Suellen Parker builds each character from unforgettable moments of strangers or friends. First, she starts with sculpting the shape from plastiline clay before photographing it with a blank backdrop. Then, simultaneously, she scavengers for props, walls, or environments that might suit a certain character well and shoots those too. All of these images are finally loaded into a computer, where the art of merging and manipulation occurs. Skin tones are “digitally painted” and human faces technologically blend with clay while backgrounds stitch together to create a new imaginative world.
Of Letting Go, her most recent series collected here, Parker strives to twist not only mediums, but also gender roles. She suggests her characters concretely and conceptually have a fine blend of both, and states, they “are attempting to find a sacred space, a place of vulnerability, a place where they allow themselves to be really seen. By quieting one’s life, even momentarily, an opportunity is presented to learn truths about oneself. By engaging in private play, one is able to let go of expectations and rules. The result is a private and truthful moment that may be enjoyed without fear of judgment or consequence.”
Artist Anastassia Elias is perhaps best known for a a simple but intricate style of artwork. She creates tiny dioramas inside toilet paper rolls that come to life upon shining a light through it. Elias delicately cuts each scene from paper and places it inside the roll. Though each diorama contains a great amount of detail, Elias has been able to create an extensive amount of work in the series. In fact, she recently released a book documenting her paper roll work between 2009 and 2012. [via]
The work of Yinka Shonibare, MBE is filled with the complexity and ambiguity that make art endlessly exciting. Born in London, Shonibare moved to Nigeria when he was three years old and later returned to London to attend college. In a way, his work reflects this personal dynamic between Europe and Africa. However, Shonibare’s work makes it clear that his scope is much larger than that. He skillfully blends traditional textiles, costume, and symbolism from various European and African cultures and times. Through his distinctive work, Shonibare has a way of exploring issues of colonialism in an increasingly shrinking world without taking away any of its complexity. Thus, his work doesn’t inspire political reactionism, but rather sincere thought and deep consideration.
The sculptures of Anthony Howe intriguing as they are – gleaming in the yard of his rural home. However, when a breeze picks up and flows through his work, the sculptures take on new life. These kinetic sculptures unfold in the wind with mesmerizing movement. He says of his work:
“I attempt, with an economy of means, to construct objects whose visual references range from lo-tech sci-fi paraphernalia to microbiological or astronomical models. Utilizing primarily stainless steel armatures that are driven either by hammered curvilinear shapes or flat fiberglass covered discs, I hope the pieces assume a spare, linear elegance when conditions are still, mutating to raucous animation when the wind picks up.” [via]
Often it seems the most useful objects are the most overlooked. Much of the work of artist and designer Joost Goudriaan is set upon changing our relationship with such items. A park bench, an object whose aesthetic is nearly entirely defined by its use, is transformed with traditional craftsmanship. Goudrian uses leather and walnut wood to turn a typically stark bench into luxuriant public seating. Also pictured, is a replica of the classic Nike Air Max made from chocolate. While the original may be prized and collected, Goudriaan compelled anyone who bought his chocolate replica to sign a contract stipulating that they would eat the shoe.
Christopher Lavery’s sculptures and installations work as poetic monuments– stretching beyond one particular brand or medium, and focusing, instead, on the art of humanity in relation to our natural state of dreaming.
For instance, Cloudscape (top image above), a collection of representational clouds, stands as tall as 42 feet and hovers alongside Pena Blvd. in Denver, Colorado. Each piece, made of steel, solar panels, polygal, and LED lighting, allows us to reconsider our own relationship with the sky– how a cloud is a talisman or connector: nature’s billboard, ephemerally reminding us to look up and inward.
Big Gold Word Bubble (plan and model, 2nd and 3rd image above), his latest endeavor, after completion, will stand 14’ tall and examine this idea of how, parallel to the clouds, language is both concrete and abstract: a beautifully harmonized collective word bubble and diversely individualized journey of interpretation. To help support its construction and transit to Art in the Park at Elm Park in Worcester, MA, click here. To view more Cloudscape installation shots, scroll down after the jump.
Artist Jordan Eagles works in a gory medium: blood. Eagle has developed a unique production process that envelops blood he sources from slaughterhouses. Using Plexiglass and UV resin, Eagle encases the blood in a way that preserves its haunting red hue. He further manipulates the blood and resin to create various effects and appearances such as adding blood-soaked gauze or running an electrical current through the pieces. His work calls to mind the rituals surrounding death and the preservation of memory. Check out the video to get an idea of his singular process.
The Glue Society‘s newest project for Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus is an amusent park, or rather, was an amusement park. James Dive of the group gathered an entire demolished amusement park and compacted it into one 13 foot cube. Pieces of rides and remnants of prizes can easily be seen in the mass. The cube was clearly once a place people looked for fun and relaxation, but is now irretrievably gone. Dive says of the project, “The project is about the finality of a missed moment. Creating it was undoubtedly the most violent process I’ve ever embarked upon.”