Category: Art

Culinary Photographers Create Edible Backdrops for a World of Miniature Inhabitants 

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Against a tasty backdrop of pastries, fruit, and vegetables, photographers Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida have created a series of humorous dioramas that depict miniature people going about their daily lives in an edible world. Titled MINIMIAM, a play on words that marries miniature and “yummy” (miam in French), the project has been ongoing since 2002 and was inspired by the married couple’s profession as commercial food photographers. “We’re both food photographer in our daily work, and we’re both quite crazy about cooking, eating and everything about food,” says Ida. “So when we started this small people series, naturally we created the stories related to the food.”

The figures acquired for each photograph are taken from train model sets which are generally 1/87 scale, the perfect size for exploring lands of donuts or a frothy mix of meringue turned into a winter sledding adventure. The body of work has now grown to include some 60 sets of diptychs, and the pair is also creating large scale installations that more directly connect the model train world with sprawling food dioramas. You can see much more of their work over at MINIMIAM, or view it up close at the International Agriculture Show in Paris in February. (via Raw File)

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Hovering Tree Illusion by Daniel Siering and Mario Shu in Potsdam, Germany 

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I’m really enjoying this rural intervention (?) created earlier this week by Daniel Siering and Mario Shu in Potsdam, Germany. The duo wrapped a tree in plastic sheeting and then mimicked the background landscape using detailed spray paint strokes to create the illusion of a tree cut in half. It reminds me of this mirror installation by Joakim Kaminsky and Maria Poll. (via Street Art Utopia)

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A Giant Twisting Serpent Skeleton Emerges from the Loire River in France 

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Emmanuel Le Guellec

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Philippe Cabaret

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Nantes Tourisme

ESTUAIRE 2012 ©Gino Maccarinelli
Kamel Mennour, photo by Gino Maccarinelli

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via Flickr

Completed in 2012, Serpent d’océan is a giant aluminum sea serpent skeleton by artist Huang Yong Ping (previously) situated off the shore of the Loire River where it empties into the Bay of Biscay just outside of Nantes, France. Measuring nearly 425 feet (130 meters) in length the curving skeleton mirrors the curves of the nearby Saint-Nazaire bridge and was created as a permanent work for the final Estuaire contemporary art exhibition in 2012. Via Nantes Tourisme:

By having a major figure from Chinese mythology appear on European shores, Huang Yong Ping examines, the notions of identity and cultural hybridity, as is often the case in his work. The environmental question is also very present in his art where he regularly exposes the paradox of the man sawing the branch he is sitting on, torn between creative abilities and destructive impulses. This is one of the many possible interpretations of this work: placed on the beach, the skeleton appears with the tide and, little by little, will be home to marine fauna and flora.

Depending on weather conditions, tide levels, or the perspective of a photographer, Serpent d’océan appears dramatically different from day to day, a phenomenon you can witness over on Flickr. (via Beautiful Decay)

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Exploring Climate Change through Art: Giant Pastel Oceanscapes and Icebergs Drawn by Zaria Forman 

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Greenland #54 / 40″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

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Tackling climate change or the documentation of extreme environments can be challenging endeavors for any artist, but for Brooklyn-based Zaria Forman it was simply an extension of a childhood spent traveling with her family to some of the Earth’s most remote locations. For her 2012 project Chasing the Light, Forman led an ambitious art expedition by sailing up the northwest coast of Greenland to retrace the 1869 journey of American painter William Bradford. Along the way she documented the changing arctic landscape which she would use for inspiration in several large soft pastel drawings seen here. Her nearly photorealistic works exquisitely capture the atmosphere and mood of a landscape in flux.

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Greenland #56 / 40″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

Greenland #62 47x70s
Greenland #62 / 47″ x 70″ / Soft pastel on paper.

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Greenland #50 / 40″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

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Greenland #52 / 55″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

Greenland #63 50x75s
Greenland #63 / 50″ x 75″ / Soft pastel on paper.

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Maldives #1 / 40″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

In late 2013, Forman traveled to the Maldives, the lowest-lying country in the world, and an area said to be most vulnerable to rising sea levels, where she completed another body of work focusing on the rising ocean tides. The resulting drawings create an alluring juxtaposition of beauty and menace. Similar journeys have taken the artist to locations around Israel, Nosara, and Svalbard.

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Maldives #2 / 41″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

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Maldives #3 / 30″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

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Maldives #4 / 41″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

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Maldives #5 / 45″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

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Nosara #1 / 45″ x 60″ / Soft pastel on paper.

If you’d like to learn more about Forman’s work she currently has several original works available on Artsy and you can purchase prints over on ArtStar. The artist has an upcoming exhibition at Carla Massoni Gallery that opens in March, and if you have a good eye you can spot 10 of her drawings used on the sets of Netflix’s smash hit House of Cards. You can also follow her on Facebook. (via Gaks Designs)

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Ephemeral Environmental Sculptures Evoke Cycles of Nature 

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For over 20 years environmental artist and photographer Martin Hill has been creating temporary sculptures from ice, stone, and organic materials that reflect nature’s cyclical system. Often working with his longtime partner Philippa Jones, the duo create sculptures and other installations that “metaphorically express concern for the interconnectedness of all living systems.” Speaking specifically about the use of circles Hill shares:

The use of the circle refers to nature’s cyclical system which is now being used as a model for industrial ecology. Sustainability will be achieved by redesigning products and industrial processes as closed loops—materials that can’t safely be returned to nature will be continually turned into new products. Of course this is only one part of the redesign process. We need to use renewable energy, eliminate all poisonous chemicals, use fair trade and create social equity.

You can see much more of Hill’s work in his online gallery, on Flickr, and over on his blog where you can learn about new projects including a major new show titled Watershed for the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery that opens in Melbourne in February. (via My Modern Met)

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Living Clay: Artist Johnson Tsang Brings Ceramic Bowls and Cups to Life 

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With an adept understanding of ceramics and anatomy, Hong-Kong based artist Johnson Tsang (previously here and here) creates strange and unexpected anthropomorphic sculptures where human forms seem to splash effortlessly through functional objects like bowls, plates, and cups. While the works shown here are mostly innocent and comical in nature the artist is unafraid of veering into more macabre subject matter in other artworks that grapple with war and violence.

Tsang recently opened a solo show, Living Clay, at the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taiwan that runs through January 19, 2014. You can see many more pieces from the exhibition over on his blog where you can also catch a glimpse of works in progress.

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Humorous Street Art and Urban Interventions by SpY 

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Grow, 2013

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Cameras, 2013

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Pyramid, 2013

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Basket, 2008

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Leaves, 2008

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Balloons, 2008

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Balloons, 2008

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Traffic Light, 2007

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Ramp, 2007

For over two decades street artist SpY has been creating humorous and thought-provoking interventions in urban spaces. Already established as a graffiti artist in the 1980s, SpY next turned his attention to the endless palette of objects and materials available in public places to create clever, non-destructive installations. From his website:

SpY’s pieces want to be a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urban dweller. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. Filled with equal parts of irony and positive humor, they appear to raise a smile, incite reflection, and to favor an enlightened conscience.

The artist was extremely active this year with new works popping up in his native Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany. Above is just a quick glimpse of his well-documented interventions, you can see much more on his website. (via Lustik)

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