Brooklyn based artist Lala Abaddon creates a series of “glitch” like works via intricately weaving printed images. The artist uses a complex and time costuming technique. She beings by creating large format prints, employing tradition analog methods. She then sizes the prints down by making strips of each one by cutting them by hand. Next, through meticulous and calculated pairings, she weaves her prints to become something entirely new and undoubtedly unique. In her artist statement she notes that each pattern is “designed to convey a specific feeling, eventually leaving us with images within images and compelling the viewer to experience alternate realities or states of being.” Her work is inherently postmodern and does indeed achieve a state of “alternate reality.” The artist pulls her techniques and aesthetic from drastically different time periods, traditions, and methods; the ancient technique of weaving, the sort of modern yet now, arguably, outdated, process of using an analog mode of printing, which all add up to create what resembles a digitized image. Her work acts a a sort of pastiche, which, by nature, results in a undoubtedly contemporary notion of experience and existence. She explains;
“This process can take months depending on the complexity of the images and weave structures.Many times her work is mistaken for a digital manipulation, and the discovery of it’s true nature by the viewer is integral to the understanding of her process and purpose; to disrupt order, reconstruct historical notions of photography and weaving, and challenge what it means to create something solely for the purpose of creation.”
Nebraska based artist Cindy Chinn carves unbelievable miniaturized objects within the lead of carpenter pencils. Chinn’s starting material is less than an inch wide, yet using an X-Acto knife and a magnifying glass, the artist is able to achieve intricate details with a charming folk art-like character. Her most involved piece of the series features a tiny locomotive train that scales the whole pencil. This work even includes a cut out carved portion that acts like a bridge crossing, exposing the train to be the full length of the pencil. The work was created through a process of collage; she carved the 3/16 inch train from the lead of one pencil and then fashioned it within the center of another pencil, adding two other small pieces of lead as rails. Due to the unique size of her work, Chinn incorporates a tiny magnifying glass as a part of her pieces, glorifying the work’s preciousness and inviting the viewer to have a personalized and intimate experience of the minuscule details. Her work tends to portray every day and perhaps even nostalgia provoking objects. For example, a tiny Chuck Taylor shoe, a darling fall leaf, and a hockey stick with a puck. This pencil carving project is just a side project; she is also a multimedia artist with many focuses such as larger scale wood carvings, murals, and paintings. (via My Modern Met)
Cuban artist Rubén Fuentes creates euphoric and surreal ink landscapes that serve as an admiration of nature as well as a quest within a meditative and serene space. Fuentes, inspired by the lush greenery of his homeland, uses his work as a means to sympathize and glorify “all of the ecosystems of our planet.” He greatly uses Chinese shan shui ink drawings as an influence methodically, aesthetically, and philosophically. Shan shui works are known for their beautifully detailed yet simultaneous almost mystical, abstract and dreamlike quality. They are strongly referential to Daoist notions of living in harmony with all— and, similar to the Abstract Expressionist movement — shan shui paintings bend and evolve the notion of what a painting is meant to achieve; these works are a vehicle for less tangible elements such as meditation and philosophy. Fuentes believes that art acts as a means of self reflection, and thus, creating art allows one to practice and improve on one’s ethical behavior and cognitive self. Therefore, the act of creating art is simultaneous, in a sense, to the act of meditation.
Within the statement of his series titled Mind Landscapes, Fuentes’ states that he tries “to represent in my art works an inner strength, a cosmological and telluric force within us that transcends the duality of matter and spirit. The practice of zen, along with a worship of mother earth and the invocation of vital forces in nature, inherited from the past of the native Cubans, Afro-Cuban culture, as well as Chinese Taoism, mark the center of my latest works.” (via INAG)
Northern Irish, Australian based artist Emma Coulter creates large scale colorful illusions that break the boundaries between painting, sculpture, installation, and interior design. Her work, being painted or installed directly on the walls, are site specific, allowing each vibrant piece to exist as a reaction and assessment of it’s environment. She notes that “spatiality in painting has long been a problem in the history of art.” Her process allows to her “utilis(e) space as a raw material,” challenging the traditional approach to figure out and investigate the issue of space and light. Her use of color and geometry employs a distortion of the space— creating illusory elements that both add and destroy previous conceptions of reality. Within in artist statement, Coulter explains:
“I see colour as an object or material to be manipulated through placement, proportion and adjacency in response to space. I am interested in challenging our assumptions about colour. It is a commonly misunderstood material, that is often associated with not being critical or serious. Through my systematic approach to colour and the spatiality of painting, I hope to reveal something new about the practice of painting and its potential to blur boundaries and adapt environments.”
Her use of color, big, bold and bright, is a nice wink to conceptual minimalist artists such as Sol LeWiitt; her work captures that same notion of a somehow clean experimentation. Truly a contemporary take on difficult and endless artistic quandaries. (via PICDIT)
Artist Chris Maynard creates tiny ethereal designs on feathers. His process begins by collecting feathers of birds (usually not of North America descent) from aviaries and zoos. He uses delicate, detail oriented tools such as eye surgery scissors, forceps, and magnifying glasses that have been passed down to him through his family. With these tools, he is able to achieve intimate levels of detail, crafting miniaturized fantastical avian worlds. His uses his work to transform the ordinary into something surreal and perhaps a bit magical. He explains that he would like the viewer
“to take away being able to look at the world in a different way…I want people to be able to take a breath and look at something a little differently, something that they know. Feathers are a universal symbol. Feathers for different people will mean different things, but generally, it means flight, it can mean escape, something we want to strive for, a bridge between here and the heavens. I want people to take their own message from it, but I think what comes out are some of those themes.”
The original integrity of the feathers is important to the artist. He does not manipulate the color or over arching shape with the aim to “honor the birds and the feathers.” Maynard, having a strong background in biology and ecology, has published a book titled Feathers: Form & Function. He uses his work not only to express artistic notions but also explains origin and function of his material. Each work is intricate, delicate, and whimsical.
Pinhole photographer Justin Quinnell takes photographs from an uniquely personalized perspective; from the inside of his mouth. Quinnell‘s images, despite the fact that they are taken from behind a set of teeth, tend to be surrounded by the ordinary. We find ourselves as witness to routine, fun and travel, perhaps adding up to be just the followings of an every day guy. Within this series the viewer finds themselves looking at smiling babies, children’s toys, cocktails, and known monuments from around the world. From this insider’s (quite literally) perspective, the viewer is not just asked to question what is being seen, but also, what is the experience of the person, or maybe you could call him the protagonist, of this series. Who is this person and what does he think, feel? Mostly on the side of humor, his series is light hearted and fun. Their is a true air of experimentation as it can be assumed that with each photograph the artist has given up his ability to control and leaves the work up to chance and the elements in which it is surrounded by. This series, titled Mouthpiece, is just one of many of his pinhole camera experiments. Each of his works has a vintage and personalized touch, allowing them to stand out and truly feel like a glimpse into the artist’s mind.
Through a process of experimentation and manipulation, Italian artist Daniele Papuli creates sensual paper sculptures that evoke feelings of quite nature and grandeur. Active as a sculptor since 1991, Papuli’s work has developed through various stages of materiality and process. His early pieces were focused on stone, wood, and plaster, however, in 1993 he learned to make paper, and by 1997 he began solely focusing on the potential of paper’s materiality. He explains his admiration for the material. He states; “according to the way in which it is moved, touched, cut, paper offers me numberless sensorial, visual and tactile suggestions engendered by its new structure. My work proceeds by returning these experiences, and searching about sculpture, its physical character, its connection to space.” In order to fully understand the material he turned to paper handling and production. He tested and trailed myriad combinations of mincing different types of paper, mixing them with herbs, grounds and colors. This process in which permits the artist to become intimate with his martial allows his work to have a distinct personality that exudes a certain essence of delicate vibrancy. He explains;
“sometimes the sculpture shows a sort of inner energy, the bending of the different sheets suggests the trend and development in the round. I am extremely interested in these manifold variations. Sometimes the shapes become paper monoliths faceted in many light lamellae where the different layers are like veins and the chromatic variations of the surface, yellowing as paper does in the sun, follow the metamorphosis by which the sheet traces back to wood, to the tree, to its primary mother-matter.”
Through the use of bright color, spray paint, and clever distortions, Atlanta based artist Christina West’s work puts a fun, humorous and contemporary spin on a classical aesthetic. West sculpts busts and full figures that begin as traditional looking white ceramic pieces, yet are matched with moments of almost ice cream cake or jawbreaker like slices. Her process begins as the classic method of creating a casted sculpture does; she creates her portraits based on a desire for likeness. However, once the piece comes out of the mold, West gives herself a freedom to play and likeness no longer becomes her purpose. Instead, she aims to, as stated in the gallery statement for her upcoming show at CG2 gallery in Nashville, TN, “highlight the alienation that I inevitably feel with others because their thoughts and feelings are inaccessible; I can never be in another head as completely as i am in my own” (source). Her work tends to highlight poses and facial expressions of distress or discomfort, allowing her work to, as she states, nod to an existential notion of being, of confusion, isolation and, perhaps more simply, just being human. However, it is her parings of neons and day glows that take the heaviness and maybe overtly dramatized nature of sculptures such as these, and transform these works into something relatable. It is their absurdity that makes them more human, more relevant. West’s works takes a traditional type of sculpture and truly makes it fun and beautiful, but perhaps more importantly, absolutely her own. (via Juxtapoz)