Artist Eugenio Merino produces overtly political sculptures. His witty work explores issues such as class, violence, war, religion. For example, the piece Redecorate Your Life is an ultra-realistic silicone model of a homeless man who seemingly fell asleep (or died?) while flipping through an Ikea catalog. His home, however, is simply the packaging of the items he was glancing at. Merino’s work cleverly comments on materialism, poverty, and homogeneity. His sculptures make a statement with a sense of humor while retaining a sense of gravity.
These melting disco balls are the work of German collective Rotganzen. The installation, titled Quelle Fête, features scattered disco balls in various stages of melting. No longer operable or spinning, they lie lazily on the floor. Regarding the concept, Rotganzen says:
“Our conscious choice of the material and form contains a contrast to the message. It’s a reminder of the momentousness of glamour and swiftly passing glory. What once may have been a perfect shape takes on a new character and meaning. However, rather than a cynical take on reality, our intention is to offer a playful approach to observing our object of depiction.” [via]
The figurative drawings and paintings of Pasadena based artist Ching Ching Cheng are remarkably captivating to me. She uses members of her family often as subject matter but continually chooses to portray them in a conceptual way embracing different ways to illustrate a memory of that person in her past more so than the realistic representation of them. Ching uses sculpture and installation mediums in her work, such as her vintage polaroid and mm camera sculptures made of found books & maps. Each camera sculpture has tremendous amounts of character to them feeling to me as if they are alive beings or the “true” soul of whatever camera they are embodying. Ching’s work is thoughtful and personal slivers of her life past and present. Her primary influences include nature, and psychology.
Olaf Breuning commissioned a series of coffins to be created by Ghanaian casket makers. The design of eccentric coffins actually has a long history and tradition in Ghana, so to some this work is actually not that peculiar. Still, it’s not every day you see a coffin in the shape of a melting popsicle. More images of the coffins and the process of making them after the jump.
Improvised Making is and was an interactive installation by artist Dominic Wilcox. Created for the Making Together exhibit in Milan, Wilcox began the installation/sculpture with a single chair. He invited the public to donate sticks for the project and sticks of all sorts were brought to the gallery. Over the course of six days, Wilcox taped all of the sticks as they were brought to him to the chair. Carefully balancing and taping each piece to the structure, he only allowed the four legs of the chair to touch the ground and support the structure. Prior to moving the completed sculpture into another gallery, the structure’s shadow was documented in red on the wall and floor.
Taxidermy is a subject that frequently makes people squeamish and uncomfortable, and there is something definitely something surreal about preserving an animal that has died. Idiots are a Dutch art collective who combine their skills in sculpture and design create taxidermy works of art that are both playful and disturbing. The animals are lifelike and dynamic, but often with their bodies torn apart, stuffed into glass containers, or trapped in unnatural positions. Their sculptures often exhibit the animals inner workings, and replace organs with metals, minerals, or jewels. The beauty contained inside the animals makes their lifelessness even more tragic, and indicates that the artists recognize the morbidity in their own work.
Lotta Mattila is a Helsinki-based Finnish sculptor who is currently the artist-in-residence at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Mattila finds meaning in the contradictions between her sculptures’ form and their content (a literal battering ram made of glass), and uses those material contradictions to comment on human nature, often by punning off of Finnish sayings.
Mattila’s Skylab exhibition Gravitation opens Friday (11/30) and runs until December 10th. Gravitation takes the “weight of the world” – its physicality and heaviness when one is depressed – as its central metaphor. More of Mattila’s work can be found after the jump.
Artist Anne Ten Donkelaar‘s series Broken Butterflies takes its inspiration from a children’s book. According to the story, because of his dream to create a mix between a flower and a bird, the protagonist Arno is banished to an insect workshop. In a way, Donkelaar works from her own insect workshop. She says:
“I had my own collection of damaged butterflies, so I decided to repair each one differently according to their needs. So in a way, I now have my own workplace with butterflies and give the butterflies a second life.”
Much of her work begins with objects that are often overlooked. Infusing them with renewed attention and narrative, Donkelaar then reintroduces the object to the viewer.