Bent Wood Objects by Joseph Walsh Studio Twist and Spiral into Extraordinary Forms

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Designer Joseph Walsh believes that the quality of life can be improved by surrounding ourselves with work that is valued beyond both its form and function, an idea manifested through his functional art and sculptures embedded with calculated chaos. Walsh designs and produces pieces that stimulate the mind, entice the senses, and exist as more than our traditional view of furniture and design objects.

Walsh designs one-of-a-kind pieces like the enormous desk he produced as a part of the Design Show exhibition at the New Art Centre in Roche Court in 2014. At its center the pieces looks almost like a traditional work surface, then it spirals upward, engulfing visitors and ending in a very large shelf that extends against one wall of the gallery.

In Walsh’s Lilium series he explores the relationship between the geometric and the organic, mixing symmetrical repetitions with elaborate abstract shapes. Through each of these techniques Walsh captures natural growth, calling forth nature’s sometimes random generations and curious patterns.

“In ‘Lilium’ I explore the relationship between the ordered and chaotic; the geometric and the lyrical; the perfect, effortless symmetry of the bulb, the regulated, controlled element and its freed form as it reaches through and beyond,” says Walsh. “The Lilium series is both a study and an expression of the relationship between the beauty we create and the beauty we allow to happen; the beauty we participate in creating and the beauty we quietly observe.”

Walsh founded his studio and workshop in 1999 in Co. Cork, Ireland. Self-taught, he continually seeks inspiration for his pieces in patterns of growth and evolution. Walsh does not work alone, but with a team of master makers and technicians, helping to both engineer and craft the final pieces that come out of the studio. You can see more images of his elegantly designed furniture and decorative pieces on his Facebook page. (via My Amp Goes to 11 and My Modern Met)

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Vincent van Gogh Possibly Identified in Newly Discovered Group Photo of Famous Artists from 1887

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JULES ANTOINE (1863-1948) ATTR. – Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with friends, Paris, 96 rue Blanche, December 1887 Melanotype, direct positive and reversed image on blackboard (carton photographique), 86×112 mm, “Gautier Martin” stamp, recto. Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Félix Jobbé-Duval. André Antoine is standing between them.

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Some experts believe this recently discovered 1887 melainotype showing six men drinking around a table may include a rare sighting of painter Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh famously recorded himself in numerous self-portraits, but was known to abhor photography and supposedly never sat for a photo as an adult; only two rare photos of the artist as a child are known to exist, taken when he was 13 and 19.

The image first came to the attention of French photo expert Serge Plantureux when two individuals acquired the photo at an estate sale and thought they recognized a few of the faces, among them, artists Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard—a significant discovery in and of itself. Analyzing the photographic process, the photographer (thought to be to Jules Antoine), and pinpointing the when the photo was taken raised the chances significantly that a bearded figure who appears amongst the gathering of stoic men might be Van Gogh. Serge Plantureux writes for magazine L’Oeil de la Photographie (The Eye of Photography):

The photograph they had brought to show me was small, dark, and rather difficult to see. Six characters were around a table. The light was pale, perhaps it was a winter afternoon.

They told me, still hesitant, that they thought they recognized the people in it, artists in whom they had long been interested. They were collectors and liked the painters of the late 19th century, in particular the neo-impressionists. They also said it was possible that one of the figures around the table was someone whose true face had never been seen.

The photo went to auction just this weekend and was expected to fetch between $136,000 to $170,000, though a final sale price hasn’t been made public. Still, some experts aren’t convinced. The photo expert for the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam feels it can’t be the artist “because it simply does not look like him,” and also mentions the artist’s desire to never be photographed. Others note that Van Gogh didn’t mention the gathering in his meticulously written letters from the time period.

Regardless, the photo is still of significant historical value and only time will tell if experts reach a consensus in the identities of everyone depicted. (via PetaPixel, Hyperallergic)

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Towering New Pigeon Murals by ‘Super A’

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Ah yes, the majestic pigeon. An unlikely source of inspiration for such dominating murals, but at the hands of Dutch street artist Stefan Thelen aka Super A (previously) these ubiquitous urban dwellers are turned into something surprisingly beautiful. His latest piece at top was just completed for Mural Goes in Goes, Netherlands. Check out more of his paintings and other works on his website. (via StreetArtNews)

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Foggy Forests of Ancient Trees Pruned for Charcoal in Basque Country Photographed by Oskar Zapirain

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Oskar Zapirain's photographs capture eerie forests cast in thick fog, hazy light descending upon the foliage in the same green shade that blankets the floor in moss. Zapirain has been attracted to this landscape for years because of the homogenous light as well as the way it forces the viewer directly into a mystical atmosphere.

The forest Zapirain features is a beech forest in Oiartzun, Basque Country in Northern Spain. This particular forest is unique due to the history charcoal production within the region. Instead of clearcutting like we do today, the trees were instead pruned to preserve the trees and maintain the integrity of the forest across generations. The trees have since regrown with short trunks and dramatically long limbs that shoot outward like arms from almost every angle, adding a ghostly feel to each of Zapirain’s photos. You can explore more of his work on Flickr.

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Stephen McMennamy’s #ComboPhoto Mashups Result in Humorous Juxtapositions

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Photographer Stephen McMennamy merges his original photography in humorous ways to create what he calls #ComboPhotos: two photos paired to create unexpected situations, usually involving huge constrasts in scale. Tractors and heavy machinery are turned into giant mechanisms for food delivery, while an ice cream cone becomes an actual snowy mountain top. McMennamy is also a creative director at BBDO Atlanta and you can see more of his work here. (via Colossal Submissions)

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Untwisted Ropes Tacked to Gallery Walls Appear to Sprout like Trees

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Brazil-based artist duo Janaina Mello and Daniel Landini of Mello + Landini create tree-like installations with untwisted ropes fastened to the walls of galleries. Titled Ciclotramas, the artworks have gone through 17 different iterations since 2010, each involving some form of ropes that seem to branch through the air and splay onto surfaces like fractals or a network of neurons. The artists say they are interested in creating metaphors surrounding organic structures composed of both interrelated and independent parts, as well as the passage of time, and the “choreography of intertwining lines.” You can follow more of their work here. (via Artsy, My Modern Met)

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Tesla Sparks and Miniature Thunderstorms Photographed by Marc Simon Frei

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Photographer Marc Simon Frei snapped these interesting photos by arcing objects to a Tesla coil. He’s also been experimenting with different kinds of LED-illuminated clouds (not unlike what we’ve seen from Richard Clarkson), and some fun shots of wool clouds sprouting tiny lighting storms. You can see more over on his Google+ page. (via The Awesomer)

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