Aaron McIntosh reinterprets old romance novels and photographs in his art while examining the lines between abnormality and normality, pleasure and disturbance. He is fascinated by human romantic and sexual natures, and both questions and challenges our social constructions of love and sex.
Bianca Chang lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Using only a surgical knife and stacked paper she creates minimal geometric forms. Hundreds of sheets are stacked, hand-plotted, and cut until a sculptural object remains. Works change dramatically depending on what is removed and what is left behind. Some of the blocks achieve depth by the digging out of shapes while others rely on protrusion. The stark white of the paper allows subtleties and gradients to appear in the form of shadows.
Argentinian artist Agustina Woodgate creates these colorful and complex rugs made out of the skins that once belonged to a few hundred abandoned stuffed animals. Originally inspired by Eastern Culture’s symbolic use of rugs [as they often depict the spiritual and mental world in woven form], Agustina was looking to ultimately deliver an alternative memory object that displays and references personal histories.
Woodgate’s idea started by her relationship with her own old Teddy bear, Pepe. On an interview with Sight Unseen, she says:
It was simply an object. But I also didn’t want to throw it away. That’s when I decided wanted to do something with the bear. In the beginning of the process, I had no idea what was going to happen. I went to a thrift store, got another bear, and started playing around. I looked at all the components that make up a stuffed animal: the stuffing, the fabric, the stitching. I wanted to approach an everyday object in the hopes of making something new.
Woodgate was recently awarded the Florida Prize in Contemporary Art. The $20,000 prize was accepted by Woodgate last Friday at the Orlando Museum of Art, which established the award this year. “She was chosen based on the quality and significance of her overall body of work and contributions to the field of contemporary art”, said museum curator Hansen Mulford.
Sophia Narrett‘s detailed fictional scenes look like luscious oil paintings, but once you look closer, it’s clear they are a bit more special than that. She uses thread, wool and fibers to build dark and romantic narratives of men and women in group settings. The actions in each embroidery are at first unclear and seem a bit suspicious and foreboding. Her pieces are a bit like an illustration from a murder mystery. Growing up watching reality dating shows and reading books about romantic courtship and Victorian matchmaking practices, Narrett depicts a world that is cheesy, yet sublime and magical. The figures in her scenarios are camp characters in a glamorous story looking for happiness.
After switching from painting almost exclusively with oil paints to experimenting with embroidery and stitching, Narrett soon found the materials and techniques that suited her. She explains more to The Huffington Post:
As I continued working in embroidery I became interested in the repercussions that embroidery holds for the image and story, as well as the way that it dictates the process. As the emotionality of the narratives heightens to that of melodrama, the intense investment in the embroidery process required to create legible images speaks to the overwrought nature of the fantasy. (Source)
Her thread work is so rich and dense, the image seems to dripping of the canvas. Her work of beautiful fiction features women throughout, and Narrett is happy to connect the subject matter to the historical connection of embroidery being ‘women’s work’. She says this about the subject:
Of course, the embroidery connotes the tradition of embroidery as women’s work, as well as the feminist artists who subverted that history, while the paintings carry the weight of or are bolstered by the history of painting. Still I would say that my use of both mediums is primarily as a conduit for visual ideas. (Source)
And she expresses her ideas of fantasy, romance, courtship and magic beautifully. See more of her work after the jump.
Check out this interesting PSA from 1976 that explores graffiti during a time when the art form had just blown up in public consciousness. This video really allows you to appreciate the status which graffiti has achieved today, even if we’re not all the way there yet. Though it presents many views on its subject, the piece comes off as biased. Make sure to look out for gems like “kids who write on toilet walls have psychological problems – let’s help them straighten out their heads.” Watch the 13-minute video after the jump.
Check out the artwork of Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki. “Not only are his small buildings and electrical towers excruciatingly small and delicate, but they also rest on absurdly mundane objects: rolls of tape, a haphazardly wrinkled towel, or from the bristles of a discarded toothbrush. Only on close inspection do the small details come into focus, faint hints of urbanization sprouting from disorder.” (via).