In his unconventional series, Raíces Aladas (Winged Roots), Spanish artist David Cata explores the possibilities of plant growth by transplanting vegetation into an unusual and unheard of herbaceous foundation: the palm of his hand.
For this project, Cata physically manipulated his hands in order to create a sustainable—albeit temporary—basis for plant habitation. By strategically peeling a designated layer of skin from his palm, Cata was able to create a small, vacant pouch. He then filled this compartment with soil, and, finally, with transplanted flora, which he then documented and compiled into a photographic series.
Much like A Flor de Piel—a preceding series in which the artist used a needle and thread to stitch sentimental portraits onto his own skin—Raíces Aladas presents, challenges, and defies known limitations of the human body—and, ultimately, effectively proves its opportune abilities as a canvas for artistic expression. (Via Design Boom)
Carl Krull uses repetitive lines to form hidden faces revealed between the lines. Each drawing contains endless line after line that flows across the composition in waves, drips, and swirls. The organic rhythm created is quickly interrupted by different shifts in its pulse, not unlike a line in a heart rate monitor. It is incredible how the orientation of the lines create such different effects, resembling the texture in tapestries or the grooves and patterns in a topography map… but only if the hills and mountains depicted were in the shape of faces! In fact, Krull’s large-scale drawings have been referred to as “human seismographs.”
Amazingly, the Danish artist came up with this technique by drawing lines during a road trip across the United States with his wife, acting as a “seismograph” would. Each bump, twist, and turn of the drive was incorporated into drawings, which are included in his series Scroll Drawings.
Krull’s work, created entirely from graphite lines, takes the human body form to a whole new level by letting the negative space between his lines to let the eye create the shape. Each bend in the line creates a rift in space in which you cannot tell whether the form is concave or convex. His drawings are as mysterious as they are intriguing, as they defy laws of space and gravity. The faces and appendages emerging from a sea of graphite mesmerize you while you search for more figures amongst the methodical chaos. The massive size of Krull’s drawings further pull you into the hypnotic repetitiveness of each composition, with figures that materialize right before your eyes.
What artist Francesco Spampinato lacks in interweb presence, he makes up for on his canvas. Francesco feeds us a kaleidoscope explosion of psychedelic decorations that pulsates in waves from the focal point of the canvas-to the deepest center of the viewer’s brain.
Ashkan Honarvar’s work is definitely not for the squeamish. There is macabre beauty in his work that compels you to keep looking at it. Honarvar’s work reveals the the darker side of the human body and mind… something most of us would rather look away from. The human body, whether torn by war, exploited by the sex industry, or as a tool for discovering identity, is the focus of his work. Ashkan Honarvar is now part of the La Petite Mort Gallery in Ottawa, Canada.
Eighteen year old photographer Lucie Malbéqui uses her camera to capture slices of time. She emphasizes her youth and its brevity by using film to record “a piece of atmosphere, a piece of time.” Malbéqui feels that with film, she eliminates some of the artificial elements that are nearly always present in digital photos, instead favoring the raw and imperfect images she can create by allowing the sun’s light to preserve a moment.
Last week, BuzzFeed published a video featuring three women who were given complete makeovers based on “diverse traditions of beauty,” transforming them into figures from their cultural, historical pasts. Their backgrounds — which were Indian, English-Irish-Scottish, and Chinese-Taiwanese – were researched, and then clothes, accessories, hairstyles, and makeup were selected to recreate the looks. The women are fascinated and excited by the stylists’ creative interpretations of their heritage, and as one participant expresses, “It’s traditional, but at the same time, there’s an edge to it.”
A possible criticism of this video would be that it risks essentializing ethnic identities and notions of beauty; it’s always important to remember that cultural histories and traditions are infinitely diverse and nuanced. However, BuzzFeed’s goal to creatively explore a range of backgrounds is valuable, in that it aims to celebrate cultural difference and disparate histories. The video provides positive representation to alternative-and-equal cultural understandings of traditional beauty, which is important in a world wherein the media is so often dominated — or at least influenced — by Western standards and ways of thinking.
Check out the video above, and share with us your thoughts. What do you think about these depictions of diverse, traditional beauty? (Via designboom)
Kevin Cooley creates Controlled Burns, a series of striking images that showcase swirling and imposing clouds of black, white, and gray smoke. Inspired by the communicative purpose of smoke signals during Papal conclave, the series focuses on ideas and actions dealing with communication, specifically human interactions with nature.
Cooley creates and manufactures the images himself, the smoke is real, and so is the fire creating it, but the artist here is rendering an image, controlling it and taking charge of something that can potentially be uncontrollable. The project is indicative of something we are well aware of, particularly our impotence yet possibility to control natural, powerful elements in our world. The paradox makes us contemplate on something we know, but do not really think about often.
Fire is a powerful natural force that we harness for greater good, and it is the only Classical element that we can create on demand. Yet, when out of control, it has the potential for grave destruction. Controlled Burns is a visual representation of this inherit duality, symbolic of our desire to conquer and control, reminding us that sometimes we must fight fire with fire.
Beginning January 11th, 2014, the Kopeikin Gallery will present Cooley’s work in UNEXPLORED TERRITORY, an interdisciplinary exhibition that explores “the limits of human exploration and our desire to conquer and control nature.” Themes range from colonial exploration of the American West, harnessing fire in the form of combustion to launch rockets into space, to anthropomorphic actions of everyday objects such as box fans, and helium balloons.
David Redon makes vintage popular culture look new by adding celebrities. The art director at Parisian agency Quai Des Orfèvres combines famous people like Kanye, Beyonce, and Pharrell with Mid-Century advertisements in a series he calls Ads Libitum. We see them endorsing soap, make up, toothpaste, and drive-in restaurants, all having been Photoshopped to fit in with the look and feel of the past.
Redon explains to Adweek why he crafts these remixes, stating, “I like the shift between vintage and modern pop culture, because these days the border between art and commercial is very small, and artists work their images like brands do.” It’s true. Kanye definitely cultivates a specific persona that is polarizing and it’s part of how he sells himself. Pharrell, on the hand, markets himself as a happy-go-lucky likable guy, which makes him more family-friendly with wider appeal.
Ads Libitum is primarily American marketing and culture through the eyes of a non-American. Redon makes some interesting choices on celebrity and advertising pairings. Nirvana, for instance, seems a little outdated, as does Michael Jackson, but to someone who’s an outsider, these people are an icon of music in the United States. (Via Adweek)