Creepy and dark beautiful giants have risen on Iceland’s frozen landscapes. These faceless figures seem like the stuff of nightmares, but take a closer look and you’ll see they’re actually made of a material we’re all once familiar with: VHS tapes.
Artist Philip Ob Rey created the “V” HS Project, an installation/photography project made from discarded and tangled webs of VHS tapes. The haunting creatures were partly inspired as protest against plastic pollution and mass media.
The project is part of an ongoing collaboration, ‘Small Discoveries’, which celebrates moments in nature and how people interact with the natural world. Curiosity Cloud, the new project developed for London Design Festival, takes its cues from the Art Nouveau movement and the traditional use of insect motifs throughout this period.
The V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room has been filled with 250 mouth-blown crystal glass globes, each containing a handmade insect. The interactive installation features 25 species covering three categories—extinct, common, and newly discovered—which react to visitors as they approach them. The globes hang from the ceiling at different lengths, with different sized ones corresponding to the categories.
Initially the insects seem quiet and serene, with a few bulbs lit up and some small movement, but as people get closer to the canopy of globes sensors detect your movement and the globes light up, the insects come to life, fluttering around inside their glass homes and emitting a buzzing sound.
Swampy is a mysterious Oakland graffiti artist with a penchant for long-term disappearances and who operates anonymously. He has re-emerged after four years with NBD, a switch from his earlier street art into photographic work about life off the grid.
Check out his new exhibition and installation at the Chandran Gallery exhibited recently.
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.
We first came to know Austrian artist, Gottfried Helnwein through his amazing large scale installations in Ireland such as this one titled “The Last Child” back in 2008.
‘Of Mice and Children’, Gottfried Helnwein‘s current solo exhibition opened this month at Modernism Gallery in San Francisco and will remain on view until November 1st. Making reference to Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, the artist explores Steinbeck’s dark sense of humanity pervading through out his paintings and provocatively examines ‘childhood’ through his intense portraiture of children.
Most recently the subject of a major retrospective at the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Helnwein’s work has been exhibited extensively worldwide, and is featured in the collections of important museums in Europe, Asia and the United States. We take a look at his studio portraits for posted for his current show in SF. More info at helnwein.com
Upper Playground artist, USUGROW took part in a large scale community art project called BCTION that just opened its doors to the public this week on Sept 1st. BCTION is an art project at a soon-to-be demolished building in Kojimachi, Tokyo, with over 50 up-and-coming Japanese artists.
The artists were allowed to express their art all over the floors and walls in the building, destined for destruction. The show will be open from September 1st to the 15th, 12PM to 8PM Daily.
Check out Usugrow and Yu Suda’s Interview in Japanese and additional Interviews and Photos of works in progress here:
Japanther, an art performance/ band established by Matt Reilly and Ian Vanek, made its name with unique performance situations, appearing alongside synchronized swimmers, atop the Williamsburg Bridge, with giant puppets, marionettes and shadow puppets, in the back of a moving truck in Soho, and at shows with giant dinosaurs and BMXers flying off the walls. And now they paint with skateboards. Matt Reilly adds paint to the wheels of his board and skates directly on to his canvas to create large, abstract paintings while putting on a live performance. The process is definitely an important part of the experience both for the artist and its audience, and the end result becomes more than just abstract color bands on a canvas. Take a look at their performance at Mana Contemporary and check out the resulting works from their recent show:
Daniel Firman’s fascinating sculptural works of conceptually challenging and humorous installations are worth a closer look. We examine his two elephant sculptures along with his recent works represented by the notorious Gallerie Perrotin:
Würsa 18,000 km above the Earth” 2006-2008 Elephant sculpture/taxidermy / Taxidermie d’éléphant 224 1/2 x 98 1/2 x 55 1/8 inches / 570 x 250 x 140 cm
“Nasutamanus” 2012 Fiberglass, polymer / Fibre de verre, polymère 90 1/2 x 207 3/4 x 48 1/2 inches / 230 x 528 x 123 cm
In 2007, after almost a decade of graffiti writing under various names and guises, Norwegian artist DOT DOT DOT (NO) took to stencil art with a passion. Since then he has become well known for his distinctive stenciled style recognized around the world. As someone schooled on the streets in Oslo’s Graffiti community, Dot Dot Dot drew inspiration from the worlds of contemporary art and politics and took full advantage of the social contexts as material for his work.
The show, While you slept , presents a body of work that combines both well known key works from his career with a series of original works created for the occasion. Dot Dot Dot’s clever angle on the contemporary art world and its politics is brought together finally in one place for a debut solo exhibition at Reed Projects and open to the public until June 28th.
Dot Dot Dot
While You Slept…
Skur 2 Skansenkaien, Stavanger, Norway.
Until June 28th www.reedprojects.no
Internationally recognized artist, Henrique Oliveira poses a poetic discussion of history of architecture, of shelters and caves of the past by a challenging installation occupying 1600 m² building with strong brand of modern sculpture Niemeyer at MAC USP, Brazil.
The giant snaking columns designed by the architect curve through the space creating caverns, pathways and obstacles for the audience. Transarquitetônica of Henrique Oliveira is not just an installation, but commands itself as a place, a route with multiple possibilities that ends where it began. It is a work of architecture that combines sculpture and painting, offering various stimuli that the visitor gets to go to work.
The exhibition remains until November 30, open to the public on Tuesdays from 10 am to 21 pm and Wednesday through Sunday from 10 to 18 hours. Admission is free so be sure to check it out if you’re in Sao Paulo for the World Cup 2014: