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.
In September, people visiting the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) will be able to view North America’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian and Peruvian mummies. Titled Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs, the touring exhibition from The Field Museum in Chicago features over 20 preserved remains ranging as far back as Pre-Dynastic Egypt and Pre-Incan Peru—which means these are some of the oldest discovered mummies in the world. Accompanying the mummies are archaeological artifacts also found in the tombs, such as sarcophagi fragments, limestone canopic jars containing the deceased’s vital organs, and a beautifully fierce double-spouted jar with the face of a jaguar.
In the following statement from the press release, NHM President and Director Jane Pisano explains the exhibition’s goal: “The role of a natural history museum is to serve as a laboratory for the exploration of our natural and cultural pasts, and science is our pathway. Mummies: New Secrets from the Tombs uses modern science to challenge and help to unravel what we know about these ancient peoples and their cultures, and in doing so, offers the world an intensely up-close look at The Field’s preeminent collection of mummies, many of them tucked safely away in vaults for over a century.”
As Pisano remarks, what makes this exhibition exciting (aside from its awe-inspiring collection) is its unique examination of cross-cultural methods of mummification, as well as the specific focus on the individuals occupying the coffins. Mummification is often solely associated with Ancient Egyptian ritual practice, but in fact mummies have been found all over the world. In Peru, mummification began 2,000 years before Egypt. While both cultures’ methods are equally fascinating and ingenious, differences can be traced. In Peruvian mummification, for example, there are signs that the coffins were opened so that food and drink could be replenished; in Egypt, the tombs were meant to be sealed for eternity. In addition, the exhibition also profiles the deceased using information gathered from CT scans and X-rays. Among the mummies is a woman and her child, a brother and sister, and the “Gilded Lady,” a 40-year-old woman from the Roman era.
This is the first time the mummies and their artifacts have left The Field Museum, so be sure to take the opportunity to see this fascinating collection. The show runs from September 18th to January 18th. You can learn more on the NHM’s website.
PUTPUT is a Swiss/Danish artist duo based in Copenhagen who explore the perceptual effects of putting everyday objects in surprising contexts. In an installation called “Fruitless” at Lust and the Apple Gallery in Temple, Scotland, they have created a “greenhouse” of faux plants. From a distance, the glass structure appears to be brimming with verdant life, but upon closer inspection, the pots are filled with “dead” objects, such as toys, grooming products, and other household goods. Arranged together in their pots, the objects take on a new meaning; suddenly their design supersedes their banal utility, allowing the viewer to appreciate and contemplate the various shapes and textures that otherwise go unnoticed.
In the above video, the artists ask a compelling question: can an object dream? And if it does, would it dream of being something entirely different? Empowered by their new “purposes,” the items take on an illusory life; two recorders, placed in dirt, seem to channel the energy of young bamboo, while elsewhere, bag clips appear to sprout with an eager vitality. The pseudo-consciousness of the objects arrives through a radical shift in our perception of them, but just like the barren materials that compose them, the faux plants’ dreams are “fruitless”: “We tried to fulfill that dream of an object to be something completely different—which it never will be,” the artists explain. Nevertheless, PUTPUT has arranged a fascinating exercise for transforming everyday objects into something more beautiful and profound.
With the availability of digital mapping systems, the tabletop globe seems almost like a vestige of ancient times. The globes we do encounter—in our classrooms, or in antique stores—are either cheap and mass-produced or delicate and expensive. In a fascinating project to reinvigorate the art of globe-making, Peter Bellerby of Bellerby & Co. Globemakers is creating globes entirely by hand, from stretching the gores (the strips of paper) and applying them carefully onto the sphere, to painting and illustrating the maps. The process takes at least 6 months to complete, and it’s not easy—without careful measurements, the globe will remain incomplete. Blending science with art, a perfection-derived sense of beauty inspires Bellerby’s work.
Bellerby’s project began when he was trying to find a good-quality globe for his father’s 80th birthday. His options were limited or unsatisfying, so he decided to create his own globe from scratch—an endeavor into which he poured months of research, money, and work. Realizing that there was a lack of globes being made by hand, Bellerby created his studio in 2008. Now, he works with a team of passionate (and patient) artists to bring back this ancient craft, creating everything from mini artisan desk globes to the “Churchill,” a behemoth globe spanning 127cm. His work has been widely recognized, and deservedly so; in an age when Google Maps magnifies and digitally fragments our perceptions of the earth, Bellerby’s globes demonstrate an intimate understanding of and respect for our planet as a whole.
An animatronic busty dancer lasciviously moves and converses with the public, speaking with a men’s voice and hyper sexual tones. The life like robot imagined and produced by Jordan Wolfson, dressed up with a leather dress and white thigh-high vinyl boots, sassily swivels her hips and watches her spectator through her dirty greenish mask. The dirt reveals the past of the robot; she has escaped from something but isn’t hurt; she’s here with us and she’s ready to put up her show. Like a real spectacle, the public is only allowed for a couple of minutes with the dancer.A closed set, a twosome controled by an assertive and repetitive speech and a powerful vision.
Jordan Wolfson is interested in the strange. Therefore he is not focused on the meaning of his art. He is aware of the influence of You Tube and other social media platforms within its generation but he is fascinated by the power of images, the way they are thrown at us and the way we accept it, with or without consequences. The artist works in a non associative way, giving us a non judgmental rendering of his vision. Like his life in Los Angeles where he now resides, his pieces are intuitive and fictional. His concept and art statement has lead the public and the art world to label him as a provocative contemporary artist. “I’m not telling anyone what to think. I don’t have that responsibility. I’m expressing myself. It’s as simple as that.” He uses art as a safe place where he can express, without fear, his traumas and anger.
Jordan Wolfson art work is exhibited as part of a group show at the Whitney Museum in New York until September 2015, and at the Serpentine Gallery in London this fall 2015
In a dark series of sculptures titled Broken Dreams, Brooklyn-based artist Sandra Osip captures the decline and decay of suburban Detroit. The works are inspired by Osip’s memories of the city: the streets she roamed as a child, the corner stores she visited, and the neighbourhood—now destroyed—that surrounded her former high school. She sculpts the skeletal husks of houses that are burnt down, collapsed, and decaying, evacuated of all life and purpose. In more abstract renderings, Osip has created “junk heaps” of urban ruin, crushed-up buildings that represent entire neighbourhoods left to the cruel forces of time and neglect. In the following statement, Osip explains the deeply personal inspiration for the series:
“Recently I visited my childhood neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, and to my disbelief my house was no longer standing; neither was the corner store where I bought my penny candy, nor my friend’s house down the street, nor the empty lot I used to ice skate on. This is now an empty wasteland and overgrown by nature. The day after my visit the news reported that a block away from where I lived they found two decomposing bodies. The news stated at least a dozen bodies in twelve months have been found in this abandoned and neglected part of the city.” (Source)
Nostalgia is a painful concept in these sculptures; instead of comforting childhood origins, Osip is left with rootless memories, and a sense of “home” that’s deteriorating and forever changed—haunted, even, by literal images of death in the form of human bodies. “Many of my fond memories have now vanished,” she goes on to write, explaining the pain of having part of one’s personal history obliterated. She approaches the series with a profound awareness tinged with irony; one work, titled “Beautiful Homes and Gardens,” incongruously depicts a stack of cadaver-like houses. However, by consciously reworking her attachments to the now-ruined streets of her youth, Osip’s work demonstrates a courageous exercise of healing through the release of the past.
Latvian artist Janis Straupe carves intricate and detailed wooden creations that experiment with functionality and design. Working in wood for over thirty years, he builds wooden sculptures as well as highly unique wood furniture. Although built from the very traditional material wood, his works are incredibly contemporary and creative in design, like his cabinet that resembles a giant beetle. The two side cabinet doors open up as wings or the shell of the beetle, while the top drawer is part of the head. There are so many little compartments that are located in every nook and cranny of the cabinet. This beetle-cabinet exhibits incredible design while still remaining practical and functional.
Janis Straupe’s work displays incredible craftsmanship, as his beetle cabinet is hand made. Insects being a theme that often comes up in Straupe’s work, he also has a series of enormous, larger than life spiders. The artist constructed several large, wooden spiders that stand up on all eight legs, towering over your head. One even has its legs sprawled out against the wall, as if to climb up to begin a web. Humungous insects carved out of wood are Janis Straupe’s specialty. (via Bored Panda)
Michael Ferris Jr. designs mosaic immortal portraits. Made out of reclaimed wood, hand painted with vivid and brilliant colors, he translates the voyage of a mortal becoming a semi-god, confronting the humanistic presence to the abnormal traits he acquired. The technique used is intarsia, where the fields of different colors and materials appear to be inlaid in one another, but are in fact all separate pieces. He says he was greatly influenced by the inlaid gaming tables from Middle East which used to ornate his home as a child. He insists he only uses discarded wood and acrylic pigmented grout, creating an intricate geometric pattern which overlays the surface of the busts and faces.
The artist is influenced by Chinese tales of immortal beings. He imagines simple mortals like people he knows going through a physical and a spiritual transformation towards immortality. This rebirth into eternity is materialized by the complex language of drawings Michael Ferris Jr. is unveiling on the sculptures. He highlights the contrast between the remaining humanistic presence with the classic form of a portrait and the singular vibrant embellishments. We are influenced to react to a conventional human normality that has become something other than normal. ‘Ultimately my aim is to express the psychological and spiritual complexity of my subject’.