Happy Halloween from us guys and ghouls at B/D! To celebrate the season here’s some crazy pumpkin sculptures by Ray Villafane. He seems to gravitate towards the obvious Halloween iconography of possessed grim reaper demon skulls, giant alien man-eating spiders, and George Bush. If you’re so inclined, you can even read a tutorial on how to carve your own squash into these hauntingly delightful mimetic designs on his website! And I thought I was talented for managing a triangle eye and jagged mouth on my pumpkin….
The first question Maurizio Savini is asked about his work is one he hates to hear: does he chew every piece of gum he uses to make his sculptures? He admits this question is very annoying, but if everybody is still genuinely interested, then no – no he doesn’t chew the gum. Instead he has two full time assistants unwrapping each stick of gum and melting the pink sticky stuff into layers of usable material. Savini begins his lengthy process by layering the sheets of gum around plaster molds which give his sculptures stability and shape.
Working with the gum for over a decade, he has created some amazing pieces. One sculpture – ‘La Lupa‘ (the figure who nursed the founders of Savini’s birthplace of Rome back to health) is made from 14 kg of chewing gum. He has animals bearing different flags, business men clutching pillows, chandeliers and women’s shoes among many other things. His work is usually loaded with some sort of socially and/or politically focused message.
He says chewing gum has a unique cultural context. It is connected to art history, industry and world history, and is a loaded symbol for Savini. He says after being introduced to Europe when WW2 was ending, the material became a symbol (along with Coca Cola and nylon stockings) of a new era.
When Savini began making his chewing gum sculptures, he has the misfortune of several pieces disintegrating. He now combines the gum with formaldehyde and anti-biotics to preserve it, so the high sugar content doesn’t destroy the pieces. You can see some of his new pieces at the upcoming Art-Southampton, July 9-13, 2015, or find out more about how he makes his creations in the video above.
Using both printmaking and embroidery in his work, artist Max Colby explores themes of death and transformation in his series Role Play. He first prints on handmade paper, creating a collograph. This type of printmaking applies materials to a rigid board. Things with a lot of texture like sandpaper, leaves, cardboard are inked and printed. Colby has controlled the shape of the print, manipulating it in a very deliberate way. Once printing is done, he then adorns it with hand-sewn embroidery.
In a short statement about his work, Colby refers to his the imagery in his work as “figures,” which I take to mean as beings. Not necessarily human, but some other living force. Their “body” is made out from printing, while the embroidery acts as embellishment for the figure. Colby writes that Role Play features “sculptural ‘skins’ which showcase fragility and temporality in conjunction with highly embellished and extravagant applications using notions of death and transformation as a catalyst.” I imagine that these could be armor or headdresses, with pieces that have spikes sewn-in or tactile objects like beads and buttons.
There is a stark difference between the delicate collograph printing and the visually-heavy embroidery. At times, it engulfs the figures, which I think is the point. Garments last a lot longer than we do. Items are passed down from generation to generation, and evidence of what a jacket looked like will be surpass our lifetime.
Robbie Rowlands is a Melbourne based artist whose work explores notions of stability and vulnerability through the manipulation of objects and environments. His repetitious and precise cuts and the resulting distortions reflect the inescapable passing of time that affects everything around us. Rowlands’ works have been described as“spotlighting the history, humanity and function” of his subjects. His manipulated objects and spaces blur the boundaries between our fabricated world and the natural world.
Zahir Batin’s delightful series of photographs is sure to get you excited for the upcoming release of Star Wars: Episode VII. When the artist bought a Canon EOS 1000D in February 2012, he had no idea that he would discover a passion for shooting miniature Star Wars scenes, but sure enough, he has since created a whimsical body of work cataloging the misadventures of Jedi, Sith lords, clones, and droids.
Batin’s work is certainly humorous, serving to decontextualize the often fearsome characters. A pack of clones is shown to be comically miniature beside a group of adorable ducklings; one even kindly offers a leaf to the giant baby animals. During their time off, they play with their vehicles like a group of rowdy teenage boys. For a more relaxing evening, they unwind riverside and confide in one another in a language inaudible to human viewers.
Despite the comic conceit of the miniature work—and perhaps even because of it—Batin imbues his imagined scenes with a poignant humanity and deeply-feeling heart. After a day of play, the clones lose a companion, and their heads move toward the sky in despair. After digging a grave, they place the fallen man’s tiny helmet above the moistened dirt and position a carefully-crafted gravestone at the head. In a moment of grief, they press their armored bodies together and embrace. Through Batin’s emotive lens, these small action figures, normally beloved only by children, become sentient beings with whom we can relate and empathize. Take a look. (via KoiKoiKoi)
There certainly is a “wow” factor when you come across the work of Chris Gilmour. Not only are his representational sculptures flawless in scale and form but they are made out of cheap cardboard that you would usually find in dumpsters. Gilmour takes this everyday material and gives it a new life creating gorgeously sculpted objects that transcend the material that they are made with bewilder our senses. Read a short interview with the artist after the jump.
Spain based street artist Ruben Sanchez has a peculiar artistic style. His work can be found internationally (his latest, the top photograph, created in Dubai). However, his home of Spain can be found in his artwork anywhere its painted. Influences such as Picasso’s Cubism or Miro’s Surrealism are clear in his spray painted mural. He goes on to say of the influences that can be found in his work:
“If you dissect any of my artworks in an operating room you will find graphic design, tribal art, graffiti, cubism, skateboard culture, 90’s and 80’s music, flamenco, social situations and a kaleidoscope among others.”
Our massive 50% off apparel and headwear sale ends this Wednesday! Get every single shirt we have on our shop for 50% off. You can even save 50% off items that are already on sale with some shirts costing only $5.00! Just enter discount code: MAYSHIRTSALE and let the savings pour in!