Munich, Germany based Cory Stevens shoots architectural photography in a peculiar way. He abstracts the architecture by photographing a segment of a building and reflecting it in various ways. In some photos the reflection is duplicated, and in others its repeated many times as if in a kaleidoscope. All of the reflections merge seamlessly, though, as if it were one floating structure. The strange symmetry gives the buildings an almost organic quality as if it were about to divide and multiply on its own. In a way, they resemble viruses made of steel, cement, and glass.
British architect/artist/technical wizard Alex Chinneck is at it again. We have written about his last project here on Beautiful/Decay, and his latest public sculpture is just as impressive as his others in the past. Known for creating strange, surreal interpretations of urban architecture (like a slouching building facade, and a levitating market building), Chinneck has a knack for surprising even the most cynical observers. Keeping with his habit for curious titles, his newest work is called A Pound Of Flesh For 50p and is visually as interesting as it’s label. Working for over a year with many different chemists, wax specialists and engineers, Chinneck has managed to build a house completely from wax.
Perfecting the art of replicating bricks from wax, he has completed another one of his ambitious projects, this one featuring over 8000 authentic looking bricks. He has built a two story building for London’s Merge Festival and it is definitely a sight to behold. Set to melt over the course of 30 days, this house will eventually be nothing but a pile of waxed lumps coagulated on the ground with pieces of window and door frames sticking out. Naturally, Chinneck has to manually set it alight to help the structure melt in the right way, assuring the disintegration happens at an even rate. The process will be something of a surreal slow motion break down of matter; where the wax will look like an organic disease spreading out down the building. The wax will consume itself – like something out of a bad B Grade horror movie.
Celebrating the Bankside district in London, this project links back to the original building on this site that was actually a candle-making factory a couple of hundred years before. (Via Fastcodesign)
Do you know what kind of trash you accumulate over the course of a single week? For California-based photographer Gregg Segal, this question comes with a loaded context: there’s the irrefutable issue of Americans producing more trash than nearly any other country, as well as the large-scale ramifications producing so much waste has on the environment. In his new ongoing series, ‘7 Days of Garbage,’ Segal recruited friends, neighbors, and other acquaintances to compile a week’s worth of their personal garbage and allow him to photograph them lying in it. The photos are provocative, with Segal crafting beaches, bodies of water, and other natural settings to place emphasis on the garbage his participants were willing to bring to him. “Of course, there were some people who edited their stuff. I said, ‘Is this really it?’ I think they didn’t want to include really foul stuff so it was just packaging stuff without the foul garbage. Other people didn’t edit and there were some nasty things that made for a stronger image.”
Segal aimed to include people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, providing for a fascinating display of different kinds of trash. By shooting from an overhead angle, garbage strewn between created natural environments, Segal crafts startlingly personal portraits that are oddly still detached, conveying a more poignant message lying underneath. “Obviously, the series is guiding people toward a confrontation with the excess that’s part of their lives. I’m hoping they recognize a lot of the garbage they produce is unnecessary,” he said. “It’s not necessarily their fault. We’re just cogs in a machine and you’re not culpable really but at the same time you are because you’re not doing anything, you’re not making any effort. There are some little steps you can take to lessen the amount of waste you produce.” (via Slate)
If you read about “The Great Wall of Vagina,” you know that walls made of modeled human genitals are nothing new, but student artist Peiqi Su’s 3D printed “Penis Wall” raises the bar. This interactive installation is composed of 81 interactive phalluses, which go erect and flaccid according to the viewer’s presence and gestures, each of which is registered with ultrasonic sensors. These little guys can be linked to stock market and translate data visually, or they can be programmed to play along with “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.
Inspired by the widespread notion that “everyone on Wall Street is a dick,” Su satirizes the male sexual organ. But she also treats it with the utmost reverence, referring to it as “one of the oldest and probably the most attractive thing that humans can interact with.” The wall is a very literal manifestation of male desire; the viewer is in total command of the erections, which rise like small columns of vertebrae, giving new meaning to the term “boner.” (via Animal New York, Lost at E Minor, and Huffington Post)
Dancing along to Tchaikovsky’s recognizable composition, the phalluses look delicate and agile as a prima ballerina; instead of the deliberate, immaculate movements of the female form, we see a surprising representation of male sexual impulse. These penises seem not like organs governed by erotic urges but rather like whole creatures with minds of their own, capable of executing the most complex choreography. Like ocean tides, their careful movements speak to a strange and unexpected unity and harmony between the self and the community. Here, the genitals aren’t base and vulgar but intelligent and thoughtful. What do you think?
Portrait paintings or portrait embroideries? Cayce Zavaglia wants us to wonder and question the technique she is using. ‘About-Face’ is actually a series of embroideries. And they depict exclusively the artist’s close friends and family members. When flipped around, the portraits become abstract art pieces. “an attempt to show both sides…in hopes of initiating a dialogue about the two sides we each possess: the presented and the private self.’
As a former painter Cayce Zavaglia knows the impact of a brushstroke on the canvas and is therefore able to meticulously transfer the effect onto the tapestries. She begins the process by roughly taking a hundred pictures of her futur subject. She wants to catch the right expression. After selecting just one picture she starts working with one-ply embroidery thread on Belgian linen. She is able to render via fabric and thread the intricate details of blended colors and the texture that imitates oil painting.
The artists wants to create a dialogue between the viewer, the subject and herself. From far, the viewer might perceive the hyper-realist portraits as paintings and that’s ok. Up-close, they realize the mean used is embroidery. And by looking at the reverse side of the piece the viewers can begin to connect with the subject. The back of tapestries were historically never shown to the public. Cayce Zavaglia is making an exception. Because abstraction blurs the boundaries between the viewer and the art piece he/she is looking at and that’s when the dialogue begins to become interesting.
Cayce Zavaglia’s work will be displayed at Lyonswier Gallery in New York from November 5th until December 6th 2015. The artist’s daily process is updated on her Instagram account.
Masaya Kushino‘s high heel designs are chimerical, fusing organic textures and materials with the manmade. He utilizes luxurious fur and lush jungle moss alongside meticulously stitched leather, creating works of art that are quirky and beautifully imaginative.
It’s fitting that the form he chooses to play with is the high heel: the height of artifice; impractical; undeniably evocative. It’s a choice that is brimming with meaning and possible interpretations. They’re an everyday item but commonly elevated by haute couture into something fantastical. To some people, they represent an unobtainable ideal, one that is rife with sociopolitical meaning and controversy. Whether you approve of the existence of stilettos or not, they’re admittedly architectural, intriguing in their contours and elegant curves.
Kushino emphasizes a number of these qualities, borrowing the jeweled swoop of a peacock’s tail feather and a bouquet of flowers to highlight the theatricality. In his latest work, called “Bird-Witched,” he incorporates an element of the grotesque: Three shoes that seem each an embryonic stage in the development of a chicken. The heel of the shoe is a gnarled claw, sharp-toed and grisly.
Project H designers Heleen De Goey and Dan Grossman have completed the construction of the first Learning Landscape math playground at the Kutamba School for AIDS Orphans in Southern Uganda. After nearly 3 weeks on site, they have finished the grid’s construction, and have been tirelessly working with the teachers and students on the implementation and adaptation of the games: “Around The World,” “Match Me,” and others, which teach elementary math concepts. The playground even integrates a bench system for added functionality as outdoor seating or assembly space.
Amazing! Shapes and forms manifest into spatial learning tools. A nice step away from the flatness of textbooks and computer screens. If only there were more of these in the States.