Felice Varini’s Installations Cleverly Creates Optical Illusions That Change According To Your Perspective

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Felice Varini’s site-specific paintings will have you dizzy as they distort your reality by altering your perception. Depending on where you stand or how you look her work, it looks completely different. One moment you are standing in front of a spiral of bright oranges, if you move to a different angle, skewed and broken. Her public works are painted on beams of buildings, walls of galleries, windows, and much more. The artist incorporates the entire space that her work inhabits into clever optical illusions, manipulating your eye into seeing something amazing.

Her eye-popping, bold shapes and vivid colors that she uses in her works make it impossible to ignore if you are lucky enough to spot one. Each shape the artist creates is like a piece to a puzzle that only fits together at the right moment, forcing you to pay attention to your surroundings. Varini’s optic art demands that you slow down and take a second to enjoy all that is around you, including her incredible artwork. If you don’t, you may just walk right pass it, only catching hints of blues and reds where there should have been squares and triangles. Felice Varini, originally hailing from Switzerland, now lives and works in Paris where she installs many of her brilliant works. (via Ignant)

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Jenine Shereos’ Creates Beautifully Intricate Spiderwebs Out Of Lace





Boston-based artist Jenine Shereos who we’ve featured in the past for her amazing series of leaves made from human hair.  her amazing series of leaf forms made from human hair. Her more recent work revisits the idea of human-manipulated nature with “De/constructed Lace,” a site-specific installation series of knit-lace that mimics spiderwebs.

In Marnay-Sur-Seine, France she draped the knit threads in windows and doorways, looking like massive, delicate spiderwebs, echoing the white lace curtains in many local homes. The works are not perfect, Charlotte’s Web creations, but looser, more organic forms. Shereos says on her website:

“This installation of knit-lace is suspended in a state of unraveling. The process of its making and unmaking are one and the same.”

In Boston, she worked with black thread and crystals, allowing her web-like art to cast filigreed shadows on the wall amid flickering rainbows from the hanging crystal. The webs are more ominous in black, connecting to walls and windows and floor with fine strands.

“Some of these site-specific works are installed for a period of weeks for viewers to interact with, and others function as a sort of ephemeral, private performance existing afterwards in documentation. Oftentimes, collaborations intended or unintended arise within the environment; a spider spins its delicate webs from the white strands of thread suspended in an unraveling knit curtain, fibrous fragments of seaweed become embedded within a structure of knit fibers, or an array of rainbows flicker amidst white walls and black curtains.”

By co-opting the aesthetics of the natural world, Shereos creates a conscious interaction with the structure of the landscape or the architecture surrounding her art, uniting real and surreal, natural and constructed, fluidity and stillness.

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Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Bright Pink Multi-Sensory Installation




Walking past the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City, you might catch a glimpse of a bright pink, floor-to-ceiling, perforated, amoeba-like shape. Don’t be alarmed. “Situation Room”, a collaborative project, is a self-supported interactive structure by architect Marc Fornes / TheVeryMany paired with Oslo-based artist Jana Winderen’s engineered sounds. Visitors are invited to move within the installation, triggering the responsive sound. The passageways, apertures and tunnels are composed of 2000 parts designed by Fornes and fabricated by bengal.fierro. Patterns punched in the structure create patterns of shadow and light in the darkened room. Access to additional storefront projects is available through provided tablets.

“Reflecting on the contemporary conditions emerging between the digital and the physical realms, the collaboration of Winderen and Fornes collapses sound, light and form in an object with intrinsic sensorial behaviors, inviting visitors to question the properties of matter and the built environment surrounding us.”(Source)

This site-specific work is immersive, enveloping visitors in a multi-sensory experience that enhances the tie between physical space and sound. The idea that human presence affects built environments is made clear by the integration of responsive audio. Winderen’s website explains, “She is concerned with finding and revealing sounds from hidden sources, both inaudible for the human senses and sounds from places and creatures difficult to access.”

“The installation is a vibrating sound experiment that aims to transform the architecture into animated sensible form. Conceived as a sound object that absorbs and contrasts the site specificity of the Storefront Gallery with abstract, spatial, formal and acoustic variations and compositions, Situation NY raises questions about context, sensorial readings, estrangement and the uncanny tangentially resonating with contemporary debates around the ontology of objects.” (Source)

The “Situation Room” was created with the support of Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and is on display through November 1, 2014.Photos by Miguel de Guzmán. (via Hi-Fructose)

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A Temple Of Love Built Out Of Neon Colors, Geometric Patterns And Bold Typography





If the Beatles were right and all you need is love, I’ll take Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan’s version thank you very much. Built for the Festival of Love held in Southbank Centre, London (June 28 – August 31, 2014), The Temple of Agape is a visual feast. Neon colors, geometric patterns, and bold typography combine to make love a vibrant, exciting place to be.

The structures are inspired by those encountered by Myerscough in India and elsewhere in Asia where bamboo is used extensively for scaffolding as well as the Watts Towers in LA. The vibrant colours and handpainted lettering are similarly inspired.

Much of the success of the design is due to the restraint shown by Myerscough and Morgan, which may seem counterintuitive when looking at the riotous structure. Look closer, though, and you’ll see that there is one typeface and one type treatment. The color palette is strictly controlled, a neon rainbow, plus pink, black, and white. All of the shapes are simple and geometric; even the counters of the letters are removed, streamlining the shapes of the letters. Minimizing the design elements allows the installation to be ebullient but not overwhelming.

The Festival celebrates the legalization of Same Sex Couple Act by choosing seven Greek words describing love. Myerscough and Morgan’s were given Agape, a spiritual, selfless love; the love of humanity. Their temple represents the power of love to conquer hate.

“The Temple stands proud like a peacock with its giant Martin Luther King quote, expressing the power of love to the world,” say Myerscough and Morgan. “Inside its heart is calm and dappled with light for contemplating complex emotions, a place that can transform with Love expressed within.”

This is a temporary construction, which is a shame. The world could use more love, especially when it’s executed so beautifully. (Via Creative Review) Photos by Gareth Gardner.

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Surreal Buddhist Bug Project Tries To Negotiate Between Buddhism And Islam

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Cambodian-based artist Anida Yoeu Ali conceptualized The Buddhist Bug Project, which sprouted from her fascination of other religions. She was raised in the Muslim faith but is drawn towards the Buddhist religion. Her project attempts to reconcile these two interests. Ali explains:

The Buddhist Bug Project seeks to map a new spiritual and social landscape through its surreal existence amongst ordinary people and everyday environments. The Buddhist Bug (BBug) is a fantastic saffron-colored creature that can span the length of a 30-metre bridge or coil into a small orange ball. Rooted in an autobiographical exploration of identity, the Bug comes from the artist’s own spiritual turmoil between Islam and Buddhism. Set amongst everyday people in ordinary moments, the Bug provokes obvious questions of belonging and displacement.

The Bug’s colorful exterior references robes worn by the Buddhist Monks, while the style of its head piece is modeled after the Islamic Hijab. The travelling project has made its way to Cambodia, where Ali and photographer Masahiro Sugano stage site-specific performances. We see the Bug wrapped around tables, in a boat, up a flight of stairs, and more. Its presence allows for others to interact with it and take part in the project, which is part of Ali’s intent. “…meters and meters of textile act as skin, as a way for the surface of my body to extend into public spaces, and as a metaphoric device for stories to spread across an expanse.” She says. “For me, performance and storytelling become ways of bridging the interior and exterior space of self as well as initiate critical dialogues between communities and institutions. (Via design boom and The Philanthropic Museum)

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Sam Songailo’s Installations Immerse he Viewer in Another World

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Artist Sam Songailo uses bright colors, straight lines, and bold, graphic shapes in his outdoor and indoor installations. Geometric repeating patterns span span floors, ceilings, and walls. Lighting plays a role in his work as it enhances color and gives the work a sense of space and a depth of field. Once the viewer is immersed in the space, all of the elements of Songailo’s work transports them to another place.

Outdoor installations, like the ones on a city street, work with the existing landscape. Songailo’s patterns fill and conform to every inch of the given space like a mutating organism. The high-contrast colors and intricate trellis-like shapes create a disorienting effect. Not so much when viewing it as a whole from above, but walking through it leaves little indication of direction.

Before he started large-scale installations, Songailo was a graphic designer. This is evident in the execution of his work, especially in one of his few indoor installations,  Zen Garden (directly above).  The piece mimics the lines of sand, with a few “rocks” that are spread throughout the gallery floor. Songailo is able to have full control over the space, and uses principles of design to make it not only attractive, but to effectively transport the viewer to a minimalist, geometric zen garden.

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Amanda Burnham’s Fractured Installations Of An American City

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When artist Amanda Burnham first moved to Baltimore, Maryland, she didn’t know anyone. So, she spent a lot of time in her 7th floor apartment that had interesting views of the city. The time spent observing and recording her surroundings later informed her temporary, site-specific installations that are a patchwork representation of Baltimore. Burnham draws and paints street signs, fire hydrants, architecture, and store fronts, piecing them together in a manner that’s fractured yet cohesive. Taking elements of a neighborhood (or neighborhoods), she fashions her own view of the city, creating work large enough for a viewer to walk around and between. In an interview with Dwanye Butcher of Visual Baltimore, Burnham explains why she chooses to work this way (and why she reuses paper and boxes):

The idea of things being layered and pieced together is important to me. I see this city, and really all cities, as these giant ad-hoc organisms – collectively authored, chop-a-bloc, joints exposed – an ongoing melange of edits, adjustments, negotiations. I hope to suggest that with the deliberately collage-y, visually dense, maximalist aesthetic of my drawings.  I also love paper and what it does when treated as an object – the shadows it casts, the way tears and cuts are line. Most of the paper I use is really cheap stuff – low grade drawing paper that comes in rolls, kraft paper, packing materials. Boxes. That’s important because I’m not rich, but also because I see it as conceptually significant – resourcefulness is an ethic I sometimes see evidenced in the forms of the city, and it’s one I really respond to.

Burnham not only takes the outdoors indoors, but creates a whole new environment in a matter of a few days to a week. Lighting, astro turf, and electrical tape craft an ambience that’s unique to the city.

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Daniel Siering And Mario Shu’s Incredible Street Art Illusion


Perhaps one of the best street-art interventions of the year comes at the very end. Daniel Siering and Mario Shu developed a unique strategy for their site-specific public project in Potsdam, Germany. By wrapping a tree and covering the wrapping with incredibly detailed spray-paint, the duo manages to perfectly capture a stunning sinhle-point perspective which gives the illusion that the tree is bisected, with the top half mysteriously floating above the fields and horizon in the background.

As this is a developing story, there are precious few pictures to properly show the project (including proper links to the artist, or previous works) but check out this video (which as of now has less than 300 hits) to see the simple yet effective trompe l’oeil the two artists created, and hope that the two release more pictures, and more fantastic public projects, in 2014. (via streetartutopia)

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