In an effort to come full circle in recognizing the very polarizing Common Core testing in New York over the past two weeks, we bring you another “math meets art” post. This time it’s the work of Venezuelan architect and illustrator Rafael Araujo, and his very technical approach to capturing the mathematical brilliance of nature. With simple drafting tools (pencil, ruler, compass, protractor), Araujo takes much pleasure and pride being unplugged from technology while exploring three dimensionality (yes, without the aid of a computer), which can take up to 100 hours to create a single complex composition. We cannot wrap our brains around how one would even begin to approach this, so needless to say, we are in complete awe of Araujo. As are the thousands of backers who contributed to his Kickstarter campaign to publish a book of his work, which began several months ago with a goal just over $20,000. Araujo has since raised over a quarter of a million dollars to date, with the help of Sydney, Australia-based husband and wife team Melinda and Andres Restrepo. The Restrepos were so taken with Araujo’s work online, they approached him about creating a book. Capitalizing on the growing popularity of “adult coloring books” (c’mon, not X-rated, but those touting supposed “stress relieving” patterns), the project to publish the Golden Ratio Coloring Book is forging ahead. When you look at the sampling of Araujo’s work below, just keep in mind that they are all done by hand. Simply breathtaking.
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.
Some of the best, most thought-provoking art and design is best viewed from a variety of angles. In fact, the work of Brooklyn-based artist Michael Murphy relies on varying vantage points. Murphy’s large-scale, complex structures are profoundly awe-inspiring (these photos surely don’t do them justice, they are best viewed in person). His multi-layered, multi-dimensional sculptures consist of suspended objects that, when viewed from different perspectives, reveal something more. Murphy explains, “[my] large-scale works seek to dominate the viewer’s physical and mental space, captivating the critical thought process as one circles around the various entities that form a cohesive whole. Pieces initially experienced on a visually flat plane resonate with meaning upon closer inspection, opening up cerebral capacities to perpetual reconsideration. The mesmerizing effect of the varied angles and ingredients of [my] sculptures provoke thought, using aesthetic titillation as their gateway.” Murphy’s conceptual approach, paired with his calculated orchestration of these phenomenal installations, is a true marvel on a many levels. Wow.
Full disclosure: we’re having a moment of design envy. And for several reasons. The subject of our aspirational glares is Big Apple-based designer/illustrator José Guizar’s self-initiated, ongoing weekly project Windows of New York. First, we are truly inspired by “daily” projects. We admire the commitment of artists who hone their craft through some sort of consistent work, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly (for example, here and here and here). It truly is a creative exercise, to motivate one’s self to conjure creativity for the sake of it, and at regular intervals, no less. Second, with distractions aplenty, from our Apple i-devices, to social media, to everyday hustle and bustle, being mindful enough to stop and appreciate architectural details around us is easier said than done. Such inquisitiveness and passion are what drives Guizar. Finally, his incredible illustration skills really make this project what it is. In the hands of a less-skilled artist, this undertaking wouldn’t be quite so notable. But Guizar’s spare, yet detailed design approach is perfectly engaging. From his flat style, to his terrific sense of color and composition, to his attention to typography, Guizar’s growing collection of diverse architectural specimens reflects his personal spirit of curiosity and exploration, and should be cherished and admired by designers for quite sometime. Hats off to Guizar for a well-conceived and expertly executed personal project.