated features help to communicate the absurdity Landers seems to see all around us. For instance, the tiny naked butterfly-eared man that stands in front of a microphone as if to try to be heard. It’s a strange proposition.
Much of Landers’ work is covered in handwritten text. It’s difficult to discern in the digital image, but the breasts with rabbit ears, aptly titled “bunny boobs” begins:
“This is preposterous, this Landers is an outrage does he expect us to take him seriously? Not only does he mock modernism but he also writes his mindless drivel all over each of his abominations. I have never read such vapid writing in my life, and his paintings are bad student work. I look at his resume and find he’s been exhibiting all around the globe for the last decade. Has everyone gone mad? Or is it that our standards have been eroded to the point that a hack like Mr. Landers is a celebrated international art star.”
The outraged tone of the fictional art critic is Landers’ response to reception of his work. He ends by saying:
“I get to vent, my paintings get better, they sell, I get confident, bash critics, they bash me back, sales stop, then I have to start over again.”
It’s not clear if this is an invented scenario, or a pattern that Landers often experiences, but certainly this kind of self-deprecating voice flows through his characters as well as in his text. Still, “bunny boob” is smiling out at the viewer (or critic) which makes it seem that it’s ultimately teasing, and maybe more lighthearted than the attitude the text sets.
Forsman & Bodenfor‘s latest interactive multimedia site for IKEA (titled “Come Into The Closet“) is controlled by sound and music via mouse and keyboard. With 5 rooms to meddle with, feel free to tap the Spacebar, beatbox/belt out your own tune, or upload MP3s, and sit back as the characters on the screen move around to those sounds accordingly.
Side note: I read on IKEAFANS that the IKEA catalog is the 3rd most printed item in the world–right behind the Bible and Harry Potter. What?!
It’s pretty hard to make street art these days that actually grabs the publics attention but the Billboards of Peter Fuss manage to stop us in our tracks. I could do without some of the usual suspects that make appearances such as the jabs at Larry Gagosian and Hirst’s spot paintings but I’ll take a double scoop of the political and social commentary. There are a few billboards that I can’t seem to translate. Please post in the comments if you can!
Talented French sculptor and restorer Alain Bellino creates extremely detailed, ornate bronze sculptures from metal leftovers. He transforms various old items such as cutlery or chandeliers by welding them into fascinating works of art.
Born in 1955, Bellino has been learning gold and silver plating and bronze restoration in his father’s workshop. Only in 2010, after years of practice and technical research, artist developed his personal style which was highly inspired by both Renaissance and steampunk. As described in his website:
“In his work of re-directing and re-assembling, which is both iconoclast and highly rigorous from a formal point of view, at the crossroads between past and future, Alain Bellino sublimates and rehabilitates the ornamentation.”
Various steampunk motifs and floral ornamented skulls are frequent objects in his work. Bellino’s vanitas are often infused with extra surrealism, for example castles and ships and mounting on top of skull sculptures. His latest work, the Darth Vader mask, demonstrates how delicately Bellino’s creations connect modern and antique worlds.
Gary Clark, or, preferably Graphic Nothing, takes the word “graphic” very literally. His works consist of lines, curves colors organized in a well thought out fashion. It’s like those color theory books you pick up in the computer section of the bookstore, but on crack. Or something similar. Either way, they’re mesmorizing to stare at, just don’t do it for too long or your face will stay that way.
Tully Arnot has a great sense of humor. His sculptures, installations and videos all have a subtle sarcasm to them, and are all a clever commentary on the man/machine connection, and the part technology plays in contemporary society. His latest sculpture in particular (Lonely Sculpture) is a amusing look at the current online dating app Tinder. Setting up a mechanical finger tapping mindlessly away at nothing, Arnot just places a mobile phone underneath the finger machine and proceeds to interact with other humans on the internet. Luke Letourneau sums it up perfectly in his essay about Arnot’s work:
[Lonely Sculpture] is a piece of technology that reflects the way we interact. Dating apps like Tinder are an aspect of socialization that allows for isolation: it reduces identity and demands judgement. The work heightens an absence or disconnect that already exists with this form of interaction. However, Lonely Sculpture does not reserve judgement. The artist’s mechanized silicone index finger taps yes to every dating profile that appears on the screen, even when the screen is loading new profiles the finger keeps unconsciously tapping, anticipating, longing. (Source)
Lonely Sculpture is not the only display of Arnot’s cynical sense of humor. As part of a larger show at Wellington Street Projects called Uncanny Residues, it is one of many pieces. All are concerned with the line between reality and the digital world, humans and technology, and how we interact and utilize different interfaces. Tuley definitely gives us something to think about next time we reach our fingers out to touch the screen.
Shawn Smith’s sculptures investigate the slippery intersection between the digital world and reality. Specifically Shawn is interested in how we experience nature through technology. When we see images of nature on TV or on a computer screen, we feel that we are seeing nature but we are really only seeing patterns of pixilated light.
For the past few years, Smith has been creating a series of “Re-things.” These whimsical sculptures represent pixilated animals and objects of nature. Finding images of his subjects online, he creates three-dimensional sculptural representations of these two-dimensional images. By building his “Re-things” pixel by pixel Shawn hopes to understand how each pixel plays a crucial role in the identity of an object. Through the process of pixilation, color is distilled, some bits of information are lost, and the form is abstracted. Making the intangible tangible, Smith views his building process as an experiment in alchemy, using man-made composite and recycled materials to represent natural forms.