Sculptures of the artist. By himself. Made from his own body. Marc Quinn creates self-portraits with his blood. Every five years he makes a fresh one. Keeping track of his aging throughout the years. The process can appear gory and frightening but it is as close to reality as a portrait can be.
He repeats the operation by making a plaster mold of his face and by going to the doctor to get his blood drawn. The equivalent of a pint is drawn every week (not at once). The blood is injected into the molded face and preserved in a frozen environment. It could not sustain another way. The first realization that blood is actually sitting in front of us can be disgusting and intolerable. It’s really the process that is intimidating. Once it’s understood then the concept behind this idea can be perceived, analyzed and accepted.
Marc Quinn’s intention is not only to make an organic piece but to keep it alive. By manipulating the scientific world to obtain what he wants he opens a new angle. He is redefining the limits in terms of means of expression. Ice and blood in that case coming from the same person making his auto-portrait dematerialize the notion of infinity. There’s also a melancholic feeling. When an artist depicts a self-portrait, the tone is usually neutral or positive. Considering that Marc Quinn chooses to represent himself as a volume of blood interrogates on what are the real motivations behind such a work and the artist’s inner self-regard. (via Ignant)
Jay Mohler creates intricate, textile designs, weaving different colored yarns to create brilliant Mandalas. His geometric patterns create Ojos de Dios, Spanish for eyes of God, that are either eight sided of twelve sides, spanning up to over a foot. Mohler began hand-making his Ojos de Dios over 40 years ago, after he traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico in 1965. At a marketplace there is where he first saw these fantastic, small-scale weavings. He was extremely impressed by the complex patterns and how often they would be created from a single strand of yarn, crossing and looping over the wooden sticks that hold it all together. The beautiful Ojos de Dios can be found in many cultures, traditionally in Native American and Mexican as well as Tibetan, where they can hold spiritual elements. They are also a symbol of a physical eye, as the designs of the weavings revolve around the center “eye.”
Based out of North Caroline, Jay Mohler uses wool yarn in all types of colors, including metallics, to carefully weave his vibrant creations. You can buy an Ojos de Dios for your own on his Etsy page, where you can also order custom made patterns and even buy a DIY kit to make your own. Make sure to check out more of his weavings to see the scale and size of his many creations. (via The Jealous Curator)
Tokyo-based designer Yusuke Seki has constructed a stunning, walkable platform made from 25,000 pieces of scrapped pottery and porcelain. The structure is part of the Maruhiro Ceramics gallery, located in Hasami, Nagasaki prefecture, a region known for its production and distribution of tableware dating back to the 17th century. Each fragment was collected from local factories that had disposed the ceramics prior to the glazing process, deeming them defective. After restoring the pieces and assembling them like bricks mixed with poured concrete, Seki infuses them with a renewed creative purpose. A statement from Seki’s website further explains the history and the design approach that drives the platform:
“A renovation of the pre-existing flagship shop, Yusuke Seki’s design marries an architectural knowledge to the artisanal know-how of the region, and in so doing, creates an entirely location- and situation-specific experience. Seki’s vision is to posit the designer as interpreter. His methods seek to amplify Hasami’s heritage by drawing out and translating the potential of the complete local environment, unifying its people. A minimal design interference, a modification in the level of the floor, not only utilizes the pre-existing space to alter the perspective and experiences held by the users until the present, but also gives birth to an entirely new sense of flow within.” (Source)
In a fascinating exploration of space, Seki has designed the stacked ceramics so that they enhance the customer’s interaction with the displayed tableware. Low shelves placed on the surface allow visitors to peruse from below, and if they so wish, they can climb up the stairs to the top of the platform for a closer look. The very act of walking on the ceramics creates an embodied experience of tradition and history; delicate materials, once discarded, are made strong, creative, and participatory, signifying the endurance of and respect for a time-honored cultural art form.
In a collection called Inner Child, Hong Kong-based artist Johnson Tsang has sculpted bulbous, porcelain-skinned babies with a surrealist twist. With their enlarged heads, bright eyes, and wrinkled faces, they are painstakingly detailed to capture their emotions. From teary-eyed angst to pouting petulance, they seem to behave like normal infants, but each one is infused with elements of the absurd; one baby laughs manically while sitting on a gilded throne inside a birdcage, and another, dressed in a suit, looks pensive while a fish leaps into his head. Whereas babies are ordinarily known for their heart-melting cuteness, Tsang’s sculptural offspring almost repel us with their bizarre conflations of infancy and adulthood.
Inner Child was displayed last month at K+ Curatorial Space in Singapore. In the press release for the show, Tsang explains the playful motivations behind his sculptures:
“Every adult has an inner child deep inside our soul. It is what keeps us curious, urges us to pursue happiness . . . and above all, gives us courage to embrace our truest selves.” (Source)
Tsang’s work, then, is an observation of the youthful drives that persist within all of us. Because age is often viewed as a linear process—from innocence and emotional expression to maturity and stoic intellect—“childish” traits or behaviors in an adult context may seem odd or even off-putting. Tsang wants us to enjoy his sculptures, however, and to reflect on our own inner children—then maybe we can accept and explore those feelings of unbridled glee, frustration, need, and discontent. After all, these are feelings we will experience again to that “unsophisticated,” childlike degree; as Tsang states humorously, “some day, we will all be old enough to start acting like kids again.” (Source)
100 mugs in 100 days. The creative duo Charlie and Blair rose to the challenge. The result is a collection of ceramic mugs, hand made and hand painted. Passionate about their work, they were able without any difficulty to create the mugs in a conventional and less conventional way. Adrian ‘Charlie’ is the one making the shapes, while Heather ‘Blair’ paints. The project nourished their excitement and enthusiasm, striving to stay focused and creative at the same time. “It’s that passion and drive that keeps you motivated to create day in and day out”.
The design of the mugs started as commercial. Adrian says the greatest challenge was to innovate. To encounter the risk of facing self doubt, anxiety and failure during the process. Therefore, there’s a clear exploration of shape, form and function. Some pieces end up not representing at all a conventional mug. The paintings on the mugs were inspired by travels to Turkey, Korea and Japan. Heather translated architecture and decorative patterns on mosques, tiles and jewelry into the ornaments of the mugs. She mostly used quirky designs and doodles. There’s an intention to contrast the original and singular shapes with classic color tones. Making each piece unique and one of a kind.
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)
Artist Erika Lizée re-imagines reality in twisted, magnificent forms that bend through our world and into the next. In her incredibly installations, she uses acrylic on Duralar, a translucent kind of film that allows light to pierce through some of the work. They are paintings that have sprung into the third dimension. Lizée’s sculptures are like otherworldly beings, shifting in and out of our world’s outer boundaries. By using Trompe l’oeil painting technique, she creates an illusion that you can see this other being behind the wall of the gallery. It is as if there is a magical world that we now have the chance to peer in to.
The mysterious and ominous mood that is created from Lizée’s large, flowing installations reflects her intent to express the beauty and mysteries of life. Her work seems to be in a state of flux, shifting back and forth, expanding and contracting. The artist explains that this shift is like the collective consciousness that is continuously altered by scientific discovers and new experiences. The way in which we think of the world and understand our environments are constantly being redefined
All of this combines with the complex ways in which we internally create our own notions of reality based on perceptions, beliefs, and filter.
Erika Lizée’s breathtaking installations pull us in to a foreign space of flux and transformation.
The installations serve as a metaphor for the journey of our personal and shared life experiences.
Blood Mirror is a collection of various works of art composed of blood donations from gay, bisexual, and transgender men which have been rejected by the FDA. The mixed media exhibit is made up of a short film by Leo Herrera which traces the story of nine gay men who have chosen to “donate their blood for art” given the FDA ban on donations from MSM( men who have sex with men). Their donations have been placed in a large cube through which light reflects on a panel painted with blood. The exhibit will include a sculpture, “Untitled”, composed of the blood collection tubes and blood bags of the nine men from Herrera’s short film. A “Blood Flag” will also be a part of the exhibit.
Aside from the vastly controversial aspects of using human blood as an artform, Blood Mirror has a strong political stance and strives to generate a dialogue surrounding the FDA’s regulations on blood donations. The use of blood in such an aesthetic manner provides not only strong visuals but also underlines a situation present within the medical world. The merging of the science and art worlds displays the necessity and beauty of elements such as blood give us the chance to think about the importance of speaking about things such as the right to donate.
Blood Mirror will be on display at the American University Museum from September 12th to October 18th.