Artist and SAIC professor Pablo Garcia (previously) has added an update to his previous take on the two century old Camera Lucida, an optical device that allows you to trace images and scenes directly from life. The new version, NeoLucida XL, is similar to its predecessor, however with a much larger viewfinder. The prism inside the updated analog device remains the same size, while the larger mirror and glass make it much easier to draw the projected “ghost image.” You can read more about the device on its Kickstarter page.
Spanish sculptor Isabel Miramontes creates figural bronze sculptures that bring a visual movement to ordinary silhouettes. Her works provide unusual shapes within the body of her subjects, opening up torsos to reveal elongated spirals and horizontal bars that seem to reveal an inner turmoil. Often the faces of her sculptures have blank or passive expressions, unknowing participants to the tangle of bronze which twists below. Miramontes is represented by Canfin Gallery in New York and Lucy B Campbell Gallery in London. You can also see more of her work at Galerie De Medicis.
Photographer Chris McCaw uses the power of the sun to burn markings into his photographs, destroying small areas to appear like the sun itself. McCaw stumbled upon the technique for his series Sunburn after forgetting to close the shutter during an all night exposure. The light of the morning sun destroyed his efforts from the night before, reversing the tonality of the work in a way that has inspired McCaw to continue to experiment with injuring the surface of the photograph.
“The subject of the photograph (the sun) has transcended the idea that a photograph is simple a representation of reality, and has physically come through the lens and put it’s hand onto the final piece,” said McCaw in an explanation of the series. “This is a process of creation and destruction, all happening within the the camera.”
The resulting image from McCaw’s technique shows the landscapes he photographs with a burnt hole or streak where the sun appeared overhead. Often McCaw will combine several works to showcase the sun’s movement—charred dots or a thick line marking its arched path.
Argentina-based toy designer Mat Random has designed a new geometric wood figure as a follow-up to his previous piece The Feline, another posable toy that he has named The Simian. Due to similarly placed joints for the animals’ legs and head, parts can be swapped between the two breeds to create an entirely new hybridized creature. Each low poly work can also be posed on two or four legs by maneuvering the object’s nine components, adding a puzzle-like quality to the wooden toys. You can see more of Random’s designs on his website and Behance.
The Illusive Cat, 2016. Anamorphic sculpture. Oil paint on plaster, stainless steel.
London artist Jonty Hurwitz (previously) revels in the skewed and twisted world of anamorphic artwork, where the meaning of a dramatically warped figures is only revealed when reflected against a viewing device, in this case a cylindrical mirror. While Leonardo da Vinci is credited for creating the first known definitive example of anamorphosis in the 15th century, Hurwitz pieces are infused with modern technology, relying on digital renderings which are painstakingly transformed into physical objects cast from bronze, copper, or plaster. In more recent pieces he’s even begun to apply oil painting as a final touch.
Hurwitz had work on view earlier this year as part of Kinetica 2017 and several pieces seen here are currently at Galerie Médicis in Paris. You can see more of his recent work on his website.
In most countries, the design of manhole covers is scarcely given a second thought other than the basics of material and a generic pattern resulting in drab metal circles with a purely utilitarian function. But after World War II, city planners in Japan proposed the idea of allowing each local municipality to design their own manhole cover as part of an effort to raise awareness for costly sewage projects. Designs would reflect local industry, culture, and history. The result was a huge success, and now over 19,000 manhole cover designs can be found embedded across 95% of all municipalities in Japan.
John Daub from ONLY in Japan recently visited the Nagashima Imono Casting Factory to see how the manhole covers are designed and built. He also stopped by an annual gathering of enthusiasts called the Manhole Summit that began in 2014, and learned about a new deck of Japanese Manhole Trading Cards.