Eric Franklin‘s sculpture’s glow with a certain life. Though the series focuses on skulls and skeletons, it isn’t exactly dead. These skulls are carefully made of flameworked glass, or glass melted and shaped with a torch. The hollow skulls are then filled with ionized neon, krypton, and mercury gases. The ionized gases cause the skulls to glow from within complimenting their eery shape. [via]
The installations of Damian Ortega reflect a curiosity that is at once childlike and serious. His dismantled, dissected, carefully arranged pieces often hang from the ceiling prepared for inspection. Ortega’s installations encourage viewers to think about relationships between the parts and its whole, between individuals items and the group. It’s easy to see how these ideas can expand to wider topics. In a way, Ortega not only takes apart a Volkswagen physically, but also socially. He deconstructs ideas in a playfully literal way.
Designer David Schwen presents some interesting ‘Pantone’ pairings here. Rather than pairing complimentary colors, Schwen combines inseparable snacks. Designers constantly coordinate toward aesthetic perfection. These ‘swatches’ coordinate a much more common but no less perfect pairing. That said, our pursuits may be mundane, but still, we have a bit of designer in each of us.
Wolfgang Stiller‘s series Matchstickmen are a depiction of people that are literally burnt out. The sculptures resemble giant match sticks, the the charred match head like a human head, ignited and tossed about the gallery. A play on the phrase ‘burnt out’, the series comments on the unending demand of human labor. Interestingly the installation was created while the German artist was living in China. However, Stiller says of the work:
“I don’t want to see it only as a critique on the Chinese system. Any other system in the world has the same problem. Big companies exploit their employees to make larger profits, all over the world. As long as we have affordable T-shirts or sneakers, we don’t really want to know whether they are made by children in India or not.” [via]
It’s difficult to gauge scale in the work of Petros Chrisostomou. The giant shoes seem so detailed; the galleries look immaculate. If you want to know I’ll spoil it for you…it’s the galleries that are tiny. Chrisostomou uses small mundane objects as the center of his photographs. He places these in the middle of amazingly detailed miniature galleries. Chrisostomou painstakingly gives attention to lighting, scale, perspective, and detail. The realism of his sets force the eye and mind to alternate between small and large scales, doubting each in the process.
Artist Mark Dean Veca opened his new solo exhibit Made For You and Me at Cristin Tierney January 31st and is on view through March 9th. The title of the exhibit is a lyric from the Woodie Guthrie song This Land is Your Land. The song, originally expressing an anti-capitalist sensibility, has since often been appropriated to convey capitalist sentiments such as growth through consumption. Interestingly, Veca’s work often reverses this same process. He re-appropriates corporate images to comment on corruption, consumption, and a generally waning culture. Appropriately the gallery statement calls his work a kind of “Sinister Pop”. This is particularly evident in his piece titled Tailspin. The piece depicts the Exxon-Mobil Pegasus pointing down, blue on one side, red on the other, and spinning. Tailspin subtly references a society’s consumption dependent on energy resources that are exceedingly spinning out of control.
The figures of Korean artist Wang Zi Won seem above all peaceful. His statues are also machines that perform prayers. He mixes Buddhist imagery with autobiographical depictions to illustrate a futuristic mix of technology and spirituality. It is interesting that Wang’s sculpture’s abandon the physical body – in a sense something Buddhism and visions of the future share in common. Indeed, his vision of the future seems to be a bit of an optimistic one. That is, one in which further harmony between man and machine leads to a more complete existence and identity. [via]
These images are from the design studio of the architecture and design firm Choi + Shine. The concept is to transform simple power line pylons into massive sculptures. The firm says, “Making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed tower design, we have created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable.” The figures would be designed to interact with their function as well as the landscape. Some figures would appear to be climbing up hill. Others would crouch for increased strength as if to bear the weight of the wires on their shoulders. All would serve to enhance the landscape while also serving a utilitarian purpose.