Tending to his work like a garden, New York-based Austrian artist Martin Roth grows grass within the fibers of Persian rugs, constantly watering his works to ensure the grass grows lush from within the dense fabric. The end result of this project, first exhibited at an Austrian castle in 2012, will always be the same. The rugs will unravel and the grass will die. This fatalistic act is both poetic and political for the artist, working with a sensual ephemerality as well as speaking to Western countries’ urges to bring their values to other countries.
Roth’s most recent rug installation is currently on view at the Korean Cultural Centre in London as a part of a show titled Riptide that features the work of Koo Jeong A and other artists. Over the next few weeks the piece will gradually change as the grass first mimics the patterns found on the rugs until it grows to create new forms. Towards the end of the exhibition the grass will nearly consume the rugs before dying itself, a cycle of birth, consumption, and eventual death.
You can witness the collaboration between rug and lawn from now until November 19, 2016. See more of Roth’s installation-based interventions on his website.
Originally inspired by the form and function of a sea urchin, artist Jennifer Maestre constructs unwieldy organic forms using pencils and pencil shavings that bloom like unworldly flowers. Some of her latest pieces appear to have grown tentacles and rest atop pedestals like scaley octopi. The artworks are designed to simultaneously attract the viewer but also offer a certain aesthetic defense. She shares in her artist statement:
The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion. The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials.
Several pieces by Maestre were recently on view as part of an exhibition titled “Waste to Art” in Baku, Azerbaijan. You can see more of her works-in-progress on Facebook.
Instead of juggling a ring of measuring spoons while cooking in the kitchen, what if standard measurements were combined into a single flat tool that adjusted at the pinch of your fingers. Is this a problem that needs a solution? Perhaps. Currently funding on Kickstarter, Polygons is a rather ingenious looking measuring spoon tool that combines four fractional measurements (in teaspoon and tablespoon models) into a flat tool that folds like a piece of origami paper. The gadget is made from recyclable plastic and the designers claim it can “flex for 100,000 cycles without failure.” Learn more here. (via Twisted Sifter)
Last Friday afternoon, photographer Nick Ulivieri was on an aerial photoshoot for a client when the helicopter pilot took a long turn out over Lake Michigan so he could better capture the shadow of the Hancock Center. After reviewing his photos later he quickly realized the exaggerated autumn shadow of the skyline looked fantastic when he flipped the photo. The result is the image you see here. Ulivieri consistently takes some of the best photos of Chicago year-round, aerial or otherwise. Such as this, and this, and this. Well worth a follow.
Japanese paper artist Chie Hitotsuyama deftly creates textured sculptures of animals using a technique involving rolled strips of wet newspaper. The compact application of each newspaper segment proves to be an elegant method of forming the wild fur of snow monkeys or the density of scales found on the back of an iguana. For Hitotsuyama, these details are critical as she seeks to create the most lifelike sculptures possible.
“More than anything else, I’m particular about the realistic feel of the animals,” she shares with Kokusai Pulp & Paper. “Animals that live in nature are equal to us in the sense that we live together on this planet. Sometimes they sleep. Sometimes they eat. They are living ordinary everyday lives just like us. I would like keep insisting on reality and producing my life-sized work as much as possible in order to convey their lives.”
Hitotsuyama is currently showing several pieces as part of a residency and exhibition at MOAH:CEDAR in Lancaster, California through January 7, 2017. You can watch a video of her at work included below, and see much more on Strictly Paper and on her website.
Ceramic artist Tim Kowalczyk is drawn to objects of little material value—crushed tin cans, ripped up cardboard, and Polaroids that have been damaged during development. It is in these typical throw aways that he finds beauty, an attraction to the history embedded in their wrinkles and folds. To memorialize these items Kowalczyk creates their likeness in clay, creating works that look exactly like mugs haphazardly formed from cardboard with “Please Handle With Care” stickers still stuck to their sides.
“Ceramic’s ability to replicate any form, texture, or surface is what draws me to the material,” says Kowalczyk in his artist statement. “Replicating real objects out of ceramic material and putting them in a tableau is my version of writing a poem. I am able to sculpt, form, design, and construct sculptures with a sense of purpose, priority, and preciousness.”
The Illinois-based artist graduated with an MFA from Illinois State University in 2011, and is the adjunct Ceramics instructor at Illinois Central in East Peoria, IL. You can see more of his work on his website or at Companion Gallery where he is represented.