The Nightmarish Horses of Berlinde De Bruyckere

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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.

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Bodies Projecting the Milky Way from Mihoko Ogaki

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The sculptures of Mihoko Ogaki are deeply felt.  Her sculptures often deal with the heavy ideas of life and death.  This series titled Milky Ways follows suit.  Plastic sculptures of people inhabit darkened rooms.  Lit from within, the bodies illuminate the surrounding walls and ceiling with a starry-like pattern.  Each body carries a universe within it, projecting it out onto the world around it – it isn’t difficult to draw out a metaphor from there.  It is further interesting to contrast the dark unlit plastic bodies in the well lit gallery against the glowing beings alone in the middle of the dark room.  [via]

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Hirotoshi Ito’s Rocks and Stones Look Like Anything But

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When not attending to his family’s masonry business, Hirotoshi Ito turns a more playful eye to the stones of his work day.  Hirotoshi deftly works stone transforming it into sculptures that appear to be anything but the hard material.  Rocks look as if they’re thin skinned pouches, melting like butter, and laughing faces.  Hirotoshi’s sculptures – their playful forms and use of material – betray the artists sense of humor and a desire to pleasantly surprise the viewer.  Indeed, the artist’s statement says that his work welcomes  a laugh and a smile.

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The Political Sculptures of Afruz Amighi

AFRUZ AMIGHI was born in Tehran, Iran and is now based out of New York. Amighi uses her sculpture work to blend art and politics. In her recent exhibition’s “Cages” and “The Hidden State” she explores the turmoil of the middle-east.
In her work “Cages”, she reflects the tumultuous the political and social history of Iran. “Amighi casts her unique perspective into the confines of Iranian social, political and cultural institutions through incorporating cage-like features into several works made from base metal chain, aluminum sheet metal and wire. The alluring and provoking facades reveal a power to ensnare and entrap, creating a realm in which violence and tranquility collide.”
She hangs these in different fighting formations. “Mocking ornate chandeliers with their allusions to missiles and bullets, their numerical configuration represents the number of test missiles launched by the Islamic Republic of Iran over the past two years.”

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Carly Fischer’s Litter Replicas Made From Paper and Glue

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The installations of Carly Fisher may at first appear to be trash strewn galleries.  However, closer inspection reveals that none of the items are actual garbage.  Rather, Fisher carefully recreates litter from little more than paper and glue.  The meticulous attention she  gives to sculpting trash replicas, so to say, may seem odd.  However, the familiar international name brands dotting the gallery floor raise the question: do these corporations possibly give the same meticulous attention to the branding of litter as Fischer?  As one of her gallery statements puts it, “Perhaps there is a marketing edge to trash?”

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The Ultra-Realistic Paper Sculptures of Vincent Tomczyk

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At first glance the work of Vincent Tomczyk appears to be normal ready-made objects.  However, each piece is carefully constructed almost entirely from different types of paper.  Yeah, paper.  You can’t sit on these chairs or slip into those shorts without ripping it.  In a way, this seems to be Tomczyk’s intention.  Tomczyk and his viewers investigate these objects by painstakingly rebuilding them without their utilitarian properties.  He says:

“Although my work can be categorized as realism, my intention is to distill the emotion of an object, then through expression, reconstruct it into my view of its essential self – free of function.” [via]

 

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Eric Franklin’s Glowing Glass Skull Sculptures

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Eric Franklin‘s sculpture’s glow with a certain life.  Though the series focuses on skulls and skeletons, it isn’t exactly dead.  These skulls are carefully made of flameworked glass, or glass melted and shaped with a torch.  The hollow skulls are then filled with ionized neon, krypton, and mercury gases.  The ionized gases cause the skulls to glow from within complimenting their eery shape.   [via]

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Wolfgang Stiller’s Human Matchsticks

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Wolfgang Stiller‘s series Matchstickmen are a depiction of people that are literally burnt out.  The sculptures resemble giant match sticks, the the charred match head like a human head, ignited and tossed about the gallery.  A play on the phrase ‘burnt out’, the series comments on the unending demand of human labor.  Interestingly the installation was created while the German artist was living in China.  However, Stiller says of the work:

“I don’t want to see it only as a critique on the Chinese system. Any other system in the world has the same problem. Big companies exploit their employees to make larger profits, all over the world. As long as we have affordable T-shirts or sneakers, we don’t really want to know whether they are made by children in India or not.”  [via]

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