Brooklyn based artist Ethan Cook is a painter that doesn’t paint… or at least, he doesn’t paint in any traditional way. Instead, his work is deeply concerned in exploring the elemental aspects of painting. At the heart of what he does lies a desire to investigate and deconstruct the physical elements that make up paintings themselves.
Cook is an artist who is interested in materials. His visual outcomes are derived from the materials he uses and for Cook, that means that painting is as much about canvas as it is about paint. It is through this belief that he produces his own material; creating his own canvas through a rather labor-intensive process with a loom.
In the work shown here we can see examples of the artist mixing canvas with canvas. It emphasizes the fundamental elements of the art and also brings a beautiful mix of textures and tones.
While his work may be constructed through a rigid set of rules and restrictions, there’s also a beautiful understated minimalism in his compositions that can’t be ignored. While his work may explore rather interesting questions about the very nature of the image the formal qualities of his work are just as engaging. I love the confidence and the restraint in this work.
See more from Cook here.
Toshitaka Aoyagi is an artist from Tokyo, Japan. Recently he has been experimenting with color; creating an elegantly simply series called – wait for it – ‘Color’.
Specifically the work is an exploration into color bleeding, with the artist creating a number of pale white shelves that include a tiny hint of a fluorescent color. The end result is a beautifully minimal exploration into the power of color. I love it.
More projects from Toshitaka Aoyagi can be viewed on Behance.
Fou de Feu is a ceramic studio by Belgian designer Veerle Van Overloop. Her latest collection is called Rhythm and it’s clear to see why. Simple stripped-down ceramics is the order of the day as she mixes white porcelain with other materials such as wood, leather and marble. In doing this she has created an inspiring tableware range where the simplicity of her work and her combination of materials come together to form an effortlessly beautiful collection.
“Different sizes of plates, cups & spoons, tablemats and cutting boards give every table its own rhythm” says van Overloop. If she’s right, then her newest collection will no doubt offer everyone the opportunity to build their own harmonic arrangements at the dining-room table.
Found via the excellent This is Paper. You can see more from Fou de Feu here.
Per Emanuelsson and Bastian Bischoff founded their studio in 2009/2010 while they were both taking a Masters course at Gothenburg’s School of Design and Crafts. Realizing that they were both born in 1982, they chose Humans since 1982 as their name, then they found a studio to work from in Stockholm and they’ve been making work together ever since.
Perhaps their most exciting project to-date has been the ‘A Million Times Project’. Started last year, this project presents time in a way I’m sure you’ve never seen before. Graphically conceptual, their design combines engineering and mechanics to create an incredible kinetic installation that takes the arms of a traditional analogue clock and turns them into something new and exciting. Check out the video below to see what I mean.
Using 288 analogue clocks, the original work uses an iPad to create a series of wonderful visual patterns; playfully turning a collection of minimalist analogue clockfaces into a fully-functioning digital clock. Now a series, the duo have worked on a number of variations, with each piece being unique. They describe these creations as “objects unleashed from a solely pragmatic existence”. And in doing this I feel that they have discovered some wonderfully figurative qualities within their design without detracting from the clocks original function. It’s a pretty commendable achievement… and also it clearly looks amazing!
See more projects from Humans since 1982 on their website.
Artist Nicholas Hanna seems to have a real curiosity for life. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Yale and an MFA in Media Arts from UCLA. A native of Canada, his work investigates the sensation of wonder and the essential relationship between humans and technology.
I love his Bubble Devices. These mechanical installations are almost as wide as a room and they create giant bubbles. They’re the sort of things that need to be seen to be believed so fortunately Hanna has shared some videos online:
Driven by a computer, Hanna’s automatic bubble wand is a fantastic construction and the lighting in the video really captures the beauty of these incredibly large bubbles.
You can see more projects from Nicholas Hanna on his website.
One of my favorite films this year has been Boyhood. Shot over a period of 12 years, it tells the story of Mason as his life unfolds during a period between the ages of 6 and 18. Before seeing the film I imagined that it must be a wonderful spectacle; that there must be something incredible about watching a person literally come-of-age on screen. In actuality, there is no real spectacle to Boyhood. If anything, that’s the real strength of the film. Real life is made up of small fleeting moments, and Boyhood captures these in a beautifully uncinematic way. In doing so, it captures something even greater than spectacle and in its subtly it reveals something more profound.
All of this is little more than preamble to introduce Ken Murphy’s “A History of the Sky”. This project is similar to Boyhood in that its premise seems suitably epic yet its lasting impression feels more poetic than astounding. A time-lapse film shot over the period of one year, Murphy reduces the ever changing skies of San Francisco into a mere 5 minute film.
“A History of the Sky enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen.” says the self-described programmer, artist, and tinkerer. I think it’s wonderful!
Sometimes I forgot how beautiful simple things can be. I think that is one of the best things about art; it can really remind you of the beauty that exists in the simple things and the mundane parts of life. That’s what I love about this series by the German-born photographer Michael Wolf. Shot on the streets of Paris, the work shows little more than the shadows of trees set against the buildings of the street. Yet in his composition and his high-contrast black-and-white he manages to find something effortlessly beautiful in something so banal.
Wolf’s work is frequently interested in contemporary city life. His images of modern cities often feel far less inviting than the work shown here. Through his lens buildings reach near abstraction as they dominate everything around them and themes of voyeurism, privacy and detachment are often seen throughout his practice.
Wolf doesn’t offer an explanation to the meaning behind this work. Considering his previous projects one might view it as an exploration of natures challenged role within the city, or perhaps it could be seen as a study into the small traces of the natural world that remain within our busy cities. Personally I prefer to take a more romantic view of it and see it as a simple celebration of the mundane. For me, these images serve as a reminder that there exisits simple pleasures in the world and its important to take the time every-now-and-again to stop and appreciate these simple things.
You can see more work from Wolf on his website.
Modulorbeat’s One Man Sauna is a wonderfully strange construction found near the German city of Bochum. The work forms part of a research lab project called Borderlands which the architects have been working on since 2012. Borderlands examines the border and transit spaces of the city and attempts to see what role architecture can play in the development of these spaces.
This One Man Sauna is located on the site of an old abandoned factory and stands at nearly 25 feet. Built from old building shafts, the sauna consists primarily of three stacked pre-cast concrete parts. These form three different unique layers on the inside: a plunge pool at the bottom, a sauna on the middle level and a relaxation room and viewing area at the top.
Go check out Modulorbeat’s website for more exciting work.
I sometimes feel that there’s a tendency for blogs to just focus on what the latest thing is. For some reason there seems to be a need to focus on the thing that’s just been released. While I enjoy new things just as much as the next person I also feel that the internet is so full of amazing things that there’s bound to be some stuff that passed us by the first time around. That’s why I thought I’d share this excellent short film from 2011 with you. Called The Runaway (or La Huida in its original Spanish), this 10 minute short looks at how life moves fast and – rather fittingly – it highlights the things that might just pass us by.
Shot on 35mm and directed by Victor Carrey, the film has won 77 Awards and has had more than 200 festival selections. It’s a story told in two-halves, with the first setting the stage for an event to play out in the second. The narration comes from actor Joaquin Diaz, who does a wonderful job of stringing together a seemingly-endless array of apparently unconnected objects and situations. His rapid-fire delivery rattles through a great array of stories, anecdotes and observations before bringing us to the ‘runaway’ of the title in the second part. Here Carrey slows everything right down and wraps it all together with an excellent slow motion sequence that demonstrates the directors finely honed skills as a music video director.
It’s a great little romp and one which, if you didn’t catch the first time around, I’m sure you’ll enjoy!
UK-based illustrated Stephen Smith has been working under the name of Neasden Control Centre for almost 15 years. One of his most recent projects has been illustrating the menus for Artisan; a hip restaurant and bar in the Northern-city of Manchester. NCC’s approach here has been to serve up a delicious selection of hand-drawn type; presenting a great choice of ‘A’s’ that no doubt echo the variety of choices found within the menu.
This is not the first time that NCC has worked with Artisan. When it opened last year he worked on the overall identity for the space. Bringing site specific artwork, illustrations, installations and murals to every corner of the Spinningfields located space. The restaurant covers a vast 12,000 square foot area, so it must have been a massive undertaking for the one-man studio. You can see more shots from the interior on his website.
I also think that his work for the set-menus is just as strong and, while I was going to put this down to his excellent choice of a bold black-and-white palette, it’s clear to see that the lunch and kids menus work just as well in color. His choice of bright primary colors add just the right amount of cheerfulness for day-time dinning. I think they look great.
More work from Neasden Control Centre can be viewed on Stephen’s website.