Prune Nourry’s ‘Terracotta Daughters’ Reflect Gender Preference In China

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Modeled after the iconic Terracotta Warriors, artist Prune Nourry’s series Terracotta Daughters is an installation featuring eight life-size sculptures modeled after eight Chinese orphan girls. It’s meant to reflect upon gender preference in China through the familiar symbolism of the soldiers, and Nourry created an army of 116 figures using the same clay that was dug up over 2,000 years ago for the original warriors. In this project, the artist also learned the local copyists’ technique based off the ancient practice.

Together, India and China represent ⅓ of the world population and both have a similar gender imbalance. This is because of the preference that parents give to having a son; the number of single men has been increasing since the 1980’s as well as the misuse of ultrasounds to choose the sex of the child. This has detrimental consequences for the women in Asia including kidnappings of children and women, forced marriages, prostitution, and more.

Nourry met the 8 orphan Chinese girls that inspired the artworks through the non-profit organization The Children of Madaifu. She photographed the girls during her visit to their villages in August 2012 and used the portraits as models for the sculptures. Nourry series that go beyond the sculptures and does good, too:

With the idea of continuity in mind, Prune works hand-in-hand with The Children of Madaifu to support the education of the 8 little girls for a minimum of 3 years thanks to the sale of the 8 original sculptures. In addition, each one of the little girls will be invited to the exhibition in Beijing in order to meet their terracotta double. The girls will also receive a 30 cm artist proof of Prune’s Mini Terracotta Daughter.
Thus, each collector who acquires one of the 8 unique original terracotta sculptures supports the project, as well as 3 years of the education of the little girl depicted in the Artwork.

Terracotta Daughters has travelled the world, and now they are in New York City. From September 11 to October 4, you can find them at China Institute.

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Famous Cars Soar Through The Sky In Gerry Judah’s Gravity-Defying Installations

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Porsche, 2013

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Porsche, 2013

London-based artist Gerry Judah has been widely known for his large-scale outdoor installations. Especially noteworthy are his works commissioned for such famous car brands as Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and others. Collaborating with the sponsors, Judah has created a series of gravity-defying suspended installations featuring scale-sized model cars shooting as high as 35 meters in the sky.

Gerry Judah has been building his car-themed sculptures since 1997. His tremendous structures have always been a sight at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex, England. Judah works extensively with steel. Naturally the amount of it consumed for each installation can go as high as whopping 175 tonnes (Jaguar, 2011). Despite the rugged material, Judah’s structures seem to be incredibly lightweight flexible. His works are particularly appreciated for the cohesion with the style of cars they represent. Here’s Judah talking about the design of Porsche 911 monument (above):

”The 911 is a fantastic shape that can’t be deconstructed or embellished, so in this context, the sculpture had to provide the right platform for the car to soar up and shine in the sky. <…> The concept was that each car is shooting into the sky, supporting one another, racing each other, captured in a perfect moment. Like the cars it displays, the sculpture is superbly engineered, lightweight and reflective of the Porsche 911 itself: simple, pure and built for the job.”

His latest work for Mercedes-Benz (below) features a 160-tonne steel sculpture with two Mercedes-Benz cars passing each other in midair. The installation is 90 meters long and soars 26 meters into the sky. It celebrates the 120-years-anniversary of motorsport heritage by Mercedes-Benz.

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Josh Kline’s Disgusting “Smoothies” Are Packed With Credit Cards And Underwear

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If you find yourself at the High Line in New York City, you can view an installation titled Skittles by artist Josh Kline. It features a large, industrial-sized refrigerator that contains a cultural food trend – smoothies. But, these aren’t the kind you’d want to drink. Instead being packed with fruits and veggies, Kline has ingredients like credit cards, sneakers, phone bills, and more encased in a bottle.One concoction reads: “williamsburg, credit card, american apparel, kale chips, kombucha, microbrew, quinoa, agave,” meaning that they are just sips away.

Each of Kline’s “smoothies” represents a different type of contemporary lifestyle. Components of the drinks spell out stereotypes that we’d associate with the person that lives it. The minimally-designed bottles are clear with the ingredients labeled on the outside. While the packaging all looks the same, it’s the contents that set each apart. Some are colored red while others look like they contain trash. Grouped together, they showcase the physical aspects of a persona who is a product of our culture.

Kline’s Skittles is part of the larger group exhibition Archeo, which is on display until March 2015. (via Laughing Squid. Photos via nyctaeus)

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Matt Reilly Skateboards Over Canvases To Create Vibrant Abstract Paintings

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Matt Reilly of Japanther performs live skateboard painting at Mana Contemporary on May 6th, 2014 from Plasticity NY on Vimeo.

Brooklyn-based artist Matt Reilly of Japanther skateboards on a canvas-covered mini ramp in order to create loosely colored paintings. With just a handful of simple tools: a skateboard, some paint-dipped sponges and a plain canvas, Reilly was able to create his abstract-looking artworks by skating back-and-forth over the sheet.

The setting for the “Wall Ride” was installed at the Mana Contemporary in Jersey City. A white canvas was tacked to the surface of a half-pipe. Using saturated sponges attached to the wheels, Reilly colored the white sheet in vibrant shades of blue, red and brown. After finishing one artwork, the canvas would be replaced and the process would start all over again.

Distinct in texture and color, Reilly’s works have been titled to resemble Jackson Pollock’s and Aaron Young’s abstract art. Apart from the end result, artist’s live performance is titled to be a big part of the whole experience. Watching the mesmerizing process of an artwork unfolding puts the viewer into a creative catharsis. Reilly’s “skate-paintings” can be purchased on Artsy platform. (via designboom)

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Red Poppies Flood Like Blood From The Tower Of London Commemorating WWI Centenary

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Ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper collaborate to create a stunning installation commemorating the centennial of the First World War. A scarlet sea of 888,246 ceramic red poppies will be “planted” around the Tower of London. Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”, the installation pays tribute to soldiers who perished during the war.

For the past few weeks, volunteers have been carefully placing the flowers all around the famous dry moat around the Tower. Poppies burst through one of the windows and then flow loosely, forming an arch over the footbridge to the castle. Each poppy represents a soldier from the United Kingdom and its colonies who was killed during WWI. Cummings says he was inspired by a line in the will of a soldier from Derbyshire.

“I don’t know his name or where he was buried or anything about him. But this line he wrote, when everyone he knew was dead and everywhere around him was covered in blood, jumped out at me: ‘The blood-swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread.’ I believe he meant the angels to refer to his children.”

Poppy is considered a flower of remembrance in Britain. The reason is because most of the soldiers died fighting in the trenches in the poppy fields of Flanders.

The blooming field will continue to grow throughout the summer. The final flower will be symbolically planted on November 11th, Armistice Day. The ceramic blossoms are for sale for £25 ($42) each. 10 percent of the proceeds go to benefit six different charities. You can find out more about the project by following the #TowerPoppies hashtag on Twitter. (via Colossal)

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Installation Takes Visitors On A Nocturnal Stroll Through An Enchanted Forest

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Latest installation by Montreal-based media and entertainment studio Moment Factory invites visitors to explore the illuminated paths of an enchanted forest in Québec, Canada. Foresta Lumina, a 2 km long trail, meanders through the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook full of colorful light installations, visual projections and chilling sound effects.

According to the creative studio, Foresta Lumina strives to reveal park’s natural beauties and mysteries. Along the nocturnal stroll through the forest, visitors are acquainted with the region’s fictitious heritage and forest mythology: fairies, spirits and other bewitched mythical creatures. “It’s all about goosebumps,” says Gabriel Pontbriand of Moment Factory.

The multisensory experience is achieved through a set of skillful arrangements. Colorful lighting compositions turn the forest into a glistening canvas, whereas video mapping brings natural elements to life. Dynamic visual projections accompanied by ethereal soundtrack escort visitors into the mystical world of fantasy.

The project has already become a major tourist attraction with an average of 500 to 1,000 visitors every night. Foresta Lumina is open to public until October 11th. (via designboom)

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Nancy Rubins’ Transforms Children’s Playground Toys Into Large-Scale Explosive Sculptures

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NANCY RUBINS ‘Our Friend Fluid Metal’, 2014. Aluminum, stainless steel, 204 x 500 x 281 inches, (518.2 x 1.270 x 713.7 cm). © Nancy Rubins. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

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NANCY RUBINS ‘Our Friend Fluid Metal, Chunkus Majoris’, 2013. Aluminum and stainless steel, 150 x 192 x 145 inches, (381 x 487.7 x 368.3 cm). © Nancy Rubins. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

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NANCY RUBINS ‘Our Friend Fluid Metal, Paquito’, 2013 Aluminum and stainless steel, 132 x 168 x 96 inches, (335.3 x 426.7 x 243.8 cm). © Nancy Rubins. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

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NANCY RUBINS ‘Our Friend Fluid Metal, Spiral Ragusso’, 2013. Aluminum, stainless steel, 134 x 228 x 187 inches, (340.4 x 579.1 x 475 cm). © Nancy Rubins. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

Nancy Rubins‘ grandiose sculpture exhibition Our Friend Fluid Metal is open to public at the Gagosian Gallery, New York. Famous for her explosive installations featuring re-purposed objects, this time Rubins’ transforms old equipment from children’s playgrounds into dynamic large-scale floating structures.

The title of the exhibition refers to materials Rubins’ used to create her surrealist sculptures. The monumental figures are constructed from recycled aluminum playground toys. But the story goes back even further, as the playful critters (elephants, ponies, giraffes, etc.) were made with aluminum from WW2 military planes. Sturdy and, at that time, cheap material was perfect for making thick children’s playground equipment. For the artist, this flux was a natural inspiration.

“Even before the airplane parts the aluminum was a part of the earth and before it was part of the earth it was probably parts of stars and meteors and things that slammed into the earth.”

The exhibition consists of four massive sculptures, all compound through a system of steel trusses and tension cables. Dimensions vary, but the largest measures 17 x 42 x 24 feet. Despite that, Rubins’ works ten to evoke a sense of lightness and stillness, like someone had pushed a Pause button in the middle of an explosion. Her expressionist take towards unwieldy constructions reveals the fair line between rigid and gracefully fluid.

The exhibition runs until September 13, 2014 at Gagosian Gallery, New York.

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Immersive Installation Fills A gallery With Over 20,000 Translucent Flowers

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New York City-based design studio SOFTlab combines technology and craft with an installation titled We Are Flowers. Inspired by nature, the beautiful large-scale funnels are comprised of over 20,000 translucent flowers that create an immersive sculpture in the New York flagship store for Melissa shoes. It appears in the Melissa Gallery and was specifically created for the space. If you aren’t familiar with the brand, it’s funky, colorful, and playful rubber footwear that evokes a childlike feel (although marketed to adults).

SOFTlab’s sculpture is both precisely engineered yet enchanting at the same time. It’s whimsical and not over thought, which is how the designers want you to feel. They write:

Although we used cutting edge digital technology to develop this installation, we hope it remains mostly hidden in order for everyone to experience the magic of a hanging garden of flowers. We imagine this installation as an extension of the We Are Flowers collection by Melissa: technically innovative with attention to every detail, but first and foremost a design that expresses sensuality through its form and brings joy and color to the Melissa experience. (Via Ghost in the Machine)

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