I’ve been a frequent supporter of New York based design firm Snarkitecture for a while, truly enjoying their minimal yet clever ideas. Yet somehow I was totally unaware that artist Daniel Arsham makes up half of the design duo, a man well renowned for his incredible sculptures and paintings. Now knowing this there’s a clear through line between the works of his studio and his own output with his sensibilities shining through in both worlds.
Below you can see a few of his works that I truly enjoyed, though to be honest they’re all quite stunning. His three dimensional pieces in particular are great because they’re done to a human scale, increasing the impact of the expression. Crane.tv has an enjoyable video interview with him if you’re curious to learn more.
I’m a huge fan of Marilyn Minter and her paintings/photographs. They’re sexy, raw, juicy, bold, in your face, and amazing. She’s a powerhouse creatively and gives no fucks about how people try to classify her art or what’s right or wrong in the art community. In conjunction with her upcoming retrospective at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Vogue sat down with Minter and spoke about art, social media, and Photoshop. This part cracked me up.
How do you decide whether one of your pictures should be a photographic C-print or an enamel painting on metal?
I went to an art school [the University of Florida] that was invested in showing only the “truth,” which at the time was Abstract Expressionism. If you didn’t paint like de Kooning, they didn’t pay attention to you. I got a “C” in painting and an “A” in photography, so I thought, “I guess I’m a photographer.” I just didn’t know how to make anything without a subject. I became a photography major, but only ever worked in black-and-white. Color was verboten. With photography there was always something I wanted to change, to get rid of, so I started painting the photos. Now I decide to print a photo rather than paint a copy only if there’s nothing I can do to make it better.
But either way, you use a lot of Photoshop.
When Photoshop came around, I thought I’d died and went to heaven. When I hear artists say “Oh, the good old days” or “I’m old school,” I just want to puke. There’s no tool I won’t use.
Be sure to read the full interview here.
Camouflage has always been intriguing to me. It was created as a natural defense mechanism though these days it’s more widely seen as a trendy fashions statement. Photography Lucia Fainzilber sees it in yet another light, a means to create a dialogue through art.
Fainzilber has always had a keen interest in fashion, and dressed flamboyantly even as a child. Now the artist, who also works as a fashion photographer, uses her images to show the ways we use fashion to convey identity, and the way fabrics can simultaneously cover us and express who we are. Fainzilber recognizes that sometimes clothing completely hides our identity, and many of her portraits communicate this feeling, as her own identity is entirely concealed, and further obscured by the world around her.
You can read more about her work on Artsy.
An artist like Damien Hirst will always be polarizing simply because of the work or “work” he produces. For me it’s been a while since he’s made something really great though his newest project, the Black Scalpel Cityscapes, are certainly eye-catching with quite a bit of poignancy.
The Black Scalpel Cityscapes make reference to the military procedure of ‘surgical bombing’ or ‘surgical strikes’, commonly used in modern warfare, which aims to limit collateral damage by targeting precise areas for destruction. The suggestion of a remote, digital conflict inevitably reduces the tragic and devastating realities of war. In a similarly misleading manner, the perspective of an aerial map minimises the life beneath it to a series of detached systems and patterns of collective existence.
It’s a beautifully crafted way of speaking about numerous topics that all have quite a lot of baggage. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any of his work that’s actually had this sort of depth. The question I’ve been asking myself is this: If another artist had done this, would the world care as much?
You can read and see more at the White Cube gallery site.
For a number of years the Japanese artist and cartographer Sohei Nishino has been mapping the world’s cities. From Rio to London and from New York to Tokyo, his highly detailed maps serve up a unique portrait of some of the world’s most diverse cities. Consisting of thousands of cut-out snapshots of each location, the artist meticulously pieces together these images to form highly complicated collages that include everything from people and animals to buildings and streets.
Nishino takes literally thousands upon thousands of photos before he’s ready to begin his cartographic collage. Piece by piece he edits these images down until he’s selected just the right ones. Despite the editing, his final work can still include up to 4,000 photographs; each of these he hand prints and then cuts and collages them together to create huge compositions that reflect his personal experience of each city. It’s a remarkable process and the results really do speak for themselves.
For those in London, an exhibition of Nishino’s work entitled ‘New Dioramas’ runs at Michael Hoppen Contemporary until 7 January 2015.
Kristin Capps writing for The Atlantic’s CityLab has a theory that Banksy is in fact a woman. Hadn’t really thought about it before, but perhaps Banky’s gender is the best scam that she/he has ever pulled?
During the very first interview that Banksy gave to The Guardian, another figure was present (“Steve,” Banksy’s agent). Another figure is always present, says Canadian media artist Chris Healey, who has maintained since 2010 that Banksy is a team of seven artists led by a woman—potentially the same woman with long blonde hair who appears in scenes depicting Banksy’s alleged studio in Exit Through the Gift Shop. Although Healey won’t identify the direct source for his highly specific claim, it’s at least as believable as the suggestion that Banksy is and always has been a single man.
“Since there is so much misdirection and jamming of societal norms with Banksy’s work, as well as the oft-repeated claim no one notices Banksy, then it makes sense,” Healey tells me. “No one can find Banksy because they are looking for, or rather assuming, a man is Banksy.”
As Capps also points out, much of Banksy’s work heavily features women, which if you compare to other male street artists, is something of a rarity. It’s by no means rock solid evidence, but it’s interesting as an anecdote to the mystery of it all.
Last week Bobby posted some truly fantastic looping illustrations from the American designer and illustrator Drew Tryndall. I loved them, and they’re bright colors and simple shapes kind of reminded me of this great work by the Canadian artist Matthew Feyld.
Made up of strong blocks of color and bold but beautiful shapes, there’s a naive simplicity to Feyld’s paintings which just works. Whether viewed on their own or viewed as a set, there’s something so perfectly direct about these paintings that I can’t help but love them.
In an interview with Little Paper Planes, Feyld discussed the inspiration behind the shapes and forms he uses in his work:
Some of them started as human figures, or day to day objects that over time have been stripped down and become less and less figurative. Others have come from excessive doodling. I’m interested in the relationships between shapes. And the spaces that those shapes inhabit. And the even smaller spaces between those shapes.
If you’re a fan of nice shapes, then I fully recommend you check out more work from Feyld.
You can view more work from Matthew Feyld on his website.
I know what you’re thinking and no, somebody hasn’t been blowing big bubbles in an art gallery! Sure I featured Nicholas Hanna’s incredible bubble devices a couple of weeks ago but these are very different types of bubbles. In fact, they’re not even bubbles at all, they’re beautiful sculptures made from plastic by the talented German artist Luka Fineisen.
Fineisen’s work is frequently interested in the scientific world, with her ambitious sculptural projects often investigating processes like thermodynamics and other similar instances of transitional found within nature. I love how she takes the ephemeral beauty of a bubble and then captures it to last forever. The results are rather striking and no doubt are even better in real life.
You can view a PDF of the artist’s work online here. Feel free to also thank me for not making a ‘pop art’ joke throughout this post!