Jason Rogenes works with white Styrofoam, but not Styrofoam in regular geometries (like Jason Powers) rather, he works with waste– the styrofoam used in electronics packaging. Instead of keeping answering machines, computers or coffee pots in place, these nonuniform pieces are usually lit from within, in combinations that can sprawl along walls like works of architectural science fiction, or can assemble in aggregated, columns that resemble spacecraft that somehow floated in an art gallery. I can’t think of other instances where the translucency of styrofoam becomes this pronounced, light pooling in the shapes of missing consumer goods. But with walls covered in back-lit Styrofoam, who would miss an old answering machine?
It’s definitely that time of year for ‘Best of’ lists and gift guides and all that jazz but when you have talented designers creating artwork to accompany their lists, well, that’s something. The talented Richard Perez, who you might know as Skinny Ships, has hands down created the best illustrated list I’ve ever seen. It’s kind of annoying just how good these all are. I love that he chose an overall color scheme to unify each image but other than that these are all so very different. He chose/created so many interesting fonts, giving each their own life. One of the best things I’ve seen all year.
When people describe photos as “haunting” I sometimes feel like it’s kind of a cliché thing to say. But then I look at the photos of Barcelona based photographer Lara Alegre I can’t think of a better word. In the images I chose above I see the skeletons of old bicycles buried under the snow, a mysterious man wandering through an old forest, an ancient mountain range and an abandoned city by the edge of a bay. Her photos seem like they’re from all over the world, like she travels in the most unique places and captures images that no one has ever seen before. Makes me want to bust out a film camera and start documenting everything.
The other day Bobby made a comment on twitter that “Design is everywhere, you just need to know how to look.” While I was researching this post it occurred to me that art and heritage pieces also surround us and just require a different perspective to be uncovered. Indeed, when I think of museums, and what I expect to find within one, my mind generally drifts towards images of fossilised skeletons and preserved cultural relics. A teddy bear brandishing a heart with “I Love You” printed on it, an axe and an assortment of bras are not the objects that naturally spring to mind. However, Olinka Vistina and Drazen Grubisic – the curators of the Museum of Broken Relationships – have taken to a more personal form of archival by presenting the detritus of romantic unions. Every piece that is exhibited has a story behind it and demonstrates how seemingly banal things are infused with narrative and emotion.
The Museum is based in Croatia; however, Vistina and Grubisic routinely take their exhibition on the road. The tactile memories of busted relationships may visit your end of the world in the future. Just think of the delicious voyeurism looking at these objects will entail. Check the website for more details.
My buddy Dan Funderburgh (the fella’ in the last photo) sent me some photos of a recent exhibition he had in Barcelona called TIME / LIFE : SCIENCE / LIBRARY and yet again he’s impressing the hell out of me. Dan continues his exploration with patterns, creating a new series of wallpapers that lined the walls as well as a display filled with some of his other projects like his prints and 3D pieces. My favorite of his new wallpapers is Man and Space, which is on the left side of the photo with the guy on the bike in it. To see more photos of the exhibit check out Dan’s Flickr by clicking here.
Over the weekend some linked to Stefan Sagmeister website which is just as creative and innovative as the rest of this work. The 3D-esque buttons which are painted on the floor are actually the site navigation. You can literally watch Stefan and his team working at any time, the feed runs 24 hours a day. I think this is one of the most innovative web sites I’ve seen in a while. People need to be inspired this and take it to the next level.
Vancouver-based artist Russell Leng paints gorgeous geometric landscape pieces that look as through they are refracted through the prism of a crystal. In his artist’s statement he provides an evocative explication of his approach to creating art:
My work is characterized by geometric forms interacting with organic marks. This is seen in a variety of ways, such as a rigid line next to a loose application of paint or gradient. I notice these relationships in nature as well; a tree breaking through a concrete sidewalk, or a housing development by a river. I want to examine these relationships between natural and built landscapes, conjuring a new sense of place. By confronting the viewer’s perception of landscape, I aim to question how these unceasing amalgamations change how we identify with our environments, and perceive ourselves in them.
What Leng’s statement doesn’t discuss is his subtle use of colour, his considered play on perception and his representation of texture. His paintings are stunning – irrespective of which way you look at them.
Prints of Leng’s work are available through Little Paper Planes and Mammoth Collection.
Jason Powers is clearly a Star Wars fan: he named his blog Star Wars Modern and tweets under the same name- but don’t expect Skywalker to be his subject matter or expect an homage to Yoda. That’s John in the lowest image installing a recent work: Fat Bastard. What appears to be the result of complex computational processes is actually just Powers meticulously arranging and rearranging regular sizes of styrofoam blocks by hand. He writes in his blog:
The relationship between technology and the contemporary art world is a fraught one. While genuine excitement surround projects that use powerful computer programs or novel CNC fabrication techniques and art history can be unrolled as a series of technologies, most historians, curators, collectors and artists are best described as late-adopters, if not out right non-adopters.