French interdisciplinary artist Julien Salaud creates mesmerizing installations for his “Stellar Caves” series, which he has shown in museums worldwide. The glowing grottos take inspiration from both constellations and ancient cave paintings. Salaud coats thread in ultraviolet paint and strings it throughout the room as if drawing directly on the walls. When lit with ultraviolet light, the room glows with a faint, blue hue that makes viewers feel like they’re traversing a night sky illuminated by stars. Salaud’s most recent piece, “Stellar Cave IV,” was recently on view at the Herzliya Museum near Tel Aviv.
Rainbow-colored mannequin legs, animal bones, skulls, and gold- these are just a few of the materials used in John Breed’s eclectic installations. If his choice of medium sounds frenzied, it might stem from his creative background. Now based in the Netherlands, Breed received training from a calligraphy master in Kyoto, Japan, before he moved to New York to take on graffiti, paint frescos in Rome, and study landscape painting in China. A world traveler and natural born experimenter, every piece that Breed creates is a culmination of his extensive skill set.
It seems that everything Tempe, Arizona-based artist Travis Rice touches turns to rainbow. In his paintings and installations, Rice entices viewers with colorful, abstract shapes that respond to geometry and architecture. His enormous, multicolored paper installations have been a hallmark of his shows over the past few years. With these waterfalls of shredded paper suspended from the ceiling, Rice alters the way that viewers interact with an otherwise ordinary gallery space. While these works are soft and amorphous, his paintings are more rigorous studies of form and depth. Shard-like rainbow shapes seem to explode outwards towards the viewer, creating layers of contrasting colors and textures.
What do you get when you cross a roller coaster with a picnic table? Probably something that resembles Michael Beitz’s imaginative takes on the furniture we encounter on a daily basis. Beitz turns mundane objects into innovative sculptural forms that are at once artistic and functional. He flips the script on how to build desks, tables, benches, and couches — twisting their shapes, turning them into curly cues, or making them bend, stretch, and melt in unexpected ways. His work always has a sense of humor and inspires viewers to become curious about their everyday surroundings.
You might remember Maser from our coverage of Justkids’ “Life is Beautiful” festival in Las Vegas. There, the artist covered an entire motel with bold, diagonal stripes, turning the entire building and its parking lot into an Op Art-inspired installation. Maser is originally from Ireland, where he got his start (and nickname) from the graffiti scene in Dublin in the 1990s. Now based in the US, he still frequently works outdoors, though his style has morphed from traditional graffiti to expansive environments that he is able to achieve through the careful arrangement of just a few colors.
While some artists view yarn bombing as purely decorative, Olek (HF Vol. 29) often swathes objects in crochet to draw attention to important socio-political issues. Known for the outspoken messages in her large-scale, colorful work, she was recently invited to create a piece in New Delhi, India for the St+art Delhi street art festival. For her canvas, Olek chose one of the local homeless shelters called “Raine Basera,” which provide people with temporary lodging overnight. With the help of legions of volunteers and donations from Indian fashion labels, Olek beautified the shelter with bright yellow, purple, and red crocheted fabrics that evoke India’s famously vibrant textiles. Though it’s visually alluring, the piece ultimately imparts a sobering message about the reality of poverty in New Delhi — and many major cities around the world.