Estonian artist Eiko Ojala expertly creates illustrations using paper. His complex collage pieces are at the same time simple in execution. His background as an illustrator is clear in each of these pieces. Ojala is able to communicate a considerable story with minimal imagery and medium. Whether a series of trees interacting through different seasons, or portraits, Ojala weaves interesting narratives using simple poignant scenes.
The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 and by the very next year it had several admirers in neighbors across the channel. Some saw the potential of a similar tower, a “Great Tower for London”. These illustrations are part of a catalog of competitive designs for the proposed tower released the following year. Some are hilariously derivative of the still brand new tower. Others, on the other hand, seem to belong to some sort of Victorian space-age. Regardless, in a strange way all of the designs seem to point to the importance and uniqueness of the original Eiffel tower, even at this very early age.
The work of Nicola Bolla is arresting in its contrasts. The artist often fashions sculptures of straightforward (albeit morbid) objects that are then covered in sparkling crystals. The glamorous glitter of the crystal is juxtaposed against the utilitarian nature of many of the objects they cover. These are further contrasted in these images taken by photographer Sergio Alfredini. The dilapidated house provides a strangely ideal setting to emphasize these brightly dark sculptures.
The paintings of Chase Westfall are pleasantly elusive. His work often toes the line between abstraction and figuration. He seems to often swing from sunny imagary such as flowers or rainbows to that of mutilated animal carcasses. However, he never gives it entirely away. The imagary often is obscured by a diamond grid work or its own abstraction. The viewers eyes constantly shifts between deciphering the images and inspecting the pattern, neither resolving the other. His oil paintings are executed on linen contrasting the soft surface with his hard edged geometric shapes.
Artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski in a way treats her sculpture like a living creature. The piece titled (or maybe named) ADA is a large ball inflated with helium and covered in charcoal pegs. Visitors are encouraged to interact, even play with the ball thus leaving marks on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the room. The artist considers the piece not only a sculpture, but really a self-creating artwork. ADA’s shape even resembles a cell or virus emphasizing the idea of the sculpture creating on its own (with some help from visitors, of course).
The Spanish collective Penique Productions creates massive installations that at the same feel nearly weightless. Using fans and colored plastic the collective entirely covers a selected space in a bright hue. Though the concept is relatively simple, the space feels totally transformed. The space and its furnishings are stripped of all their details and reduced to a set of shapes. Penique’s Productions create an interesting way to investigate familiar places. Interestingly the collective says regarding the installations:
“It works the relationship between fullness and emptiness, creating a dialogue with the space it temporarily inhabits.”
In her series titled Wait Watchers, the photography of Haley Morris-Cafiero turns an eye back on those that turn an eye on her. While creating an image for another series Morris noticed a man “sneering” at her behind her back. Wait Watchers intentionally captures these reactions – the sneer, raised eyebrow, the frown that Morris says she is aware others make in regards to here weight. The sadly familiar scenes play out all the time. However, frozen in a photograph adds another emotional level to the work.
Its difficult to say whether the drawings or the machine is the work of art here. Artist Eske Rex created the Drawing Machine which in turn produces ink drawings. Two pendulums are attached to an arm which is equipped with a ball point pen. Once the pendulums are set in motion the arms record the contraption’s movement by creating a singular work of art. Beyond each piece’s pleasing aesthetic is something just as intriguing. In a way, each drawing documents a very specific movement and time.