The sculptures of Naoko Ito are elegant in their simplicity. Indeed, these pieces are entirely constructed of only two materials: a tree and jars. A limb of a tree is cut into several segments and each segment, in turn, is placed in a jar. Naoko carefully arranges the jarred pieces to reconstruct the shape of the limb. A subdued commentary on the relationship between humans and nature, the imagery is immediate all the same. Though the shape and size of the tree limb is intact, the jarred branches are nearly gloomy.
Under the typical gallery bright lights these sculptures from artist Diet Wiegman may seem like innocuous piles of trash. However, these ‘piles’ are meticulously arranged and precisely lit. The resulting shadows resemble famous works of art, icons, and images. He creates coveted works of art through refuse in something as elusive as a shadow. Though various types of ‘light sculptures’ have made their way through art in the past few years, Wiegman is a veteran. He has been using shadows and light as a medium for nearly five decades. [via]
For artist Felice Varini it’s all about your point of view. Varini takes this idea to its extremely literal conclusion. From the perfect perspective his painted geometric shapes seem to float in front of your eyes. However, in reality Varini works hard to make only appear this way. In reality his pieces are huge, cover entire structures (at times multiple buildings), and carefully prepared to be seen from a precise viewpoint. His large optical illusions underscore the subjective nature of art – it’s all about your point of view.
Legendary artist Christo‘s newest project, Big Air Project, is more than just big. Even ‘huge’ would be an understatement. At nearly 300 feet tall Big Air Package could possibly be the largest indoor work of art ever. Housed in a venue that was once a gas holder, the project is exactly as its title describes it. Big Air Package is a massive inflated cylinder with no hard underlying structure – a giant balloon. The project’s press release explains how it functions:
“Two air fans creating a constant pressure of 27 pascal (0.27 millibar) keep the package upright. Airlocks allow visitors to enter the package. Illuminated through the skylights of the Gasometer and 60 additional projectors, the work of art creates a diffuse light throughout the interior.” [via]
The sculptures and installations of MyeongBeom Kim are very dreamlike – it makes just enough sense to prevent you questioning it. Objects transform into other objects, other inexplicably float, and yet others are designed to be entirely useless. Yet, somehow, it all seems right. Also like dreams, Kim’s work is playful but not without out a latent sense of anxiety. A noose, a crutch, an axe suggest a possible dark turn toward realized fears, a nightmare.
Jeremy Laffon‘s series of installations are entirely constructed from chewing gum. He painstakingly builds each of his installations with this unusual material. The precision and care he gives to his work is contrasted by the material itself. Chewing gum isn’t particularly strong or sturdy – the lattice work structure buckling under its own weight, or tiled gum easily giving way underfoot. Chewing gum is also associated with casualness, rude to chew in formal settings, spit out when finished with: a pleasant surprise in an often stuffy art world.
Artist Zsuzsi Csiszer’s installation may at first seem massively out of place. An actual subway car emerges out of the floor into the Museum Kiscelli in Budapest. It seems poised to make a stop and move on to its next otherworldly destination. The subway clearly references a journey – one of more significance than just from one neighborhood to another. More importantly perhaps, subway cars transport groups of people. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but the piece is similar to a larger journey we all make. One in which we share with various people who come and go.
Artist Berlinde De Bruyckere‘s installations are disturbing. Horses, apparently deformed or mutilated, are scattered throughout the gallery. Some are draped lifeless; others are seem to be frozen while flailing in panic. The forms are clearly horses, their shape undeniable. However their faces are elusive and missing as if in a nightmare. De Bruyckere’s installation’s inspire conflicting feelings of compassion, disgust, and fear. It should be mentioned that none of these horses were killed or harmed for the art work. Rather, De Bruyckere selected the horses while alive but did not use their bodies until they died of natural causes.