Artist Jason DeMarte‘s photography juxtaposes sublime, remote landscapes and commercially produced and processed products such as Cheetos, Donuts or chips. The odd pairing can go two ways, for one, his work may spark an intriguing dialog between what’s man-made and what runs wild, second, the compositions might be alluding to our new-found pleasure in consuming these products. What once gave us so much life and inspiration (breathtaking landscapes, natural phenomena) is now second to last in our list of pleasurable things to experience.
DeMarte, however, presents this pairing in beautiful ways- ultimately making them coexist in a way that we never thought possible.
“I represent the natural world through completely unnatural elements to speak metaphorically and symbolically of our mental separation from what is ‘real’.”
For the Turkish artist Hasan Kale, the tiniest morsel of food inspires visions of sweeping landscapes. Using his finger as a palate, he adorns almonds, M&Ms, and the most translucent layers of an onion with astonishing renderings of his native Istanbul. Where most landscapes take up entire museum walls, commanding attention with their sheer immensity, Kale’s work does the opposite. In these miraculous works of macro painting, the infinite nature of the earth, sea, and sky collides with the impossibly minuscule, heightening the preciousness of the Turkish terrain.
Here, snack foods become as wondrous as great feats of nature and man. On thin slice of banana, a storm rages, its brushstrokes transforming the very texture of the fruit into that of a saturated canvas. On the inner flesh of an almond, he imagines the legendary baroque architecture of the Nusretiye Mosque. The iconic building becomes vertically stretched as in a romantic masterpiece, extending upwards to conform to the natural shape of the almond. On these tiny surfaces, the grandiosity of the city’s architecture is expressed through the vibrancy of color and the dreamy, sweeping whims of the artist’s brush.
Perhaps the most poignant aspect of Kale’s work is its impermanence. Unlike the great canvases entombed in museums, these paintings will decay, perish, or be lost. The banana will rot into mush; the fragile quail egg might crumble. A stunning mosque might accidentally be eaten. But in the meantime, these imagined landmarks exist for the sake of our wonderment. Take a look. (via Colossal)
The embroidery artist Ana Teresa Barboza, previously featured here for her arresting renditions of the human body, is at it again with her series of intricate, deconstructed landscapes. Turning her gaze outwards towards the vastness of the natural world, she celebrates the materiality of her craft, allowing her thread to spill from the boundaries of the embroidery hoop like wild nets wrenched from a tumultuous sea. Here, calm seascapes, serene pastures, and chaotic, rocky waves adopt the same sense of inexhaustibility, refusing to commit solely to embroidery and extending into the realm of the sculptural.
In this series, titled “Suspension,” Barboza’s medium mirrors her content. Like the art and craft of embroidery itself, her visual narratives are composed of iconography historically associated with the female: nature’s rolling hills, curved waves, and fluid, moonlit water. As her pieces unravel, they express something powerful and inevitable in female desire and spirit. No longer contained by the neat frame of the traditional hoop, exuberant colors and textures spring forth from a two dimensional realm into three, interrupting the comfortable barriers that normally exist between art object and viewer. These labors of love are not meant for pillows; instead, they proudly hang on a gallery wall.
Each of Barboza’s suspensions evoke folktales like those of mermaids, selkies, or sirens, woman creatures of the sea who are as frightful as they are alluring. We are presented with delicate illusions, mirages of landscapes, only to witness their dissolution into thick, tactile thread that invites our incredulous touch. Take a look. (via Colossal)
Merging sound and landscape, Ukrainian architect and designer Anna Marinenko has created a series of images – called “Nature Sound Form Wave” – that presents juxtapositions of sound waves alongside panoramas of sky, water, mountain, and tree lines. Marinenko’s pairings demonstrate the synchronicity and parallels to be found in different patterns among natural and manufactured designs, the similarity between the forms remarkably uncanny. Because Marinenko meticulously lines up the designs and maintains the same color palette throughout the images, ocean waves, flight paths, and landscapes appear to be transforming into the sound waves, the transition nearly seamless. (via design boom)
German photographer Robert Schlaug creates Limited Area, a series in which we get to know landscapes, not as the usual sublime, endless terrains, but simply as a place that is contained and eventually terminated. In essence, Limited Areas reflects the “limits of human experiences via everyday landscape photographs.”
“Sometimes we feel we’ve run into a wall or stand in front of a precipice, not knowing how to proceed further. Or suddenly there opens up before us an insurmountable wall, and we know no way out. Even our thoughts and our imagination constantly finds their limits.”
By digitally manipulating the images, Schlaug re-creates something that we are used to seeing in our computer screens- a corrupted file, a glitchy image. Precisely, he drags down streaks of color across each section of his photographs; the result, a visual experience that he hopes will “raise awareness in times of total sensory overload.” His images, turn into colorful abstractions that will perhaps remind the viewer of the grand Abstract Expressionist works from the 1950’s. (via Phaidon)
Miranda Donovan explores the invasion of graffiti from the exterior world of landscapes and buildings to the interior one– of bathrooms, bedrooms, and yes, even galleries, where street artists are finding more and more of a home these days. However, Donovan’s work is not just about street politics or the art of tagging here– each piece also examines the quality, textures, associations, and contexts of walls themselves.
Of her work, in Cool Hunting, Donovan states, “The point of departure is a wall, which so often people just overlook . . . It’s something in our daily space constantly, internally and externally, and there’s a romanticism in that, which draws me in. The different combination of languages, the grid, the broken plaster breaking up that grid, the colors, the erosion, is something that really excites me. It’s about combining those languages to tell a story about the passage of time and the analogy of the human psyche, peeling back the onion layers to find the core.”
Robert Josiah Bingaman is the master of beautiful dark landscapes. Bingaman states about his work: “My studio practice is an idiosyncratic teeter-totter; a shifting set of consistent obsessions. The first, to be “out there”, in the distant places, and the second, an anxious need to permanently mark the rare, fleeting moments that originate from those places. The scenes I paint are the result of an indulgent desire to regain the innocence and satisfaction I once associated with the subjects depicted. Yet, in the offing, these paintings reveal my struggle to name what I haven’t found.”
Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes gives new meaning to the term “wallflower.” In her recent collection of photographs, entitled “Landscapes,” Paredes seamlessly disappears into a dizzying array of patterned wallpapers, using only paint and, in some cases, simple costumes to complete the transformation. Paredes’ self-painting is so precise that, oftentimes, the only hint of her presence is a flash of sleek brown hair or a pair of gleaming white eyes peering out from the background. Through this disappearing act, Paredes explores themes of displacement and migration, illustrating the difficulties of blending in to new surroundings without completely casting off one’s roots.