All of the work is intended to question what it means to be human on this evolutionary path through time. ~ Laurel Roth & Andy Diaz Hope
Together Laurel Roth and Andy Diaz Hope represent an ideal of artistic collaboration. They not only make artwork together, they co-create two artists’ live/work cooperatives (one in San Francisco and one in Sonoma County), raise farm animals, and are life partners. Seeing the work they make, collaboratively and separately, brings a glint of amazement to the eye. Whether a fantastical sculpture or a beautifully placed column of redwood salvaged from their forest property, they have amazing vision and an even more amazing combined work ethic.
First up is Roth’s latest in a series of peacocks called, Beauty, 2011. Utilizing fake fingernails, barrettes, false eyelashes, nail polish, costume jewelry, walnut, and Swarovski crystal Roth presents us with an undeniably over-the-top notion of beauty from decidedly man-made objects of feminine decoration.
Reflected off of Diaz Hope’s Geode, 2011 and Centering Device #4 2011 we sense the collaboration starting to come together with objects encouraging contemplation and self-observation.
It’s in The Reflection Engine where their combined efforts create the magic to be realized in their upcoming exhibition titled 2011.
The piece...”takes the form of an elaborately carved walnut wardrobe, the inside of which is mirrored like a crystal geode in which you can sit, door closed, and surround yourself with self-reflections in an ever expanding infinity.”
The artists describe the exhibit which opens at Schroeder Romero & Shredder Gallery in New York on November 17th:
Our show, titled 2011, uses the tableau of a grotto to explore the odyssey and definition of humankind. This grotto was conceptualized with an eye to the longstanding relationship of humankind to caves and the millennia of slow processes that created them even before modern man started his own development towards the present. Grottos are different than caves, though they allude to them. A grotto is a mix of the sacred and the profane – by definition it is artificial to some degree, a man-made enclosure representing the inner world of humankind and intended to mimic an idealized and mythologized underworld. They are spaces meant for relaxation, contemplation, mythology, and sometimes worship.
Juxtaposed among these crystal formations, Roth’s carved wood and cast brass primate skulls highlight the evolutionary changes that brought about the numinous transformation into modern humankind. Carved wooden skulls and bones of animals that evolved alongside of us, first hunted and then eventually domesticated, bred, and controlled by humans for use as food are displayed near these offshoots of our own evolutionary path.
Along their evolutionary paths as artists, Roth and Diaz Hope continue to grow, and with them, our expectations of what is down the road for us, as created by them.
Matthew Borgatti has done a lot of things: building movie monsters, prototyping, teaching, graphic design, illustration, product design, and fashion. He’s currently working on a gigantic mobile pipe organ.
After seeing protests erupt all over the world I wanted to make something that could change the game a little. I want people to be able to protest with OWS without the risk of being fired for showing solidarity. I wanted to make something useful, portable, something that could make the biggest difference to the most people. I came up with this mask.
It’s a foldable Guy Fawkes bandana that can be worn as a full or half face mask. It’s printed with safe sane protesting advice about dealing with police, sharing your location, who to call in the event of legal troubles, and more.
He’s selling them on his Etsy store, with one donated to an OWS branch around the world for each one sold.
Found this via Molly Crabapple who is the “least convincing black bloc anarchist ever.
The bandana though is a wonder of design. Besides the Guy Fawkes mask, there’s the numbers of the Lawyers Guild and ACLU, tear-gas neutralizing techniques, and instructions on how to deal with the police all woven into the filigree. One of the most beautiful object-as-objects I’ve ever seen.”
Cruising through the internet the other day, I was stopped short by Yoon Lym’s paintings of women’s cornrows. The arresting portraits of women’s hair and braids, and the work that goes into the styles, made me want to study the intricate patterns and lines of shape.
Lym, who is Korean, speaks about her journey as an artist:
Although I was born in Seoul, Korea, I lived in Kenya and Uganda for the first seven years of my life. Since then, I have lived in various parts of northern NJ. When I was 15, I made a life changing decision by studying with Korean exiled painter, Ung No Lee in Normandy, France. I discovered that summer how art was inextricably tied to nature and my life.
I started this series of hair and braid paintings in the summer of 2008 for a group show that I was in…These acrylic on paper hair and braid patterns are based on photos I have taken of students and strangers I have come across in Paterson, New Jersey where I have worked for the past 9 years.
My mom was smart. She didn’t allow Barbie in the house. At the time, I pouted and wanted one of those round patent leather cases with her traveling wardrobe, and of course, Ken waiting ever-patiently in the car that was way too small for that case to fit in.
So I never really aspired to Barbie’s proportions from an up close and personal point of view. Instead, I saw her out of the corner of my eye, ever present on the cultural horizon as that unattainable blonde doll who makes women cringe with the impossibility of her measurements.
Well much has been written of that impossibility, and now we have Barbie to thank for participating in a great visual demonstration of just that.
According to her blog:
Plus-size model Katie Halchishick, co-founder of Healthy is the New Skinny and the Perfectly Unperfected Project is featured this month in an article for O Magazine. Shot by famed photographer Matthew Rolston, Katie stands naked (the first nude in O history), holding an equally bare Barbie doll. Dotted lines, of the sort that might be made by a cosmetic surgeon (or a photo editor preparing a retouch), cover Katie, indicating what would have to be cut away in order for her to have Barbie’s body.
It’s a striking photo. There’s something revolutionary about a naked plus-size model. Think how often this image from French Elle of Tara Lynn has been reblogged – and remember the reaction to this famous Lizzie Miller photo in Glamour? What sets the O photo apart is the powerful reminder of how far even such a gorgeous model as Katie falls short of an unattainable ideal.
And therein, dear reader, lies the rub and the brilliance of my pre-feminist mother. None of us should or can attain such a distorted view of the female form. Making “Healthy is the New Skinny” the mantra she didn’t have the words for, but had the sense to inherently know.
If you are into music, and perhaps no matter your age, you recognize the iconic Pink Floyd album cover for Animals. The pig flying over Battersea Power Station in London elicits “that’s from the Pink Floyd album”, when we pass it on our way to/from Heathrow the first time we visit London.
To announce the release of the band’s new album in which they composed many songs remastered and unreleased from their 14 studio albums, the band dared a moment of nostalgia to tickle our memories.
Reconstructing the legendary artwork of the album, a huge inflatable pig actually floated in front of Battersea Power Station in London.
Not only do we remember Animals, we also know that pigs can fly.
Mc Forest by Sarah Illenberger
Love this alt burger by (ironically) Sarah Illenberger, whose clever mind creates visual puns and visually arresting work. Go see.
Photo by Ragnar Schmuck
Now showing through January 15th, 2012 at the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands is an interesting exhibit called Windflower, Perceptions of Nature.
The museum describes the major international exhibition as highlighting nature in a specific way:
Nature as a vulnerable factor in the worldwide pursuit of progress.
These artists consider the world critically and are sympathetic towards the growing global awareness regarding the future of nature. Questions concerning technology, economic interests, environment and energy are examined. As is the meditative and cosmological experience of nature, the role of (neo) colonialism, the constructable and artificial landscape, and the romantic longing of humankind in contrast to the imposing, mysterious and often threatening nature.
The exhibition touches on the current global concern about the handling of nature’s continued existence from the perspective of visual art, without thereby following the path of activism.
“Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us.”
In a delightful puff of smoke, Ruslan Khasanov creates a typeface literally of the moment.
Utilizing over 5000 photographs of ink spots dissolving into water, Khasanov achieved a system of type that disappears over the course of reading each letter.
Sometimes simple solutions can present the most interesting context.
Askash Nihalani works with lowly tape to change our view of the ordinary into something extraordinary by selectively placing graphics into space, highlighting “unexpected contours & elegant geometry”.
I’m not trying to push a certain highbrow logic or philosophy or purposely communicate through the esoteric medium of art. I work instinctively, trying to follow my gut about the sensation of color and space, and have fun doing it.
From the moment one enters his website, Nihalani’s playful solutions offer memorably artful, design moments. Enjoy.