Blurring the line between fabric, film and fiction, artist Kate Nartker‘s work serves as a meditation on the most easily forgotten moments of every day life. Zero-ing in on select snippets of video, Nartker translates the static and fuzz of forgotten moments into physical textile pieces. The pieces themselves break down into a moving frame-by-frame recreation of the original video piece, provoking the viewer with questions of time, intention, physical artifact and digital interpretation of real life. Her work has most recently been shown at San Francisco’s Alter Space.
Korean artist Ho Yoon Shin creates delicate paper sculptures by hand. While Shin works predominantly in the realm of portraiture, he cites a wide range of influences, spanning religion, politics, and, most notably, his social surroundings. Using his artwork as a microcosmic representation of Korean society, he notes:
“I am interested in social phenomena and approached the essence of it. I realized that the closer I approached it I realized there is no essence. I think it is already intrinsic in me or you, being judged and evaluated by the inherent values in our things. Therefore, if examined in that viewpoint, I begin to understand why the power group of Korea has wanted to spilt all kinds of social systems, – the right and the left, social classes divided on its economic structure, dominance and subordination etc.”
Additionally, Shin’s work includes myriad Buddhist influences, both aesthetically and conceptually. He notes that the simplicity of his subjects’ faces are “inspired by Buddhist art, which [he] finds to be calming and meditative.” Furthermore, while he often creates literal portraits of the Buddha in his characteristic meditative pose, he also incorporates Buddhist philosophies into his work—namely, the ideas of void and emptiness. He explains:
“Looking at a solid body made up through several layers…, we get to know that the system of the body is organized rather dangerously than strangely, and the system looks like the contemporary society. And its vacant surface and inside are getting filled with our inherent images to completion. In the end, it’s a story about the situation and a point where we fill a surface that doesn’t exist… and console and satisfy ourselves.”
In addition to portraits and busts, Shin also creates intricately sculpted installations. They often incorporate a flower motif and, like his portraits, convey Shin’s astounding attention to detail and the transcendent, ethereal beauty of his craft. (Via IWH Gallery)
The characters in Tip Toland’s hyper realistic sculptures are fragile creatures that find themselves at the end of adulthood or at the beginning of childhood. Those stages in life have a certain vulnerability, isolation and innocence in common. Toland attempts to demonstrate the decline preceding death, and the increased separation from others it brings. Their expressions are unengaged and convey a sense of deep psychological detachment that is sad and enigmatic as well as dignified by the process of natural aging. In his article for, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Glen Brown states, “[The works] weigh upon [the viewer] for the simple reason that they reflect the profound, inevitable solitude that envelops the beginning and the end of life.”
While exploring age and aging, Toland’s work attempts to give voice to inner psychological and spiritual states of being. What is of primary importance to her is that the figures contain particular aspects of humanity, which they mirror back to the viewer. It’s the fragility and transient aspect of mankind that the artist is after. That is one reason for choosing very old or very young subjects; they both portray innocence as well as complexity. While her subjects are sometimes self-portraits, they are meant to convey universal truths about humanity, society and the self.
The hyper realism of Toland’s figures comes from her attention to detail and unique use of materials. Using an encaustic technique, Toland creates a waxy finish for the skin that mimics real flesh. She even goes so far as to incorporate actual human hair into the works. The porcelain eyes create a doll-like realism that is both haunting and entrancing, while carefully defined wrinkles, skin tone, tooth enamel, and bone structure, are remarkably realistic.
Argentinian artist Pablo Boffelli visualizes a mysterious world deep into the depths of a modern technology age concerning amusing future civilizations through a humanistic combination of drawing and collage. Atypical colors layer on top of various textures and mediums in an abstract yet sensible way; drawing forth an inspection toward themes and ideas that aren’t usually explored.
I like to think of Alex Schubert’s Blobby Boys as a mid 90’s live action sitcom that never happened. They smoke (and deal) weed, romp around the city on motorcycles, slime people, and steal your milk money all before they’ve had band practice.
There is a long-standing tradition of artists blurring the boundary between art and design. With institutions such as MOMA featuring an entire department devoted to architecture and design, it is considered an important part of art history and culture.
I recently heard New York Times art critic Roberta Smith lecture and she mentioned that it’s a shame our society doesn’t place more emphasis on visual literacy education. If we did she believes that everything in our world, from buildings to city layouts, to objects, would be more aesthetically pleasing. Here are some instances of artists who emphasized the concept or appearance of an object rather than simply its function, bridging the gap between art and design:
Donald Judd, one of the leaders of Minimalism, has an amazing legacy in design. Another well-known architect who creates highly designed furniture is Frank Gehry. Roy McMakin is a Seattle-based artist who usually incorporates an element of verbal pun. McMakin’s designs feature an overarching investigation of how perception influences meaning. Hannes Van Severen and Michael Beitz both create captivating, surreal furniture. Artists like David Shrigley and Adam McEwen work humor into their design-work. Even artist Yves Klein has a table, created under the direction of his widow, that features his famous blue. Damien Hirst designed a chair replete with his signature butterflies and Yoshitomo Nara designed “doggy radio,” a fully functional radio in the form of a dog.
It’s not uncommon for artists to create functional objects, but those objects do often stand out for their elevated level of design and conceptual consideration. If indeed everyone put as much thought into form as they did function the world would probably be a much better looking, or at least a more visually interesting, place.
It may surprise you to know that these are not real animals – they’re probably most accurately called paintings. Artist Keng Lye brings these aquatic creatures to life by creating layers of resin and alternating them with acrylic paint. Coupled with his expert play of perspective, the fish (and other creatures) seem ultra realistic. Keng Lye has since added three dimensional portions to his ‘paintings’ as can be seen in these first four images, making them seem even more unbelievably alive and real. [via]