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Grotesque Human And Animal Hybrid Sculptures By Liu Xue

Sculpture Sculpture

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Chinese sculptor Liu Xue combines a human with an animal, creating a hybrid being.  Each being has a human head with animal appendage (or appendages). A man is merged with a pig, a woman with a chicken, a man with a dog, and more.The result is something we haven’t seen before, one that seems non-threatening, but still grotesque at the same time. Xue has honed his craft and painted the sculptures to be so life like that they fall into the uncanny valley.

Xue’s choice to pair a human with an animal seem to be because it’s funny, and the hybrids fit with each other thematically.  For instance, a giant, bald man is given the tiny wings of a bat. Another work pits this same man with a seahorse bottom. We know both of these creatures are tiny, and the disparity in size is what makes it humorous. Other sculptures aren’t so amusing. An older man is combined with the body of greyhound dog. The gaunt appearance of the dog’s body and pained look on the man’s face makes this piece somber.

The unnatural combination of Xue’s work explores the notion of what’s considered attractive or glamourous. A naked, conventionally pretty woman, for instance, is given the unwieldy feet of a chicken.  Likewise, a young man has the same features. In the artist’s attempt to make both appear seductive, it’s hard to imagine these creatures moving gracefully.

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Design Watch: Mr. & Mr.

French Design firm Mr. & Mr. reinterpreted  da Vinci’s Last Supper into a clever series of table runners and place mats. The hand gestures are in the exact postion and in the same ratio as the original. Next time you have friends over for dinner where will you sit? Watch out for Judas!

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Andrew Laumann’s Facetious Installations

Andrew Laumann utilizes multiple media and presents the viewer with tongue-in-cheek installations that are witty and often irreverent. He seems to revel in destruction and humor.  In one piece we see The Wipers logo combined with that of The Wu-Tang Clan. I find it interesting that elements from both emblems appear on albums released in 1993 (Silver Sails and Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers).The resulting composite of 90’s punk and rap iconography speaks of his youthful energy and disregard for the conventional. It takes an astute artist to simultaneously mock and enlighten.

Beautiful Installations Created With Ornate Gowns

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The work of South African artist  Mary Sibande is complex much like the identities it addresses.  Sibande creates life size sculptures, primarily of black women.  The sculptures are arrayed in large ornate dresses which, rather than shed light on the subject’s identity, complicate it.  The dresses seem to be a perfect blend of Victorian upper class and a maid’s uniform.  Sibande’s grand installations efficiently comment on gender, class, colonialism, and beauty.  To further underscore these issues, Sibande arranged for huge photographic murals of the installations to be displayed throughout Johannesburg.

B/D Apparel Artist Interview: Ryan Riss

Ryan Riss

The second installment in our Monday B/D Apparel Artist Interview series is with artist Ryan Riss.  Ryan designed the mind-bending head-scarfed hippie with a melting face graphic (literally), entitled Acid Trip.

If you think we’re way off on a peyote-trip describing Ryan’s works as residing in another dimension- you’d be surprised to hear what he has to say. “I like the idea of relating simple graphics to things like mandalas and other spiritual energy hippie training tee-pee type stuff.” Read the rest of the interview to find out what else makes Ryan’s third eye blink.

Best Of 2012: Chen Wenling

Chinese artist Chen Wenling’s massive sculptures are completely grotesque, perverse, and completely fascinating. In other words one of our favorite finds for the week!

Michelle Blade’s 366 Days of the Apocalypse Exhibition

San Francisco based artist Michelle Blade has just opened her exhibition entitled Making Light Of It: 366 Days of The Apocalypse at The Center For Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, New Mexico. The work in the show was created by producing one painting every day of the year 2012, all with the theme of the end of the world rumors involving the Mayan calendar. The show is on view through February 17th. All of the paintings in the series can be seen on Michelle’s Tumblr. From the press release: “As a daily meditation on her relationship with painting and with the apocalyptic Mayan prophecies surrounding 2012, Blade’s work investigates themes of ritual and prophecy. Blade’s solo exhibition Making Light of It features the debut of all 366 apocalypse paintings, alongside new sculptural works, as a triumphant New Year proclamation.”

Grotesque Photos Capture The Pains And Joys Of Womanhood

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In her visceral, raw still lifes, the 21-year-old photographer Madison Carroll captures the grotesque remains of meaningful moments gone by. Used condoms, pregnancy tests, and blood stains grace her compositions, punctuating a narrative that skips dizzyingly from girlhood to womanhood, from innocence to experience. As if plucked from last night’s waste basket, these soiled items emerge; in the context of Carroll’s clean, immaculate technique, they become all the more haunting.

As if part of some unusual crime scene, waste products are left out, forensically archived by Carroll’s lens. Here, rotting fruit and old bandaids mark not a murder but the more gradual, subtle trauma of growing up, of being woman. Like a pool of blood, tea spills from a delicate, shattered china cup; a lemon, once fresh and aromatic, rots. An egg cracks, the yoke spilling out into a satin pair of Victoria’s Secret underwear like a giant, monstrous ovum released during menstruation.

In Carroll’s disturbing yet thrilling realm, the dangers and joys of femaleness collide in a moment of brutal self-reflection. Death and fertility become indistinguishable. In a frilly, feminine doily, a cockroach lies dead, rotting beside a snuffed-out cigarette. A Clear Blue pregnancy test sits on an old rust-stained rag, the urine and tissue in the toilet simply a blurred afterthought.

Like a hoarder of significant items, Carroll’s lens seeks out that which might be thrown away, forgotten by time. A male lover, sprawled on the bed, is captured asleep, in a state of heightened vulnerability, his pale nakedness pressing against the border of the frame. At the artist’s feet, a condom evidences the intimacy that occurred minutes or hours before. (via Feature Shoot and iGNANT)