Archives for posts with tag: art

Art with purpose and for social good can be really powerful. It can bring people together in unique ways that’s really touching, especially in this digitally connected, yet ironically isolating society we live in today. The work of Germen Crew, a Mexican youth organization comprised of muralists and street artists, to literally transform a village is a prime example. The government-sponsored project called Pachuca Paints Itself resulted in this magnificent mural, Mexico’s largest. Launched as an effort to not only rehabilitate the hillside neighborhood, but to also bring the community together, the Germen Crew project was a massive undertaking involving the painting of 209 individual houses. And the photos speak for themselves. Be sure to check out the video below (in Spanish). The vibrant, fluid composition seen from afar is truly awe-inspiring and heart warming. Just amazing.

Via Facebook and Instagram

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We’ve all enjoyed colored pencils at one time or another, but few pull off the depth and richness when utilizing these basic tools as Ontario-based illustrator/tattoo artist Andrew Wilson. Wilson’s creations are not simply sketches, but carefully crafted works of art that would make a digital illustrator envious. We love that Wilson creates these pieces by hand, and is able to achieve such contrast and nuance, especially in the shadows and highlights. And we’re not alone in our admiration of Wilson’s tremendous skills. His social media stats speak for themselves… 94,000 likes on his Facebook page, and 53,000 followers on Instagram. We will definitely be checking back on Wilson’s growing body of work, just awesome.

Via Facebook and Instagram

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We are particularly taken with artists who revamp and re-envision everyday objects (here and here and here), giving new meaning to something very familiar. Berlin-based multi-disciplinary artist Sarah Illenberger is particularly adept at this approach, and we especially like her work involving food (which is reminiscent of the great Brock Davis). Illenberger’s conceptual and compelling work is not simply photography, but also art and design. Well known Berlin-based blogger Mary Scherpe says it best, “With a focus on analog craftwork using everyday items, Sarah is renowned for creating vivid, witty images that open up new perspectives on seemingly familiar subjects. Her ability to transform ordinary materials into complex and unexpected visual experiences has been utilized to develop concepts for clients from the fields of culture and business in several countries. In her aim to explore the fertile overlap between art and design, she’s collaborated with numerous photographers and artists, and filled exhibition spaces with self-initiated projects in Paris, Tokyo, and Berlin.”

Prints available here.

Via sarahillenberger.com

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Sometimes to be original, you need to draw inspiration from the past, as contradictory as that sounds. Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens did just that with an arresting series with his daughter Paula as his subject. What began as capturing childhood moments morphed into fascinating photographs in the style of seventeenth century Dutch paintings… with a modern twist. Kerstens recalls, “One day Paula came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a seventeenth-century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this.” As are Paula’s placid, if not austere, facial expressions… so reminiscent of the work of Johannes Vermeer and other Dutch masters. Kerstens’s outstanding work can be found in museums and galleries around the world, and has inspired tastemakers as diverse as Elton John and Alexander McQueen.

Conceptually reminiscent of the work of Steve Payne (here)

Via danzigergallery.com and Facebook

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Cubism, widely considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century, was pioneered by Picasso and Braque in the early 1900s. By definition, cubism is a style and movement in which perspective with a single viewpoint was abandoned and use was made of simple geometric shapes, interlocking planes, and even collage. Dutch artist Enno de Kroon takes this one step further, using the unique landscape of the universal egg carton to his advantage in what he calls “eggcubism”. de Kroon had always experimented with distortions of perspective, and he found that the egg carton as his canvas presented a new and unique challenge that forced him to approach painting in a new way. The challenge is not only limited to de Kroon as the creator, but the viewer’s perception is also challenged. de Kroon explains, “The waves of the egg cartons limit the viewer’s perception; they also make him aware of his positioning towards the image. The intentional limitation in subjective perception gives room for imagination and recall: the process of occlusion. By a fusion of direct and indirect perception conventional imagery is overtaken. At first sight this leads to a physical and mental incompleteness, that forces an integration which can only take place within the inner experience, apart from time and space. One could say that the complete image just emerges sublimated in the viewers mind. Gestalt psychology states that human perception aims for completeness. Perceptions are being added subconsciously. My eggcubist works evoke conscious and dynamic adding. The objects not only refer to themselves, they also refer to each other as a series.” In a digital age of augmented reality and immersive 3D experiences, de Kroon’s eggcubism pays homage to traditional cubism, with an interactive twist.

Via ennodekroon.nl and Flickr

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It’s been a week now, and we’re still stimulated by our experience at Create Upstate (related posts here, here, here and here). One unexpectedly enlightening address, Anatomy of a Maker, was given by Dora Drimalas, Principal of San Francisco-based Hybrid Design. Drimalas, along with her husband Brian Flynn, is at the helm of this full-service creative agency. Not many firms can tout a client list as impressive as Hybrid’s: Nike, Disney, Apple, Microsoft, Sony and Yahoo, to name a few. One might assume with such corporate powerhouse clientele, the leadership at Hybrid would be solely focused on churning out work at a breakneck pace to meet countless and differing demands. While client needs are certain a priority at Hybrid, Drimalas and Flynn seem to have a distinct passion for the timeless craft of design. This creative spirit doesn’t necessarily oppose a frame of mind needed to manage corporate demands, but certainly bucks a stereotype. When global paper manufacturer Mohawk approached Hybrid a couple years ago to reevaluate their perspective on paper in an increasingly digital world, Drimalas and company drew from their personal enthusiasm, philosophy and high regard for the heritage of craftsmanship. With that partnership, Mohawk Maker Quarterly was born. It’s much more than an indulgent paper promotion, it’s a publication with real substance. Drimalas spoke to the content within the latest issue (No. 6) with great fervor, explaining that the relatively recent dominance and ephemeral nature of digital communication positions print communication, like many other time-honored aspects of art and culture, at an elevated level. With a swing of the cultural pendulum, printers and designers are once again craftspeople, reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts movement over a century ago. It’s what Drimalas referred to as Arts and Crafts 2.0. The morsals of food for thought that Drimalas posed are too numerous to mention here. We were inspired not only by the content of Drimalas’s discourse, but also by the flawless design and printing of the Maker publication. Contact your paper rep if you do not have one of these in your hands.

Via hybrid-design.com and mohawkconnects.com

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When art and science collide, some pretty spectacular things can happen. Dutch visual artist Berndnaut Smilde applies a fascination with the complexities of duality (construction vs. deconstruction, inside vs. outside, etc.) to his work. Some of his most notable pieces involve literally bringing what is otherwise an outdoor phenomenon, clouds, indoors. And this makes for some pretty strikingly unfamiliar visuals. The ephemeral nature of this work is so powerful, existing for just a short time, and constantly changing (building up and falling apart) in the process. Smilde’s combination of smoke and moisture (and dramatic lighting) is an achievement in both visual art and science, even recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “Top Ten Inventions of 2012”. Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post to see Smilde’s clouds in motion.

More art and science marriages here and here and here.

Via berndnaut.nl and Vimeo

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As technology advances, so too does our ability to track motion, as is exhibited by the iPhone, Fitbit, forthcoming Apple Watch, and others. But Canadian Stephen Orlando is more fixated with the beauty of motion, and innovative ways to capture it visually. Orlando, a mechanical engineer by trade, blurs the line between science and art in his stunning ongoing series Motion Exposure. By utilizing programmable LED lights and long exposure photography, Orlando is “able to tell the story of movement.” Though we’ve featured light painting before (here and here), Orlando’s work is a bit different. We love the spectrum of colors and intriguing patterns of motion he captures. In his own words, Orlando says “I’m fascinated with capturing motion through time and space into a single photograph…. This technique reveals beautiful light trails created by paths of familiar objects. These light trails have not been artificially created with Photoshop and represent the actual paths of the objects.” This growing series features motion captured by kayaking, canoeing, soccer, tennis, swimming and even waterfalls, and more. Absolutely beautiful.

Via motionexposure.com

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There has been a sort of renaissance of great movie (and TV) posters lately, and we’ve featured some of them here and here and here. Brooklyn-based studio SpaceWolf Limited takes the art of said poster design to another place (space, perhaps?) with their limited edition laser engraved wood posters. Yes, you heard that right… wood! Sure, this is a very niche product that seems geared toward (fellow) design/pop culture/sci-fi geeks. But there is a level of artistry and precision to be appreciated by just about anyone. We love the intricate details and beautiful contrast they achieve. Because these are (very) limited editions — just 50 hand signed an numbered pieces per design — the rotation of posters is constant. We look forward to future editions… these make great gifts (hint hint). Other products, including jewelry, journals and iPhone skins, available here.

Via spacewolflimited.com and Instagram

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Pumpkin carving can really be an art. It seems that over the past few years, the bar has been raised. The traditional jack-o’-lantern has given way to intricate masterpieces. RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns is a consortium of expert carvers who join efforts to put on incredible displays of over 5,000 hand-carved illuminated jack-o’-lantern in New York and Los Angeles around this time each year. These gorgeous gourds feature carvings that depict everything from deceased celebrities to dinosaurs, video games to venomous snakes, fictional characters to fantastic “underwater” displays. Some take a few minutes, others take up to 20 hours, and, as magical as it all looks, they have not figured a way to keep the pumpkins from rotting… they replace them weekly as needed. Wow!

Via therise.org

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