Through the metamorphic conversion of discarded paraphernalia given a second life, art created from materials otherwise destined for a landfill has turned waste into resource. In a conscious reflection of a recycled object’s inherent value as a cultural statement, the fragmented disarray of salvaged goods conjoin as a reflection on the surplus of consumerism. Computer relics and plastic toys from the 1990’s resurface as jarring, three-dimensional works that reestablish a value beyond their initial introduction as cultural commodities. Extending the life of goods long since forgotten, the immortalization of a wastefulness that continues to swell stands as not only a poignant reminder of the ecological decay resulting from our consumption, but the opportunity to revisit and remake otherwise quotidian, superfluous goods.
Working predominately, if not entirely, with upcycled goods, the following artists create stunning installation and sculptural works that are a visual whirlpool of texture, color and line.
Christina Bothwell, an American artist, is creator of all things weird. These fantastic yet strange beings (Bothwell’s sculptures) are both creepy but inevitably inspiring. Bothwell’s intriguing sculptures invite the viewer to imagine fantastical worlds; ones where these weird creatures could potentially exist in.
Most often made from cast glass and clay, her made-up creatures are sometimes fitted out with found objects that serve as limbs and other body parts. The glass allows for a more ethereal, surreal feel; it also allows for a soft light to radiate through the figure, simultaneously revealing beauty yet the imperfections found within the glass. This aspect of the work is representative of Bothwell’s interest in notions of vulnerability and childhood innocence. Christina states that her ideas are in many ways autobiographical; the pieces certainly arise from what is going on in her current adult life, or what has gone on in her early childhood. (via Feather of Me)
Emile Morel creates surreal digital illustrations reminiscent of whimsical childhood fantasies such as The Neverending Story and Where the Wild Things Are. His illustrations depict dream worlds, often with children, and heavily feature anthropomorphic characters rife with bestial and primal imagery. His work is evocative of fairy tales, complete with a dark and foreboding element encapsulated in the “grotesque” nature of some of his figures and human animal hybrids. Intimate and highly allegorical, Morel’s attention to detail, especially in this medium, is impressive.
SF dude Jesse Balmer makes drawings and other illustrative works with a comics/animation sensibility and fantasied/mythologically scaled subject matter. Balmer’s characters and good sense of motion make these works really awesome, but it’s his linework that really steals the show. The fluid curves and solid hatching on these are drool-worthy. He’s also been known to use a red and blue “3D” effect in his drawings which pops off really nicely. Put on a bib and take in more of Balmer’s vibed-out work after the jump. Read More >
Argentinian artist Estela A Cuadro has a body of work both ethereal and precise. She has beautiful pen work layered with watercolor backdrops creating worlds of her own. Her pieces show themes of acrobatics and carnival in an understated way.
Finnish illustrator/photographer/director Miika Saksi’s work is everything I love about fantastical and mythic Lisa Frank evoking creatures galloping the fine line between awesome and cheesy as hell. It’s almost as if (for me) the relationship between work I like, and what I can Google image search is basically one and the same…