Artist Christina Córdova sculpts beautiful and enchanting ceramic figures. The artist, now living in Penland, North Carolina, grew up in Puerto Rico where she was raised heavily embedded in Catholic imagery. The classic posses and the notion of reference and body positioning as story telling has deeply made an impact on her work — the figures within her art hold poses that can be found in both theological and mythological images. Each piece has an almost magical realist feel: while her pieces can be traditional in execution, they always feature an element of surprise and surrealism. Through blending moments of texture with perfectly sculpted human forms and strange depictions of wild animals, her works somehow achieves the ability to be screaming a secret — to be demand attention yet offering no specific answers, only curiosity and inquisition. Each work has a story. Each figure has a history. Her use of a classic material, ceramic, truly allows her work to exist within a plane of antique elegance. However, through her use of pattern and color, Córdova’s work is contemporary and fun, yet undoubtedly sophisticated. She tends to use found materials such as metals and wood from her homeland, Puerto Rico. Because of these materials, her ceramic finishes mimic a sort of rawness that truly gives her sculptures their “relic” like quality. Córdova’s sculptures are absolutely stunning and genuinely radiate a aura of mysticism and truth. (via juxtapoz)
South African artist Porky Hefer creates quirky sea creatures that walk the line between furniture and sculpture. Crafted from leather, the giant animals are suspended on rope and hang from the ceiling with their mouths open wide. These fun creatures create a sort of inquisitive space for one to insert themselves, and perhaps relax and read a book. Within he series, titled Deliciosa Volume I, Hefer has developed a series of six designs, each of which has it’s very own personality. For example, Fiona Blackfish, an Orca whale who was born in Cape Town, has a furry tongue, loves animals of all kinds, and hates Sea World. Other characters include Crocodylus Eugenie (a crocodile), M. Heloise (a manta ray), and Dora Esca (an angler fish), Pelicanus Iris (a pelican), and a puffer fish. The artist, who has 16 years worth of experience in the advertising industry and has worked with big wigs such as BMW and American Express, wanted to use this project to step away from foreign manufacturing and product concepts, and instead, display and utilize the traditional processes coming out of his homeland, South Africa. He states, “we have such skilled human beings in this country using techniques not found anywhere else in the world.” This series of aqua inspired seats solely employs the traditional methods of weaving, stitching and splicing of leather and cane. Porky Hefer’s series, both a wink to the environment and his local economy, can be found on display at Southern Guild Gallery in Cape Town until February 5th. (via My Modern Met)
Danling Xiao is a Sydney-based artist who has started Mundane Matters, a project aimed at coupling fun food sculptures and photography with daily insights and philosophies. The bulk of the project can be seen on Instagram, which is updated daily. The objects she creates range from cute to bizarre—such as a zucchini squid and a grinning, beady-eyed apple—but they all exemplify ingenious ways to recreate and re-represent ordinary objects.
“Is mundanity really mundane?” Danling’s artist statement asks. “Perhaps it is our ignorance?” She argues that by seeing something in a different light, and by allowing ourselves to become curious, we can find joy and creativity in all things. Fruits, vegetables, and the objects they’ve been molded into take on new levels of significance. We become aware of design, and how beauty and utility often arrive together. As Danling suggests, “If we look closer, if we slow down our pace and be more mindful about our inner self and surroundings, we can actually discover a wonderland inside every mundanity.”
Each of Mundane Matters’ posts on Instagram is accompanied by a short write-up, usually updating the viewer on events in Danling’s life. These range from descriptions of dreams, daily practices of overcoming fear, and more general wisdom, such as the importance of nurturing our relationships. Danling’s goal is to spread “humor, creativity, positivity, and stories” through her work, and given Mundane Matters’ beautiful photos and growing social media following, there is no doubt that her art and ideas are connecting with people everywhere.
Kazuhiro Tsuji creates hyperrealist large portraits of celebrities, artists and presidents. His career in Hollywood as a special effect make-up artist has taught him how to transpose fictional features on human faces. He is now entering the art world and leaving his imagination to guide his creations.
The sculptures are 8 times larger than a human head. Made out of resin and platinum silicone, they offer close to real details; such as pores, lashes, hair and wrinkles. Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Dick Smith and Abraham Lincoln appear as if they were going to start moving. When looking at the faces, we cannot consider that the celebrity represented could have existed differently.
The sculptures have an underlying process and are not just depicting a person. Kazuhiro Tsuji manipulates the feeling of empathy. He uses the neutral expression of his characters to entice the viewer and connect with his curiosity; wanting to create a dialogue between the public and the sculpture. According to him, different sets of mood can hide behind a poised look. The sculptures have the ability to invite us to go behind the mask. A step the artist is urging us to take. (Via Illusion Scene 360)
Korean artist Myung Kuen Koh creates intimate structural sculptures of shifting perceptions. Myung Kuen Koh’s work acts as tiny dreamlands that perfectly suggest a certain non-specific person, place, and/or time. Each piece takes the form of an urban structure — one that seems effortlessly familiar. Perhaps each one is an ode to the past; an old home, the house of an ex lover, a place that was once cherished. Their open movement and intentional distortion possibly hint at the fragility and elusiveness of memory. His images tend to portray two seemingly unrelated subjects: classical sculpture and urban, and often run down, buildings. However, these two images, despite their differences, achieve an equal sense of meditative air. Both types of images allude to a type of quiet, yet demanding physical construction that refer to a means to measure history. His work, it seems, could be either inherently personal, or, on the contrary, be focused on a collective notion of time. The artist’s work is almost cinematic, each piece being reminiscent to projector images along a edifice’s surface. Myung Kuen Koh’s delicate work is created through the process of layering translucent images. He then laminates his images and with goes the task of melting them together, resulting in a shimmering and striking sculptural montage. (via hi fructose)
Extremely detailed machines made out of cardboard. Australian artist Daniel Agdag creates directly with his hands and scalpel. The industrial machineries he imagines and makes are a mean to raise consciousness on how human beings are powerless and ignorant over the machines they use daily.
In the ‘Principles of Aerodynamics’ series, Daniel Agdag demonstrates his ability to produce an intricate sculpture using just his imagination and memories he collects from details on architectural elements like buildings or monuments. He doesn’t sketch anything before diving for hours into his work. His process is described as ‘Sketching with Cardboard’. He conceives a hot air balloon, reel-to-reel recorder and a radar-dish without planning. The purpose remains the same : to entice the viewer’s curiosity and to generate a reaction.
The artist’s subject matter places individuals in a position of uncertainty. The machines that we use daily are complex and we tend to forget it. Furthermore, we might forget in the process that we are being helped by those machines, and that without them we could no longer pursue our effortless life. Daniel Agdad’s examination of the effect machines have on us is reminiscent of artist Jean Tinguely’s purpose. By building creative machines from garbage and found objects he ‘aimed to satirize the fallibility and unpredictability of machines and our reliance on them’. Daniel Adgad, by manipulating a simple material like a cardboard attempts to freeze time and the world we are living in. And reconnect the viewer with what he is actually capable of achieving thanks to the use of complicated machines.
Eun-Ha Paek is a Seoul-born, Brooklyn-based artist who sculpts whimsical ceramic characters. Her creatures—which often resemble bears and dogs—are amorphous and cloud-like, sitting atop magical, candy-colored platforms. Each one is an eye-grabbing and thought-provoking fusion of childlike innocence and surrealism with a touch of menace; fanged mouths and disembodied hands gouge at the viewer from within the sculptures, blending nostalgia and unease together with the peculiarity of an ice-cream cone melting in an empty playground. There is also a humorous energy, which derives from the characters’ beady-eyed expressions as they stare at the viewer from their strange environments. Eun-Ha Paek’s about page further clarifies this interplay of emotions:
“The same way a boulder on a hill stores potential energy, a banana peel on the floor is the setup to a joke, storing potential ‘ha-has.’ The setup might cause a smirk, without any real action taking place. My work uses this potential to construct narratives on the precipice of the familiar and strange; to explore our inner workings of grief and hope with humor.” (Source)
Eun-Ha Paek’s unique style and creativity has received recognition around the globe. In addition to her sculptures, she creates animated films that have been screened at venues such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Sundance Film Festival. She has also been highlighted in The New York Times, G4 Tech TV, and Entertainment Weekly. Her work can be followed on her website, Instagram, and Vimeo page. (Via Sweet Station)
Tucson boy Andrew Hayes creates industrial sculptures from books. His work, reminiscent of minimalist pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, uses seemingly simple manipulations to create beautiful compositions employing the use of color blocking and the glorification of materiality.
Drawing inspiration from the American desert landscape in his earlier works, Hayes created the foundation of his style through fabricating steel. After his studies, Hayes worked as an industrial welder. While bouncing between jobs, he found himself as a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Bakersville, North Carolina. During this time, Hayes began to explore with various materials and forms, eventually finding his way to the book. He states,
“The book is a seductive object to hold and smell and run your fingers through. I am drawn to books for many reasons; however, the content of the book does not enter my work. The pages allow me to achieve a form, surface, and texture that are appealing to me. The book as an object is full of fact and story. I take my sensory appreciation for the book as a material and employ the use of metal to create a new form, and hopefully a new story.”
Sticking true to the celebration of form and material, Hayes work is truly striking and exudes a sort of power associated with fabrication. However, the introduction of the book allows a softness that is not only a fun play on an aesthetic staple, but also hints at a element of elusiveness — as he does not use the contents of the books — his work invites an aspect of imagination for the viewer. (via iGNANT)