Brazilian photographer Nádia Maria creates melancholic, visceral and nostalgic photography that resonates with her private life struggles and universal themes that are familiar to all, amongst them- anxiety, depression, confusion, and so on. The dark aesthetic of these photographs are not to be taken lightly. Contemplating about these will bring discomfort and unwanted past painful memories…it happened to me. However, Maria’s work is so hauntingly beautiful that can just can’t look away.
“It’s all about experiments, games and involvement with the camera, with the image, the feelings, with ourselves.”
‘Vacuum’ and ‘Perfume’ are the names of the two series of photographs that are shown here. Maria’s series ‘Vacuum’ was inspired by constant wars insides herself (and humanity in general). She brilliantly captures the essence of deep nostalgia and sadness, and eternal yearning for something more, or something different. Its darkness is not to be confused with complete destruction and agony, as her subtle feminine, delicate characteristics take on and leave us feeling hopeful. Similarly, ‘Perfume’ visualizes Maria’s mental state (post-partum depression) after having her first son. “It was a phase of deconstruction and transformation”, she says. (via IGNANT)
Chicago-based Andy Burkholder has been posting a consistant supply of mind-clearing one-pagers on his wonderful tumblr. He’s got something special going, and he’s just riding the wave real hard. His work outside of the one-page bits is just as impressive, but more focused on experimentation, as opposed to a formally consistent body of work. Check out his web, his flick, and visit him at CAKE. A buttery smooth man.
Using discarded inner tubes and a needle and thread, South African artist Hannalie Taute embroiders portraits onto rubber. She takes cuts the abandoned material and cuts them apart to stitch together and form a “canvas.” Often, this means that her subjects have a subtle honeycomb pattern as their backdrop. “Besides the durability and availability of rubber from inner tubes found in car tires, I also decided to embroider on rubber because I find the contrast of working with needle and thread on these inner tubes fascinating,” she says in an artist statement.
As you might imagine, rubber is a tough surface to embroider on. Every stitched line is shown, and Taute isn’t able to seamlessly blend together the different hues. The results are fractured areas of color that abstract her portraits, although not to the point of unrecognition. And, this is partially the idea – to subvert materials. The rubber’s coarse texture is offset by the delicate thread, but at the same time the thread can seem rough with its choppy arrangement.
The artist’s inspiration comes from a number of places, but boil down to identity. She writes:
Titles, words, phrases from books, music, stories, sayings and toys play an integral part in conveying meaning and biographical info about me as a mother, wife and artist in society. Relationships between people and objects are something I prefer to explore using my chosen medium.
Olafur Eliasson, a well-established Danish/Icelandic artist, has installed an imitation dried riverbed in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. The artist filled rooms in the gallery with rocks, and created what would be a remnant stream, were it actually a dried river. The museum building has had many additions and renovations, and so the architecture and space is an essential part of the experience, and something obviously important to those with investments in the institution. Olafur states that he is interested in the audience’s presence in the museum and their interaction with the artwork. He wants to emphasize the museum space as a “natural bodily process” (according to the Louisiana website, translated by google). In any case, Eliasson’s installation does a good job of eliminating the sterility of the white wall, and engages the viewers’ senses more deeply.
The idea of the river also relates very closely to any museum. A great museum or gallery will have good flow through the rooms of an exhibition. There is nothing worse than the interruption as you trek back through art you’ve already seen to see the next stage in the show, completely disrupting the narrative. It’s a given that not all exhibitions must be linear in their layout, but the river is a great way to engage with the flow of the space. When it feels like many artists (recently and in the past) have experimented with empty gallery space in the name of radical installation and institutional/spacial critique/awareness, Eliasson has actually managed to make something pleasant and engaging, while remaining questioning as well. (Via De Zeen)
Australian based photographer Simon Davidson has been documenting various aspects of car culture from drag racing to V8, to our personal favorite Australian past time, Burnout Competitions. Full of tire smoke, gorgeous cars, and passionate fans, the Burnout competitions are perfect photography subjects as well as one of the loudest and most aggressive ways one can spend a weekend. (via feature shoot)
Japanese artist and illustrator Takahiro Kimura believes that true beauty lies within imperfection. Through his collage work, Kimura tries to expose the vulnerable yet beautiful nature of the human spirit by creating distorted human faces. To achieve a ‘distorted’ aesthetic, the artist cuts and rearranges different images, which he creates, to form one.
Though I am quite interested in various aspects and contradictions which people have inside, I attempt not to think about them in the stage of creation. I’d rather devote my attention to line and exquisite balance of form, mass, composition and color so that[..] the said factors can stand out.
Although his work is lively, there is still a visible hint of darkness that creates an interesting paradox- there is, in fact, a great amount of imperfection within the obvious beauty of these human faces.
Eun-Ha Paek is a Seoul-born, Brooklyn-based artist who sculpts whimsical ceramic characters. Her creatures—which often resemble bears and dogs—are amorphous and cloud-like, sitting atop magical, candy-colored platforms. Each one is an eye-grabbing and thought-provoking fusion of childlike innocence and surrealism with a touch of menace; fanged mouths and disembodied hands gouge at the viewer from within the sculptures, blending nostalgia and unease together with the peculiarity of an ice-cream cone melting in an empty playground. There is also a humorous energy, which derives from the characters’ beady-eyed expressions as they stare at the viewer from their strange environments. Eun-Ha Paek’s about page further clarifies this interplay of emotions:
“The same way a boulder on a hill stores potential energy, a banana peel on the floor is the setup to a joke, storing potential ‘ha-has.’ The setup might cause a smirk, without any real action taking place. My work uses this potential to construct narratives on the precipice of the familiar and strange; to explore our inner workings of grief and hope with humor.” (Source)
Eun-Ha Paek’s unique style and creativity has received recognition around the globe. In addition to her sculptures, she creates animated films that have been screened at venues such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Sundance Film Festival. She has also been highlighted in The New York Times, G4 Tech TV, and Entertainment Weekly. Her work can be followed on her website, Instagram, and Vimeo page. (Via Sweet Station)