Paris based artist Christophe Guinet has quite literally grown the traditional slogan of Nike (Just Do It) into something completely new. His project is called “Just Grow It” and is a collection of handcrafted iconic sneakers covered in a variety of natural materials. Guinet uses anything from flower petals, buds, seeds, grasses, moss and bark to cover the synthetic shoe. The miniature trees and flower arrangements he plants within the shoe are actually able to continue growing within the soil base. Each shoe has a beautiful color palette, theme and matching stick, branch or flower. These living sneakers are just as thought out as one of Nike’s original designs.
By weaving Nike’s neon laces through these fresh organic flowers, and tacking rough bark onto the symbolic Nike swoosh, Guinet is making a clever comment on Nike’s obsession with new techniques and technologies concentrating mostly on improving nature. He says about his intention:
In these works, one can read a certain dichotomy between the marketing and media world in which we live and ethical values that are dear to me. This is an invitation for all of us to contemplate, to rediscover the beauty of a single seed of a wild grass, the delicacy of a flower, or the smell of the foam.
Even though the shoes are meticulously crafted, and obviously have had many hours of patience spent perfectly shaping the silhouette, Guinet often finishes a piece after a day’s work. Collecting the raw materials early morning, he spends the day finishing the piece and the night time photographing his living creation. To appreciate more of his hard work, go here. (Via FastCodeDesign)
The Square is a series of photographs by Korean artist Seokmin Ko. Someone in each photograph can be found holding a mirror toward the camera. Given, the mirror is more easily found in some photographs than others. Still, the mirror in somewhat hides the person holding it, the reflection blending in with the background. This is essentially a camouflage that works by imitating its surroundings. Ko alludes to this in his statement, and draws similarities to social situations. Peer pressure for conformity and social norms compel people to use such a social camouflage. That is to adopt behavior that mimics surrounding groups in order to hide a person’s individuality. Still, fingers peek from behind the mirror – perhaps an allusion to the persistence of individuality.
Of course there are several ways to read Seokmin Ko’s work. Like a mirror it reflects interpretations singular to each viewer. Ko’s most recent solo exhibition illustrates this. Interestingly the curater presents an entirely different approach to the series. In part, the gallery statement brings out:
“Ko is an artist of his own time. The mirrors and reflective glass make more sense as portals to other dimensions—dimensions perhaps similar to ours or radically different. The patterning reflected in the mirror is never a seamless match with the mirror’s immediate surroundings; these works are not about tricking the viewer. In Ko’s images, the human, as the carrier of artifice, is a kind of discrepancy and belongs neither in the natural world nor in the constructed world. This is obvious in the architectural photographs where the human presence disrupts the dehumanizing machine-made grid. Ko’s is a humanist vision amidst a world that has become foreign to its inhabitants as creators, but as Einstein famously said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Ko’s disruptions offer hope.” [via]
Holly Coulis’s still lives and portraits all share an idiosyncratic relationship between background and subject; with their hodgepodge of complex patterns and vibrant color, her paintings combine a witty sense of humor with a deep regard for craft. On top of bright layers of complimentary orange, she arranges people from old photographs, animals, and plants in a flat style reminiscent of Alex Katz. Coulis brings a modern sensibility to traditional modes of representational painting.
Cyriak Harris is an artist living in Brighton. He makes splendid videos that remind me of the sensation of sugar on my tongue. I feel the urge to push and push, but each video tells me to sit down and understand that “everything is going to be okay.”
Ari Abramczyk is a Los Angeles based fashion photographer specializing in underwater photography. I love how Abramczyk creates an added layer of interest in her photos with vivid colors and light patterns. She really utilizes the unique qualities of water in her photos. Granted, all things underwater look pretty cool, Abramczyk just makes it cooler.
Photographer Joshua Hoffine is interested in the psychology of fear. His series of horror-centric images called After Dark, My Sweet, focus on what lurks behind us, underneath the bed, and below the stairs. Hoffine’s frightening, realistic-looks photos offer not only a compelling narrative, but are awe-inspiring in their craftsmanship and attention to detail. They look believable, making them even more scary. “I stage my photo shoots like small movies, with sets, costumes, elaborate props, fog machines, and special effects make-up,” Hoffine explains. “Everything is acted out live in front of the camera. I use friends and family members, including my own daughters, as actors and crew.”
The photographer also writes about his fascination with horror:
We are all born with certain inherent and instinctual fears, such as fear of the dark, the fear of lurking danger, and the fear of being eaten. As we grow older these fears lose their intensity and are slowly shuffled away into our Unconscious.
Horror, as an art form, draws its strength from the Unconscious.
I believe that the Horror story is ultimately concerned with the imminence and randomness of death, and the implication that there is no certainty to existence. The experience of Horror resides in this confrontation with uncertainty. Horror tells us that our belief in security is delusional, and that the monsters are all around us.
Graphic designer and art director Albert Exergian’s humorous take on popular TV series “minimizes” the concept of each show into 2-3 colors and shapes. Remember old Penguin Classics book covers? This is the revamped modern sitcom version!