After reading a philosophical text by Ludwig Wittgenstein a decade ago, multi-media artist Babak Hosseiny was consumed by the idea of the hands as a symbol for a person’s wishes and fears. The line “If you do know that here is one hand, we’ll grant you all the rest” hung in his mind as he drew the preliminary sketches for what became “Ô les mains,” a collaborative photo illustration series Hosseiny recently created with photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte.
The whimsical illustrations by Japanese artist Sae Tachimori are clever curiosities that use a children’s book charm to explore the complex issue of the East constructing new identity through fantasies of the West, as well as global nostalgia for the early 20th century. The focal point in “Journey” is a standing bear, whose face contorts into a sharp grimace as he cradles a clock, presenting to the viewer the reality of lost time. In addition to a myriad of decorative elements, several vintage suitcases and a host of imaginative creatures, two women dressed in bohemian-chic clothing occupy the middle ground. The composition is rendered in an Art Nouveau palette of muted blues and pinks. However, one of the women is drawn in black and white with golden hair. She stands on a ladder and reaches inside a bucket of paintbrushes. Perhaps she represents the contemporary woman painting her future and her identity, while the bears yearn for a more traditional past.
Walking through SCOPE Art Show this past weekend felt very much like navigating through a labyrinth, as this year’s galleries boasted exceptionally creative uses of space at Moynihan Station within the New York City Post Office. With over 68 exhibitors from 22 countries, the booths that particularly stood out were ones that not only featured strong works, but ones that provided the harmonic impression of private mini-exhibitions within the realities of a packed trade show.
German artist Mimi Scholz creates painstakingly detailed compositions dripping with pop. Opting for wide-angle shots of her imaginary worlds, Scholz renders digital artworks that begin as equally detailed drawings with pens and pencils. She colors her works using a tablet instead of a paintbrush, but the results, often printed on canvas, hand-embellished and highly varnished, closely resemble traditional oil paintings. Each piece can take several weeks to complete. Read more after the jump.
These ‘beings’ are part of artist Dustin Yellin‘s series Psychogeographies. The figures are life size – six feet tall – and pinned between several layers of glass. Yellin pieces together thousands of old clippings onto layers of glass to create a sort of three dimensional collage. When the layers are stacked together a figure seems to emerge and float within the block of clear glass. The sculpture clearly requires an immense amount of work and is lovingly constructed. However, there is also a certain cold taxonomy to the series. The figures appear to be sunken into the glass to be studied as biological curiosities, alien specimens. Psychogeographies strikes an interesting balance in this way between inside and out, the personal and objectivity. See more of Dustin Yellin’s sculptures after the jump.
As anyone who grew up in the Rust Belt, surrounded by abandoned factories and homes, can attest, there is something deeply and perversely satisfying about the sight of buildings in a state of collapse. The Pittsburgh-based artist and designer Seth Clark seems to understand this feeling well. By meticulously building upon layers of scrap paper, various mixed media and drawing, Clark creates textured images of decadently crumbling edifices. These structures are simultaneously thrilling and frightening. Rather than appearing as merely passive victims to the dark forces behind their deterioration — political, social, and environmental — the buildings seem almost alive, feeding on their own collapse. This sense of a destructive energy, perhaps driven by our own unconscious death wish, may be what makes these ruins so compelling and strangely beautiful.