Texas based photographer Nick Minton has been working on a personal project over the past few years titled Days With Rose. The series documents his great grandmother’s journey, at age 90, as she moves from her lifelong home & a life of independence to an assisted living community.
A portrait tries to capture the essence of a subject. By honing in on a solitary figure usually from the chest up, we’re able to delve into the eyes and see beneath the surface. There’s some seriousness involved because the traditional portrait is used to capture a visual record which can act as a long standing account of that subject. Taking this and flipping it, painter Austin Lee creates cartoon-like portraits of re-imagined people and animals. Bursting with neon color and loose line, his subjects have nothing to hide and let it all hang out. His work associates with characterture and gestural expression mostly ending up as vignette laden pictures.
With titles like Dunno, Mr. Worry, Facepalm, and Taboo the idea of community and friends surface as the subject for many of his pictures. In one, two figures appear in the front windshield of a car, the anticipation in their faces is that of a destination thay are unfamiliar with. In another, “Crush” a Mona Lisa type portrait peers out from a cabinet frame portraying someone the artist has a crush on?
Using a similar approach Lee creates heads out of 3D prints and acrylic paint. These look like self-portraits and capture certain aspects of his personality with the least amount of rendering. To some degree both his painting and prints reference minimalism in their quest to strip away and find the core of its subject.
Johannes VanDerBeek doesn’t depend on high production or heavy handed techniques to create his work. Instead he creates playful sculptures with simple materials like aluminum mesh, tin cans, and some well placed tie dye wizardry. The above piece entitled Hippie Ghost has to be one of the best sculptures i’ve seen all year.
These ink drawings, saturated with detail, are the masterwork of Seattle artist Olivia Knapp. Knapp utilizes classic shading techniques from the Baroque period, putting a real spin on the classic still life. At first glance, her work appears to be a mishmash of objects borrowed from an antiquated medical book. Knapp orchestrates a hyper-stylized version of everyday elements within American culture: a Fruit Loops box, some headphones, items rigidly anchored to the 21st century American lexicon. In these drawings, they appear in a different light, making the items far more mysterious and surreal than we know them to be. The black crosshatching weaves in an inexplicable amount of detail, with forms that are tight from a distance and dissolve into their own internal network of lines when viewed in detail.
Her work stretches leisurely throughout the frame, exhibiting a sort of spaciousness that is vastly composed of the winding structures of arteries stemming from the heart, or twisted plants and snakes. The arteries of a heart grip a spoon to eat a bowl of cereal, the brain hovers, listening to music; often what could have been a normal picture reduced to its mere elements, the heart the symbolic structure indicating man, or human, yet everything contorts into everything else like Salvador Dali’s melting clocks. The marriage of a new symbol presented with an old technique is nothing new, but Knapp has found a way to express it that is entirely bizarre, interesting, and unique.
For Cathedral Group’s charity project, A Dolls’ House, 20 United Kingdom architects and designers designed a doll house in order to raise £100,000 for the children’s charity, KIDS. Duggan Morris Architects, Dexter Moren, DRDH Architects, Glenn Howells Architects, HLM Architects, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, mae, RAAD Studio, shedkm, FAT, dRMM, Make Architects, and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris are among the contributors to this project. Inspired by the over 1,500 artists who participated in Edwin Lutyens’ 1924 doll house for Queen Mary, Cathedral Group organized their own doll house project. Each doll house has to be constructed on a 750 square millimeter plith and include one feature that could make life easier for a child with special needs.
As expected, the designs run the gamut in terms of aesthetics; some of the house designs are serious and practical, while others are abstract and absurd. The doll houses were on exhibit during the London Design Festival last month and will be auctioned off in November at Bonham’s in London. (via de zeen)
I love these installations by New York based artist Heide Fasnacht. Fasacht captures the beauty in catastrophe with her intricate, freeze-frame sculptures. They’re so detailed that I think I must be looking at a movie still, rather than something three-dimensional, something I can hold in my hands.
Chicago artist Nick Cave is currently showing at the Fowler Museum. We got a chance to interview him last year. Nick transforms found objects into what he calls “Soundsuits”. These suits are not just sculptural works but meant to be worn. Imagine wearing one of these to the next costume party you attend? Performers inside the suits emit noises, hence the title “Soundsuits”. The above image reminds me of our BD shirt: Explosion. Apparently Cave, an Alvin-Ailey trained dancer, plans to eventually have a world-traveling show with 90 Soundsuit-creatures.
A recent project set into motion by a group of creatives in Paris, namely Vincent Le Thuy, the brand Pigalle and a group of creative from Ill Studio combines sports, art, and design in this recent project. The Duperré playground has stood fully renovated in the 9th Arrondissement since July 1st and its presence brings a splash of color and light to the classical grey architecture of Paris.
The court is made from “noise absorbing recycled rubber’ which gives it plus points in both the realms of noise complaints and the environment. The floor and the walls of the court, which is wedged between two buildings, are made of this material, which adds to the surreal aspect of the place. The use of color blocking as well as square and rectangular shapes in the design are also artistic on a deeper level in the sense that they are visually reminiscent of the work of Piet Mondrian.
This basketball court is a true trans medium work of art in the sense that it transcends the conceptual aspects of sports and design and brings it all home by being more than a concept and by being both an aesthetic and urban improvement. The technical aspects of the court eliminate noise pollution while the bright primary colors bring a splash of sunlight the Parisian urban décor.
Photos by Sebastien Michelini & Kevin Couliau