New Porcelain Sculptures That Merge Female Forms With Elements of Nature by Juliette Clovis 

“Atsu Bashiri”, 2016. Limoges porcelain, white glaze, red and gold hand painted. 34x35x24cm

French artist Juliette Clovis (previously) works primarily with female busts, mutating the forms to adopt animal or floral-based characteristics. Using both the 2D application of paint, and 3D addition of ceramics, she covers the females that she sculpts in horns, quills, and blooms. In some works the natural elements look as if they merge with the bust, while others appear overtaken, such as in the piece Memento mori (2016). In this piece Clovis’ white figure is almost entirely covered in flowers, with minimal elements of her face barely peaking out from its blanket of ceramic blossoms.

Clovis will have a solo exhibition of her work at Gallery Mondapart in Paris titled “Baroque Curiosities” opening March 23 and running through May 4, 2017. You can see more images of Clovis’ hybrid porcelain forms on her Instagram and website. (via Faith is Torment)

“Atsu Bashiri”, detail.

“Atsu Bashiri”, detail.

“Memento mori”, 2016. Limoges porcelain, white glaze and white biscuit.

“Memento mori”, 2016.

“Mazama”, 2016. Limoges porcelain, white glaze, blue cobalt hand painted.

“Mazama”, detail.

“Heteractis magnifica”, 2016. Limoges porcelain, white biscuit and white glaze.

“Heteractis magnifica”, detail.

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3D-Printed Solar Systems, Moons and Planets for Your Desktop 

The folks over at London-based Little Planet Factory make tiny 3d-printed planets and moons you can sit on your desktop or hold in your hands. Designs include everything from entire solar systems to collections of moons, individual planets, and even science fiction creations like a theoretical terraformed Mars globe. See more in their shop! (via So Super Awesome)

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Smithsonian Announces Eye-Opening Finalists of Their 14th Annual Photo Contest 

© Michael B. Hardie. All rights reserved. All photos courtesy Smithsonian.

Smithsonian just released the 70 finalists for their 14th annual photo contest and is currently accepting votes for their Readers’ Choice award. This year Smithsonian received some 48,000 submissions from photographers in 146 countries and territories from which they selected finalists in 7 categories: Natural World, The American Experience, Travel, People, Altered Images, Mobile, and Sustainable Travel. Selected here are some of our favorites, but you can see the rest and vote for your favs on their website.

© Lina Samoukova. All rights reserved.

© Sharon Castellanos. All rights reserved.

© Liam Wong. All rights reserved.

© rekha Bobade. All rights reserved.

© Luis Henry Agudelo Cano. All rights reserved.

© vickson dasan. All rights reserved.

© Pier Luigi Dodi. All rights reserved.

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Mirage: A Suburban American House Retrofitted with Mirrors Reflects the Mountainous California Desert 

Desert X installation view of Doug Aitken, MIRAGE. 2017. All photos by Lance Gerber unless otherwise noted. Courtesy the artist and Desert X.

Perched at the juncture where the San Jacinto mountains open into the Coachella valley in California, artist Doug Aitken has erected a ranch-style suburban home covered entirely in mirrors. Titled Mirage, the house appears like an inverted kaleidoscope, reflecting everything from the sky above to the surrounding mountainous desert, not to mention visitors themselves. The structure was created as part of Desert X, an outdoor art exhibition comprised of pieces by over 15 artists that remains on view through April 30, 2017. Mirage will remain up a bit longer through October 31, but has somewhat irregular hours so be sure to check the schedule before visiting.

#DesertX

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Artist Felice House Reimagines Scenes from Classic Western Films with Female Cowboys as Leads 

Julia Dean in “Giant”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 54″ x 68″.

Angered by the gendered division perpetually seen in classic Western films, painter Felice House decided to create her painted series Re-Western. The collection of works are a re-imagining of her favorite Western films cast with female leads instead of the traditional male cowboys, painting females in place of actors such as James Dean, John Wayne, or Clint Eastwood. The women in her paintings are strapped with shotguns riding horses, fiercely looking out onto a deserted plain, and strongly staring into the eyes of the audience clad in plain button-downs and bright red cowboy boots.

“The western movie tradition is so established; so accepted, so mythologized that it spans the globe,” said House to Colossal. “I love the genre, and at the same time when I sit down to watch a Western movie, I start to feel angry. For the most part, the roles in Westerns are totally inaccessible to me.”

Deciding to start a conversation with this frustration, House choose to paint these reimagined Westerns to ask straightforward questions to a society that continuously handed over these roles to males. House seeks to ask what society would be like with this imagined reversal—how would education be changed? What would our reestablished priorities look like with females as the lead role?

Liakesha Dean in “Giant”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 36″ x 48″.

Julia Dean Portrait, 2013. Oil on canvas, 24″x 20″.

“I would argue that in today’s culture portraying women without objectifying them is an intentional and political act,” said House. “The art historical and current cultural norm is to portray women to extol their sexual beauty and to encourage possessiveness. For centuries men have painted images of women for men. Now that women have access to education and training, women are painting women as we see ourselves.”

House uses her female gaze and voice to create strong, female heroes in environments we all know, reestablishing our connection to the well-known historical settings. Working with the idea of a hero, House paints her portraits larger than life. She encourages the viewer to look up and become dwarfed by the women and their power, hoping this change in physical perspective might encourage a change in mental perspective as well.

Several of House’s female portraits are currently in the group exhibition Sight Unseen at Abend Gallery in Denver through March 25. Pieces from her Re-Western series will be included the upcoming exhibition Woman as Warrior at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago in August. You can see more of her work on her website and Instagram. (via The Creators Project)

Karan and Nanc in Open Range, 2015. Oil on canvas, 36″ x 60″.

Virginia Eastwood in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 62″ x 80″.

Rebekah Wayne in True Grit (Study), 2014. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″.

Krimmie Wayne in “The Searchers”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 60″ x 40″.

Liakesha Cooper in “High Noon”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 36″ x 48″.

Virginia Wayne Portrait, 2013. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″.

Stasha Dean in “Giant”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 90″ x 60″.

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A Contemporary Art Double-Feature at the Currier Museum of Art (Sponsor) 

Charles Clary, Meticulous Excavations Movement #3 (detail), 2017, hand-cut paper and acrylic on panel, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist, © Charles Clary. Installation in progress for BioLath by Soo Sunny Park at the Currier Museum of Art. Photo by Elias Popa.

Innovative artists can create remarkable objects from simple materials, such as paper, construction supplies, and light. These elements combine in experimental fashion in two new contemporary exhibitions at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, N.H.

Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting examines a re-energized art form dating back to ancient China. The exhibition showcases inventive objects made from cut and manipulated paper, ranging from large-scale installations to detailed diminutive works. The objects explore a wide range of thought-provoking subjects.

Soo Sunny Park, a New Hampshire-based artist, has created a new work of art, BioLath, which immerses visitors in a dynamic, light-filled space. Occupying an entire gallery of the Currier Museum, the artist works with construction materials to filter and refract natural and artificial light.

Deep Cuts is on view until May 21. BioLath is on view until August 6.

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