Nico Sara is based in the city of Rafaela, in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina. His work blends the handmade past and machine-made future. These glazed and enhanced objects morph into a fully automated era when fantastic objects can be instantly manufactured. Nico believes the manual process of meticulously painting them by hand brings a human dimension that transforms these artworks into the props of life.
“My work plays in the limit between craftsmanship and technology. The images I use are composed appealing to photography and computers, which are later rendered on the canvas painting them by hand with brushes, in an effort to rescue the craft work and at the same time showing that is possible to get close to the quality of something produced serially by technologic processes.” Nico Sara
Madbutt is a Brisbane, Australia based artist who experiments with hand cut and digital collage using mixed media. She uses her laptop when she is travelling and in between hand cut works. She keeps it simple using an application called Pixelmator.
When she is doing hand cut collage she uses an xacto scalpel, archival glue, a ruler, pencil and cutting board. She has used different paints in the past but she feels as though she could have more fun using this medium with larger works. She tries to hold off on using vintage materials until she is 100% sure that she has a great concept to work with.
Wisconsin based artist Annalynn Hammond seeks to question the dichotomies that play in the world of human ideas. She is best known for her unique hand-cut paper collages made from vintage textbooks and natural history magazines. Hammond combines different subject areas including, human and animal, body and soul, mind and machine, culture and nature, purity and sin, power and weakness, and many other antitheses.
Her surreal collages encourage the viewer to ask questions and think about the extremes within the pictures. The single images are undeniably someone else’s work, which were found, stolen, destroyed and appropriated. But a thing in itself has no meaning. The idea of a collage is to cut a special image region out and paste it into another picture, giving a new context to the assembled artwork.
Craig Atkinson is an artist, photographer and publisher based in the North West of England. In 2005 Craig founded Café Royal Books, a publishing house featuring generally, but not exclusively, British documentary photography focusing on aspects of change from 1970—2000.
Apart from publishing, Craig’s artistic practice is centred around people and place, specifically Brutalist architectural groupings as sculptural masses. Craig is also a lecturer in Fine Art, Drawing and Image Making and Illustration at the University of Central Lancashire.
Check out a selection of some of his illustrations.
Australian artist Alan Constable is both a painter and a ceramicist. His ceramic works reflect a life-long fascination with old cameras, which began with his making replicas from cardboard cereal boxes at the age of eight. The sculptures are lyrical interpretations of technical instruments, and the artist’s finger marks can be seen clearly on the clay surface like traces of humanity. In this way, Constable’s cameras can be viewed as extensions of the body, as much as sculptural representations of an object.
It may come as a surprise to people unfamiliar with Alan’s story to learn that he is legally blind (with limited tunnel-vision); and also deaf, which makes his world all the more internal and contained. As observers we can only project our own perspectives onto Alan’s work, but one could speculate that his physical challenges have defined his extraordinary artistic abilities.
Alan’s cameras emphasised the handmade, intensifying and celebrating the imperfections associated with the human touch. None are perfect, nor exactly to scale, but it was exactly these qualities that resonated with and engaged audiences.
Shay Colley is an artist and graphic designer from Perth, Australia now based in Melbourne. Shay works in a variety of mediums including collage and drawing and is interested in achieving commonality and balance between objects. He enjoys the grit, grain, abstraction and other uncontrollable imperfections of accessible and affordable print processes. His work often features naive hand rendered type, self-depreciating narratives and salvaged printed material.
He goes to secondhand stores and buys heaps of old books and then hand-cuts and glues all his collages. Colley tries to avoid any digital manipulation of his images – unless he is doing some slight color corrections. He feels computers are a great tool but they remove the ‘realness’ of art. He needs things to be raw and to involve hands.
Michael DeSutter is a mixed media artist and graphic designer living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, in Art Studies with a concentration in Photography, from Purdue University.
“My collage work is a result of an effort to understand the world of my grandfather. The tactile process of analog collage allows me to intimately explore another place and time. I deconstruct imagery from the past, much as a mechanic disassembles an engine, to understand how it functions. By reassembling these pieces in new ways, I make the world of my grandfather my own, a new visual world, one that exists between his past and my present.”
Somewhere along the way, snow season lost a little bit of it’s ‘radical.’ The neon-colored nylon ski suits faded away, steroid-fueled contests on black diamond runs are no longer the basis for getting dates, and the lead singer of Poison looks for women on reality shows. So, Upper Playground is injecting a little bit of ‘awesome’ back into the end of snow season and beginning of spring with the release of the Downhill Collection Sunglasses and T-Shirt.
The Downhill Collection Sunglasses are vintage ski-culture inspired in style with semi-reflective sky-blue lenses. The sunglasses are handmade in Argentina using mirrored polycarbonate lenses and come in four color-ways of optical quality frames. Each pair of sunglasses comes with a patterned polyester bag and clean cloth in an embossed card-stock box. The blue, red and white color-ways are limited to an edition of 10 and the black color way is limited to an edition of 20. The coinciding t-shirt comes printed on Upper Playground’s custom fitted cotton t-shirt in royal blue.
Well, this is what we have always wanted to receive in the mail. The next show at our sister gallery, FIFTY24SF, is the artist Rico Deniro, who is having his debut solo at the space. Rico sent us a nice welcoming message prior to his show this January, 2011. A few girls with some masks on. The masks themselves are the centerpiece of the show, handmade in Mexico with artisan woodoworkers and Deniro.
Here is what Rico says about his work:
“We see with our ears and breath through our eyes.
My art is the remix of the remix. The cover of the cover.
I’m interested to see the world from non-infected minds.
I lean on the last men and women of the earth who don’t use computers or technology to make things. People that use no power, and use only primitive tools and the precision of their hands to interpret dirty contrived icons of the world that the so-called “advanced civilizations” worship.
The artisans have little or no relationship with most of the icons and people represented in this body of work. Highlighting the emptiness that is in direct conflict with the billions of dollars spent convincing us that these icons do have value and worth.”
We’re releasing a very special limited edition hand-made box designed and crafted by Tiffany Bozic and master woodworker, Francisco Robles. The idea and inspiration for the box came naturally when the lines and similarities between Tiffany’s ornate artistic style and Francisco’s intricate wood-working ability were taken into account – and the two artist’s crafts get taken to a distinguished level through this coupling.
Tiffany Bozic’s career has been built on an ability to take the natural world and present it in a gruesome yet beautiful way, which never feels disingenuous. Because of her unique style and perspective her work has been shown at the Laguna Art Museum, the California Academy of Science and will be featured in an upcoming solo show at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York City. The piece silk-screened directly onto the Native Box features the organic elements which make her work so compelling, inspired by the beauty of two White-Eye birds that Tiffany recently witnessed playing in Papua New Guinea.
Francisco Robles’ ability to craft furniture and wood was seen in full force in 2008 when he crafted a line furniture with Upper Playground designed by David Choe, Jeremy Fish, Sam Flores and Tiffany Bozic. With this background of coupling furniture with contemporary art, he has crafted the Native Box with the interior divided into four sections and the exterior given a five half-round bead detail as a play off of classic moulding.