In a very unique collaboration between man and nature, this exhibition as a part of the Venice Biennale will no doubt impress and amaze you. French artist Hubert Duprat has come up with an interesting and yes, controversial, idea which not only produces a dazzling product and art object, but also comments on the relationship between humans and nature, worker and manager, curator and artist. He has been invited to exhibit his work as a part of the group show Slip Of The Tongue, which addresses friendships, relationships between artists, and the idea
that the activity of the artist is aimed at the preservation and afterlife of objects rather than of their interpretation. (Source)
The art project of Duprat and the Caddis Flies is a perfect example of those themes. He has taken these insects, known for their collecting habits (they naturally collect bits of wood, sand and stones from their environment and build a cocoon around them to fend off any predators) and has instead replaced them with bits of precious and semi-precious stones – rubies, pearls, opals, sapphires, coral, lapis lazuli and diamonds. After several weeks of building up these defensive layers, the insects crawl out of their shells, leaving behind a bejeweled shell.
Critics say Duprat’s practice is no different to acts of animal cruelty, and that he plays no part in making the final product. Duprat even says himself:
……I am playing a bad trick on them… I feel as if I am exploiting my workers….It is their work as much as it is mine. (Source)
And while it is true the Caddis Fly does all of the physical work itself – it’s excreted silk thread is what joins the pieces together – Duprat has applied his imagination and experimentation to turn something quite mundane into something extraordinary. He has made visible what would normally remain unseen, and that is truly an art form. (Via Design Boom)
Crystal Wagner‘s immersive installations are attractively textured, instantly eye catching, elegantly dramatic, and undeniably wonderful. She carefully arranges pieces of paper bought from office stores into organic explosions of florescent color. She invites visitors to walk through and navigate her neon universe of oceanic waves, throbbing bubbles, and swollen mountains.
Wagner’s work is not only aesthetically organic, bu so is the very nature of her process. She talks about how each complex piece is created:
Each installation, and each drawing is a different conversation I am having. The gesture is the introduction, the first impression, and everything else tumbles out. (Source)
Wagner uses her time spent in the many National Parks of America as a lot of her inspiration. Aspects of Yellowstone and Joshua Tree National Parks find their way into her work. The scale of her installations do make you feel as if you are standing in front of a gigantic cliff – dwarfed and in awe. But she is also a child of the modern world, living in an urban jungle, and is very familiar with plastics, paper, and concrete. Wagner explains the importance of this dichotomy in her work:
My latest installation titled Urban Kudzu explores ideas related to people and their disconnection from the natural world… In my own experience with the world, I have a deep rooted understanding of what the plastic feels like, of what man made materials and spaces feel like, and tend to perceive the natural world through a very exotic lens. (Source)
Her work reminds us that although nature is wonderfully powerful and can annihilate anything at any given time, the modern world can also be just as destructive. In both situations we are reminded of our smallness and how easily we can loose control of that around us. (Via Sweet Station)
Photographer Lucia Loiso has a knack for pulling things apart, smashing objects or bending substances in weird ways. He has, in the past, smashed glasses, separated pomegranates, stripped seaweed down, crumpled dead leaves, and squashed petals – all to capture the essence of an object. Her new series Candy is no exception. Loiso has managed to manipulate bits of sweets and candies so that they resemble flowers, leaves and stems. He has twisted, pulled, wrapped and bunched gooey, sticky, shiny candies in numerous ways and placed them on hyper color backgrounds.
Her photographs look like some strange advertisement for the latest Willy Wonka invention from the 50s. Bright orange petals spliced with white ‘veins’ float temptingly on a turquoise backdrop. A trumpet of lilac and cream hover within a blue and pink background. A squiggle of neon blue candy hangs in mid air looking like a 90s computer graphic.
Loiso is managing to pinpoint the thing that makes candy so appealing – the textures, the colors, the viscosity, the sugar. She is effectively capturing his subject in it’s best light, and selling it to us. I for one, want to buy and eat these amazing looking creations – or at least look at them on my wall and enjoy them as eye candy.
From the illuminated, impressionistic water lilies of Monet, to the bright and disjointed abstract forms of Kandinsky, to the thick earthy tones of Van Gogh’s landscapes, most of us can recognize an artist’s signature style at a glance. But photographer Matthias Schaller shows us a new side of these things we may not have seen, or even thought about before. Since 2007, Schaller has been compiling a fascinating historical archive of the palettes, the pigments, the chaos (or order), and the thought patterns of some of the world’s most famous creative brains.
He has photographed over 200 palettes from around 70 painters from the 19th and 20th centuries and is displaying a selection for us to enjoy. His exhibition called Das Meisterstück (The Masterpiece) is on display alongside the Venice Biennale. Having blown up several of his photographs to be around six feet tall, Schaller invites other art-loving fans to enter the creative space of the masters with him. We can marvel at the tools that they used in the same way we are impressed by the final product. These photographs of their palettes easily become the new masterpieces.
Schaller started his fascination with looking ‘behind the scenes’ of an artist’s practice and reputation when he visited Cy Twombly’s studio in Gaeta, Italy. Spotting the painter’s palette, and finding it just as absorbing as the paintings themselves, he started a mission to seek out others.
Maltese artist John Paul Azzopardi puts together delicate sculptures and complex structures made from bone. His figures and objects are a combination of being frightening and entrancing. They are gothic and modern. Architecture and organic. Morbid and energetic. The Maltese artist welds bits of bone together, forming ornate ram’s skulls, haunting bats with outstretched wings, axe-welding menacing mythological creatures, and hybrid beasts with intimidating profiles. Azzopardi is very poetic about his approach to his work – describing the metaphysical aspect to his sculptures:
[It] is a collection of fossilized structures that explores the gentle temperance located within the constitution of sound, i.e. it’s very silent center. The architectural relationship that oscillates back and forth from the simple and the complex to the living and the dead connects space and form, creating existential structures of interwoven silence. The death embedded in it’s form, it’s life. This might confront the spectator with a spectre, the simulacrum of itself that stalls, halts being something in it’s tracks. (Source)
He exploits the nature of the material he is working with. Bones are the things that knit our bodies together, and are also one of the last things to decay. They have a lot of symbolism and spiritualism embedded in them – Azzopardi is making that more apparent and immediate with his art works. He goes on:
Facing truth, man often does not look. S/he does not see, for instance as when confronting the world, the transient. The rules of words then is that what one see, is what one is, and (to admit) that facing truth, we often see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing. (Source)
It seems these sculptures announce to us our impending decay, and for us to embrace it, and yes, to even celebrate it.
In an attempt to finally stop the social stigma surrounding HIV, the German magazine Vangardist has printed over 3000 copies of their latest issue in a special ink infused with HIV+ blood. The blood was taken from 3 different volunteers who are living with the virus, and combined with printing ink at a ratio of 28 parts ink, to 1 part blood. Scientists at Harvard and Innsbruck Universities have come up with a unique way of mixing the two substances, and are certain the hard copies of the magazine carry no risk of infection. Even with all the assurances of the paper being perfectly safe to handle, the concern surrounding HIV is still worrying some critics. It would seem the attitude to the HIV virus is not so different to those of 30 years ago.
Julian Wiehl – the Publisher and CEO of Vangardist recognizes this and thought they could help inform people on the touchy subject. He says:
The editorial team at Vangardist is committed to dealing with a wide variety of topics affecting our readers. We believe that as a lifestyle magazine it is our responsibility to address the issues shaping society today. With 80% more confirmed cases of HIV being recorded in 2013 than 10 years previously, and an estimated 50% of HIV cases being detected late due to lack of testing caused by social stigma associated with the virus. This felt like a very relevant issue for us to focus on not just editorially but also from a broader communications stand point. (Source)
The launch of the Spring issue was designed to coincide with the Life Ball – one of the most important HIV events in the world, held in Vienna. The magazine has been available to subscribers since April 28th, and there is an online campaign that aims to breakdown the taboo. Be sure to read more about it here. (Via Fastcodesign)
Toronto based artist Talwst is a master of the miniature world. He patiently builds tiny fantasy scenes referencing the world of music, pop culture, films, climate change, conspiracy theories, sports stars, current events, and everyday experiences. Seven years ago, the artist was gifted an antique ring box by a Vancouver street vendor and given the challenge to make something with it. Talwst grabbed a hold of that idea and ran with it.
His miniscule realms feature Kanye West singing to an imaginary audience and Kim Kardashian in the background taking a selfie; a homage to his favorite painter Edouard Manet’s 1864 work La Muerte del Torero; a recreation of Japanese erotic art of the 1700’s; and a contemporary version of a Dutch landscape complete with a McDonalds restaurant in the background. His unique blend of art history, contrasting cultures and traditions are a witty comment on contemporary life. He cleverly draws us downward, and into his dioramas, immediately commenting objectively on the world we inhabit.
This form is calling me. I can make these feel like a poem; I can make these feel like a movie; I can make them feel like all the other mediums I was working in. (Source)
Talwst developed his love for piecing together mini worlds after growing up in the Canadian winter. For weeks at a time, the temperature wouldn’t be higher than minus 40 and he would sit in his room hibernating and entertaining himself by building models. The obsession certainly paid off – his skill and attention to detail is definitely something worth looking at. And you will get an extra chance to view his work – this September, a collaboration with VICE magazine will bring Talwst’s work to a newsstand close to you. Keep your eyes peeled! (Via Design Crush)
Armed with his rake, a rope, an active imaginative and a willpower that will impress you, Andres Amador creates incredibly detailed ‘sand paintings’ around the coastlines of California. Creating designs that can reach up to 100,000 feet, he uses nature and his surroundings as inspiration and starting points for his large scale organic patterns. For the larger geometric patterns, he uses a rope as a compass to steady the design – but in general Amador loves to emerge himself in the act of creating and allows the artwork to grow without too much direction. Starting with a rough sketch in the sand, he makes sure he begins the process on either a full moon or at the very least, a low tide.
He works quickly and efficiently, completing most designs in around 2 hours. Depending on the beach constraints and the tides, he can take longer and can concentrate on perfecting the shapes and forms. Amador says he uses the contrasting shades of the raked sand, and non-raked sand to make designs that can resemble dried mud, honeycomb, flower buds, fern fronds, snail trails or snowflakes.
Used as a means of meditation, solitude, focus and reflection, Amador has been raking sand since 2004 and still finds pleasure in the activity. He revels in the impermanence of the material and enjoys the challenge of creating something so quickly that will be disappear as quickly as he made it.
Something big that comes with this art is the recognition of impermanence. I create with the knowledge of the impending erasure of my efforts, often while I am working. It has turned the artform into a practice of process over product. I am always striving for the perfect photo that I can share proudly. But when I get to the beach I have already let go of that expectation and surrender to the act of creation. (Source)
You can see many videos and mini documentaries of Amador creating his masterpieces here. (Via Honestly WTF)