People are on the move in the installations of Clinton De Menezes. Large crowds of people seem to be trudging through a white field – a snowy plain or salt flat. The exodus, though, plays out on the side of a wall. The South African artist’s model migrations exhibit patience and attention to detail. Each figure is hand painted before being placed and plastered to the wall. De Menezes’ installations illustrate the personal and collective drama of human migration. His work is clearly influence by the ever shifting and complex social landscape of the land of his birth.
Stephanie Herr is a German artist whose topographic sculptures speak to humanity’s interaction with the natural world and dissociation thereof. Painstakingly cut by hand, her mapping of sausage and chicken breasts in styrofoam reference our pursuit of complete knowledge and control of the world at large, charmingly jabbing its warped products through her topographic style. This isn’t to say her works are merely didactic condemnations of mankind’s imperialism, her work is as critical of it as it is inspired by its imagination and absurdity. Political or not, Kerr’s work is a real pleasure to look at. (via)
Cao Hui‘s ultra realistic sculptures manage to be intriguing while stomach turning. Cao sculpts every day objects such as furniture or clothing as if from butchered flesh and innards. His strict attention to detail can be seen from the entrails spilling out of a slashed cushion to a couple swollen armrest stitches. Though constructed from resin, his artwork appears to bulge, droop, and tear much like actual flesh. Cao juxtaposes inside and outside, essence and appearance in a very literal (albeit gory) manner. While disturbing, Cao effectively executes his work with a certain dark humor. [via]
Artist Patrick Jacobs creates highly intricate dioramas. His dioramas, once created, are installed inside the gallery wall and fitted with a large lens. Gallery visitors can spy on each of the miniature scenes through these lenses. Jacobs’ dioramas are often of idealized landscapes or peaceful indoor scenes carefully detailed to appear as entirely separate worlds. Hidden lighting glows as if entirely natural while the foreground seamlessly blends with a background and further to the horizon.
Libby Black‘s sculptures are delicately pieced together paper, hot glue, and acrylic paint. In this way she recreates everyday objects as designer products. Though Black’s sculptures are constructed with care, each is clearly playful. Rather than use a heavy-handed sarcasm, she seems careful to be at once ironic and earnest, critical and in praise of materialism. Her sculptures effectively investigate a complex love/hate relationship with a name brand life.
Appropriately, Libby Black’s enviable ‘luxury’ sculptures are featured in the “Seven Deadly Sins” themed Beautiful/Decay Book: 9. Be sure to check out Black and many other amazing artists, illustrators, designers, and writers also featured in the book.
What at first may look like a Styrofoam Mona Lisa is actually incredibly detailed marble work by Italian artist Fabio Viale. Yes you read that right. Marble. Viale does some incredible work to modernize this “old-fashioned” medium, like re-creating Greek Korus torsos and hands covered in tattoos. He is able to transform this heavy, bulky material into creations that seem light and airy, like old beat up tires, popcorn or crumpled paper bags. Viale even went so far as to create a marble motorboat he called Ahgalla, which remarkably he used to navigate the rivers north of Italy.
Yuichi Hirako is a Japanese artist whose paintings and sculptures blend humans, the city, and the forest together into in alternate, animistic realities. The works feel like they’re made by someone who feels life around them as one unified force and doesn’t envision a cataclysmic end to humanity, but just a change in how our form of life is expressed biologically. In Hirako’s work, it’s as though a nuclear catastrophe had dissolved the boundaries between all life forms on earth, leaving behind husks of cars, trees that grow houses, varicolored trees and rivers, and people who have very literally become one with nature. It’s interesting to think about alternate possibilities for life on earth, and if humanity does decide to use all our nuclear weapons, I hope we end up in Hirako’s paintings.
Italian-based artist Noubeda Carbone is known typically for her award-winning illustrations. Her sculptures, however, are similarly colorful and meticulous. The Disease Sculptures and Wearable Pills series each include pieces painstakingly crafted from pill capsules. While her 3D work may exude a technicolor lightheartedness, the medium itself is disquieting. Particularly in the Wearable Pills series, the modern shift from pharmaceuticals as medical items to vanity products is especially striking. Carbone may be highlighting the visually pleasant nature of the pills as it’s connected to the dream of personal transformation.