The work of artist Kris Kuksi has a decidedly consistent style. His amazingly intricate sculptures are often dark, reference both the classical world and the industrial landscape, and comment on religion and politics. His Churchtanks series, though, seems to especially encapsulate his philosophies. Kuksi seamlessly fuses gaudy cathedrals with modern war tanks to create one imposing structure. In a strange way, the aesthetics of each seems to compliment the other. Kuksi effectively uses the structural blending to comment on a connection between religion and violence.
Trevor Jackson‘s ceramic work is deceptively innocent. Hand painted in blue, hidden behind animals, flowers, and flourishes are deadly weapons. His work are definitely conversation pieces for an especially hot topic. While his intentions with the pieces aren’t entirely obvious, the series is clearly political. Typically utilitarian weapons are presented as garishly decorated and entirely harmless. Dishware that is often passed down from generation to generation is stylized with politically intense imagery.
Iconic and lovely Louise Bourgeois once said, “The feminists took me as a role model, as a mother. It bothers me. I am not interested in being a mother. I am still a girl trying to understand myself.”
Likewise, one might suggest that the soft and silicone rubber sculptures of Michelle Carla Handel, collected here, are conceptually doing something similar, but with a splash of Claes Oldenburg’s wit and color pop.
Each piece feels intriguingly pubescent: exploring the grotesque softness of bodies and gender through seemingly pliable forms that physically confuse or bend out of shape, emotionally heaving with discovery and wear.
Korean artist Seungchun Lim creates life-size sculptures. His work is steeped in narrative, each piece a character. Seungchun’s sculptures are, in fact, part of a complex story. The three eyed boy above is born with a hump in his back that turns out to be wings. Eventually his wings are stolen from him. Independent of their grand tale, Seungchun’s sculptures still exude an air lonliness and sadness. His characters wordlessly communicate through their powerful but quiet imagery.
Kim Tucker’s ceramic sculptures are burly messes of gender– exorcising primal desires, akin to a Bukowski or Fante novel, with a dash of Freud, but crafted with more of a surrealistic feminine charge. Each nude, for example, sexually and emotionally gestures at our gentle need for communion from one body to the next, illustrating psychologically how we bleed failure, rejection, isolation or loss.
KCRW’s Laura Schumate laments on each figure’s soft absorption: “There’s a desire to protect them like your own children or a friend, while acknowledging their familiar sorrow within yourself.”
On that note, the entire menagerie evokes not only Tucker’s inner children, but also our own, as they engage in “psychological storytelling”– narrating open wounds we are inclined to protect, lick, mother, or share: a deep commiseration over the tragedy of bodily confinement.
It may surprise you to know that these are not real animals – they’re probably most accurately called paintings. Artist Keng Lye brings these aquatic creatures to life by creating layers of resin and alternating them with acrylic paint. Coupled with his expert play of perspective, the fish (and other creatures) seem ultra realistic. Keng Lye has since added three dimensional portions to his ‘paintings’ as can be seen in these first four images, making them seem even more unbelievably alive and real. [via]
After unknowingly purchasing fake pre-Colombian artifacts, artist Nadín Ospina gave serious thought to Latin-American culture and its ancient roots. His sculptures depicts pop-culture cartoon characters such as Snoopy, Micky Mouse, and Bart Simpson in an often pre-Colombian style. His work is a powerful but simple comment on the globalization of entertainment and information. How much of our personal and collective identities is lost to an increasingly global community?
Like its real-life counterpart, this coral reef is alive in a way. Organized by the LA based non-profit organization, Institute for Figuring, the reef was lovingly constructed by many hands. According to the Institute for Figuring, the institute is “an organization dedicated to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science, mathematics and engineering”, and certainly does this with its Crochet Coral Reef.
The public is invited to participate by crocheting different organisms that are added to the larger crochet habitat. The reef has grown to become one of the largest participatory science and art projects in the world. It does much more than organize a community to engage with visual art and craft. It brings attention to the biology of coral reefs, emphasizes their importance, and reminds us of the danger they’re currently in.