Helmut Smits is proof that you don’t need a larger than life idea to create thought provoking and powerful work. From a kiddie pool fountain (pictured above) to a snow man carved out of carrara marble (pictured after the jump), Helmut takes everyday objects, makes a few minor tweaks, and creates iconic work that makes you think “why didn’t I think of that?”
Richly pigmented work from Canadian Aleksandra Rdest. Her organic paintings are inspired by “sound waves, clouds, particles and cells on a microscopic level. The point of departure for these works is growth and decay; cellular division and multiplication, weather patterns biological colonization. My love affair with colour gives rise to these paintings which are created by richly layering veils of paint to form a deep surface.” Find Aleksandra’s work at Newzones in Calgary, and Sopa Fine Arts in BC.
Los Angeles artist Eric Yahnker opened the doors of his downtown studio to Beautiful/Decay and Visual Creatures to give our readers insight into his witty, iconic work that is layered with pop culture influences and the deconstruction of its icons. Eric discusses his career change from Journalism to art, his disdain for painting, and his love of Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Rodney Dangerfield. Watch the full video after the jump!
For the artist Eliza Bennett, her flesh is her medium; in embroidering her palm with thick threads, she hopes to explore the ways in which we view gender roles. Her hand, swollen and bruised by her own careful work, is titled “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done,” and her gruesomely precise handiwork serves to remind the viewer of the strife of women laborers, many of whom are paid far less than their male counterparts.
Embroidery, like most traditionally female crafts, is often belittled and considered frivolous, but Bennett’s representation of women’s work is urgently and painfully profound. By literally—and unflinchingly— penetrating her own epidermis, the artist subtly subverts the notion that the efforts of women are superficial or shallow.
Building upon these themes of gender constructs, Bennett’s project blurs the lines between the private realm, coded female, and the public realm, coded male. In many ways, her skin serves as the bridge between the internal self and the external world; in embroidering it, she makes a public spectacle of her own personal narrative. As if reading her own palm, she traces its lines in various soft colors, creating intricate patterns and granting certain patches of flesh both psychological and aesthetic importance.
Bennett’s pointed social critique of ideas of femininity is made stronger by the intimate nature of the work. Feminist scholar Betty Friedan once explained that in the battle for gender equality, the personal lives of women must be made political, that internal struggles must be made visible. “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done” is a poignantly simple execution of this idea; here, Bennett weaves a painful visual story onto her hand, stretching it outwards for public consideration. (via Hi Fructose, Design Boom, and anti-utopias)
Ferdi Rizkiyanto creates digital art that speaks volumes to the strength of the medium, utilizing high-definition rendering, texture, light and incredibly minute details to create emotionally narrative scenes from the ordinary. By day, the Jakarta-based Rizkiyanto works in advertising and art directing, creating his own works as exercises in visual storytelling to enhance his skills.
In works like Uncharted (above), Riskiyanto takes a basic object and adds motion to create compelling narratives which actually unfold through the small details. Giving a twist to the classic tale of Icharus, where several wax figures try to reach the bright light of the candle they emerge from, skillfully shown to be melting the closer they get to reaching their goal. Meanwhile, several figures at the base of the candle appear to be boosting up the explorers, as well as vainly attempting to hold the whole eroding structure from toppling. Perhaps this is why the artist fully explores the Lilliputian details in his narratives, because the closer a viewer is drawn into the work, the more they investigate and learn the story of the work. (via mymodernmet)
Perhaps more so than any other form of art, street art has the capacity to engage with the neighborhood its found in. The work of artist Ernest Zacharevic, also known simply as ZACH, takes this to a literal extent. ZACH’s murals are often found interacting with features of the building or objects nearby. A bike leaning against the wall becomes a vehicle for a spray painted child or dock posts become giant pencils. ZACH highlights the life of the city in a way by actually making it come alive. The walls seem poised to interact with passersby, and encourage engagement.
We posted about Russell Tyler about a year and a half ago, and since then some of his paintings have taken a slight minimalist turn. Granted, it’s not trying to be Frank Stella, but instead of the werewolves and all-over smorgasbords of characters and color, he’s giving us more geometric shapes and patterns whose bright pink and blue zig zags give it a kind of LA-gear flare. The goopy application is still there and they’re still joyful as ever, but it’ll be interesting to see if where Russell ends up as he keeps blending Niki de Saint Phalle and more geometric shapes. I can’t wait to see more!
Ps. If you’re in San Francisco check out Russell’s show opening November 9th at Fouladi Projects!
I don’t know too much about Jagoda Boruch, except that this shooter is 19 years old and lives in Poland… and apparantly has an affinity for obstructing the faces of the people she photographs. At least, that’s the case in this series of images; whereby Jagoda omits the face but reveals the frankness of life’s quirks instead.