Diggin’ on these illustrative ink and watercolor works by James Ulmer. His repetitious, almost vintage-looking characters roll on and on across the page in a flood of really earnest, straight-up human appeal.
According to the artist’s website, we can look forward to seeing his work in a group exhibition at Grass Hut in Portland very soon.
These may look like photographs of abandoned buildings but in fact they are photographs of meticulously made dioramas by Lori Nix. Each image is painstakingly created by hand, taking into consideration scale and lighting over the course of seven months. The result is an apocalyptic vision of the world where everything has fallen apart, decayed, and is slowly returning back to nature.
Greek director, choreographer, visual artist and performer Dimitris Papaioannou has caught our attention with this strikingly simple video. Just under 4 minutes long, it is a short clip of the central segment of his longer show Nowhere (2009). Ominously lit, and eerily quiet, it is a strange experience to watch. The whole piece was performed by 26 people and is a testament to just how well Papaioannou can direct bodies to create unified, seamless actions. The arms of the performers stop looking like separate limbs belonging to humans and more like giant tentacles, or something very alien indeed. The arms are either moving on their own accord or in harmony with something unseen. It is both wondrous and unsettling to watch the action unfold.
Papaioannou is no stranger to directing large numbers of people performing synchronized movements. He has also co-ordinated the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. As we know, these shows are a finely tuned ballet of thousands of interconnected bodies and continuously changing patterns (the closing ceremony alone had more than 3500 performers).
His focus on composition and the overall harmony on stage probably owes itself to his training as a painter. Papaioannou has for a long time been interested in gestures; how the body influences mark making; or how we are able to express an emotion through the use of our skin and bones. Gradually though, he was drawn toward the immediacy of performing, and fell in love with the theatricality of the stage.
As a painter, [the Edofos Dance Theatre] was the place to create images; as a comics artist, this was where to tell my tales; and as a performer, this was the context in which to present myself. Furthermore, as I was to discover over time, this was the territory in which to inspire people, exercising my skills as a team leader. (Source)
It doesn’t get better than being loved by a fluffy, soft animal. It is said that the love between a guardian and their pet is unconditional; an-almost familial bond that grows bigger and tighter as time goes on.
Thirteen years ago, Japanese photographer Miyoko Ihara began snapping pictures of her now 88-year-old grandmother, Misao, and her odd-eyed kitten, Fukumaru. Misao, a farmer and merchant of fresh vegetables, found the cat abandoned in a shed, and the pair has been inseparable since then. She named the cat ‘Fukumaru” in hope that “God of fuku (good fortune) would follow her. Lucky for the 88-year old MIsao, Fukumaru stayed by her side through hard work and disability. They simply make their life better just by being together. The photographs are just a gilmpse at how wonderful, and important their friendship is to each other.
You can find the complete series in Miyoko Ihara’s book, Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat. The book can be purchased directly through Little More Books. (via Before it’s News)
It’s been a while since we last looked at the work of Belgian Illustrator Brecht Vandenbroucke. Imbued with awesome pop culture and comics flavors, his work never disappoints. There’s so much going on in these paintings that I can’t always tell the difference between references to Adventure Time, and social commentary. But who says the two don’t mix?
French artist JR, previously covered by Beautiful Decay, has recently created a series of posters and floor-bound installations for the New York City Ballet’s Art Series. The NYCB Art Series commissions contemporary artists to create original works of art inspired by the ballet’s unique energy, spectacular dancers, and one-of-a-kind repertory of ballets. Having worked with artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel in the past the tradition has a high standard and is a special example of collaboration between dance and contemporary art.
JR’s installation involved coordinating dancers’ bodies in complicated, intricate arrangements. Interested in the unique qualities of dancers’ bodies juxtaposed with the texture of paper JR sought to explore the “interaction” one experiences when viewing the ballet, or in his case when actually creating his work. Both experiences are ephemeral, not something that can be wholly captured by a singular work of art. Yet JR’s temporary installation does capture beauty, grace, and the sense of a fleeting moment by portraying many dancers arranged in the shape of an eye. Encouraging a viewer to look at both his piece and the performance JR’s installation acts as a reminder to keep our eyes open so as not to miss a thing.
JR will share his Art Series installation during three special performance evenings — January 23, February 7, 13 — when every seat in the house is available for just $29. On these evenings, every audience member will receive a takeaway created specifically for this event. More information about public viewing hours here. (via designboom, hahamag)