HelloMe’s Critical Objects Blur The Line Between Art And Furniture

Critical Objects is a personal initiative of Berlin-based graphic design firm, HelloMe. The project began as a series of explorations that thrive on not having any particular goal. The project consists of a series of objects that transcend a blurry line between artistic sculpture and functional furniture. The beauty of the project is that it remains unknown to the user if these things should really every be used, touched, sat on, or turned on… We have a small collection featured here, so be sure to check out the full series at Critical Objects.

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Andrew Laumann’s Facetious Installations

Andrew Laumann utilizes multiple media and presents the viewer with tongue-in-cheek installations that are witty and often irreverent. He seems to revel in destruction and humor.  In one piece we see The Wipers logo combined with that of The Wu-Tang Clan. I find it interesting that elements from both emblems appear on albums released in 1993 (Silver Sails and Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers).The resulting composite of 90’s punk and rap iconography speaks of his youthful energy and disregard for the conventional. It takes an astute artist to simultaneously mock and enlighten.

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Video Watch: Interpol’s Paul Banks Solo Project

Photo by Helena Christensen

Paul Banks hasn’t left Interpol, but Julian Plenti‘s first solo project is now called Paul Banks. Confused? I was at first when I forgot that Julian Plenti… is Skyscraper, the record he released back in 2009 was actually Paul Banks. The single, Games for Days still rings loud in my head as if it was on Interpol’s first release, Turn on the Bright Lights which had me hooked from the first note. By the way, Interpol is about to release the 10th anniversary edition of Turn on the Bright Lights on Matador Records. Has it already been ten years? Anyway, Paul Banks’ new album Banks came out last month on Matador and is a must buy!

Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster for his show at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles next Wednesday, Dec. 5th and his show at New York’s Webster Hall on Dec. 14th (a make-up date due to Hurricane Sandy) before he heads to Europe next year. Check out his video for Young Again directed by Sophia Peer from his new album Banks and grab a ticket to one of his upcoming shows.

Lotta Mattila’s Animal Sculptures

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.

Anne Ten Donkelaar’s Delicate “Repaired” Butterflies

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.

Distortion x Flowers by Azuma Makato

For most people, flowers and distortion pedals have little in common. But for contemporary floral artist Azuma Makato, the two work together in harmony. For his project Distortion x Flowers, the Tokyo-based artist worked with artistic partner Shiinoki Shunsuke to capture photos of these distortion pedals entwined with flowers.. He matches the colors of the pedals with flowers, but also matches them based on illustrating each pedal’s sound: brash, soft, full, or bright. He and his musicians then plugged guitars and performed electric music made of loops and feedback, ultimately destroying the beautiful serenity he had created. In his project statement, Makato describes the temporary nature of both sound and flowers:

“One might not see the similarity in flowers and music. However, rock or classic, or whatever the genre may be, music is the combining of momentary sounds. The process of creating music never stops to stay in one form, but is constantly appearing and disappearing, just as flowers blossom beautifully and yet wither away in time. So, flowers are like music, and music is like flowers.”

Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam’s Hand-Knit Playground

Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam began her career as a textile artist.  While exhibiting a piece titled “Multiple Hammock No. 1” a couple of children in the gallery asked if they could use it.  Surprisingly she allowed the children to play on her sculpture.  The amusing incident led to an idea, and her work has since become much larger and fun.  Adding color, size, and interactivity, her work soon transformed from sculpture to public art and finally to playground.  The playground pictured here is hand knit by MacAdam and located in Tokyo.