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Yo Shimada’s Post-It Note Structures

Designer Yo Shimada of the firm Tato Architects built this structure in conjunction with students from the Kyoto University of Art and Design.  The entire wall is made of post-it notes – 30,000 cells of post-it notes.  The brightly colored sticky notes are stuck together to create individual cells which are then stacked.  The installation exemplifies both innovative design and architecture.  Using a simple material, Yo is able to create a relatively large and sturdy artful structure. [via]

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Steven Jon Yazzie’s Coyote Series

Steven Yazzie is a Native American (Navajo Nation) artist who lives in Arizona. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps before pursuing painting through residency at the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and is currently pursuing his BFA in painting from the University of Arizona. Although this review focuses exclusively on Yazzi’s Coyote Series, he has an extensive body of work that ranges between abstraction and surrealism, incorporating an interest in pattern, shape, the Southwestern landscape, and Navajo culture and history.

Yazzi’s paintings question the relationship between man and nature, and between interior and exterior spaces. Elements of the wilderness and the playful trickster Coyote are placed alongside modern, minimalist domestic spaces; several paintings even reference the ultimate minimalist establishments – the gallery space – drawing from principles (if not necessarily the practice) of Institutional Critique.

Looking closer, all of his interiors are symbolically suggestive of their original elements – an animal printed ottoman, stone colored couch, grassy rug, unprocessed lumber table, and landscape paintings adorning the walls all mimic the desert landscape to which they are adjacent; the coyote must still feel somewhat at home within these fused environments.

Among his many achievements, Yazzi has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe, NM. Phoenix Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Art, and the Museum of Northern Arizona and has been featured in the 2011 West issue of New American Paintings.

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Jessica Ward

Jessica_Ward-caterpillar1

Jessica Ward has a brilliantly dark mind.  The majority of her work is black and white, which really helps to maintain her macabre aesthetic.  The nature of her drawings feel sexual and violent, while tempting and frightening the viewer.  She has an interesting series of drawings that depicts deities of various eating disorders.  According to her bio, Jessica has struggled with eating disorders herself, so the diety series comes from a very personal place.

Laurent Desgrange

Paris based designer Laurent Desgrange not only creates some interesting apparel including fancy bow ties but he also has a great collection of  psychedelic collages which sometimes find their way on his apparel.

Hiroshi Watanabe’s Photos Capture Japanese Theater Traditions

Japanese theater

Japanese theater

Japanese theater Hiroshi Watanabe

Hiroshi Watanabe is a photographer interested in places and people.  Capturing traditions and locales that hold a personal interest for him, Watanabe was drawn to various elements of Japanese culture.  Particularly interested in forms of theatricality, Watanabe sought to capture individual performers within the traditions of Sarumawashi, Noh, Ena Bunraku and Kabuki.  Stylized human actors, monkeys, masks and puppets become the subject matter of Watanabe’s striking and powerful photographs.  Though the traditions come from different regions and periods of history, they are tied together by Watanabe’s eye.  Of his work he says:

“I strive for both calculation and discovery in my work, keeping my mind open for surprises. At times, I envision images I’d like to capture, but when I actually look through the viewfinder, my mind goes blank and I photograph whatever catches my eye. Photographs I return with are usually different from my original concepts. My photographs reflect both genuine interest in my subject as well as a respect for the element of serendipity, while other times I seek pure beauty. The pure enjoyment of this process drives and inspires me. I believe there’s a thread that connects all of my work — my personal vision of the world as a whole. I make every effort to be a faithful visual recorder of the world around me, a world in flux that, at very least in my mind, deserves preservation.”

Makoto Aida

The Video on a Man Calling Himself Bin Laden Staying in Japan

First saw this video with a couple other shorts at the Redcat in Los Angeles in an event dedicated to new Japanese video art (though the title escapes me). I thought all his work would be similar but it was kind of shocking to see that the rest of them were really different… 

The Design Based Abstract Street Art of Sergio Gómez

The street art of Sergio Gómez brings the latest in abstract art and graphic design to urban walls.  Unlike much complex and text heavy street art, Gomez’ work primarily relies on primary colors and simple geometric forms.  He seems to borrow as much from art styles such as Suprematism as he does from principles of graphic design.  Gomez’ street art even seems to express a similar tendency to some the most exciting new abstract painters often referred to as the New Casualists.  The murals seem to acknowledge street art conventions but mischievously not deliver.  His work is subversive in reclaiming public space while undermining expectations.