Premier website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up again to bring you exclusive artist features. We show you exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create a clean and modern website. But it doesn’t just help artists create a minimal, mobile-responsive website; Made With Color also allows them to do it in only a few minutes without have to know any coding. This week we are featuring the work of New York artist Micah Ganske.
Soft, pale colors mixed with futuristic forms. Micah Ganske’s paintings are the reflection of future habitats and societies, combining the notion of technology degrading population with a hopeful note. Influenced by the ghost-town of Centralia, PA, the artist beautifully depicts abandoned city landscapes.
In his series “My Future Is Always Tomorrow’, technology is taking over. The paintings depict a world overtaken by technology and its effect on human kind. “My new sculptures and drawings express my hope that we will further use technology to improve and evolve our very selves.” Ganske’s vision doesn’t end with just paintings. Along with video and virtual reality experiences he also creates intricate sculptures of spacecrafts using a 3D printer. These are part of his fleet of spacecrafts that are meant to eventually come together to create a larger than life humanoid traveling through space. A symbolic vision to forecast humans embracing technology instead of enduring it.
Young-Deok Seo is a South Korean artist who creates what he calls “iron men”: nude sculptures made completely out of welded chain fragments. Demonstrating his deep fascination and concern for the human body, Seo builds standing figures, heads, busts, and torsos by carefully melting and linking chain fragments together piece by piece. The result is a series of elaborate assemblages, the links seeming to undulate like living cells. Each work entails a huge commitment of Seo’s time, patience, and concentration, making his artwork a form of spiritual practice.
What is most remarkable about these re-imaginations of the body is the way each piece tells a story—both intimate and universal—about the pangs of existence. On his website, Seo’s write-up describes his figures as embodying intense suffering, and conversely, an ascetic emptiness; they are at once “haggard like a seeker,” “infected by something unknown,” and devoid of all “earthly desires and passions” (Source). Despite their complex “skins,” each figure is ominously hollow. Some of them are incomplete, with their faces and limbs appearing to dissolve into the surrounding space. This suggests a chain reaction of the body to the outside world, a fusion of pain and hope that resembles destruction as much as it does liberation.
Australia based artist Patricia Piccinini creates disturbing yet enticing human-animal-plant hybrids. Her work probes your brain in a very uncomfortable way, forcing you to come to terms with the potentiality of a sci-fi engineer’s fantasy come alive. Her work spans various media, however her silicone, fiberglass, and human hair sculptures seem to take the cake of most striking. These alien plants and what may resemble sea creatures made from human flesh are not exactly easy to digest — yet, they are unquestionably inventive and just as hard to look away from as they are to look at. She begins her process by drawing through her thoughts. Once her idea becomes developed thoroughly, she plays with material. Her ideas manifest themselves through media spanning anywhere from photography to drawing to sculpture. She is able to develop a project anyway in which she believes will best connect the viewer and the concept. Her sculptures range in process — she uses both traditional approaches such as hand sculpting using plasticine models as well as digital techniques such as CNC and 3D-printing. Through provoking thoughts of genetic mutation and the potential of biotechnology, each piece questions the boundary of possibility and perhaps aims to be the foresight to the alarming possibilities of the future.
Patricia Piccinini has been active in the art scene for more than two decades. In 2014, she won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Melbourne Art Foundation. (via Illusion)
Spanish artist José Manuel Castro López seems to have the ability to transform the structural properties of rocks. He manipulates the surface of stone to create a new formation. He turns a classic object of solid nature into something strange, malleable and soft. His work, for just a moment, forces the viewer to question reality. For what should be “as hard as a rock” becomes reminiscent of having a materiality as flexible as dough. With loose folds, simple cut outs and pinches, it seems the artist is able to sculpt rocks as if they are as supple as clay. Each piece has a certain sense of humor to it, as it is an optical illusion that kind of asks the viewer to reflect upon his or her own common sense. Yet, simultaneous to its comical, light hearted absurdity, the work also has an almost unusual, uncomfortable resemblance to flesh, giving the work a darker, more complex facet. With these flesh like objects — quite literally for some of them, as they depict faces — the properties of what seems like skin begin to become distorted, perhaps depicting the moments directly after pain has been inflicted. For example, his sculpture of what looks like a ring puncturing skin. Or, the sculpture of what looks like the result of flesh that has been stretched through it’s ability to be elastic. With a large array of pieces, José Manuel Castro López creates clever work that truly plays tricks on your eyes. (via deMilked)
South Korean artist Lee Yun Hee creates narrative ceramic pieces inspired by literature and story telling. She uses both Western and Eastern influences, creating a style of her own that is striking, unique and undoubtably contemporary. Her work is fragile and flawless, almost creating an aura of effortlessness. She uses her work to reflect upon stories of everyday people; their struggles, fears, hopes, and anxieties. Yet, most importantly to her, she is truly interested in documenting their “cures” — the sort of “up from below” type stories that end with a protagonist who has had the strength and endurance to overcome a difficult task. For example, her piece La Divina Commedia, reinterprets the classic 14th century poem by Dante. In her version, she depicts a young girl’s search for truth. She explains the tale behind the piecein an interview with Brilliant 30. She states,
“there was once a girl that received an oracle, telling her future. The knowledge, the predestined desire and insecurity left her troubled. In search of happiness and peace, she embarked on a journey. Along the way, she encountered many obstacles; but at the end, she discovered the peace she has been striving for…By overcoming anxiety and suppressing desire, the girl reaches a state of ultimate peace.”
Her work acts as windows into her own version of a fairy tale; she is able to re-create morality stories within her own framework. She refers to her self as a collector— she takes influence from everything she sees. She explains, “I have been keen on collecting images since I was a child. I would rather cut out the pictures from cartoons than read them. Even the encyclopedia wasn’t safe. These processes have had more influence than anything else on my background as an artist.”
Lee Yun Hee’s work is mystical and fantastic. Though balancing modern, classic, Eastern, and Western styles, she has creating an epic body of art that is honest, profound, and truly unique.
French artist Travis Durden has created Star Wars inspired classical statues. Using digital technology, the artist has sculpted characters in faux marble with faces pulled directly from the film’s franchise and bodies sourced from classical statues found in the Louvre in Paris. His work shines light on what could be interpreted as a softer side of the sci-fi fantasy film’s cast. Darth Vadar is fashioned with a soft lock of hair and a tender hand gesture that suggests grace. Boba Fett is portrayed gently bending down, showing signs of what might be humility. Yoda is depicted as a peaceful cherub. A Storm Trooper is shown in robes holding a piece of ancient knowledge. General Grievous dramatically reaches for a bow and arrow. Durden is interested in binaries and creating new meaning from merging seemingly opposing forces. Even his name, Travis Durden, is a pseudonym created from combining names taken from two of his favorite films. He uses the format of the classical sculpture to re-fashion these Star Wars characters to be depicted almost as gods — as equally a significant part of cultural history. Durden’s sculptures seem to suggest that cultural icons have indeed become objects of worship. Will the characters of Star Wars have that same type of precedence as we see the Greek statues to those in the future?
The first life size skull hand made from a rare crystallized meteorite ‘Gibeon’. This unique piece has been realized by Lee Downey; an American jeweler artist, whose purpose is the celebrate the mystery of the human skull and its numerous symbols and interpretations. The astonishing piece will be auctioned by Bonhams on November 24th 2015 and has already been estimated at around $400,000.
The process started out by cutting and carving down a block of meteorite (617 lbs) into a 46 lbs skull. The precious artifact is called ‘Gibeon’. A meteorite of 4 million years old, dating from the prehistorical era and founded in the Namibia region. The coveted material is renowned for his crystal structure and its singular ‘Widmanstätten’ pattern. A motif unveilinga repetition of matte and glossy stripes imitating metal. The intricate work of polishing and washing the carved skull revealed an unexpected insertion on its forehead classified as ‘Tridymite’, a rare component.
Lee Downey, now residing in Bali, through his work, has brought out never seen before features on the texture of this particular meteorite. The reflection of the light onto the multi-faceted inclusions creates a shimmery luxurious aspect. The fact that the surface, including the gold insertion, is pure; confers to the skull an exceptional uncommon value. “Of any material I could think of to fashion an accurate human skull out of, this Gibeon meteorite best embodies the “mystery” most acutely. I call him The Traveler… a true time traveler”. The artist’s intention in presenting the symbol of death with an ageless, immortal material is to focus on spiritual consciousness and the definition of eternity.
In 1888, Vincent van Gogh severed his left ear with a razor blade—an act that would solidify his reputation in art history as a tortured genius. Last year, in a grim-but-fascinating project titled Sugababe, Dutch artist Diemut Strebe recreated the lost “artifact” as a living replica. She created it using 3D printing and genetic material derived from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo. The ear has been sustained in a nutrient solution, and remarkably, it can hear you; using a microphone, visitors can speak to it, and the sound is processed by a computer that simulates real-time nerve impulses.
The purpose of the project is part science, part literature, part theory. It is an investigation into human replication—can the artist’s essence be reborn, or replaced? Drawing on the Theseus paradox from Plutarch, the ear invokes questions about bioengineering and authenticity. The project’s description on Strebe’s website goes into more detail:
“In the late 1st century Plutarch asked in The Life of Theseus whether a ship, which was restored by replacing all its parts, remained the same ship. In the course of time, many variations of the principle have been described. One of these variations refers to the title of the project. The famous paradox is carried out with biological material making a particular form of human replication, from historical or synthesized material, a central focus of this project. The ear is one of a series of a limited edition, made of different scientific components referring in various ways to the same principle of replacement.” (Source)
Visitors wishing to view this curiosity and “speak” to the deceased artist will be able to see it at the Ronald Feldman Fine Arts’ show Free Radicals, which runs November 7th-December 5th, 2015. (Via The Creators Project)