“Library” (2007), all images via The Drawing Room
Since 2005, artist Lori Nix and partner Kathleen Gerber have been producing dioramas that depict post-apocalyptic environments, everyday scenes that give the audience a glimpse of their world once nature has been left to take over. Nearly everything within the scenes is fabricated by the two under the name Nix+Gerber, with each scene taking approximately seven months from start to the final photograph. This means that the two take approximately two photographs a year, spending the bulk of their practice on miniature reproduction.
When deciding the last piece to produce for the body of work “The City,” Nix+Gerber decided to look inward. They choose to replicate their own studio, titled “The Living Room” (2013), which Nix explains actually looks like the end of the world, a disaster scene to fit within the dystopian series. For this particular project they had to work in an extremely meta fashion, scanning each CD that sat on their shelves and reproducing an even smaller replica of a subway train car that was sitting in their studio when they started production.
“It’s the little details that really make the scene come alive,” said Nix. “The fan in the back window, the paracords going everywhere, and the little items on the table.”
Despite the fact that most of Nix’s practice is focused on creating the props for each shoot, she still labels herself as a photographer rather than sculptor. “I’m not the type of photographer that is going to go out and find things to photograph,” said Nix. “I am going to create things to photograph.”
While crafting “The Living Room,” The Drawing Room produced a short documentary about Nix+Gerber’s practice which you can see below. You can also read more about the artists’ work on their blog, and see more of their miniature scenes on their Instagram and Facebook.
“Living Room” (2013)
“Control Room” (2010)
“Anatomy Classroom” (2012)
“Laundromat at Night” (2008)
“The Subway” (2012)
“Chinese Take-Out” (2013)
“Museum of Art” (2010)
“Beauty Shop” (2010)
Just a few hours ago, French street artist JR completed work on his latest public artwork, a large photographic piece that wraps the iconic glass pyramid outside the Musée du Louvre causing it to disappear against the palace facade. The piece is part of an event titled “JR au Louvre,” and is comprised of photographic prints of the museum itself adhered to the glass exterior. When viewed from just the right vantage point it creates an illusion of the pyramid seeming to vanish.
JR is known for his large-scale public flyposting of black and white photographs, most commonly of people’s faces. While the pyramid piece is clearly visible outdoors, the exhibition will also involve a 24-hour event on May 28-29th. The happening involves a series of films, workshops, a music performance by Nils Frahm, and a dance performance by the New York City Ballet. You can see the full schedule of events here, and some work-in-progress photos on JR’s Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)
Flattening three-dimensional installations into two-dimensional images, Alexa Meade compresses reality by covering models in specifically applied paint, making sure to focus on painted shadows and highlights to transform her posed subjects into paintings. Meade’s works, which she has referred to as “reverse trompe l’oeil” combine installation, painting, photography, and even performance, as many of her works are done live and with little room for error. Mistakes made during her painting process however, often add to the overall dynamism of the piece, creating an aesthetic tension for each of her living works.
“There are so many things going on at once in my process that something is always bound to go wrong,” Meade recently told Colossal. “Having to problem solve in the moment and hack together a solution will typically result in me bringing something new and fresh to the painting that I didn’t intend or expect. The artwork often turns out so much better than I had originally envisioned.”
Often these errors are due to the fact that Meade is creating her works on live models, and unlike swathes of canvas, her medium has interests, personalities, and needs which influence the work. “If you are a painter painting on canvas you don’t have to care about its feelings or emotions,” said Meade, “the canvas doesn’t have to go to the bathroom.”
Meade didn’t always start out as an artist, in fact she studied politics and worked in Washington D.C. before experimenting with her current practice. “I discovered my method completely by accident,” said Meade. “Then I had to actually teach myself out to paint.” Now Meade is a represented artist in three countries and is often asked to do live painting performances, such as this month during FORM Arcosanti, an outdoor micro arts and music festival which we attended with WeTransfer and came across Meade’s work. You can see more of her process and images on her Facebook and Instagram.
Alexa Meade’s live painting during FORM Arcosanti, base makeup by Josephine Lee
Motoi Yamamoto (previously here and here) meticulously sculpts large scale installations formed from salt, tiny lines delicately arranged on the floor of galleries and museums. In his latest exhibition titled “Univer’sel,” Yamamoto has created two pieces in a 13th-century medieval castle in Aigues-Mortes, located in the south of France.
The first piece, ‘Floating Garden,” is installed in a circular room, appearing like swirling clouds or thick ocean foam. Without a walkway it is impossible to view the piece up close, viewers only able to view Yamamoto’s labor from afar. The second piece, “Labyrinth” is arranged in a stone passageway within the castle’s ramparts. The appearance of the work mimics the title, a maze that becomes more detailed the further it grows from a mountain-like pile of salt towards the back of the installation.
“Univer’sel” opened May 17 and also includes the salt works of Jean-Pierre Formica. Their work will be on display through November 30. (via Designboom)
Fascinated by the biological forms of insects, fish, and arthropods, artist Edouard Martinet assembles gargantuan depictions of the creatures with found automotive and bicycle parts. While we’ve shared many of his sculptures here on Colossal (previously here and here), this behind-the-scenes visit of his workshop sheds a fantastic light on the scale and detail of his creations. Martinet’s ability to build something so organic from mechanical components is nothing short of astounding. Directed by Will Farrell. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
Study for Fifteen Points. Motors, custom driver electronics, custom software, aluminium, LEDs, computer. 712 x 552 x 606 mm.
With spindly legs that look like an upturned spider, this experimental kinetic artwork by Random International relies on the viewer to watch from just the right perspective to reveal a hidden secret. Each of the 15 ‘arms’ is tipped with white LEDs that collectively move to mimic the motions of a walking human figure. Titled Study for Fifteen Points, the piece was created to examine the “minimal amount of information that is actually necessary for the animated form to be recognised as human.”
Random International are an artist collective known for their ambitious interactive installations and sculptures that incorporate robotics and data, most notably the wildly popular Rain Room. Study for Fifteen Points is the first foray into a new body of work by the group and we’re excited to see what follows. (via The Creator’s Project)