Brent Birnbaum is an artist with one hell of a sense of humor. To commemorate the 2o year anniversary of Vanilla Ice’sIce Ice Baby single (the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts) Brent created the alter ego Ice Ice Maybe. Find a recap of the performance and his recreation after the jump.
Sakir Gokcebag is a Turkish artist who creates elegant installations from the most ordinary objects. Coat hangers, toilet paper, wicker baskets, levels, and jewelry are a few of the many objects he plays with to make his charming studies of form and materials. They’re reminiscent of how in the menial jobs we all have at one point or another, we keep ourselves sane by making towers, sculptures, and patterns out of the objects around us, and in doing so re-discover their formal elements–this chocolate bar is a rectangle, that coat hanger is a bow, these salt shakers are kind of like Kokeshi dolls, etc. Gokcebag takes this impulse and runs with it, turning it into some great visual poetry. (via)
To some, the purpose of hyperrealistic art may seem uncertain; why reproduce reality in such painstaking detail, when we are confronted by each other’s flesh every day? Of course, some of the sculptures have disturbing and surreal aspects, which makes their illusory qualities more clear. Like rats’ tails and hairless cats, these sculptures may make many of us strangely uncomfortable, for they unconsciously remind us of our own mortal fleshiness. Beyond this initial repulsion, however, they also mimic and accentuate reality to confront the viewer with meanings they may never see otherwise: human vulnerability, and the skin as a shallow edifice that distracts us from another’s internal experience. In each of these “simulations” of real life, an intuitive (and often unsettling) truth is revealed.
The French really do design the heck out of home goods! Moustache is another French design firm designing some of the most exciting new chairs and home items around. And like any new artist they reference the important works that came before them enough to seem familiar, while adding their own touch to make it feel brand new. And using a Versaille’s-like setting for their campaign? Pretty brilliant.
Colorado-born Frieda Gossett‘s craftsmanship is mind-blowing. Her style alludes to taxidermy, and is highly reminiscent of tattooing. Frieda’s craft consists of dyeing and treating the leather, and actually hand-stamping (!!!) the ornate patterns onto her various creatures. She doesn’t have photos of these beauties uploaded to her site, but I managed to pull these from the Systema Naturae shows she did with Gallery Nucleus.
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.
Artist duo Brad Kuhl and Monique Leyton create large tapestries illustrated with various colors of acrylic, bookbinding, and packing tape. The subjects of their tape art is real life crime stories and offer social commentary based on themes of attraction and repulsion, fame and infamy, crime, morality and entertainment, and safety and danger. In “Elite Deviance,” specific references include the scandals of Enron, Martha Stewart, Jack Abramoff, and Bernie Madoff. In “Blunt Object,” Kuhl and Leyton depict news crime scenes in which the use of a blunt object was instrumental in a murder. By using this tape as a medium, the duo brighten up scenes of crime, illuminating darker aspects of our culture’s psyche. “We liked how the tape associated with police tape and ideas blossomed from there of what to make,” Leyton said. Originally from the States, they are currently living in Beijing where the city’s rapid evolution inspires their work. Most recently, they have started to work with new material, something that’s still adhesive, but not tape. “Elite Deviance” could be the last project they complete using this particular medium. (via juxtapoz)