For over 25 years, Woods Davy has worked with natural materials (primarily stone) as his medium of choice. In an incredible balancing act, he places the stones in fascinating formations that intrigue the mind. With his work with stones, he became one of the first “green” Postmodern artists. Even artists go green! You can catch Woods Davy’s exhibit at the Craig Krull Gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA until October 9th.
These melting disco balls are the work of German collective Rotganzen. The installation, titled Quelle Fête, features scattered disco balls in various stages of melting. No longer operable or spinning, they lie lazily on the floor. Regarding the concept, Rotganzen says:
“Our conscious choice of the material and form contains a contrast to the message. It’s a reminder of the momentousness of glamour and swiftly passing glory. What once may have been a perfect shape takes on a new character and meaning. However, rather than a cynical take on reality, our intention is to offer a playful approach to observing our object of depiction.” [via]
Chau Har Lee. “Blade Heel,” 2010. Perspex, stainless steel, leather. Courtesy of Chau Har Lee. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
Noritaka Tatehana. “Atom,” 2012–13. Faux leather. Courtesy of Noritaka Tatehana. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
Winde Rienstra. “Bamboo Heel,” 2012. Bamboo, glue, plastic cable ties. Courtesy of Winde Rienstra. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
Iris van Herpen X United Nude. “Beyond Wilderness,” 2013. Courtesy of United Nude. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
“Killer Heels,” a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, traverses the decades from the 17th century up to now, displaying iconic shoes such as Marilyn Monroe’s stilettos alongside modern 3D-printed heels by designer Iris van Herpen. Needless to say, these heels put the “haute” in “haute couture,” one of them featuring 8-inch stilettos that forces the wearer on her toes. Another, a pair of Manchu platform shoes, look almost like jeweled music boxes set on pedestals.
Over the years, high heels have become a complex and controversial symbol, by turns fetishized and reviled. To explore this complexity, the 160 pairs in the exhibit are diverse. On the classical end of the spectrum, French shoes from the late 17th century are modest, with muted colors and crafted from silk and leather. Some heels are more whimsical, like the bright red “Eamz” by Rem D. Koolhaas, which brings to mind the plush vinyl of stools at a soda fountain. The Block Heel from Balenciaga strikes a more classic pose, looking infinitely wearable next to the elegant but tortured lines of Walter Steiger’s “Unicorn Tayss.”
According to Lisa Small, who organized and curated the exhibit, the heels are “difficult aesthetically or meant to be making different kinds of statements rather than the prototypical sexy stiletto.”
Killer Heels elevates the high heel to something more than an accessory. Museum-goers will contemplate its cultural identity, form, and function. They will marvel at the various incarnations from pump to peeptoe. And, upon leaving the exhibit, they will breathe a sigh of relief and thank the powers that be for the invention of the humble sneaker.
The exhibit will be on display until February 15, 2015. Visit the Brooklyn Museum online for directions and details regarding admission and museum hours.
Miniature woven felt lungs injected with sterilized tuberculosis bacteria
In collaboration with microbiologists, the English artist Anna Dumitriu has honed her unique talent for working with bacteria as a means of staining fabric; her high-art fashions feature organic patterns made by microorganisms. In her most recent installation project, The Romantic Disease, she works with a more dangerous type of bacteria: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism responsible for Tuberculosis.
In combining now-killed TB DNA with found and altered relics of late 19th and early 20th century technologies, Dumitriu creates a vivid medicinal—and often foreboding— landscape. Before the invention of antibiotics, TB patients were taken to “sanatoria,” hospitals built at high altitudes (then thought to be beneficial to sufferers), where they were confined to bed and given extreme treatments. For a piece titled “Rest, Rest, and Rest!” Dumitriu constructs a model sanitarium bed; for another piece, she carves the pattern of lung tissue onto an actual Pneumothorax Machine, once used to collapse patients’ lungs.
The Romantic Disease is neither a historical or scientific tour of old hospital machinery; on the contrary, is is an emotionally dangerous and poignantly subjective exploration of the disease. Although the exhibit avoids mention or representation of actual sufferers, individual pieces are imbued with a distinctly human touch. The sanitarium bed and curtain are small and delicate as dollhouse pieces; beside the larger pieces, they appear lonesome and afraid. Similarly, a group of miniature woven felt lungs, each containing sterilized Mycobacterium tuberculosis, appear to flutter like tiny, fragile birds beside the Pneumothorax Machine.
A maternity dress, dyed with supposed TB cures like safflower and madder root, hangs loosely on a dress form; this piece becomes all the more heartbreaking with the knowledge that at a time when the disease was thought to be spread genetically, pregnant women underwent forced abortions. The historical reverence and tender craftsmanship with which Anna Dumitriu presents The Romantic Disease serves to humanize those who suffered at the hands of this politically and socially fraught disease. The work is currently on display at West London’s Waterman’s. (via Smithsonian Magazine and Anna Dumitriu)
Izumi Keiji’s figurative sculptures seem to ridicule their subjects’ oblivion, in a playful way. Does anyone else find it humorous his poor sculptures are trying so hard to be normal, but can’t contain their bizarre idiosyncracies? It’s almost as if Izumi takes delight in rendering a white T and blue jeans, business-only bun wearing woman into a magical, blue lagoon water-fall headdress goddess with rainbows erupting from her armpits, as if about to take off in flight. She stands sort of delicately, both aware and inanimately unaware of her liminal position between a world in which anything is possible, and the mundane one you and I reside in. Not to be missed is the casual wear young man whose “afro” is turning into a martian below, completely unbeknownst to him…who knows, maybe I have a giant bolt of lightening erupting from my armpits, and I just don’t know it?
Sculptor Andy Yoder spent nearly two years on his piece, Early One Morning, painstakingly applying thousands of painted matches to create a globe with the implied potential to catch fire. The matches, which were individually hand-painted, recreate the continents and oceans, but also swirling weather patterns (of note, Hurricane Sandy is seen off the west coast of North America).
The wooden matches are connected to a food and cardboard base, held together by a plywood skeleton (as a precaution, Yoder covered the piece a flame retardant chemical). Yoder’s piece can be seen Winkleman Gallery at this year’s PULSE New York Contemporary Art Fair, May 8–11. (via from89 and junk-culture)