Archives for posts with tag: commentary

It is said that art is often an honest reflection of societal issues at large. History shows that for centuries art has been a sort of barometer, documenting larger issues through the lens of the artist. This certainly holds true for the work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti. His series Facebank serves as commentary for the very uncertain financial state of the world today, with a humorous bent, of course. Rabatti alters iconic faces on currency (related posts here and here and here) from around the world, “disguising” them as fictional superheroes. Despite the seemingly fun nature of these pieces, Rabatti’s intent and message is likely much deeper. For one, by altering the faces of these historical figures to look like familiar comic book characters with a rich (albeit fictional) history of their own, Rabatti remarks on their economic and political status, looking to them as possible “saviors” of the global economic crisis. There is an implied trust in these figures, both real and fictional, so the dialogue Rabatti initiates with this series could really go on and on. Oh, and these works are just plain cool looking. From conception to execution, we’d say Rabatti has creative super powers of his own.

Via alessandrorabatti.com

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With the latest Apple releases, so too will come the flood of YouTube videos of folks “testing” the new devices in all sorts of precarious scenarios (submerging your new iPhone in a vat of soda, then freezing it for 12 hours, anyone?). New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based photographer/artist Henry Hargreaves (whose stellar work we’ve discussed here and here) takes a more cerebral approach to a practice that is no less cringe-inducing to us gadget geeks. Hargreaves, along with his stylist partner Caitlin Levin, whose incredible collaborations almost always employ food as the medium, juxtaposes said electronic devices with fast food in their series Deep Fried Gadgets. While we do shudder slightly at the sight of intentionally defacing these gizmos that we hold in such high regard, we certainly appreciate the concept and commentary, not to mention the fascinatingly engaging visuals. In Hargreaves’s own words, “I like to play with food and the juxtaposition of different worlds. I found a video of some Japanese kids trying to deep fry a PSP and eat it, it didn’t work and they made a mess of it, but I loved the idea and thought it could be expanded and photographed in a beautiful way. Electronics have become almost a holy device, the way a new apple device sends people out of their minds. But as soon as the next model comes out the last is immediately forgotten. This is a commentary about the similarities between tech culture and fast food. Quickly devoured and then discarded because of our appetite for the newest product.”

Via hargreavesandlevin.com

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Given the somber mood surrounding all things politics and money in Europe, particularly Greece, this installation street art, fittingly titled “Crisis”, is especially relevant. Conceived and created by Madrid-based artist SpY, and installed in a central neighborhood in the city of Bilbao, the piece consists of 1000€ (almost $2,000) in 2 cent coins making up the word “CRISIS” on an outdoor wall. Not totally surprising, passersby helped themselves to the money, and all the coins disappeared in less than 24 hours. In some ways, that feels like blatant defacing of public art, but in other ways, that was likely expected and part of the point to begin with. SpY seems very much in touch with the political climate around him, and we love his out-of-the-box creativity. There’s good reason he’s been making such relevant urban art since the mid-eighties. In his own words, his work “involves the appropriation of urban elements through transformation or replication, commentary on urban reality, and the interference in its communicative codes…. a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urban dweller. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. Filled with equal parts of irony and positive humor, they appear to raise a smile, incite reflection, and to favor an enlightened conscience.”

Via spy-urbanart.com

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Australian artist Guy Whitby, otherwise known as WorkByKnight (or WBK) has a terrific eye for mosaic compositions, which (and we know from experience) is much more difficult and time consuming than it looks. These pixelated portraits are deceivingly complex, and serve as visual commentary for the global shift from analog to digital. Each piece is made up of a variety of computer keys, along with analog and digital buttons. WBK meticulously places each button and key to serve as a pixel, if you will. Though subjects vary, from celebrities and artists to musicians and political figures, to his most recent “Old School Tech” series of still life technological treasures, the quality of this remarkable work never falters. Truly amazing how strategic color choice and placement make otherwise analogous objects and shapes into something cohesive, and more importantly, recognizable.

More mosaic posts here and here and here.

Via Behance

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We’ve posted about double exposure photography techniques before (here and here). This series by Bulgaria-based photographer Aneta Ivanova sort of takes things a step further, with color photography and by integrating a thought provoking theme through the juxtaposition of natural elements with feminine beauty. On a purely aesthetic level, the portraits are simply beautiful. But the commentary on beauty is what really elevates these pieces to visual poetry.

Via anetaivanova.com

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These are not your average hermit crab shells you’d find, say, on the boardwalk at the Jersey shore. Japanese artist Aki Inomata created this series of intricate clear plastic cityscapes, in part, as commentary on human adaptation and migration. “The hermit crabs wearing the shelters I built for them, which imitate the architecture of various countries, appeared to be crossing various national borders. Though the body of the hermit crab is the same, according to the shell it is wearing, its appearance changes completely. It’s as if they were asking, ‘Who are you?'”

Via aki-inomata.com and art-is.com

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