When Alfred Hitchcock directed his classic film The Birds, he left open the question as to why the birds turned their fixation towards humanity. The mystery surrounding his film made it one his most chilling pieces of work, portraying a bird’s-eye view of the world as if nature were judging us. Osaka based Japanese artist Wakako Kawakami takes a note from Hitchcock with her giant textile budgies that she installs in various locations. Their plush faces peer down on us from office windows and building entrances with empty eyes, compelling for their massive size and beautiful colors, but at the same time unnerving and mysterious.
We are living in a society where we are addicted to our cell phones and computers. Without even realizing it, the moment we stare at those screens, we forget about the people around us and the rest of the world. Los Angeles based Turkish artist Refik Anadol wants us to slow down and make technology into something we consciously see and feel. His digital installations that project light and sound correlate to our experience of the world through a virtual lens. His most recent installation, titled the “Infinity Room” at Zorlu Performing Art Center in Turkey, is a trippy, black and white installation that uses audio and visual stimulation to alter one’s sense of the room. For this, he installed a cinema screen, onto which 3D kinetic animation based on algorithms was projected.
Brooklyn based sculptor Dustin Yellin (previously covered here) has earned acclaim for his monumental figures made of collaged materials inside of glass panels. The artist calls them “paintings-sculptures” for his combined use of drawings, paintings, magazine clippings, and three-dimensional works, weighing 12 tons at their largest. Inspired by 19th century taxonomic art, Yellin’s work focuses on otherworldly mutations of living things, especially plants and insects. His recently completed “Psychogeographies” is now on permanent display at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC.
José Luis Torres is an Argentinean artist currently living in Quebec who builds largescale works out of salvaged objects. He’s set up public art installations and sculptures all over the world, using everything from antique doors, window panes, to assemblages of brightly colored plastic as his materials. Often, his works have an overflowing effect as they burst from existing environments and architectural structures. His latest work entitled “Overflows” is a part of the 2015 Passages Insolites (Unusual Passages) event in Quebec City’s Old Port.
Visitors to Versailles Palace this summer will be greeted by a new exhibition of sculptures by the British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor. From June to October, six of his works are on view in the Jeu de Paume room in Versailles and the gardens, where they are already sparking debate. This is because one of his creations is a 197 foot long tunnel of steel symbolizing “the vagina of the queen who takes power”. Some say the piece is a disfigurement to history, however it has nothing to do with Marie Antoinette. In fact, it was first realized in 2011 for the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan. Kapoor’s bravado should come as no surprise. Known for his bold and large scale works, he is perhaps most recognized for his “Cloud Gate” in Chicago’s Millennium Park and “Sky Mirror,” exhibited at the Rockefeller Center in New York. Reinterpreted here, they are ambitious manipulations of form using reflective surfaces to being evocative of flesh and blood.
For five years in a row, the open air exhibition “Sculpture in the City” has brought some of the best contemporary artists to the public in London. Opening this week on July 9th, this year’s installment will feature new works by Ekkehard Altenburger, Bruce Beasley, Adam Chodzko, Ceal Floyer, Laura Ford, Damien Hirst, Shan Hur, Folkert de Jong, Sigalit Landau, Kris Martin, Keita Miyazaki, Tomoaki Suzuki, Xavier Veilhan, and Ai Weiwei. The exhibit merges the new with the old as their works are set against the city’s most historic landmarks. Take a look at more photos of Sculpture in the City 2015 as it comes together, after the jump.