Street art has become especially exciting and unpredictable over the last several years. However, the last place many would expect to find it is on the water. The New York based street artist SWOON designed three sea vessels built from salvaged material. The “flotilla” sailed from the coast of Slovenia to Venice, Italy. Though, definitely not the street SWOON effectively brings an urban aesthetic to sea. Photographer Tod Seelie was along for the ride to document the trip. The photographs and wild journey are as amazing as the vessels themselves. The raucous mash up of materials perfectly match the crew and set the atmosphere for what was certainly a wild ride.
Artist Li Lihong expertly juxtaposes two familiar but disparate sets of imagery. He renders familiar corporate logos as three dimensional sculptures. However, these are more than just sculptures. Li uses traditional ceramicist techniques coupled with Chinese iconography. The pairing of traditional and contemporary, East and West, corporate and fine art isn’t such a violent clash one may expect. Rather, the over arching familiarity, through from contrasting sources, is nearly complimentary.
Artist Aki Inomata asks “Why not hand over a “shelter” to hermit crabs?” and this is exactly what she does. Inomata carefully scanned the structure of shells used by hermit crabs and took note of their specific needs. Then using 3D modeling software she created new “homes” for these crabs. Drawing a connection between humans and the hermit crabs, Inomata decorated the shells with human structures and dwellings. Somewhat similar to humans, the crabs out grow their shells and must look for new shelter. The project underscores the basic need of a place to live, regardless of the seeming complexity behind the issue.
We are comparable to moths. This is what I think Bernardi Roig is doing with his mixed media pieces: allowing us to see our own attractions to the glowing lights brought forth with the Information Age. From computers to iPhones to tablets– our desire is instinctual or . . . mindlessly animalistic. I’m thinking here also about near death experiences: going towards the light. Remember that iconic scene from Poltergeist? Carol Ann. This too. It’s not about where our bodies gravitate or evolve, but how we speak to the light and what we leave behind as we travel towards it.
Dutch artist Ron van der Ende‘s artworks at once deceiving and straightforward. His wall mounted sculptures are much shallower than they may appear. Not more than six inches deep the carefully painted bas relief pieces suggest a depth that extends beyond the wall. This deception of perspective extends into the works’ content. For example, a humble grain of salt depicted monumentally as if it were some extraterrestrial object. However, van der Ende never forgets his material or attempts to hide the art’s point of origin. For all of the trompe l’oeil effects and meticulous carving, the salvaged wood always seems to seep through. In this way the material determines the piece as a whole, and anything secret isn’t hidden far off.
You can see Ron van der Ende’s exhibition Phasmid currently on view at Ambach & Rice gallery in Los Angeles through the 27th of July.
From setting hipster traps to designing tourist lanes on sidewalks, Jeff Greenspan’s work consistently employs a certain playful cleverness that questions our social norms in relation to spaces, New York City in particular. The Statue Experiment (pictured above) is no exception. Examining our own reality as far as engaging with art and its contextual expectations is concerned, Greenspan adds a little bowl of change in front of Frank Benson’s statue for a whole new effect. In fact, it just might be the best street performance art performed by an actual object . . . or maybe it’s the audience members who are the real performers? Click on the video after the jump to see what we mean.
New Media artist Phillip Stearns contrasts two mediums in a way that also conjures unexpected similarities. Stearns has considerable experience with glitches – he’s the author of a Tumblr blog that presented a different glitch screen shot each day. He went on to combine the cold digital spattering of glitches with warm textiles such as blankets and tapestries. The pixels translate strangely well from screen to weave, the glitches not being lost in translation from one medium to the other. Stearns says about his project:
“The Glitch Textiles project was started in 2011 with the goal of exploring the intersections of textiles and digital art. The idea was simple: Transcode glitches in the cold, hard logic of digital circuits into soft, warm textiles. Following a successful funding campaign on Kickstarter in 2012, Glitch Textiles has grown to include a range of woven and knit wall hangings and blankets whose patterns are generated using images taken with short circuited cameras and other unorthodox digital techniques, including data visualization aided by the use of tools developed for digital forensics.”
Lee Stoetzel carves fast food, life-size VW buses, vintage Mac computers, and even fine art from wood, recalling iconic objects, and ironically, examining worn-out symbols or ideas in contemporary art, initially cultivated from the likes of Chuck Close, Rube Goldberg, and Claes Oldenburg.
Whether its mesquite or cypress, each renewable resource favors sinewy flaws or wood marks that, according to Stoetzel, feel comparable to brush strokes, providing another layer of texture and pop of craftsmanship.
Check out the video of Stoetzel discussing his work in his studio and see a few more stills after the jump.