Another day spent working on the next season of the B/D Apparel Line. We’ll be releasing our fall line in less than two weeks and will follow up in November with our Holiday line. As you can see we make a list and check it twice. Here are some highlights from today…
American artist and architect Paul Laffoley’s work is usually classified as visionary art or outsider art: most of his pieces are painted on large canvases and combine words and imagery to depict a spiritual architecture of explanation, tackling concepts like dimensionality, time travel through hacking relativity, connecting conceptual threads shared by philosophers through the millennia, and theories about the cosmic origins of mankind.
I was first put off by Esther Stocker’s wall works, immediately categorizing it as an evolution of those tired string installation made by anonymous hipsters. But after looking at a few more images, and exploring her site, the 3-D graphs started to grow on me. Stocker’s simple use of black gaffer tape and foam core pulls from scientific imagery and successfully transforms space into a fantastic alternate reality where perceptions are shifted. Stocker’s work demonstrates a fascination with human perception and cognition, and judging by the title, “What I don’t Know About Space”, she doesn’t claim to understand how it all works, which is a refreshing to hear from an artist.
Shepard Fairey’s work goes beyond traditional methods of appropriation and referencing. Some of these are exact replicas of previous works, with just a subtle color change. It wouldn’t be an issue if this work only existed in the streets as a form of political guerilla art. However Shepard profits greatly through museum shows,a multi-million dollar apparel line, and inflated art sales as the result of this decade long art project. More and more this seems like a genius marketing plan aimed at angry teenagers rather than creating a body of original artwork that opens up a dialogue about politics. Read this in-depth article by Mark Vallens and decide for yourself.
Tully Arnot has a great sense of humor. His sculptures, installations and videos all have a subtle sarcasm to them, and are all a clever commentary on the man/machine connection, and the part technology plays in contemporary society. His latest sculpture in particular (Lonely Sculpture) is a amusing look at the current online dating app Tinder. Setting up a mechanical finger tapping mindlessly away at nothing, Arnot just places a mobile phone underneath the finger machine and proceeds to interact with other humans on the internet. Luke Letourneau sums it up perfectly in his essay about Arnot’s work:
[Lonely Sculpture] is a piece of technology that reflects the way we interact. Dating apps like Tinder are an aspect of socialization that allows for isolation: it reduces identity and demands judgement. The work heightens an absence or disconnect that already exists with this form of interaction. However, Lonely Sculpture does not reserve judgement. The artist’s mechanized silicone index finger taps yes to every dating profile that appears on the screen, even when the screen is loading new profiles the finger keeps unconsciously tapping, anticipating, longing. (Source)
Lonely Sculpture is not the only display of Arnot’s cynical sense of humor. As part of a larger show at Wellington Street Projects called Uncanny Residues, it is one of many pieces. All are concerned with the line between reality and the digital world, humans and technology, and how we interact and utilize different interfaces. Tuley definitely gives us something to think about next time we reach our fingers out to touch the screen.
Cathy van Hoang, owner of PetitBeast, is a California-based artist who has cleverly designed a new and eye-catching way to display your air plants: by placing them in sea urchin shells — which Cathy has painted in gradients of beautiful pastel hues — and suspending them. Her creations are aptly named “Jellyfish Air Plants,” because there is no denying that their domed heads and trailing “legs” are redolent of those elegant sea-dwelling invertebrates. Their gravity-defying appearance will also likely appeal to any Metroid fans out there, as Cathy’s designs do slightly invoke your favorite parasitic alien species — although these particular specimens are less likely to seek galactic domination, and instead hang gracefully in your room as beautiful conversation pieces.
These “little beasts” are affordable and unique additions to your space. Each set comes with hanging and care instructions. And if you’re not plant-savvy, the good news is that air plants are easy to maintain. As Cathy writes on her Etsy, “all they require is watering twice a week and a nice, bright room with indirect sunlight (or your desk lamp in the office) to thrive in” (Source). Custom colors are also an option.
Etsy is an exciting venue for independent designers who want to share their creativity with the world, and it is always exciting to come across artists like Cathy who are hand-making such imaginative pieces. Check out her website and Etsy page to learn more about her Jellyfish Air Plants. The product photography featured here is also by Cathy. (Via Colossal)
Aaron Leif Nicholson has an affinity for creating life-sized sculptures of imposing characters (like witch doctors and Yetis) that seem to have stepped straight out of a nightmare. Nicholson’s “Coney Island Star Man” is a prime example: faceles and hunched over the ground, he lurks on a beach as if he’s watching you. Nicholson brings his sculptural background to other works as well, which include mixed-media drawings and paintings, lending traditionally two-dimensional art a three-dimensional quality.
A recent graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Stanzie Tooth paints scenes that evoke a sense of calm. Her works often feature woodland landscapes, sometimes bursting with pastel hues that would make a Fauvist blush.