2013 was filled with art discoveries that pushed our curiosity to new heights. While we continued to bring you the best in drawing, painting, sculpture and the gallery scenes from cities across the world, the Hi-Fructose blog took an interest in surprising new media — from artfully animated GIFs to laser-cut sculptures. The most popular posts of 2013 certainly reflect this trend. Our coverage is not limited to a single movement or aesthetic, but the artworks featured in our top 10 most-viewed posts of the year share a “wow” factor for their exquisite craftsmanship and unexpected subject matter. We look forward to another year of tickling your eyeballs with the most interesting art from around the globe. As we welcome 2014, take a look at our round-up of our most popular posts of the last year.
Artist Jo Hamilton ‘paints’ portraits with a rather non-traditional material: yarn. She meticulously crochets portraits from photographs of people, often friends. The unusual medium for the familiar art-form provides the unexpected on several levels. Each portrait has a texture very different from common painterliness – they’re soft, knotty, and bordered by loose ambiguous edges. Hamilton’s material perhaps also goes further to suggest her relationship with her subjects. Each portrait takes a considerable amount of time and intimate work by hand. Further, the crochet process is reminiscent of household trinkets and decorations lending her work a feeling of life and home. See more of Jo Hamilton’s portraits after the jump.
Though visually-pleasing and illustrative at a first glance, Toyin Odutola’s drawings are constructed on a foundation of hard-hitting critical theory about how we view race. The Nigerian-born, American artist’s works are rich with ink. Odutola focuses on her subjects’ skin, outlining ridges and contours with ribbon-like sections that make the work appear almost sculptural despite its flatness. Odutola’s focus on the skin is not accidental — she has stated that she wants to trace the skin, like a cartographer, in order to map out the idiosyncrasies of each individual subject. In doing so, Odutola meditates on the idea of “blackness” and how black people are portrayed and perceived.
Instead of stretching her canvases, Filipino artist Geraldine Javier incorporates her oil paintings into her installations, sewing them like tapestries into tent structures that evoke the feeling of “home.” Javier builds these cozy-seeming residences using a variety of natural materials — from wood and leaves to animal bones. In her current show at ARNDT in Berlin, “Stuck in Reverse,” the artist reflects on her childhood illnesses, depicting solitary girls engrossed in their private environments. Skeletons and bones, both real and painted, can be found in the show, offering a reminder of one’s mortality. Take a look at some of Javier’s recent work after the jump.
Paula Braconnot culls pieces of vintage illustrations to create monochromatic digital collages that depart from their source materials. Religious icons are mingled with textbook anatomy drawings and Victorian-era technological advents. In keeping her work monochromatic, Braconnot endows it with a comic book-like feel despite the often realistically-rendered subject matter. Layers of imagery are piled on in a baroque fashion, bombarding the eyes with black and white shapes that the viewer must slowly discern. The artist is based in Paris and has exhibited throughout Europe and Brazil.
David Begbie has been creating sculptures out of steel and bronze mesh since 1977. The light material fascinates the artist because of its ghostly presence — the sheer medium, he says, makes you doubt the artworks’ existence, if only for a second. Begbie strategically lights his sculptures, causing them to cast shadows that echo and amplify the graceful, muscular figures. Though portraiture is in Begbie’s practice, he focuses on anonymous, headless bodies that put physicality rather than the subject’s identity at the forefront. Take a look at some of his work after the jump.