Tom Bendtsen’s first book sculptures appeared in 1997. After initially creating basic structures, his work evolved with the idea of using the books’ colors to create a pixelated image effect. Bendtsen even fills the gaps in his structures with objects or scenes that ask the viewer to consider ideas of history, narrative, and creativity. The laterality of the structures and how this mirrors our absorption of contrasts and oppositions inherent in written narrative are also at play. His largest structure is composed of 16,000 books. String is used to create the forms of the sculptures, and then those forms are filled with books.
These incredibly realistic birds are not alive – surprisingly they’re only paper models. In fact, artist Johan Scherft out of only paper, glue, and paint. He models each bird’s unique shape on his computer than constructs and paints the rest by hand. While the fold-and-glue-tabs model provides each bird with their distinctive body shape, the realism is in Scherft’s careful painting. He says of the painting, “For this part, I take the most time. With very fine brushes, I try to achieve the most realistic effect in color and detail. I use watercolors or gouache paint. It’s always an exciting moment once the template has been painted to assemble the bird and see what the result is.” [via]
Self-taught artist YaYa Chou grew up in Taiwan, but has lived in Los Angeles since 1997. Her Soft Tissue series, collected here, combine glass sculptures with drawn schematics on paper, both of which strive to explore the protected anatomy of people, plants, and animals on a conceptual and figurative level.
Especially when juxtaposed, these pieces indicate an interesting study of the body: where eastern ideas of emotional organ frequencies meet western philosophies of organism functionality. Chou’s work playfully dialogues with our own creation and confinement of thought.
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.