Category: Art

Mushroom Book Installations by Melissa Jay Craig 

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Cast and hand-shaped abaca, embellished with cotton rag; each copy 14-18″H x 15″W x 16-18″D. Edition of 99.

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(S)Edition is an installation of 99 books made to look like common Amanita Muscaria mushrooms by Chicago artist Melissa Jay Craig. The installation has been shown in a various configurations the last few years, and only once in its entirety at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio back in 2010. From her statement about the installation:

Fungus is an agent of change. I’m fascinated with its myriad forms, and I love to go in search of it. I can become more excited by discovering a beautiful fungal growth than by perusing artwork ‘discovered’ for us by curators in contemporary museums. When I was a child, the first time I had the intriguing feeling that the planet carried messages (texts, if you will) for those who were curious enough to look, was when I came upon a group of Amanita Muscaria, huddled together in a dark, secret space under tall pines.

You can see more views of these fungal books on her website. (via Green Chair Press)

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Intricate Modular Paper Sculptures by Richard Sweeney 

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Inspired by the organic forms of nature like mounds of snow and clouds, English artist Richard Sweeney creates delicate modular sculptures out of paper. It’s hard to believe that some of these 3D sculptures came to life from just from paper, but the Wakefield, England-based artist works primarily with a ruler and cutter to bend fold and glue together his complex sculptures, which range from table-top size to floor-to-ceiling installations. Especially impressive are his pleated sculptures, which often don’t even use glue to achieve their three-dimensional terrain look.

Sweeney is currently part of a touring show titled Above the Fold. And for those lucky folks in the Netherlands, he’ll be showing his work at the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn this summer. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

Update: Along with 2 other artists, Sweeney has just launched a kickstarter campaign to fund an exhibition in New York.

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Surreal Portraiture and Cubism Combine in Beautiful New Illustrated Tattoos by Artist Duo ‘Expanded Eye’ 

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The work of artist duo Jade Tomlinson and Kev James of Expanded Eye (previously) spans paintings, installations, street art, sculptures and most importantly tattoos that blend line work, typography, and geometry. Based in London, the pair approaches each tattoo as a piece of art, firmly establishing a narrative and purpose behind each design before making a commitment. They even go as far as asking potential customers to not “overly concern yourself with the aesthetics,” and instead let the piece evolve organically based on their own discoveries. You can see many more of their tattoos on Facebook (nsfw), they have several new giclée prints available through Vaults Gallery, and you can have a peek in their online shop.

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Iced Flowers: Exotic Floral Bouquets Locked in Blocks of Ice by Makoto Azuma 

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The self-described botanic artist Makoto Azuma is trying to change the way we look at flowers. He’s used water and the stratosphere as backdrops for his exotic flower arrangements but now he’s experimenting with ice. In his latest exhibition “Iced Flowers,” Azuma locks floral bouquets in large blocks of ice and displays them like pillars. Placed in an inorganic chamber, the “flowers will show unique expressions that they do not display in everyday life,” says Azuma. The installation, held last week in Japan, was temporary by nature but the artist made sure to preserve the images. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

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Soundweaving: Artist Converts Folk Embroidery Patterns into Paper Scores for Music Boxes 

Soundweaving is a recent project by Hungarian design student Zsanett Szirmay that turns patterns used in traditional folk embroidery into music by translating them into laser-cut punch cards fed through a custom music box. The project was partially inspired by actual paper cards used in some weaving looms to easily reproduce patterns for various textiles. Szirmay collaborated with musician and composer Bálint Tárkány-Kovács who helped with audio mapping and the development of each track. Soundweaving was on view as part of Vienna Design Week at MOME Laboratory through last week, and you can see much more over on Dezeen. I’ve had the video above playing in the background for the last 20 minutes or so, it’s surprisingly enjoyable, especially if you’re into Steve Reich or Philip Glass.

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Photo by Sándor Fövényi

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Photo by Sándor Fövényi

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Photo by Sándor Fövényi

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Photo by Sándor Fövényi

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Mathematically Precise Kinetic Sculptures and Toys by John Edmark 

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If you enjoyed John Edmark’s trippy 3D-printed zoetrope sculptures last week, you might also enjoy some of his kinetic sculptures that rely on excruciatingly precise laser-cut wood and internal mechanisms to create optical illusions and other unexpected behaviors. Edmark describes these as “instruments that amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationship between facts and perception.” Here are three of my favorites, but you can see many more on his website.

Update: John Edmark’s Helicone toy is now available in the Colossal Shop.

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