Beth Cavener Stichter uses animals in her sculptures as metaphors for the irrational world humans have trouble tapping into. As sculptures of animals, we’re encouraged to feel more directly what we see the animals going through, more so than we would with a human being whom we would try to supply with a narrative context. This is part of the problem Beth is trying to deal with,to get us to embrace the unconscious and irrational parts of our existence instead of repressing them in order to assert our Humanity. The artist explains:
“There are primitive animal instincts lurking in our own depths, waiting for the chance to slide past a conscious moment. The sculptures I create focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms. On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface they embody the impacts of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality. ”
These photographs are taken from two series by NYC photographer Amy Stein: “Domesticated”, and “Halloween in Harlem”. The photos were put together a while ago now, but I’ve always loved them. And, as Ms. Stein seems to be dealing with an issue involving use of her work without permission and $40,000, I figured she deserved some love.
“Domesticated” depicts real stories ivolving animals and humans culled from local news stories. Stein used often used taxidermied animals in her perfectly positioned shots, which include bobcats confused by newfound construction and curious bears checking out backyard pools.
“Halloween in Harlem” is pretty straightforward: Stein’s eye set to run freely capturing the spirit of the holiday and creepy children in masks on the street.
London designer/artist Arran Gregory recently opened ”Wolf”, a solo exhibition of sculpture and illustration at Print House Gallery in London. The show features these reflective, mirrored wolf and rhinocerous taxidermy heads cut in angular geometry. The mirrors sort of remove the animal from the equation, leaving gallery patron staring back at his or herself, left to ponder our relationship with animals- dead and alive. The end result is kind of jarring, as though accountability for our own actions is a scarier concept then sharp teeth in open jaws. More pics below. (via)
Anne Lemanski‘s sculptures of various animals done in unique textile surrounding a copper armature are rich in symbolism. An eagle is composed of stitched-together dollar bill designs, while a pigeon is put together with pieces of a service worker’s uniform. A water bird is made of slick, oily latex. The sculptures are great, and the social, political, and environmental commentary are a bonus. Lemanski’s work, which ”highlight[s] our admiration for animals as symbols, and our exploitation of them to suit our needs…” touches on a nice dichotomous conflict that adds some strong intellectual power to each piece. Coyotes, snakes, primates, and more after the jump. (via)
These works from Berkeley, CA artist Masako Miki (originally from Japan) are fairly on point. Delicately rendered animals exist naturally among fantastical environs full of color. The artist’s ruminations on time, life, death, and innocence would be a big pill to swallow if these paintings weren’t so damn pretty. And it’s not that this stuff hasn’t been done before (Josh Keyes, growing environmentalist concerns, etc.). But in this case cosmic elements enter the mix, allowing us to contemplate the issues of our small planet and the issues of “the Beyond” in one go.
Manchester illustrator Kris Tate’s work is bold, vibrant and full of life. Her work mixes digital and hand drawn elements in neon colors that pop. Her influences range from 60′ and 80′s vintage culture and music to Scandinavian knitwear. Her work is fresh, edgy and very relevant for today’s hipster cultures. I for one am loving the sweater dressed animals and their bright pop environments.
Germany based artist Heiko Mueller’ art is like a fairy tale with a dark spin to it. He is fond of the country side, and is fascinated by the dark side of nature, the hidden machinations of the animal kingdom.