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Seon Ghi Bahk’s Cascading Sculptures Created Out Of Charcoal

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There is something intrinsically fascinating about seeing the ordinary created in new, surprising ways. Artist have long used this technique to make their viewer contemplate new connections and possibilities, and the internet has proven to be a particularly useful tool in spreading this type of work. South Korean artist Seon Ghi Bahk is an expert at this method. Using charcoal and other natural materials en masse to form familiar objects, Bahk reminds of us the connection between man-made goods and their source.

Bahk’s precision is absolute, meticulously hanging large groups of charcoal at specific heights to collectively echo architectural and building elements, such as stairs, columns, shelves and planters. Using translucent nylon thread to hang individual pieces gives each installation a floating quality, further separating them from their everyday inspiration.

In an interview with the Korean Art Museum’s Korean Artist Project, Bahk explains how he came to use charcoal in his installation work. “I first used stones as materials for the installations…but the supporting structure and installation became unnecessarily large and overwhelmed the stones so I replaced the stones with charcoal. Since I spent my childhood out in nature, I wanted to embrace natural things in my work. I found that my favorite things in nature were wind, mountains and trees. But it was difficult to express wind or mountains in my work, so I chose trees as an alternative, and charcoal comes derives from that…now I seek natural encounters between man and culture…I emphasize the materiality in its poetic shapes.”

(via mymodernmet)

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Incredible Photos Of NYC’s Underworld By Wall Street Banker Chris Arnade

"Takeesha was working one of the streets in an empty industrial area. She called me over and said, 'Hey, take my picture,'" Arnade recalls. "I was relatively cautious initially because I didn't want to be insulting, but she opened up and started telling me her life story."

“Takeesha was working one of the streets in an empty industrial area. She called me over and said, ‘Hey, take my picture,'” Arnade recalls. “I was relatively cautious initially because I didn’t want to be insulting, but she opened up and started telling me her life story.”

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A former Citigroup financier of 20 years, Chris Arnade, became disillusioned by the narrow-mindedness and greediness of the corporate world. As a way to escape his unhappiness in Wall Street, he started taking long walks with camera in hand. He strolled through Hunts Point in the Bronx, one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. It was there, while on a walk around town, where he met a very friendly and honest prostitute named Takeesha.

She opened up, he photographed her. Astonished by her honesty, Chris insisted in creating a positive and honest image of her friend Takeesha.

From then on his life changed for the better. He traded his job for his new-found hobby: Taking honest and vibrant photographs of prostitutes, homeless people, and drug addicts in the South Bronx. He would not only take photographs of them, but he would also get acquainted and makes friends with these ‘rejects of society.’

“Hunts Point is a dark cloud with a silver lining. It’s people who are seemingly in the lowest of the low positions who are still somehow resilient. Those moments of resilience can be very optimistic.”

Although there are many whom are against his work (some calling it ‘exploitative’), Arnade stands by his images and his daily walks with pride. In a way, this is Arnade’s way to give back. See, Aranade grew up with the Catholic Church, a doctrine which taught him to do good in order to make up for the sins he’s committed in the past. Although always a very honest man, Arnade’s past with Wall Street haunts him daily, and his new found love of the camera and new friends make up for the piled guilt he felt for many years.

I want to make conventional portraits for unconventional people.

His images are simple, yet quite powerful. He captures these reject’s livelihood in a very honest and nonchalant way. The background is their native space and not a studio. Their clothes is not borrowed, but its theirs. Arnade’s images are crammed with damaged, but optimistic outlooks- he does not what to portray anything different; vulnerability is key. (via PolicyMic)

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Going Under The Knife: Beautifully Grotesque Paintings Of Cosmetic Surgery

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Painter Jonathan Yeo captures wonderfully serene moments in the midst of something quite violent. Snapshots of women undergoing cosmetic surgery are painted in a delicate, realistic style, complete with cutting lines. Blurred edges and half-formed torsos suggest bodies that are not yet complete. We see the surgeon’s hands pulling this way and that, like an artist inspecting his canvas. Glimpses of figures are covered in cryptic markings, ready to be cut, snipped, sliced and altered. Yeo’s paintings appear to be something of a modern day Frankenstein.

A self-taught artist, Yeo has been exploring ideas of identity through portraiture, pornographic collages and images of plastic surgery since the early 90s. Having completed high profile portraits of celebrities (Nicole Kidman, Damien Hirst, Malala Yousafzai, Kevin Spacey and Tony Blair) it is fitting for Yeo to move onto another western obsession – vanity. These paintings of the modern day phenomena that is cosmetic surgery are deeply disturbing. We see these women in the midst of transformation, in a state of ease, even bliss, but perhaps this has more to do with the anesthetic. Using a palette of beige, creams and and greys, his works appear sickly but peaceful.

Depicting these subjects as he does, Yeo really is the contemporary Mary Shelley. He shows us people so ready and willing to undergo drastic changes – a vanity and longing for perfection that is in all of us. These paintings maybe act as the mirror we should be looking into; a mirror in which we don’t see what we want to, but rather the stark reality we are faced with: that perhaps Narcissus is not such a far away myth after all.

Riusuke Fukahori’s Incredibly Realistic Golfish Sculptures Made Out Of Resin

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Riusuke Fukahori, a Japanese artist with an endearing obsession with goldfish, paints three-dimensional renditions of the fish by using a complex process of poured resin on authentic Japanese household containers.

Fukahori strives to paint the goldfish as realistically as possible. His love for the funny looking fish goes beyond words, and the only way to truly pay homage to his ‘friends’ is through creating these unbelievably real-looking sculptures made out of resin. Fukahori keeps dozens of goldfish in tanks and buckets around his studio, he sits and watches the goldfish when he feels uninspired or simply needs company.

His work can be quite deceiving; the goldfish look so real that when people first see his work they find it impossible not to try to reach into the ‘water’ and touch the ‘fish.’

Each of Fukahori’s resin pieces [the resin goldfish] are contained in a variety of everyday Japanese household items. His usage of these items in his work reflects a personal touch, as many of the containers used were bowls and cups that he himself used for years.

The goldfish resin sculptures entail very complicated, repetitive, and labor intensive steps. He first pours a layer of resin, then lets it dry, then paints a small portion of the fish, then lets it dry, then pours another layer of resin—he patiently repeats these steps until the final product is achieved.

“I didn’t invent resin and not the first to use resin. I am not a resin artist. I am a goldfish artist. I think it’s obvious which pieces are Riusuke Fukahori pieces because the imitators use the wrong containers. They will never understand goldfish the way I do. They are only copying the craft, not the soul.”

The Painted Breath, an exhibition of new resin works and paintings by Fukahori, will be on exhibition at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York on November 21st,2013 till January 18th,2014.

Awesome Video Of The Day: I May Be Wrong

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Yup. That’s Charles Barkley. Yes, he’s in a space suit. Yes sir, he’s in outerspace with lens flares behind him. Yes ma’am, I know it’s awesome. What’s even more awesome than Charles Barkley in a spacesuit, in space with lens flares? Maybe a video of him in a animated, auto tuned rapping, and going bonkers. Be amazed by the full video after the jump.

Dean Monogenis Fuses Modern Architecture With Geometric Shapes

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Artist Dean Monogenis paints landscapes that fuse modern buildings with geometric shapes. The abstract compositions often feature the architecture suspended in midair, connected to giant rock formations, or structural patterns.

Monogenis’ colorful and minimalist paintings came to life after witnessing the fall of the World Trade Center in 2011. “ Subsequent to that day,” he writes, “I began to see buildings organically in terms of birth and death.” The artist continues:

Interestingly the post 9/11 period was the beginning of a world wide building boom. At the time I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the breadth and pace of this development felt like an invasion. Buildings grew nearly over night like mushrooms or mold before my very eyes. I found it simultaneously engaging and frightening.

This construction had little regard for continuity or urban planning:

After overcoming my initial shock, I began to distance myself and consider the situation aesthetically. I interpreted the randomness as more akin to the shantytowns in Jamaica or the Favelas in Rio. I took notice of the simplicity and planer forms of the skeletal structures as they ascended upward. Brightly colored building materials like netting and scaffolding, became interesting to me. I thought if there was a way to distill the temporary and all its ephemera, isolating key pieces into my work, then I would be able to elevate the visual indicators that speak to this period of transformation.

Monogenis usually paints on wood or plastic panels and uses customized stencils of graphic elements. He’ll paint the sky last, but isn’t afraid to sand and rework areas if something doesn’t look right. This allows him to create precise work without forfeiting the spontaneity that’s inherent in painting. (Via Supersonic)

The Short Films of Everynone

Everynone is a creative team made up of Will Hoffman, Daniel Mercadante, and Julius Metoyer III. They produce brilliant short films that explore the universal themes that connect us all. Treat yourself to a little humanity today after the jump, you’ll be glad you did.

Photographer Dan Busta Gets Dotty On Naked Women

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Los Angeles photographer Dan Busta has a couple very interesting photographic series exploring single-themed concepts at length. This one, Dots, is fairly self explanatory: naked women covered in dots, posing within rooms also covered in dots. What the images offer is part optical illusion and part good old fashioned sensuality. The natural beauty of the models stripped down to the most basic elements of form and pose. Through his exploration of this distinct concept, and through the manipulation of dot and background colors, Busta harnesses a unique way to showcase the beauty of these women in a flattering way.

Busta is no stranger to photographing people. He has photographed the rich and famous, his website is a yearbook of actors and celebrities we know and love. Another interesting project of his, Ghosts, shows a white-clothed figure standing in various settings. Busta’s exploration of themed projects continues to be a strong point in his work, and something that sets him apart as a photographer. It’s exciting to think of what he will do next!