Lava Mae, a nonprofit project that seeks to provide the homeless with access to showers and toilets, commissioned artists and designers to create artsy toilets that were displayed along Market Street in San Francisco on November 21st, during the same week as World Toilet Day, for a project titled “C’mon, Give a Shit.” Though these names are snicker-worthy, this day is a UN recognized event that “aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge.” Through their public art toilet project, Lava Mae seeks to generate awareness about the sanitation problem surrounding the homeless. In May 2014, Lava Mae plans to roll out their first retro-fitted MUNI bus that will provide mobile showers and toilets to the homeless community in San Francisco.
Lava Mae founder Doniece Sandoval says, “We want to deliver dignity. We feel that if you don’t have access to hygiene you lose touch with your humanity.” Acknowledging that the mobile facilities will certainly not end homelessness, Sandoval is hopeful that the project provides a good starting point for addressing the homeless’ lack of access to basic human needs. “We’re creating a model for delivery of service that others can embrace, a forum that works like open source technology,” Sandoval says, “Our designs, our budgets, anything we can help bring to other communities.”
Joshua Harker‘s incredible sculptures are the result of advanced 3D printing technologies. Harker’s designs represent patterns of symmetry and naturally dividing or winding formations like those found in nature or as part of our bodies. His work combines 2D design and imaging with the geometry of the 3D form. Some of his work has even been rendered in steel, bronze, silver, glass, polyamide, and ceramics, merging current sculptural technology with past technology. Two of his projects, Crania Anatomica Filigre and Anatomica di Revolutis, are two of the most funded sculpture projects on Kickstarter.
“My work reveals a passion for the uninhibited and represents my quest for originality in the most literal sense. Incorporated imagery & influences include organic mathematics (phi, knot theory, fluid & turbulence dynamics), vermicular & arabesque patterns. Intentionally, viewers are invited to exercise their own translation of my work in much the same way a Rorschach inkblot elicits various interpretations. The forms and images become uniquely personal to the viewer through this psychological dialogue. My art bears qualities of neo-surrealism, tachisme abstract expressionism, and is invariably contemporary.”
London-based photographer Bertil Nilsson has created an ongoing photography series titled “Naturally” that explores the dynamism of the active human form within natural landscapes. For this project, Nilsson captures the explosive movements of circus performers and dancers, some of whom are painted or powdered. Bodies are contorted and posed, or levitate, creating a surreal aesthetic that is at once visceral and abstract. Feature Shoot notes, “The nude figures are dressed in intense colors that punctuate each frame, creating another possible layer of interpretational poetry. Set loose in this Eden, the photographer himself gives way to the chaos, each image exploding in an evolution of release.” Nilsson’s work is currently on view at Galerie Wilms in The Netherlands until January 12. (via feature shoot)
Deborah Simon sculpts anatomically correct bears out of polymer clay, faux fur, linen, embroidery floss, acrylic paint, glass, wire and foam. Aside from their size (around 22″ high), Simon’s bears are realistically detailed and meticulously fabricated. Her inside-out bears tread the boundaries of taxidermy, toy, and sculpture.
“Evolution has always held a particular fascination for me, informing how I create and group the animals in my work. As I’ve read and dug through museum collections to research my pieces, western science’s mania for labeling, codifying and collecting has stood out. Most of this categorizing bears little resemblance to how animals and plants exist out in the natural world and I find this disconnect fascinating.” (via design boom)
During the summer, Milwaukee-based fiber artist Molly Evans began to rise early in the morning, on the hunt for discarded furniture to embroider with lyrics from Lionel Richie songs. Dubbed “#LionelStitchie,” her project first began when she set out to entertain a grumpy neighbor by transforming their abandoned, seemingly unlovable couch into something more lovable. She has since embroidered many discarded pieces with these love lyrics, giving a voice to unwanted domestic objects.
‘These bulky discards were the remains of university graduates moving on to new chapters, of families starting over with fresh styles, and of people letting go of emotional attachments to tired possessions. I identified with this process of reestablishment and sought to call attention to this important narrative in progress all around the city,’ Molly explains.(via ignant)
Patrick Gries’ collection of skeletal photographs are part of his book, “Evolution,” that seeks to make the case for evolutionary theory in a way that has not yet been captured so eloquently through the medium of photography. The project spanned 6 months and involved Gries shooting the photographs of over 250 skeletons at The Museum of Natural History in Paris, as well as 4 other locations in France. These monochrome photographs of skeletons were shot with strong directional light and appear almost sculptural in their presentation, asking viewers to consider the boundaries of scientific study and aesthetic event.
In the book, Gries’ photographs are accompanied with text written by scientist, documentarian, and professor emeritus at Paris’ Museum of Natural History, Dr. Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu. This text describes the skeletons, suggesting how to understand them in the context of history and the patterns of evolution. “New forms have evolved from old ones. Stubby amphibian feet have been transformed into hooves, bird wings and whale flippers. Yet many of the bones in those original limbs have not changed their relationship to the rest. They have just been stretched, flattened or reduced to vestigial knobs. Along the paths of evolution, the vertebrate skeleton has been transformed into similar forms many times over — aardvarks in Africa and anteaters in South America.” You can purchase and see more photographs at Éditions Xavier Barral. (via unknown editors, ny times, and the guardian )
Pro Infirmis, a Swiss charity organization for people with disabilities, has created a series of mannequins that reflect bodies of people with physical disabilities for a project titled, “Because Who is Perfect? Get Closer.” The process of measuring the bodies of 5 people and sculpting the mannequins was captured by director Alain Gspone in this moving 4 minute film. The reactions of each person upon seeing their mannequin are also captured, with one woman remarking, “It’s special to see yourself like this, when you usually can’t look at yourself in the mirror.” For people not used to seeing reflections of their body types in the commercial world, these new mannequins create an empowering experience by providing a platform of visibility in an industry that so often neglects to represent the diversity of bodies.
After the mannequins were created, they were placed in Zurich store fronts, on a popular downtown shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse, in honor of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The video shows a range reactions of people as they walk by the store front, captivated by these new mannequins.
Through this project, Pro Infirmis wishes to raise awareness of the lack of representation of people with disabilities, especially in the world of fashion and retail. You can find more photos and information about the project on Photopress. (via the huffington post and the daily mail)
Chicago-based artist Gracie Hagen has created a photography series titled “Illusions of the Body” that captures nude bodies in contrasting poses. In the “attractive” image on the left, the models represent their bodies with straight backs, pulled-back shoulders, and demure expressions – many of them stand posed in positions that reflect classical sculpture. In the “unattractive” image on the right, the bodies are turned and the models push out their stomachs, hunch their backs, and evoke expressions of indifference.
“‘Illusions of the Body'” was made to tackle the supposed norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like. Most of us realize that the media displays only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images. We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering. That contrast would help a lot of body image issues we as a culture have.
Within the series I tried get a range of body types, ethnicities & genders to show how everyone is a different shape & size; there is no “normal”. Each photo was taken with the same lighting & the same angle.
Celebrate your shapes, sizes & the odd contortions your body can get itself into. The human body is a weird & beautiful thing.”