Archives for posts with tag: smile

We particularly love when artists give everyday objects new context. Not only does this type of work capitalize on the element of surprise, but it also gives the viewer a glimpse into a creative mind. Artists who create these works (some past features here and here and here) see the world from a unique perspective. As is the case with self-proclaimed “Fantasy Researcher” Diego Cusano. Cusano, who has a background in visual arts and graphic design, explores the use of simple everyday objects in unexpected and creative ways. And so much so, in fact, that some high profile clients have taken notice and hired him for various campaigns, including Warner Bros., Adidas, Diesel, Dior, Cartier, Haribo, among others. In his own words, Cusano explains his work: “I started watching things from a different point of view, and from this new approach, I started creating the illustrations that, since then, I’m publishing each day on the social networks. Objects change their native function through the graphic to a new, different, unpredictable function. I always try to “re-invent” myself. I would like to give smiles when people look at my works.” It’s safe to say Cusano’s objective is on-point and wildly successful. His work definitely brings smiles to our faces.

Via diegocusano.com and Instagram

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Not speaking to strangers is a lesson learned early and practiced often, but this fascinating ongoing photography series flies in the face of such prudence. Mumbai-based photographer Jay Weinstein attempts to break down barriers during this particularly vigilant time in world history, one smile at a time. Aptly titled “…so I asked them to smile”, this minimalist photography project explores the smiles of strangers, and how facial expressions truly transform perceptions and soften even the most hardened of appearances. Weinstein captures strangers in two different poses: one without a smile and one while smiling. See for yourself… with no other context (Weinstein does not provide life stories, names, occupations, confirmed religions or ethnicity), it’s striking to see how a simple smile can humanize a perfect stranger. Weinstein describes the genesis of this compelling sociological experiment in his own words: “December 2013. I was on a photography trip to Bikaner, in the deserts of Rajasthan, India. Near the busy train station, I saw a man I wanted to photograph. I hesitated. The look in his eye and his stony, stern face intimidated me. It’s always that moment of hesitation that kills a shot! I ended up avoiding him and photographing other subjects until I heard his jovial voice, “Take my picture too!” Camera lens focused, my finger poised to fire. ‘Smile’, I called out. And he was transformed. His face radiated warmth, his eyes sparkled with a humor I had completely missed. Even his posture softened. I knew then what my next project would be. So I asked them to smile was born. I wanted to document the effect of the human smile on a strangers face.”

Via soiaskedthemtosmile.com

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Some “tree huggers” may view paper art (here and here and here) as a gratuitous use of precious paper. But Spanish paper artist Malena Valcárcel may just have found a way to please art lovers and environmentalists alike. Valcárcel “upcycles” discarded or recycled books into quite beautiful sculptures. She is astoundingly self-taught, and her work is intricate and delicate in a way that serves the fine print of her chosen medium (printed matter) really well. She even utilizes lighting in some of her pieces, which adds an entirely new magical dimension. In her own words, “My main inspirations come from nature and everyday life, and I often return to certain ideas again and again. Flowers, trees, butterflies, houses, clouds … without forgetting the sea, really fascinate me. Turning books into sculptures, cutting and shaping paper into different shapes or abstract forms never ceases to amaze me, and when the work is finished, just contemplating it brings a smile to my face. Making things has always been incredibly important to me and it is often an amazing release to get it out of my system. It’s a joy to hunt for things for my work…the lost, found and forgotten all have places in what I make. Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm.” Charming, indeed.

Via Behance and Etsy

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It’s no secret that we’re really taken with work of Minneapolis-based art director/photographer/designer/creative genius Brock Davis (see previous posts here and here). Davis has an uncanny ability to transform everyday objects into something unexpected. Sometimes playful, or funny, or irreverent, or random, or plain silly… always a stroke of brilliance. This time, though, we stumbled upon his Instagram account, rather than his portfolio site. Davis delights his over 175,000 followers with semi-frequent visual gems… creative and thought-provoking mini installations sure to at least invoke a smile.

Via Instagram

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