The world of Paul Yore is encrypted. Behind the simplistic images hand woven on his tapestries there is a subtle will to provoke our thoughts on gender, identity, consumerism and daily violence. The artist chooses to apply psychedelic vivid colors to ultra detailed illustrations : phalluses shooting out rainbows, youths riding white unicorns, skulls conversing with pigeons, and pigs dressed up as police officers. He designs a whole lot of messages in his work, whether it’s tapestries or large installations made out of an accumulation of toys found on the streets. (One of his last pieces, “Everything is fucked”, was removed from his last show, allegedly representing child sex abuse, see the very two last pictures below).
Paul Yore is protesting in his own way by impregnating the culture of excess on his overflowing tapestries. We are immersed within his dystopia, his family of masturbating characters, naked flying humanized butterflies and cheerful animated vanities. This joyful scenario hides his honest concerns about real debates. The actual consequences of social and cultural nonsense in our existence is a primordial topic. In a world where communicating is done through all kinds of ways, he doesn’t seem to have the freedom he needs to express his ideas. Censorship versus artistic freedom between the artist and the authorities is the culminant point this battle has reached.
Entering the studio of Joseph Walsh is like embarking on a vessel of imagination. His “Magnus Celestii” piece begins as a desk and then spirals upwards from the floor to the ceiling to end as a slender shelf. The great heaven; as the title of the piece translates in latin; is taking up the entire space, making the viewer the center of the sculpture wherever he is located in the room. Not only is the piece a beauty, but it’s also made out of ashes of wood. A detail that transports us to the premice of the creation, in the midst of nature, in a magical forest somewhere in Ireland, where the artist is from.
Regarding Joseph Walsh, the barrier between him being acknowledge as an artist or a designer is slim, almost inexistant. The fact that he is challenging the technical boundaries of wood carving demonstrates his talent and love for his passion.
He is a visionary redefining design as art. A piece of furniture created by his hands is a sculpture. He wishes to honor the collaboration man has had for decennies with the material of wood.
Once again through this sculpture he has our head swirling in a dream of wooden ribbons. Over the years, Joseph Walsh has created a language of curves, sensuatity and voluptuousness. There is not one way to appreciate his work. How the lines float and the silhouettes undulate leaves us in an eternal spin. No matter how many times we look at a piece, there will always be a new angle to discover it.The simplicity of the material and the complexicity of the lines are what makes his work so captivating.
Joseph Walsh has new work currently showing at Chatsworth House in Bakewell, Derbyshire, UK until October 2015.
A runway of living masterpieces was the idea behind the couture “Wearable Art” collection. Viktor & Rolf had models walk around wearing human size canvases for their Fall 2015 couture show. The girls were coming out wearing a denim apron and a framed canvas at first white and then punctuated by paintings inspired by Dutch golden age painter Jan Asselijn. As the show went on, both designers appeared on stage to undress a model out of three, delicately taking off the painting they were wearing as a dress and hanging it on a hook off a wall.
The show was held at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, a location known for it’s contemporary art and where designers have previously held their show. (Rick Owens, Phillip Lim and Maison Rabih Kayrouz to name a few). Viktor & Rolf gave an updated version of a fashion show, instead of having regular models strutting up and down the runway, the designers gave a performance. Trying to get as close to an art performance, blending art and fashion and demonstrating once again their genius in pattern making. Watching the video (see below) will make it much more clearer that this has nothing to do with fashion per say.
The designers are experimenting wearable art. Instead of trying to prove that fashion is art they are subtely implying that fashion is inspired by the excellence of art. By taking the clothes off the models and hanging up the garments they are claiming that fashion is humble and vulnerable compared to art. There is something naive and touching about this show. Fashion designers following the footsteps of art performers, clearly inspired and admirative of the art world.
Giant monochrome webs of constellation materialize from a charcoal black wall, leaving the imagination floating, thinking we can envision anything we’d like. By connecting the dots, an image appears; it’s a gorilla, a fox, an owl or a hippopotamus. Philippe Baudelocque tames the stars on buildings’ front walls throughout the city of Paris, creating poetic packs of animals.
“I prefer the experience of art rather than the final piece of art. That explains why, drawn out of chalk, the illustrations are ephemeral. A risk the artist is willing to take, because that’s how he started his series and that he would like it to end.
The contrast between the black and white colors, the empty wall and the countless strokes bring another dimension to the illustrations. As if the artist wanted the animals to come out of the wall and talk to us. And they are, by the way they honestly stand, asking for nothing; confident that they are being understood. The stars and the animals represent unattainable immensity, identifiable to a lot of us. The combination creates a fantastic scene where the possibilities of interpretations are infinite.
Through the stillness of the black and white animal bodies, a feeling of compassion and kindness speaks to us. That’s the intention of Philippe Baudelocque : his illustrations gently suggest simple emotions to everyone.
A humble kingdom of mountains dominates the geological park of Zhangye Danxia in China. The images are surreal, hard to believe they haven’t been photoshopped. Naturally formed of multi-colored layers, the mesmerizing rocks echo the intoxicating installations of Katharina Grosse. She creates an environment of massive abstract installations on where she sprays vivid horizontal and vertical colored lines.
The mountains are overlooking the world and we are observing their similar version in the work of Katharina Grosse. A bizarre unpredicted three way which leaves us, humans, feeling very small face to face with the immensity of creation.
They are both the result of a performance, nature’s on one hand, the artist’s on the other; leaving on site a charismatic scene. The colors on the mountains are the result of deposits of sandstones and other minerals that occured over 24 million years ago. The regularity of the juxtaposed colors is shocking, as if a human hand had meticulously traced those lines. Unthinkable; yet nature did it on its own.
Katharina Grosse, already featured in Beautiful/Decay for her incredible installations, uses space without any limits. Her art is, at times, perceived as graffiti art or outdoor paintings. Means by which she expresses herself as a vision and avoids to think about a separation between what’s inside and what’s outside. “When I’m painting I show what I’m thinking about the world I live in. I don’t make up a world”.
There is no real connections between the center pieces of Thomas Jackson’s pictures and the landscapes in the background. We are seeing tutus, magazines, cups and streamers floating candidly in a scenery of virgin mountains, forests and beaches. The artist is offering a dreamlike visual of what can be perceived as the last moments on earth of these peculiar items.
Each image, part of the emergent behavior series, is an experimental coalition of items placed where they don’t seem to belong. This juxtaposition creates at first a feeling of well being; we foremost notice the swirl and the nature. After a deeper glance at what is really going on there’s a hesitation: are these everyday things really the focus of this beauty? The emphasis is made on industrial versus natural; reality versus imagination. Thomas Jackson’s purpose is to come up with a fresh interpretation of our daily routines. Calling for a distress, if we are brave enough to face it, of what is really going on in our ecosystem.
There has been quite a few inquisition about how the pictures where taken. They were in fact photoshopped and kept as realistic as their originals. Thomas Jackson confesses that he photographed the whole thing and then only removed the prop using photoshop: On the spectrum between “retouched image” and “real time image”, I’ve strived to make it closer to the latter”. When a picture can create such a flow of different kind of emotions, there’s no need to question the retouching. What the artist has created is a hazy fantasy that we wish could appear in real life.
Portfolios are the only way for designers to be evaluated and picked up for a job. Michael Lester was challenged to get his out there and he did. Literally. His portfolio is the size of a postage stamp, has pages that can be flipped and everything!
He reduced his ideas to only feature the key notions, making his portfolio a synthesis of short sentences facing shrinked illustrations. He conceived the whole thing at home. Testing the format by printing over 100 times the mini book on his home printer and finally hand bounding it himself.
The project originated as a brief from Jelly London for the D&AD New Blood Festival, challenging students to get people talking about their work.
“They say the best ideas fit on a Post-it note,” says Michael Lester “so I decided to take it a step further, seeing how little could tell the most.”
The world’s smallest portfolio went above and beyond Michael Lester’s expectations. The news went viral on the internet, creating a buzz around the portfolio hence his work. As a designer and illustrator he could not have wanted a better publicity. Proving that not only the idea is essential but the guts to actually do it is even more crucial. In a world where being the best at standard tasks is the challenge, standing out by going out of the norms is obviously what works. A superbe lesson taught, thank you Michael.
Jon Almeda creates miniature glazed ceramics which could easily be misunderstood for a pretend tea set play party, the average size of a piece being 1” scale. He designs cups, pots, tea kettles and bowls that perfectly resemble normal sized items. All the details are there: furrows, textures, handles and lids. In order to attain this meticulousness, he had to come up with the instrument that would allow him to get thorough so he built his very own pottery wheel, which is called “curio wheel”. Despite their fragile appearance, the small ceramics are nonetheless solid and able to resist the high temperature of glaze fusing.
The artist doesn’t seem to care about what’s normal. He prefers to juggle between the extremes; he goes from creating huge ceramics to sculpting macro pieces. The time he spends on doing so is more enjoyable. He compares this time to a meditation cession where he can focus on the creation and nothing else.
Jon Almeda’s inspirations are soothing and flowy. He says he likes to drift away thinking of calm dark waters and luscious flora from places where he spends most of his time. His creativity seems to be coming when his mind is somewhere else, daydreaming and meditating when his hands create beautiful little gems.