La Cuccanga, 2017
From climate change to capitalism run amok, street artist Blu (previously) pulls no punches in his soaring multi-story murals on the streets of Italy. While mixed with a healthy dose of sarcasm and humor, the inspiration behind each artwork is anything but funny as he translates searing critiques into aesthetically beautiful paintings. For instance a 2016 piece criticizing housing problems in the Celadina district of Bergamo, Italy depicts cramped residents as a brightly hued rainbow but leaves a small group of authorities in the lower right completely devoid of color. Collected here is a selection of murals from the last year, you can see more detailed shots by flipping through his blog. You can also get an idea of how he works—perched on a tiny suspended seat—in this short GIF.
Porto Torres, 2016
Alta Voracita, 2016
NASA’s Juno spacecraft launched in 2011, arriving at Jupiter in July of 2016 to begin a series of what will eventually be 12 orbits around the Solar System’s largest planet. The path selected for this particular mission is a wide polar orbit, most of which is spent well away from Jupiter. But once every 53 days Juno screams from top to bottom across the surface of the gaseous planet, recording data and snapping photographs for two hours. It takes around 1.5 days to download the six megabytes of data collected during the transit.
Juno only takes a handful of still photographs each time it passes Jupiter, all of which are made available to the public. Lucky for us Sean Doran stitched together the images from Juno’s last transit (colorized by Gerald Eichstädt) to create an approximate video/animation of what it looks like to fly over the giant planet. Music added by Avi Solomon.
Update: There’s now an extended version.
Working with varying weights of iron wire, Italian artist Roberto Fanari constructs life-size figurative sculptures of both people and animals, applying the material like the strokes of a pencil to vary the density throughout each work. Some figures are almost wholly transparent, allowing for only a handful of lines to define the volume of a leg or torso while shifting to a more solid approach for the area around an eye or a thick tuft of hair, giving each each piece an almost ghostly, unfinished appearance. Fanari debuted a number of his wiry pieces at White Noise Gallery for a 2016 exhibition titled “Ferro,” (Iron) and you can see more of his work here.
There’s perhaps no two objects more different than a brand new laptop built in a sterile factory and a healthy living plant that’s evolved over millions of years, but for animator Sasha Katz the relationship between computers and plants is a bit more gray. As part of her ongoing GIF series that sees plant specimens sprouting from the glassy screens of iPhones or the keys of keyboards, Katz instead imagines a convergence, where computers can one day interface directly with organic life and perhaps the two become one. She also draws influence from pop art and the minimalism of 8-bit graphics, giving some of her pieces a nostalgic retro video game feel. You see many more of her GIFs on Instagram and GIPHY. (via Colossal Submissions)
Copenhagen-based artist Johan Deckmann examines the complications of life through clever titles painted on the covers of fictional self-help books that appear to tackle life’s biggest questions, fears, and absurdities. A practicing psychotherapist himself, Deckmann thoroughly recognizes the power of language in therapy and possesses a keen ability to translate his discoveries into witty phrases. “I like the idea of distilling words to compress information, feelings or fantasies into an essence, a truth,” he shares. “The right words can be like good medicine.”
Deckmann often takes his pieces beyond simple language and into the realm of visual puns, such as an LP cover titled “The very best of the voices inside my head” or the juxtaposition of smaller and larger suitcases labeled “Baggage” and “Emotional Baggage.” All of the pieces have the faded color and worn texture of 1970s era self-help guides that were popular at the time.
Deckmann’s books have been exhibited around the world since he began the series in 2015, including a solo show last March at Andenken Gallery in Amsterdam. You can follow more of his recent work on Facebook, and on his website.
Eve is the newest multi-colored woodcut print from Valerie Lueth of Pittsburgh-based Tugboat Printshop (previously here and here). The limited edition print is created from layering four different blocks, each containing a separate color. Once combined, an orange and green hand is seen suspended in the cosmos, flowers and plants growing wildly from the extended limb. The print is currently available for pre-order, with an anticipated ship date of mid-June. You can learn more about the making of Eve, as well as order your own print, on Tugboat Printshop’s website.