Detroit based Jesse Jacobi‘s work focuses on an unnamed culture of people living in a mysterious, heavily-forested world. While Jacobi makes it a point to not be explicit about any concrete narrative happenings, there is a clear framework of visual and thematic motifs involved: reverence for nature, the use of masks and various obscuring garb, cycles of life-death-dream, structures in differing stages of ruin, ritual and witchcraft, the space between visible and invisible environments, and the true nature of man.
The smaller works are supplemental – images of idols perhaps used in every day life for various means of protection or intensification – and are intended to be seen as artifacts one might find within the larger world. The time and place depicted in his paintings is not made clear, but the setting is very far removed from modernity and anything involving current times.
Fulvio di Piazza studied at the Urbino Art Academy and makes large oil paintings of fantastical scenes with lush forests, spiraling volcanic smoke, islands in the sky, and vividly colored sun light. His paintings are a prime example of horror vacui, a term for filling an entire surface of an artwork with detail. Amid these, there are frequently large floating heads or animals floating in the center of his canvases, which upon closer inspection are actually composed of delicately and minutely detailed landscapes. Di Piazza has favored a dark palette for his paintings, and the abundance of swirling clouds has led people to interpret his works as pessimistic.
Born in 1971, France, Emmanuelle Moureaux is an architect living in Tokyo since 1996. When Emmanuelle first arrived in Tokyo, she became fully fascinated by the colors overflowing on the street. She found that the city’s overwhelming number of store signs, flying electrical cables, and flashes of blue sky framed by various volumes of buildings created three dimensional “layers”.
These experiences of colors and layers are in the inspiration of Moureaux’s latest project, “bunshi” (meaning “ramification”), which means to divide or spread out into branches, resulting in a rainbow-colored suspended forest made on 20,000 pieces of paper shaped like twigs in 100 shades of color.
Just outside the Polish capital of Warsaw, Marcin Tomaszewski of local architecture practice Reform has created a dwelling that appears to float amid its woodland setting. Planted between the trees, the ‘Izabelin House’ exterior design heavily features a mirrored facade which clads most of the lower level, giving the illusion that the upper half of the home is floating in mid air above the forest bed.
Formed of two horizontally configured volumes, the home’s lower storey is clad with reflective paneling. Consequently, these mirrored surfaces appear as an extension of the forest floor, with opaque areas stacked above. Large apertures present sweeping views of the property’s surroundings, while the design also comprises an area of sheltered decking at ground level.
The architect’s biggest challenge will be to preserve the existing trees which are currently located on the planned construction site. Furthermore, they will need to figure out a way to prevent birds from flying into the home’s highly reflective exterior surface.
Finnish artist Antti Laitinen’s works begin with a plan, but the final pieces are usually the result of circumstances and outcomes beyond his control. Laitinen, who has a background in photography and multimedia art, primarily stages performances that he then documents or records. Many of his projects involve open-ended, experimental, or durational activities; previous undertakings have included a photographic series produced while Laitinen lived in a forest without clothes, food, or water; rowing across bodies of water in various self-fashioned vessels; and drawings made by pressing his sweaty body on a surface. Disparate as his works are, they explore recurring themes of chance, endurance, communion with nature, absurd humor, and the passage of time.
Many of Laitinen’s works deal directly with fundamental issues of Finnish identity and cultural imagery – they are pictures of masculinity set in a context of nature and culture. And yet, Laitinen is not just a humorist playing around with cultural meanings – his work attests to the presence and attitude of an author who is aware of the tradition of experimental performance art. Often we see Laitinen pushing the boundaries of his physical endurance and comfort in order to engage with the world and thus creating a dialogue between the artist’s exploration of his own identity and the wilderness.
In Laitinen’s case, the term work needs be defined with care. Many of his works are actually composed of various stages in the process of its making, when he moves from one medium and semantic context to the next. The switch produces a new, independent work, which then becomes part of the overall piece and thus incorporating different temporal stages.