Jim Hodges’ Chromatically-Mirrored Boulder Sculptures

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American artist Jim Hodges has always had an innate ability to impress ideas of time into commonplace objects, whether using napkins for drawings, silk flowers pinned to walls or collections of broken mirrors. In his work, Untitled (2011), metaphors for nature are again followed by human involvement, allowing for reflection from the smallest material interactions.

Comprised of four boulders which are capped with stainless steel veneers in gold, pink, lavender and blue, Untitled finds each stone arranged into a circular environment that directly invokes the viewer’s sense of space. Light and reflection play a role in the viewing, as colors meld and give the stones a surprising airy and weightless quality. Untitled’s colors were inspired by Hodges’ travels to India, where Hodges was enamored by the intense use of color, as he describes, “this layering, layering, layering of material, to the point where what’s being covered, its identity, seemed to start being erased by the accumulation of color.

Scale is equally important to Untitled, and speaks to themes of change and impermanence. The works are quite massive, with each boulder measuring close to six feet in height and collectively weighing almost 90,000 pounds. Collected in Massachusetts, before being brought to a fabricators in Upstate New York, the boulders were chosen specifically because they were carved and moved centuries ago by the glaciers which covered the North American continent. While the weightless quality is provided by the translucent hues, and the permanence of the heavy rocks is insinuated, Hodges deftly reminds us that nothing is immovable or permanent.

First displayed indoors at the Gladstone Gallery in New York City, the work was then moved to the Walker Art Center’s outdoor grounds to coincide with the Sculpture Garden’s anniversary, as well as an upcoming retrospective exhibition. Hodges retrospective, Give More Than You Take, is currently on view at the Dallas Museum of Art and extends through January  12th, 2014. The exhibition will then travel to join Untitled (2011) at the Walker Art Center. (via walker art center)

Pamela Council’s Sculptures Made Of Fake Acrylic Nails

Pamela Council - Acrylic Nails, Paint Pamela Council - Acrylic Nails, Paint

Pamela Council - Acrylic Nails, Paint

Pamela Council - Acrylic Nails, Paint

New York-based artist and product developer Pamela Council creates sculptures using hundreds of fake acrylic nails. Putting together these tiny, mundane objects, she builds extraordinary busts, lanterns, and sculptures about Olympic athletes. Her socially-conscious work focuses on the deeper meaning of these objects. What kind of associations do we have with them? Council writes about her thought process, stating:

I take everyday objects and re-figure them as I consider their associations and power. The process begins with research and includes a dissection of the cultural implications of the product, from why it was created, to how and where it is made, sold, and used. This enables me to extricate the object from its commercial value and present it in sculpture. Through this process, the object becomes re-possessed.

Mass-produced objects that are used on the body interest me the most; recently, my focus has been almost exclusively on beauty products. As I continue to investigate these cultural artifacts, my goal is to create a new dialogue and awareness about the things that we collect, consume, and discard. Hopefully, it will encourage an analysis that eulogizes the significance of these objects even as it allows for a more critical view of their value. If it works, my art will serve as a proxy for the objects and psyches we decide we can live without.

Council created a sculpture titled, Flo Jo World Record Nails, which used 200 sets of the manicured nails that Florence Griffith-Joyner wore during the 1988 Olympics, when she set the 200 meter world record. Council painted each set and had them for sale. You too could harness the same power as Flo Jo – being young, extremely talented, all while remaining stylish.

You can visit Council’s Tumblr, Blaxidermy, for her photos, work in progress, and things she comes across in her day-to-day life.

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Amy Santoferraro’s Sculptures Assembled From Everyday Objects

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Amy Santoferraro - Assemblage

You know those silica gel packets? The kind you find in a new pair of shoes or in a coat pocket? As a kid, Amy Santoferraro used to collect them as if they were something precious. She would organize and catalog them, which was a sign of things to come. Today, collecting is the heart of Santoferraro’s sculptural work.

Some interests never die; they just find new ways to reinvent themselves in our lives. Just as Santoferraro coveted tiny packets of poison as a child, as an adult she’s amassed objects that would usually be discarded. She has built a body of work around something that’s her natural inclination. From her artist statement:

Like every toddler, I play with what I am given. Fascinated by numbers, colors, objects, and shiny things, I rowdily rummage through thrift stores and flea markets like toy boxes tearing through objects whose usefulness has been exhausted and awaits deliverance to a new imagined life.

 

Santoferraro’s series, BaskeTREE, uses cheap, everyday items and transforms them into small landscapes and scenes. She hand picks objects that resonate with her, either because of nostalgia, beauty, or usefulness. She tinkers with them until the sculpture feels right. The result is a transformation and change of context. Because these cheap items went from being discarded  (one man’s trash is truly another’s treasure here), and placed in the realm of art object, their perceived value is much greater. These assemblages now exist on a higher level of craft and concept than just a plastic flower, basket, and fly swatter has individually.

Santoferraro describes her work as “silly connections that develop from my making and thought processes.” That’s part of the appeal; they might remind us of childhood.  Even if they don’t, the parts of the sculpture reveal a lot about socioeconomic status, and about how and where we grew up. The sum of each sculpture is not only a playful scene, but a snapshot of a society.

Vlad Tenu’s Sculptures Inspired By Patterns In Nature

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Vlad Tenu is an architect and designer based in London whose work is inspired by complex (yet minimal) naturally occurring patterns and spontaneous creation. In his structural series, Synthetic Nature, the Romanian-born artist explore how “the molecular behavior of soap bubbles informs the research method, which involves nature inspired algorithms and geometric constraints.” By utilizing organically-influenced repeating surfaces, which can be reshaped and added onto, his sculptural works could theoretically expand endlessly.

Resembling soap bubbles, honeycombs, seed pods, and other innumerable repeating and interconnecting shapes found in nature, the additive qualities of the work makes their shape completely adaptable, a final form which is limitless. The paradox of Synthetic Nature is that the process, materials and design is all aided or done entirely by computerized systems, thus removing the connection between the influence of organic happenstance and automatic construction. At the same time, the geometries and algorithms that create the work are repeating systems, obeying laws similar to those seen in nature itself.

Synthetic Nature (which is currently on display at London’s Surface_Gallery, through October 18th, 2013) fully explores this connection, parallel and paradox. Tenu, who often replies to the work as a ‘species’ (insinuating a type or categorization) uses more artistic methods, which he combines with his design and architecture background. The artist explains “Synthetic Nature is an instance of my explorative research into spatiality, scale and materiality; all with deep roots in my architectural background. The work has transcended those levels by creating artifacts that are interpretable and adaptable to anything from jewellery, fashion, product design and interiors, architecture to fine art. Algorithmic and geometrical concepts generate surface to volume morphologies that are blurring the boundaries between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, between ‘solid’ and ‘transparent’ or between ‘natural’ and ‘synthetic’ – blended into abstract hybrid species.” (via design boom)

Life-Size Animal Gallery Goers Made Out Of Cut Paper

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Animal Watching Teaser from Max Gärtner on Vimeo.

Artist Max Gärtner‘s solo exhibit Animal Watching is a bit of a play on words.  Much of the exhibits is filled with intricate animal portraits.  The portraits of these animal gallery goers are created using carefully cut paper in impressive detail, that are then mounted and framed.  It offers gallery visitors a different sort of Animal Watching.  Accompanying the wall mounted artwork, are what appear to three figures, each with a different animal head, carefully inspecting pieces.  The sculptures are each an animal watching the gallery events.  Check out the video to see the way the piece interact within the gallery and some of the art work being created.

Chris Musina’s “Volatile Relationship” With Nature

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The human relationship with the natural world is a complex one that doesn’t seem to untangle anytime soon.  With animal life increasingly being abused and habitats encroached upon anxiety is understandably mounting.  Artist Chris Musina address these issues in painting and also sculpture.  Musina depicts the uglier side of the human/animal relationship.  Rather than highlight idyllic scenes of nature, he draws gruesome imagery of animal mistreatment to the forefront.  Animal carcasses are often kept as trophies, dead souvenirs of a once living creature.  Painting’s tradition of depicting killed animals is extensive – the fox hunt alone, for example, an entire genre.  Appropriately, then, Musina’s animal carcasses are not there to be admired but act as animals condemning the viewer.  They seem to be holding an accounting for their present condition in the painting as well as in a larger abstract sense. They act as a tool to deconstruct disassociation. Musina further explains his use of painting in addressing ecological and animal issues:

“Dealing directly with our increasingly volatile and uneasy relationship to the natural world, I draw from contemporary animal thought and a deep phylogeny of cultural cues. My work dismantles how we look at animals via “nature morte” painters, philosophy, hunting, museum dioramas, and the like. Manifested in life size compositions full of dark humor and bright color, I am addressing the animal as neither symbol nor object, but as subject, a subject aware of his or her own powerful symbolic nature. Painting represents the bulk of my practice precisely due to its place in the forefront of a history of representing animals. My paintings are populated with animal protagonists who stare back at the viewer in an uneasy gaze; aware of that place in our cultural history– asking for compassion, mercy, or simply to be put out of their misery.”

Trevor And Ryan Oakes’ Intricate Sculptures Made Out of Thousands Of Matchsticks

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Twin brothers Trevor and Ryan Oakes create works which investigate and analyze perspective, perception and the shapes that are intrinsically connected to the way we view the world around us. In addition to incredibly-detailed renderings on curved paper, the brothers Oakes create particularly interesting sculptural works from metaphorically-loaded materials, like the matchstick sculptures pictured above.

Though made from simple materials, their construction was anything but. The Colorado-born, New York-based artist’s match sculptures were difficult to create, as the review in Ignant documents, the “first form was a small grid of matchsticks which curved in two directions to become a portion of the surface of a sphere. After that, they set out on building an entire dome, starting with a ring of matches on a table surface upon which additional rings were stacked. The form didn’t quite want to emerge into a dome though unless a small amount of space was manually added between the match heads. Curiosity eventually caught them an they began to look for a form that would emerge if they didn’t manually space the heads and let the matches truly guide their own behavior. A sea-shell-like spiral unexpectedly emerged.”

The Oakes describe the shapes created from the matchsticks as a reflection of naturally developing forms. ”Forms that occur naturally predicated upon simple rules, or building codes; in this case placing one matchstick next to another and allowing the fact that as the head is a slightly different width than the stick, a form will occur naturally.”

The sculptures possess an immediate cultural recognition being made from commonly used objects, and are given more weight when thousands of them are collected together. But they also hold a seductive energy because the inherent reactive possibilities of the materials.  Matchsticks immediately insinuate fire, and collected matchsticks offer the potential for a chain-reaction, a possibility which adds to the idea of power in great numbers. (via Ignant)

Nick Ervinck’s Sublimely Intricate 3D Printed Sculptures

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Belgian artist Nick Ervinck‘s work is a divergent collection of the physical and the digital: by employing computer design techniques with a singular vision to make sculptural works new and exciting, Ervinck turned to 3D printed sculptures for his gallery works and comes out the other side creating works of singular focus, applicability and immediacy.

Says Ervinck on his website’s artist statement, “I have always been fascinated by how art has developed due to the use of new materials and techniques. Somewhat disappointed in contemporary sculpture and it’s lack of renewal, I turned towards architecture, applied sciences and new media, in order to elaborate a new language generated by computer software, and to compose forms and designs that were unthinkable in all those years before.”

While many of his works contain a quality that derives from ““Using copy paste techniques in a 3D software environment, I derive images, shapes and textures from different sources: basilicas, corals, dinosaurs, cottages, Rorschach inkblots, Chinese rocks and trees, manga, twelfth-century floral wallpaper, anatomical parts…”, perhaps most interesting in Ervinck’s work is his particular interest in the future possibilities and practical uses of the 3-Dimensional printing medium. In works such as the AGRIEBORZ series (pictured above), Ervinck worked closely with medical scientists to create realistic reproductions of the details of the human body in the fledgling bio-printing industry. He has openly remarked that he hopes that his artistic concerns and sculptures will eventually fuel scientific inspiration to continue research into the realms of human potential. (via MELT)