The wheel of life represented by 29 walking skeleton legs and feet. Monika Horčicová is a Czech artist who uses 3D printing to come up with the base of her sculptures. The legs are made out of plaster composite, molded and then casted into polyurethane resin. The legs are then assembled into one piece.
Symbolists, Buddhists and probably many more cultures and art movements have been using the wheel of life. It is the representation of the cycle of life and death. Usually depicted next to the Lord of Death; the wheel turns under his will. Birth and suffering, joy and sadness, alternatively march together. Thus, each of us has the liberty to interpret the meaning of life through the wheel. In this case, Monika Horčicová chooses to emphasize its morbid features.
By using skeletons, she takes a stand, and doesn’t give us the choice but to picture life as inevitably dark and painful. The direction, clockwise or counterclockwise, is important when looking at a wheel of life. Usually we are not given the choice but to visualize it going clockwise. Here, the artist has not set the orientation. As we move around the sculpture, we are free to give it our own meaning. Although death is predominantly present, we can choose to imagine the course of life going backwards. Our experiences and our knowledge as we move forward, are what make our inner self grow; allowing us to encounter the possibility of an indefinite renewal. (via Empty Kingdom).
Intricate patterns, lines and geometric motifs drawn with a Bic, a classic French ballpoint pen. Jonathan Bréchignac, head designer of the JoeAndNathan studio based in Paris fills rather large white pages with complex drawings. The first few ones of his ‘Carpets’ series were meant to represent by their sizes, shapes and ornaments; a Muslim prayer rug.
Jonathan Bréchignac takes about six to eight months to complete a design. He painstakingly depicts directly on paper. He traces directly with no draft before hand. What he designs is directly inspired by Muslim art and architecture. He smoothly blends traditional non-figurative Arabic patterns to modern motifs and elements from French Roman, traditional Japanese, Native American and Mexican culture.
Why does he uses a Bic? A Bic is a typical french pen with a fine point which allows to write and trace minuscule details. It’s cheap, effective, lasts long and has been used for decades from French students to workers in factories. It’s the equivalent to a yellow pencil for Americans.
There’s no rush or deadline when Jonathan Bréchignac starts working on a piece. He likes the idea of dedicating some of his precious time to a long process achievement. In his field, making sketches and pitching ideas can take quite a long time and can be thrown away in a matter of seconds. The idea behind the Muslim rug drawings is to create a long lasting and pleasurable work of art. (via Design Boom).
Riikka Hyvönen celebrates bruises on women’s body. Women that are rollerskating in a high level competition called ‘roller derby’. It’s an aggressive game which ends up marking the contestants for quite a long time; or at least until they heal. The artist uses hyperrealism to depict the bruises, which she calls ‘kisses’, as a trophy, a victory over the pain they are going through during a competition.
Hyperrealism is a method which consists of painting on a large scale canvas a reproduction of a photograph.Rikka Hyvönen collects photographs of the roller derby girls and chooses the bruises she considers being the most interesting. Not necessarily the biggest ones though. The bruise on the cheek is the focus of the painting. The whole image is kitsch, pop and above all real. The different colors of a bruise are painstakingly detailed, from yellowish to grayish.
The violence we associate to bruises are the symbol of the strength defining women. They symbolize the capacity of a woman in life in general to fall and get back up again. Rikka Hyvönen is saying, through her paintings that any mark due to a battle needs to be claimed and worn with pride.“I believe these images are charged with mental strength. They show that the player’s bodies can take the hits yet overcome the pain and still continue to play… Obviously, I am objectifying these women totally. But I am doing it exactly the way they objectify themselves: their big and strong bums are assets and to be carried with pride.” (via Hi Fructose)
A picture of a celebrity taped on a cracked wall. Otto Duecker not only depicts portraits, he also paints the surrounding that goes with it. Like all artists part of the hyperrealism movement (or photorealism) from far, the whole image can be misled for a photograph.
Otto Duecker depicts celebrities from the 20th century such as Mick Jagger, Basquiat,John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and more surprisingly Yoda. The black and white photos are represented crumpled and torn. Hung by random pieces of tape on a contrasted colored wall, the faces appear naturally brightened and alive. The artist painstakingly reproduces the details of the faces’ features and the cracks which makes the nature of the piece even more confusing to determine.
Hyperrealism allows the artist to guide the viewer to a new intimate examination of the piece. How did the artist depict the whole thing? Did he tape a picture of the celebrity on the wall and reproduced exactly what he was seeing? Do this wall exist in reality? Through this process, the artist gets in the way and the dialogue is not between the painting and the viewer anymore, but between the artist and the viewer. We are seeing the subjects through the artist’s eye and that’s what make the experience unique. (via Faith is torment)
Thread used as a mean to draw. German artist Annegret Soltau traces her face and body with a linear thread. Joining the eyes, nose and mouth to create a web that’s structured in different shapes. Some of the webs are harmonized with the face, others are claustrophobic. The artist is posing herself, claiming that “I am using myself as a model because I can go the farthest with me.”
The tension of the thread is an analogy to the relationships she encountered with her family members in her childhood. The strenuous connection with her mother and the heavy absenceof her missing father added to a grandmother forcing her to knit instead of doing the things she liked, weighed on her ability to cope with emotional strain. She admits that without her isolated past she couldn’t have followed the path of art.
The result is a series of portraits questioning the meaning of metamorphosis. Annegret Soltau’s method is intriguing and captivating but her focus is on the result. Her art acts as a deliverance. In the video below this article, we witness her expression while the thread is wrapped around her face. We wonder if she is feeling torture or a painful pleasure. It’s a process close to self-mutilation. Releasing energy by pulling the thread on her face marks a renewal, the abandonment of negative emotions. (via INAG).
Burned heads on life-size matches. A representation of human kind living in today’s society by German artist Wolfgang Stiller. The artist works either from an established concept coming from his mind or from random pieces he finds wandering in his studio. The ‘Matchstick Men’ series got created from left over molds he once used while working in Beijing and thick bamboo woods lying in his studio. Wolfgang Stiller started out by playing around with the heads and the sticks until they both merged, the heads on top of the sticks. The artist is interested in in-situ (specific site) installations. Therefore, the need to build matchboxes and different heights of ‘Matchstick Men’ became obvious.
This faces lying on the bottom of a matchbox resemble vulnerable corpses lying in a coffin. Each face, each person has a similarity with its neighbor. They all experienced a tragedy and are now resting in piece. The fact that they seem to always be displayed as a group of more than two matches makes the process easier to contemplate. Because staring at these heads makes us feel compassion and care. Wolfgang Stiller is not looking for a general interpretation of his art. He creates for a reason and has his own intent but he prefers to leave a space for interpretation between the art piece and the viewer. (via Fubiz).
Combo is protective if his street art. In response to an anti-graffiti brigade repainting one of his piece, the artist took a picture of this man and turned him into a collage a few days later. The part the man was covering was the tagged area and the part representing Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Louie, and Dewey was left undamaged.
Based in Paris, France; Combo depicts mischievous and entertaining street art. He feeds his obsession with interaction by opening a conversation with the walkers and his followers. He usually starts out by tagging the beginning of a sentence and seeking the end on his Facebook page. He asks his fans to finish it. The ending that has the most likes gets to be tagged.
The artist focuses on diverting visual images from their original meaning by adding foreign elements. These elements are usually familiar, coming straight from pop culture, cartoons and video games. By using popular symbols he speaks to the mass and can therefore vehicle his messages. Most of the time the topics covered are injustices within our society. Combo engages with its viewer in a disruptive manner but he always makes sure he does not cross the line of judgment. (via Lost At E Minor).
Ondrej Konupcik is a Czech artist offering organic and original watercolor brush strokes and ink splatters on a tattoo. He depicts explosive impressive animals like hawks, foxes and wolves but also other simpler objects. Customers don’t choose from catalogs when they come to Ondrej Konupcik, each drawing has to be almost custom-made.
The artist, who also goes by Ondrash, has to feel a connection to the subject before starting the process of tattooing. That’s the reason why he only takes care of one person per day. He wants to know on a deep level the story behind the tattoo. He traces directly on his customers to embrace their bodies and curves. He illustrates their wishes and desires from what they reveal.
A lot of the time mistaken for watercolor paintings applied directly to the skin, Ondrash’s tattoos has gained the appellation of compositional, figural art and today art brut tattoo. He gets his inspiration by browsing the web, getting ideas from other artists andpainting daily for himself using watercolor and oil. Ondrash also tried to graffiti. Enjoying the way the colors evolve in front of his eyes at a faster pace than when he tattoos, this could maybe his lead to a new project. (via deMilked).