Irma Gruenholz creates charming illustrations out of clay. Treat yourself to some afternoon clay delight.
Natalie Arnoldi is a California-based artist whose work explores the fine line between abstract and figurative painting. Her works identify the psychological effects of ambiguous representation, allowing a viewer’s imagination to fill in the missing subject matter. Currently a coterminal Masters student at Stanford University, pursuing a M.S. in ocean science and a B.S. in marine biology, Arnoldi’s life has always centered around the ocean. Thus, it is unsurprising that she references the ocean as her inspiration for both her academic and artistic pursuits.
Though she doesn’t always use the ocean as her subject matter, there is a kind of depth to Arnoldi’s paintings (which are often tinted some shade of blue) that is reminiscent of looking into unfathomably deep waters. Highly reductive, Arnoldi’s paintings still manage to be moody, psychological and rich with meaning. A lone shark’s fin, a simple road median disappearing into the fog, or an airplane silhouette becomes a decidedly dramatic narrative delivered from the most uncomplicated version of an image.
Engagingly beautiful, Arnoldi’s paintings are haunting in their simplicity and straightforwardness. It is eerie how much can be deduced based on an image painted and composed in a certain way.
Korean artist Kim Joon fabricates images of fragments of hollow porcelain that resemble nude bodies. Through a painstaking digital process, Kim coats the anthropomorphic forms in bold patterns from ceramic brands such as Villeroy & Boch, Herend, and Royal Copenhagen. What results are deceptively convincing surfaces complete with reflection and shadows.
According to Kim tattoos are not only physical inscriptions on the body but also signifiers of mental impressions left on the consciousness. Alluding to society’s weakness for material objects, Kim’s tattoo imagery reflects our obsessions and deep-seated attachments. The artist’s exploration of tattoos stems from his experiences tattooing his peers while in the Korean military. In his earliest works, Kim grappled with the notion of tattoos as socially taboo in Korean society. He created sculptures that mimicked tattooed portions of flesh. Using water-based markers, he embellished latex-coated sponges, creating anonymous parts divorced from the human form. In recent years, Kim’s work has neatly overturned the negative connotations surrounding tattoos in Korea. In his hands, not only do tattoos reflect social habits and desires but they’re also a vehicle for transforming the body into a highly aestheticized object.
I usually love nutty and bizarre documentaries but I challenge anyone to find a documentary on a more disturbing and messed up subject matter. Married To The Eiffel Tower explores the world of Objectum Sexuals. You’re probably wondering “what’s that?” Well it’s when a human has an emotional and sexual relationship with an object such as a fence, archery bow, banister, bridge, and yes, even the Eiffel Tower. That’s right folks. There is a group of people out there (40 known cases around the world) who fall in love and have sex with buildings and other nonliving objects that we use everyday.
See a women straddle a beam of the Eiffel Tower and groan with pleasure, Watch as a middle aged lady makes out with the Berlin wall, and witness an emotional and passionate woman rub the grease and fluid from a theme park ride all over her body. You’re probably thinking I’m making this up as an early April Fools joke but even I can’t come up with a story like this. Married To The Eiffel Tower is the most bizarre documentary of all time. No books, brochures, or even Wikipedia could ever explain how fully functional adults could end up this way. It’s the ultimate freakish car crash and your front seat ticket is right after the jump.
Shannon Freshwater is interested in the mysterious and unknown, and finds inspiration in her own fears of death, decay, ghosts,vortexes, and various other natural and supernatural events.
To promote a new line of recycled paper, the creative ad-agency Soon made these fantastic sculptures of bugs. The bugs are inventive in form and colour, but are still recognizable as beetles, bees, dragonflies, and other species of insect. The wings are meticulously cut out to imitate the texture of real wings, but without the thin film that would allow them to fly. The sculptures really are all about texture. One that looks like it could be a fly has the texture of a fly’s eyes over the entirety of its body, and feelers that look like the filter-feeding system of a baleen whale.
It’s funny to see the “making of” video, because the bugs are as large as their creators’ hands. It’s entertaining to see the process of making the bugs. The video shows everyone at the agency sorting the papers by colour (even enlisting their children to help them), cutting the paper into different shapes or folding it like origami, and gluing it to create rather sturdy looking sculptures. It’s totally enjoyable to see such a collaborative effort to successful effect.
Soon also created flowers and other plants as a sort of habitat for the bugs. Using the habitat, they made a short film of the bugs flying around it, that is equal parts playful and funny. (Via Bizarre Beyond Belief)
Japanese photographer Takehito Miyatake’s images capture darkened compositions with illuminated trails of fireflies and forests. The ethereal works are lyrical in their treatment of light, and we see it dancing throughout fields, streams, and into the night sky. It captures not only the beauty of nature, but of the way that darkness can feel magical.
Miyatake’s work is influenced by two things: the devastating Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami of 2011, and waka, a classical form of Japanese poetry. These types of poems are written in 31 syllables and arranged in five lines, of 5/7/5/7/7 syllables, and they are meant as an expression of the human heart’s response to nature. The photographer considers his work similar to the poetry form, as “snapshots” of the forces that have shaped and destroyed Japan.
In an interview with Mia Tram, Associate Photo Editor at TIME, Miyatake talks about an influential piece of Waka poetry, stating:
The poetry of Kubota represents what I saw and felt when I took these images. When I photograph, a mystic feeling comes over me. I sometimes admire the mysterious legends that are a part of Japanese folklore that express a fear of nature. I believe Waka also intends to capture this sort of fear of the mystic beauty of nature. (via Lightbox)
I guess we all eventually die. I just didn’t think it would look this good.