Artist Peter Combe transforms household paint swatches to create stunning 3D portraits. Using the full color spectrum of 1,100 colors, the artist prepares his palette material by manipulating the swatches either into tiny discs by punching or miniature strips by shredding. He often works in series of repetitions, allowing him to recreate the same image with the aim of experimentation. The potential of each renderings is endless as he uses color based on tonality and not on hue and can transform each work quite drastically depending on his choices. Combe is interested in “how the implementation of a single colour, when applied to a small incremental tonal range, can transform a work either subtly or substantially.” His work, formulated through an intense and meticulous layering process, can be compared to a pointillistic method of translating color, tone, and space. His work is also reminiscent of early printers, xerox and copy machines, in which images are built through a separation of color, resolving the picture one hue at a time. Another aspect of the work, Combe explains, “is the constant change and flux that is mostly produced by the viewers changing vantage points, an effect that is difficult to imagine whilst not being present before the work. These artworks do not photographer well. It is Impossible to capture the kinetic element – an element whereby the viewer’s motion or movement dictates the artworks transformative component.” There is a notion of fleeting reality when experiencing the work— just as each portrait is in of itself physically fragile — each image, as it becomes manipulated through movement, light, and space, becomes precious, as the viewers’ experience of the work is consistently shifting, making every interaction with the work unique.
A new campaign in Brazil called, “virtual racism, real consequences” is plastering Facebook comments that are racially derogatory on billboards in the backyards of their authors. The point of the project is not necessarily to call out anyone or expose anyone, instead, the idea is to create a greater understanding of how these comments actually affect reality. It is far too easy to hide behind the screen. By taking these words out of virtual reality and placing them within a physical reality, perhaps those who write comments such as these will be forced to come to terms with the fact that even their internet selves are an aspect of their real selves, and, that words on social media have an equal effect (if not a heavier one as they reach a wider audience) as words in person. One example of the billboards is a post the states “cheguei em casa fendendo a preto,” which translates to “I got home stinking of black people” (“Preto” is an offensive way to refer to black people, as opposed to “negro,” which is unprejudiced). The idea for the project was conceived after Maria Júlia Continho, the first black weather forecaster on Brazilian prime-time television, was the victim of hateful comments referring to her race, after she corrected another newscaster. The project, headed by the Criola group, a nonprofit that works to defend the rights of black women, uses location tags from Facebook photos to determine what neighborhood the person who wrote the post lives in. The group then buys billboard space in their area, and plasters the post, blurring the name and profile photo. (via Yahoo Finance)
Argentine based photographer Mariela Sancari‘s series Moisés, acts as an ode to the traditional type of portrait taken of men in their 70’s, the age her deceased father would have been if he were still alive today. After her father’s death, the artist and her twin sister we denied the chance to see his body. She was never sure if it “was because he committed suicide or because of Jewish religious beliefs or both.” In the artist’s statement, she refers to a concept in thanatology (the study of death and practices associated with it) which asserts that when one does not encounter the dead body of a loved one, the lack of visual association prevents the ability to accept their death. Hence, not having the definitive proof of said death aids denial, one of the most complicated stages of grief. Referring to the Baudrillard quote “photography is our exorcism,” Mariela Sancari uses her photographs to play out the fantasy of her attached denial — she uses her portraits to create a fictionalized version of her father. She states;
“I once read that fiction´s primary task is to favor evolution, forcing us to acknowledge and become the otherness around us. I think fiction can help us depict the endless reservoir of the unconscious, allowing us to represent our desires and fantasies.”
Once again, Björk has blown our minds. In her newest music video, Mouth Mantra, Björk teamed up with Jesse Kanda (known for his epic collaborations with artists FKA twigs and Arca) to create something truly unique, psychedelic, and well, frankly, a bit horrifying. The concept behind the video is quite literally being inside of Björk’s mouth. While being given a 3D scanned inside look of Björk’s molars, gums, and tongue, the picture plane twists and twirls, distorting the viewers concept of space and reality, ultimately creating something that is outstandingly awesome, yet simultaneously a little hard to stomach. In an interview with Dazed, Kanda explains, “if there’s one thing I’d like for people to take away from this video, it’s the power of vulnerability.” The push and pull in and out of various modes of discomfort and emotional states gets straight to the heart of Björk‘s new album, Vulnicura (meaning “cure for wounds”). Many of the artist’s songs and lyrics tend to do with more open ended and abstract modes of conceptual thinking, however, this album is much more emotionally driven as it is in reaction to her divorce with artist Matthew Barney. There is, along with her other videos released from this album, a true emotional rawness and purity that cannot be denied. Kanda further explains,
“it’s about having the courage to express yourself and seeing yourself in that mirror. Doing something that scares the shit out of you and sharing it, growing from it, spreading love and courage to others and making the world a warmer place to be and relate to each other.”
The intimacy of this work is something to be in awe of. Björk, a master at shock and obscurity, uses each video to take the viewer into her strange yet beautiful and clever world. The intensity of her heart wrenching vocals paired with a montage of visual distress and alien like images mimics a sense of anxiety, confusion, and isolation. Despite her bizarre take on expression, the artist, who is undoubtedly one of a kind, always perfectly gets her point across clearly and profoundly.
Kanda thanks Prettybird UK, Dentsu Lab Tokyo, Rhizomatiks Research, and One Little Indian for helping out with developing the technology used to create the video. He and Björk plan to release a 360º version. (via The Creators Project)
The Unconventional Apology Project, created by Los Angeles based artist Chantal Barlow, was inspired by events haunting Barlow’s own family’s history. Her grandmother, Mableine Nelson Barlow, mother of 7 children, was shot and murdered by her grandfather two days following the finalization of their divorce. The dark secret has remained unspoken within her family, as her grandfather, a man of power, was never convicted or even sent to trial. As her grandfather grew older, he began to consistently capture moments from their family’s life. When he died, at age 84, he left her his beloved camera. Today, she uses this camera “as a tool to photograph…women that have been impacted by abuse, and have been silenced.” She aims to give these women a “Trail of Existence. They will not disappear.”
Barlow and her teammates, Tiffany Curlee and Dr. Susan Hammoudeh, have taken on this ambitious and altruistic project with the aims to create a platform to raise the volume of survivors of domestic violence. Not only does the team capture portraits of these women, they also have listened to and documented their stories. Each photograph shows the brightness and radiance in each of these women’s eyes, proving that there is light on the other side. The diversity of both the women’s stories and appearances teaches that domestic violence has no face. This is a truly pure and critical project, offering insight into a dark and far to common reality.
The body of work has been created to, in the words of the project developers;
“recaptur[e] the humanity of abused women. Part of the apology is shaking up our preconceived notions of abused women; how we have made them all appear (or disappear) in media and other social outlets. They have lost their personhood, and are reduced to an event. This portrait project aims to shift our experience of these women.”
To know more about the project and get involved, find the project’s website here.
Portland, Oregon based artist Zoe Keller creates intricate and whimsical nature themed illustrations and designs. After her graduation from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Keller found herself spending time in rural areas such as the rocky cost of Maine, on a blueberry farm in Michigan, and the quiet town of Hudson, New York. Inspired by her experience and her surroundings, Keller’s work aims to explore the “intersection of art making, activism and the natural sciences.” Using graphite renderings that are sometimes enhanced with digital coloration, Keller’s drawings are flawless and comprehensive. Each work, exploring a stylized still life or, in some cases, a more narrative focused composition, acts as a tiny shrine to nature. Many of her drawings depict endangered species, allowing her art to serve as a form of education, awareness, and perhaps memorial. For example, her piece Life Cycle portrays the various phases within the life of a Black Racer Snake, an endangered species native to Maine. Another piece, Endangered Turtles, is a charming composition of North American endangered turtles stacked by size. Her drawings have a lithographic feel, allowing them to act as a part of the classical tradition of drawing as documentation. Her images clearly pay homage to the vintage botanical drawings once used before the days of photography. Painstakingly detailed, yet simultaneously fun and carefree, her images have an almost fairytale quality. Keller’s work is undoubtedly endearing and her craftsmanship undeniably elaborate.
Korean artist Myung Kuen Koh creates intimate structural sculptures of shifting perceptions. Myung Kuen Koh’s work acts as tiny dreamlands that perfectly suggest a certain non-specific person, place, and/or time. Each piece takes the form of an urban structure — one that seems effortlessly familiar. Perhaps each one is an ode to the past; an old home, the house of an ex lover, a place that was once cherished. Their open movement and intentional distortion possibly hint at the fragility and elusiveness of memory. His images tend to portray two seemingly unrelated subjects: classical sculpture and urban, and often run down, buildings. However, these two images, despite their differences, achieve an equal sense of meditative air. Both types of images allude to a type of quiet, yet demanding physical construction that refer to a means to measure history. His work, it seems, could be either inherently personal, or, on the contrary, be focused on a collective notion of time. The artist’s work is almost cinematic, each piece being reminiscent to projector images along a edifice’s surface. Myung Kuen Koh’s delicate work is created through the process of layering translucent images. He then laminates his images and with goes the task of melting them together, resulting in a shimmering and striking sculptural montage. (via hi fructose)
Tucson boy Andrew Hayes creates industrial sculptures from books. His work, reminiscent of minimalist pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, uses seemingly simple manipulations to create beautiful compositions employing the use of color blocking and the glorification of materiality.
Drawing inspiration from the American desert landscape in his earlier works, Hayes created the foundation of his style through fabricating steel. After his studies, Hayes worked as an industrial welder. While bouncing between jobs, he found himself as a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Bakersville, North Carolina. During this time, Hayes began to explore with various materials and forms, eventually finding his way to the book. He states,
“The book is a seductive object to hold and smell and run your fingers through. I am drawn to books for many reasons; however, the content of the book does not enter my work. The pages allow me to achieve a form, surface, and texture that are appealing to me. The book as an object is full of fact and story. I take my sensory appreciation for the book as a material and employ the use of metal to create a new form, and hopefully a new story.”
Sticking true to the celebration of form and material, Hayes work is truly striking and exudes a sort of power associated with fabrication. However, the introduction of the book allows a softness that is not only a fun play on an aesthetic staple, but also hints at a element of elusiveness — as he does not use the contents of the books — his work invites an aspect of imagination for the viewer. (via iGNANT)