Katharine Morling is a ceramicist who sculpts everyday objects with a creative, cross-media twist: once the clay dries (a process which can take up to several months), she draws on the pieces using an underglaze pen, turning them into three-dimensional, life-sized “drawings.” Among her works are tape measures, sewing machines, and matchboxes — seemingly ordinary items that, when sketched upon, take on a cartoonish, character-filled, and somewhat surreal appearance. As Morling explains on her About page, narrative, intuition, and the embodiment of emotion are important facets to her creations:
“Each piece, on the surface, an inanimate object, has been given layers of emotion and embedded with stories, which are open for interpretation in the viewer’s mind. […] The life size pieces and the unexpectedness of the scale create a slightly surreal experience as you walk through this strange environment. I work very instinctively, one piece leads to the next, I try not to pin down what I am doing or even why. I have to trust and believe that I can communicate through this medium. My searching is never complete; each piece is a journey for answers that are only hinted at, with more questions.” (Source)
As Morling explains in an article written on her work for ELLE Decoration (December 2014, no. 268), her sculptures begin as character-developing, one-minute sketches. She then gives each one “short, Hitchcock-y titles” before working them into clay (Source). Fired without glaze, the works retain the perfect “rough” quality that adds to the illustrated aesthetic. In addition to practical items, Morling’s works also delve into the fantastical, such as sea turtles crawling out of a suitcase or boxes exploding with butterflies. Visit Morling’s website and Facebook page to view more of her work. (Via My Amp Goes to 11)
Superb stuff from Brooklyn based artist Michael DeLucia. Equal parts humor, process, repetition, and abstraction, then dipped in a heavy dose of art world introspection, these sculptures have me saying ‘Oh Yeah!’ Looking at these pieces awakened memories of Jeff Koons, so I was amused to learn that DeLucia worked at his studio after graduating from RISD. Make sure you check after the jump for some serious mop mania, a reinterpreted bicycle, and a blinged out shopping cart – trust me it won’t disappoint!
Bob Staake, the author and illustrator of more than 50 children’s books, has reimagined the covers of kid-friendly classics from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, giving each one a twist that is often more PG-13 than G and always darkly comical. With a simple off-beat quip and a slightly adjusted illustration, those once comforting, sweet tales of little trains that could and hungry little catepillars morph into something a little more sinister and a bit disconcerting. You know what? You can take a look at more of Staake’s “Bad Little Children’s Books” after the jump, while I go find a stuffed animal to hug.
Alexandra Bellissimo’s body of work strongly revolves around the theory of “making” pictures instead of simply, “taking” pictures. She often incorporates collaging techniques, as well as digital manipulation to create each surreal photograph. The subjects of Alexandra’s photographs are influenced through her observations of social, gender and psychological issues in our culture .
New York-based artist Brian Dettmer’s sculptural, multi-layered books are so intricate that they require him to use surgeon tools in his process. He carefully carves illustrations and text out of old medical journals, dictionaries, maps books, encyclopedias, and more. Nothing inside of the books is implanted – pieces are only removed. The idea is that these subtractions will reveal new histories and memories now that the story and context has changed. Dettmer sees his work as a collaboration with the existing work’s past creators.
He writes about his creations, which are a comment on the changing landscape of technology. From Dettmer’s artist statement:
The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress.
The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. (Via Demilked)
Hailing from the Edinburgh College of Art, Sarah Muirhead’s portraits of eccentric strangers conjure an immediate feeling of intimacy. With poignant insight towards her subjects, she offers a sympathetic narrative of their lives by meshing together scraps of the subject’s environment and superficial appearance; these carefully selected details are window dressing compared to the clarity of soul that is depicted. A beer bottle, patch of leopard fabric, facial wrinkles around the eyes, brick with graffiti, a strip of red fence, bodies covered with tattoos – each have their place within the individual’s story. The subject’s gaze is often to the side and aloof; however, this does not prevent the viewer from being captivated. Beautifully painted in acrylic on canvas and board, Sarah’s paintings are compelling representations of passersby easily forgotten in everyday life.