Topographical Maps Carved from Electrical Tape and The Thread Sculptures of Takahiro Iwasaki

Check out the artwork of Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki. “Not only are his small buildings and electrical towers excruciatingly small and delicate, but they also rest on absurdly mundane objects: rolls of tape, a haphazardly wrinkled towel, or from the bristles of a discarded toothbrush. Only on close inspection do the small details come into focus, faint hints of urbanization sprouting from disorder.” (via).

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Caverns Carved into Books by Guy Laramee

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Guy Laramee delicately cuts caverns through the centers of books.  He carves the pages away to reveal caves that seem to be ready to be explored.  His work explores the insides of books in a very literal way.  Indeed, Laramee’s sculptures in way recall the plot of a classic: Journey to the Center of the Earth.  And, in fact, Laramee mentions this book in his statement on the series.  He says:

“Like in Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, we seem to be chained to this quest. We “have to” know what lies inside things. But in doing so, we bury ourselves in the “about-ness” of our productions – language, function, etc- all things “about” other things.”

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Houses of Worship Built With Weapons And Ammunition

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The stark sculptures of Al Farrow are jolting in their simplicity.  His Reliquaries series of sculptures are houses of worship and reliquaries (a container for holy relics) built from weapons and ammunition.  Stacks of bullets form walls, barrels form steeples, and muzzles form minarets.  Farrow’s artistic commentary on violence in connection with religion is a powerful one.  Using a provocative medium to create loaded imagery (seriously, pun not intended), Farrow’s work easily elicits strong responses from viewers.

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The Morbid Crystal Covered Sculptures of Nicola Bolla

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The work of Nicola Bolla is arresting in its contrasts.  The artist often fashions sculptures of straightforward (albeit morbid) objects that are then covered in sparkling crystals.  The glamorous glitter of the crystal is juxtaposed against the utilitarian nature of many of the objects they cover.  These are further contrasted in these images taken by photographer Sergio Alfredini.  The dilapidated house provides a strangely ideal setting to emphasize these brightly dark sculptures.

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Interactive Sculpture That Makes Charcoal Drawings

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Artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski in a way treats her sculpture like a living creature.  The piece titled (or maybe named) ADA is a large ball inflated with helium and covered in charcoal pegs.  Visitors are encouraged to interact, even play with the ball thus leaving marks on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the room.  The artist considers the piece not only a sculpture, but really a self-creating artwork.  ADA’s shape even resembles a cell or virus emphasizing the idea of the sculpture creating on its own (with some help from visitors, of course).

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Shan Hur’s Excavated Sculptures

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Shan Hur‘s sculptures interact with the gallery space in a unique way.  He embeds his sculptural work inside walls and pillars throughout the space.  Each piece almost seems if it is in the middle of being excavated right out of the gallery wall.  In this way the sculpture brings the entire gallery into the work of art, and by extenstion its visitors.  Interestingly, Hur says of his work:

“One of the issues I have focused on is how to reduce the burden of the volume of sculpture.  I then connect this mass to its surroundings, but not just as part of the whole.  I think sculpture should communicate with its circumstances.”

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The Cookware Sculptures of Adeela Suleman

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The art of Adeela Suleman is built of common cooking utensils found in her home of Karachi, Pakistan.  Suleman utilizes objects such as strainers, measuring spoons, tongs, and enamel pots among many others.  While many of her pieces appear organic, others seem to be a form of armor or helmet.  She juxtaposes traditionally domestic tools with the appearance of items of aggression and physical protection.  Perhaps, a reminder of physical abuse directed against women as well as the absurdity of violence.

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The Cut Paper City Sculptures of Matthew Picton

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The work of Matthew Picton is something more than a map, even something more than a model city.  He meticulously builds cities from paper.  Each buildings wall is built from a strip of paper leaving its interior empty.  In a way his three dimensional maps get at the personality of a city.  Speaking about cartography Picton says,

“There is some intrinsic quality to cartography that goes beyond the scientific document – a beauty of form and detail, a record of past times and places, something that lives as a world in which imagination can flow; places to re-visit, places to re-imagine, a world to re-make itself in the imagination.”     [via]

Several of his pieces depict cities before and after a natural disaster or war.  The charred strips of paper mark burnt or crumbled buildings.  Pockets of burnt paper seem more like injuries than a cold record of a past fact.

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