Christopher David White has the ability to freeze living elements. He offers the possibility for the viewer toendlessly admire and contemplate at any given time the details of a piece of wood. In this series, he blends a camel, chocolate color scheme with grey and concrete tones. The artist uses symbols to express underlying feelings about life and death. “Neither good nor bad, decay is simply a natural process of our world that at times can produce deeply moving and beautiful effects”.
Two symmetric hands reaching out to each other, linked by an unsteady, disappearing bridge. A twisted root punching through a wall, struggling for its life. A human face looking at the sky and what seems like back blood spreading from its head and its open mouth.
The sculptures create mixed feelings of empathy and serenity. Wood is mystical and symbolic. It represents a tree’s strength, wisdom and eternal life. What we see in Christopher David White’s ceramic sculptures are the reflection of what will eventually happen to us. Eventually we will die too, and sitting next to a deteriorating piece of wood that once belonged to a majestic and awe-inspiring tree is less frightening. “Through the use of trompe l’oeil, we look closer; we rediscover the amazement, joy, and tranquility that come from our environment. At the same time, we witness our impermanence by evenhandedly dialing in on decay”. (via TRENF)
Mikael Takacs hand paints blurry portraits, distorted by a paper marbling effect. The outline of the portraits are clean and clear. From far, what’s inside the shapes seems messy and confusing but if we take a closer look it appears structured, almost forming a pattern. There’s a fine line between Mikael Takacs’ paintings and digital rendering. The diamond shaped patterns and the perfectly balanced and harmonized colors lead to confusion.
The artist applies acrylic painting onto an horizontal canvas with droppers to prevent the liquid from overflowing. He then painstakingly drags paint with small tools like sticks and combs in order to distort the portrait. The intricate work creates regular lines and shapes. If we look closely, we can see feathers, spirals and regular waves. The colors used are a blend of dark turquoise, camel and fuchsia. A color scheme that makes the series identifiable.
Mikael Takacs knows all the people he is depicting. He prefers to blur the lines and to present an abstract artwork. According to him, abstract art makes the dialogue between the viewer and the piece of art more interesting. The artist paints just enough for us to begin to have a idea of what we are looking at and leaves us halfway. To follow our imagination and introspect is the purpose of these paintings as they can lead to a million different interpretations.
Monique Schreijer makes prodigious, multi-colored and wearable wigs. So far, six samples have been designed by the artist in her NYC studio. Each one has a theme and a story leading to dreams and fantasies. Monique Schreijer has created wigs that, aligned together, resemble to a world of tales. Inspired by Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, braiding her own hair and playing with Barbie dolls when she was a child, she brings something innocent yet symbolic in each wig.
Almost everything including the jewelry is hand made, except for the birds and butterflies. Monique Schreijer uses mixed medias such as of Kanekalon hair, tinted powder, faux pearls, hot glue, feathers, rubber bands, found sticks, wire, glitter, toys, and scraps. She has come up with six wigs over two years. Each wig has a name, a color assigned to it and a detailed theme, narrated on the hair and which is taking most of the space:
‘1.Black – Plague of Marseilles, 2.Red – Queen, 3.Pink – Cotton candy/unicorn, 4.Green – Valley of Cocora, 5.Multicolored/sailboat/dog – California. 6.Blue – Dreamy girl’
Monique Schreijer uses symbols to express what moves her. Ladders to reveal escapism, black skeletons and rats for darkness and evil, flying birds and a flourishing nest for freedom and fertility. Not only are the wigs beautifully crafted, they are a source of creativity and imagination.
Ella & Pitr are offering the world another version of their art. At a smaller scale, they hand draw and hand make lithographic prints. Always representing their signature characters in the style that defines them. With their ‘Only drawings’ pieces, they add another way to communicate with people, and offer the possibility for their fans to own a piece of their world.
In the video featured below this article, the duo is filmed in the process of making a lithographic print. Lithography is an ancient printing process which uses a stone or a metal plate with a smooth surface to produce paper prints. We watch them drawing together, synchronized and helping each other out. While one is drawing with a paintbrush, the other one is drawing with a nib. The illustration is carefully detailed and it takes the couple five hours to finish it. The characters remain the same approachable, poignant personalities facing life with fear and humour. This drawing called ‘Le Poids De Choses’ meaning the ‘The Weight Of Things’ is developed into a series. Each drawing is personalized, signed and annotated with a serial number; which makes each of them unique and singular.
From giant drawings on rooftops to smaller scaled illustrations, Ella & Pitr are demonstrating that they can appeal to any kind of viewers. They are always careful to go back to street art as it’s their original way to get attention and to create interaction with the public.
Half humans, half birds; Sarah Louise Davey’s ceramic sculptures are the symbol of emotional duality. She is blending a woman’s face with a beak and a feathered gaze. The eyes seem so real, they are preventing us from looking away. Insisting that we come closer and try to understand the meaning of it all. The other sculptures are hanging from leather cords and chains. Two arms ending with birds’ feet with rose metal claws. The arms and the faces are covered in wrinkles, leaving us wondering how old these creatures are, and if this is what will happen to us too. It will, in the artist’s imagination.
Looking at the sculptures, it feel like we’re entering the world of the wizard of oz meets the barnyard, fantasy meets reality. Isn’t it what we’re living daily? If we think about it, the result is far from being pretty and perhaps this is Sarah Louise Davey’s purpose. In order to reflect deeper on society, norms and beauty we need to stretch the limits of our understanding. When the artist exhibits those pieces, she is almost questioning if we, as individuals are not all freaks after all. Freaks that need to be analyzed and understood, because underneath the wrinkled skin and the animal features we each have a complicated unique soul giving us an infinity of possibilities. ‘At the heart of these works is the eternal push and pull of the spirit’.
Intertwined strips of ceramics escaping from their original form. Haejin Lee’s abstract sculptures blend perfection and fantasy. A flawless object, face or body part suddenly disintegrates into a uncontrolled harmonized chaos. Fascinated by the indefinite loop of the Mobius strip (a surface with a non orientable property), she brings into her art pieces the transformation of a flat surface into a 3 dimensional rendering. The final piece mirrors two essential aspects for the artist: continuity and infinity.
The dichotomy between perfection and confusion reflects the technical difficulties the artist had to face while conceptualizing the pieces. In order to get a steady work of art, she had to anticipate the weight of the strips once dried and heated. Often created in monochromatic tones, the plain colors add intensity to the sculptures. Haejin Lee is inviting us to interpret the passage from reality to surrealism. As if the strips, bandages of our exterior enveloppe had to fly away in order to reveal the essence of our souls, imagination and creativity. By acknowledging that the pieces were ‘almost impossible to balance’, the artist insists on the difficulty yet essential need for individuals to unconsciously or not; define their equilibrium.
Emily McDowell designs greeting cards for family and close friends of cancer patients. The messages are blunt and direct. As a former cancer patient herself now in remission, the designer got irritated when her close circle stop visiting and calling her because they didn’t know what to tell her.
She is making things simple by putting the right words on a sentiment which is most of the time sincere and honest but comes out awkward to the patient. Loneliness and solitude is, according to Emily McDowell the most difficult part of the illness to endure. Despite the loss of hair, fatigue and the heavy medical treatments, loosing friends and family members as a support system because they are having a hard time verbalizing encouragements and empathy is painful.
The illustrations on the cards are handmade by the designer herself. The pastel color scheme softens the message which can appear straightforward and cynical but which speaks truly to the patient. Emily McDowell believes these cards can make a difference in the way we communicate. In a digital world where motivational quotes are spread out through Instagram and Facebook, these make a difference because they are palpable and create a direct connection between the friends, family members and the receiver.
Find Emily McDowell’s ‘Empathy Cards’ on her eshop. (via Slate)
Monsters faces, robots and crazy looking animals made our reclaimed cardboards and boxes transformed by artist Bryan Rogers are taking over the trash spots on the sidewalks of Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY. They create a surreal ambiance in the middle of the streets. Bryan Rogers collects thrown-away pizza boxes, cardboards, boxes of any sizes from the neighborhood every week and make them into sculptures. He puts them out back on the sidewalk next to the collected trash and check if they’ve been taken or not. So far he says, the armor-clad centaur had its head taken first and the rest of its body later. He takes pictures of them and creates fun and dynamic animated Gifs he posts on his blog.
In the path of other artists designing art from reclaimed means he uses the streets are inspiration. Dag Weiser, following the same process, uses cardboards to build fantasy characters and display them outdoors.The rendering is creative, positive and ephemeral. The boxes are painted with vibrant colors, the body of the creature is punched, cut out and some small elements might be added (teeth, ears, hands and feet…). Bryan Rogers does not collect his art, he picks up unwanted materials, creates for his pleasure and ends the life of his disposable art the same way it started.
Discover the Moving Boxes on Bryan Rogers’ blog, updated daily.