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.
The work of art collective Ghost of a Dream uses lottery tickets and romance novel covers to mezmerizing effect. Often employing thousands of dollars worth of scratch-off tickets ($70,000 worth of tickets in the last installation alone), the work conjures a culture of hyper-materialism. The gaudy coloring of the tickets and cheap imagery of romance novels reflect the nature of the object they cover. Like the dream of striking it rich, the art of the collective is hypnotic and absorbing.
If you want to see more work from Ghost of a Dream be sure to check out their exclusive feature interview in Beautiful/Decay Book 9. The collective explores Greed in this Seven Deadly Sins themed edition.
The art duo of Yarisal and Kublitz create smartly charming sculptures and installations. The pieces, often created from household materials, are each emboided with a subtle subversiveness. From a vending machine filled with glassware to self filling and popping balloons, the duo’s pieces transform familiar objects into characters of ironic scenes. Through their work, Ronnie Yarisal and Katja Kublitz encourage a fresh perspective of the banal through sculptures that look like the punchline to existential jokes.
At times called ‘performative sculpture’ Swiss artist Victorine Müller combines sculpture and performance art to intriguing effect. Her large but airy PVC sculptures stand ghost-like, glowing in the light and disappearing in the shadows. Müller herself sits or stands peacefully inside the sculpture. The title of her most recent exhibit “Wild at Heart” sheds some light onto her work. Müller temporarily inhabits the inside of an animal – the guts, the heart, the womb, the soul. Though simple, each performance connects easily with the viewers communicating, as Müller says “something that is not said and cannot be said, but that is.”