French artist Olivier Garraud has created Second Life, an installation that encapsulates the life cycle of flies in real time. The piece consists of two parts: an apparatus that allows flies access to food, and a tube filled with maggots and flies connected to an amplifier. Second Life allows us to examine the relatively short life-span of an insect on concise, bare bones terms, generating a context which can be applied to personal events. More images after the jump, and you can also check out a video of the installation in action here.
Working in her studio in Sausalito, CA, sculptor Sophia Collier uses a combination of acrylic block and algebraic function (with a little help from a CNC router), to carve sculptures of wind. The clear, floating relief works look like freeze-frame slices of the water’s surface. She spends a great deal of time replicating the effects that both wind and light create on a large body of water using custom rendering software and sound recordings of the wind. Collier carefully mimics its movements and reactions with a series of digital “brushes” she has created, working to develop unique strings of information to carve out each piece. The sound waves move and fluctuate in the digital space just as they do in the physical realm—and the result is a crystallized portrait of the wind, giving the visual effect of sunlit water. She outlines her entire process here.
Artist Xochi Solis‘ work combines painting with collage into smartly layered pieces. Rather than spreading the elements throughout the composition, Solis places them all at the center. She layers each piece on the on top of the one before it, revealing only pieces of found images or painterly strokes. The round images almost appear cellular though still resisting easy interpretation or identification. The Austin, Texas based artist’s materials range from acrylic and oil paint to found images and acetate.
Four score and seven years ago, shortly after college, I worked a certain retail job at a company that shall not be named (American Apparel) and had the pleasure of working with Max Wittert. Max was famous store-wide for his amazing and humorous doodles lampooning everyone who came into the store…and all of us employees. Max…I would kill to find those illustrations again, do you still have them? Anyway, we ran into each other again after many a long year at the Renegade Craft Fair last weekend, and much to my delight I discovered he’s now following his heart working as an illustrator. Wonderful work!
Created using the digital software program Painter, artist Chet Phillips of Chetart creates the most whimsical human – animal connections. Poodles as wrestlers? Monkeys smoking pipes? Make sure you check out the titles of all his pieces, they are as silly as the images. The one above is entitled Phineas H. Flabbergast.
The paintings of Whitney Van Nes are narrative portraits that recall the flatness and oddly elongated static figures of Byzantine art. Yet Van Nes’s unique aesthetic and iconography do not emulate any historical style — her approach is at once naïve and sophisticated. Van Nes paints from her imagination and her intimate personal knowledge of things, never drawing from found images, models or other visual references.
Her works are simultaneously autobiographical and universally relevant. While the images and narratives suggested in the work are drawn from the artist’s personal experiences, they serve merely as the impetus for the exploration of archetypal themes. One such issue prevalent in many of Van Nes’s paintings is the power struggle between authority and the subjugated. This adversity takes many forms, and Van Nes’s depictions of discontented figures leave the role of subjugator intentionally vague.
Thomas Mailaender’s creative use of sunburns in his project “Illustrated People” combines the surface of the human body with already existing negatives of photographs to create stunning and unusual results. His project consists essentially of manufacturing sunburns: he does this by placing negatives on his subjects bodies, and shining a UV light on the designated area. The light from the lamp shines onto the subject’s skin and, around the negatives in such a way that the image from the negative is reproduced. This method yields fascinating results that draw your attention, not only because of the photographs on display, but also the way he transforms the sheer pain of sunburn into a work of art themselves.
His juxtaposition of human bodies and other people’s lives makes for a sort of temporary tattoo, where the subjects carry the story of a stranger on their bodies. This project is truly beautiful in both its conceptual and physical form in the way that it joins human lives both past in present in a single work of art. The use of a natural element, albeit artificially inflicted in this case, such as UV rays in combination with the man made element of photography adds another dimension to the artwork and depicts human bodies as both artwork and creators of art. The temporary nature of the sunburn is also fascinating in its own respect: once it disappears, so will the photographs, giving the process of regeneration of skin an active role in this piece.
In Andy Kennedy‘s Accumulonimbus, natural and man-made objects on a spin cycle accumulate, disintegrate, and multiply. Created by stop motion animating clay on glass, the film is a meditation on motion and the life cycle of matter… Awesome! Check out the making of post here.