In its fifth year, WALL/THERAPY continues to transform Rochester, New York through art and neighborhood intervention, using elaborate public murals to inspire and bond communities. Not only are the images provided for the community a way to inspire the areas that they are placed into, but the walls on which the artists create their work are also resurfaced and rehabilitated, bringing a literal therapy to the murals’ structures.
This year the 14 murals were focused on the themes of surrealism and the fantastic, with work ranging from a gigantic superhero casually sitting on the side of a building, to a gigantic whale swimming within a whale-shaped bubble. Each also varied in size and location, with murals wrapping around corners of brick walls and scaling vertically to the top of buildings.
To see more murals from this year’s WALLTHERAPY and learn about other programs associated with the project follow the link here.
Australian artist Jane Long transforms cracked and faded black and white photographs into colorful works of fantasy, giving the subjects a new, and entirely surreal context. The images she uses for her series, Dancing with Costica, were captured over a half century ago by Costică Acsinte a Romanian war photographer who documented WWI.
The glass-plate photographs by Costica capture the straight faces and intense eyes of the subjects taken long before smiling was common in images. “I wanted to change the context of the images,” says Long. “Photographic practices at the time meant people rarely smiled in photos but that doesn’t mean they didn’t laugh and love. I wanted to introduce that to the images.”
By altering the images Long imagines the subjects as characters, letting the audience decide whether they are bad or good. These colorful transformations have been a source of controversy as some viewers have felt it improper to alter images of those she doesn’t know. In response to these accusations the artist stands by her work and explains, “I wanted people to see these figures as real people, more than just an old photograph. Adding colour completely changes our perception of images.”
Over the last year, Polish designer and illustrator Janusz Jurek has been exploring different forms of generative illustration as it relates to the human form. Some of my favorites are collected into a series title Papilarnie where bundled lines that look like lightning or roadways on maps converge into 3D arms, feet, and other incomplete bodies. You can see more of his generative illustration work over on Behance.
After witnessing the destruction brought on by hurricanes in Thailand, the Southern U.S. and around the world, Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn began creating a series of sculptures titled ‘Force of Nature’. Made from bronze, stainless steel and aluminum, the sculptures, full of life and energy, depict mother nature hurtling planet earth around in circles. The powerful and furious image is meant remind us of the power of nature and what Quinn describes as our “false sense of security” towards it.
“After having seen the ravaged coast of Thailand and the Hurricane that affected the Southern States I decided to create a sculpture dedicated to Mother Nature,” explains Quinn. At any moment in time, nature’s wrath could be awakened, bringing with it sudden destruction. The sculptures, which have been installed all around the world, remind us of this fact. And for Quinn they also harken back to something more ancient and primitive: “This would be reminiscent of the early statues made as peace offerings to the Gods in the hope of quenching their anger.” (via Bored Panda)
Sky Ladder, realized at Huiyu Island Harbour, Quanzhou, Fujian, June 15, 2015 at 4:49 am, approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Photos by Lin Yi & Wen-You Cai, courtesy Cai Studio.
In the early morning hours of June 15, a huge white balloon filled with 6,200 cubic meters of helium slowly ascended into the sky above Huiyu Island Harbour, Quanzhou, China. Attached to it was a 500-meter long ladder coated completely with quick burning fuses and gold fireworks that was then ignighted by artist Cai Guo-Qiang (previously) who has become known for his ambitious pyrotechnic artworks.
Titled Sky Ladder, the piece burned for approxmiately 2 minutes and 30 seconds above the harbor and was the fourth and final attempt to realize the performance. Guo-Qiang had earlier attempted Sky Ladder in Bath (1994), Shanghai (2001), and in Los Angeles (2012), to varying degrees of success, but never considered his vision complete until now. He first imagined a ladder of fire as a child and has pursued the idea for 21 years. He shares about this last successful iteration of the event:
Behind Sky Ladder lies a clear childhood dream of mine. Despite all life’s twists and turns, I have always been determined to realize it. My earlier proposals were either more abstract or ceremonial. Sky Ladder today is tender, and touches my heart deeply: it carries affection for my hometown, my relatives and my friends. In contrast to my other attempts, which set the ignition time at dusk, this time the ladder rose toward the morning sun, carrying hope. For me, this not only means a return but also the start of a new journey.
Unfortunately there’s no official video of the performance available yet, but a few shaky cell phone videos have emerged. You can see more images of the performance on the artist’s website. All photos by Lin Yi and Wen-You Cai courtesy Cai Studio. (via Booooooom)
It turns out that watching paint mix is a heck of a lot more interesting than watching paint dry. French director Thomas Blanchard shot this lovely short of colored paints, oil, milk, and honey as they mix and bead under a macro lens. He says the video is intended as “an analogy of feelings such as anger, love, sadness and joy [as they] they mix and eventually ease.” If you liked this also check out similar liquid experiments by Ruslan Khasanov.