Artist duo Brad Kuhl and Monique Leyton create large tapestries illustrated with various colors of acrylic, bookbinding, and packing tape. The subjects of their tape art is real life crime stories and offer social commentary based on themes of attraction and repulsion, fame and infamy, crime, morality and entertainment, and safety and danger. In “Elite Deviance,” specific references include the scandals of Enron, Martha Stewart, Jack Abramoff, and Bernie Madoff. In “Blunt Object,” Kuhl and Leyton depict news crime scenes in which the use of a blunt object was instrumental in a murder. By using this tape as a medium, the duo brighten up scenes of crime, illuminating darker aspects of our culture’s psyche. “We liked how the tape associated with police tape and ideas blossomed from there of what to make,” Leyton said. Originally from the States, they are currently living in Beijing where the city’s rapid evolution inspires their work. Most recently, they have started to work with new material, something that’s still adhesive, but not tape. “Elite Deviance” could be the last project they complete using this particular medium. (via juxtapoz)
We’ve seen innovative art made from tape before. The work of Monika Grzymala, though, is ambitious, seemingly chaotic, and even violent. Using over three miles of black tape, Grzymala inundate’s the gallery space. The tape wraps around corners and seems to splatter on to the wall as if it were liquid. Grzymala’s work adds dimensionality to a usually flat material in a way that is surprising and nearly disturbing. By appearing to forcibly occupy the gallery space, the installation compels the viewers to interact with the space in a new way.
Artist Sun K. Kwak paints with tape. She had begun her career as a painter but had felt disconnected with the medium. After experimenting with black masking tape Kwak had found her choice medium. Speaking of her first experience working with the tape, she says, “It felt like black ink pouring out over my fingers. It was very fresh, alive, and free.” The large installation pictured here is found at the Brooklyn Museum and is titled Enfolding 280 Hours – a reference to the amount of time needed to install the work.
Photographer Wes Naman‘s Scotch Tape series is playful if not a bit creepy. Naman wraps clear tape around his subjects’ heads severely distorting their face. The tape tugs and squeezes lips, eyebrows, and noses making light of the idea of portraits. Slightly disturbing, the portraits resemble smiling car accident survivors or botched plastic surgery victims. Such simple but inventive ideas have made Naman a rather successful photographer winning him clients as diverse as High Times Magazine and T-Mobile. [via]
Australian artist Buff Diss brings an interesting medium to the spray paint dominated world of street art: tape. Intricately cut and stuck, Buff Diss’ often large scale pieces can be astoundingly complex. Some of his work intentionally interacts, even plays with the surrounding environment. At other times his work seems to reference classical sculpture and painting. However, he consistently works in this peculiar medium. Regarding the reasons for using tape in his process he says:
“The functional or practical nature of tape is one of its best aspects as a medium; you don’t have to walk into a snooty, over-priced art store to find it. The linear quality of tape also makes it a quick medium to work with. Only drawback is looking like you’ve got a stationery fetish when you open your bag.” [via]
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.
Heeseop Yoon is a Korean artist based in New York concerned with clutter, junk, and our impossibility of absolute perception. His enormous installations begin with photographs of people’s piles of hoarded objects, which, like Giacometti, he then draws and re-draws and re-draws, leaving initial lines to remind him of the instability of his own perception, then re-draws them on enormous scale using tape (which is a form of junk in its own right) galleries and on buildings. The combination of cluttered objects and the instability of perception is a pretty perfect one, they feel like the exact opposite of Gursky’s 99 Cent store photograph yet weirdly similar, both enormous in scale, both about the glut of objects in our society, but executed in inverse manners. His pen and paper drawings are amazing too, check out his website to see more!