Mentalgassi Transforms Urban Fixtures into Urban Hilarity

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Berlin-based art collective Mentalgassi just put up two new pieces (top two images) for Getxo Photo 2012, an annual photography festival in Spain. Mentalgassi is known for their use of large photographs pasted onto outdoor objects, most commonly the use of portraits. You can also follow them on Facebook. (via arrested motion)

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A Giant Synthetic Crystal Explodes Through Gallery Floors at the School 33 Art Center in Baltimore

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Points of Contention is a 2011 installation by Jonathan Latiano that was installed in a gallery space at the School 33 Art Center in Baltimore. The piece features an explosive crystal growth protruding from a rippling gallery floor that is meant to call into question the continued production of plastics, resins and polymers and their long-term impact on the geological landscape around us. Via a press release for the exhibition:

Driven by the exploration of time, motion and the physics of the natural world, Jonathan Latiano presents Points of Contention, a site-specific installation sculpture that investigates the increasingly blurred line between the organic and inorganic as well as the spatial boundaries of where the spectacle begins and ends. Convergent forms of crystalline growth and explosive impact reinforce the hundreds of shards of custom cut and painted elements used to create the centerpiece of the exhibition. Through the use of reclaimed and altered wood, plastic, Styrofoam and site-grown salt crystals Latiano explores the question: At what point do the controversies of the present become the “new norms” of the future?

Latiano will return to School 33 Art Center in September of 2013 as part of a collaboration with artist Jennifer Strunge who is known for her creation of totally bizarre and wonderful cotton monsters. Can’t wait to see what the two do together!

If you liked this piece, also check out the work of Chris Whiteburch, and the Inversion House by Dan Havel and Dean Ruck. (via razorshapes)

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Artist Berndnaut Smilde Brings the Weather Indoors with his Temporary Nimbus Clouds

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Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus Cukurkuma Hamam 2012. Photo by Onur Dag.

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Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus Platform57 2012. Photo by Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk.

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Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus Minerva 2012. Photo by Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk.

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Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus 2010.

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Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus D’Aspremont 2012. Photo by Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk.

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Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus II 2012. Photo by Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk.

Moses is famously known for parting the Red Sea, and Aeolus was said to have bestowed Odysseus with a bag containing the wind, and now Netherlands-based artist Berndnaut Smilde has mastered the art of conjuring clouds as part of his Nimbus series. Smilde’s methods however are less mythic and more practical, instead relying on delicate balance of smoke, moisture and light. Of course science alone doesn’t account for the striking visual impact contained in each image, as the artist carefully selects the perfect location for the creation of each cloud and then painstakingly lights it from behind for the desired effect. Via email Smilde tells me that it can take quite a while to get all of the elements in place for each cloud and that the installation is so fleeting, the use of photography is critical in capturing the split second where everything becomes perfect. You can watch the video above to see how it all comes together.

Smilde has three upcoming exhibitions this year including Ronchini Gallery in London from January 16 through February 16, the SFAC Galleries in San Francisco from February through April, and at Land of Tomorrow in Louisville, Kentucky also from February through April.

I would like to thank the artist for providing two new photos for this post, and also a thank you to everyone who has suggested I cover this the last few months. You can learn more over on Smithsonian Magazine.

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Deconstructed Watercolor Portraits by Henrietta Harris

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Do not adjust your web browser, these distorted watercolor and gouache portraits were painted just as they appear by New Zealand-based illustrator Henrietta Harris who says her style “can only be achieved by having occasionally dipped one’s paintbrush accidentally in one’s coffee.” A pretty apt description for these dreamy portraits that seem to convey the precise moment when one becomes lost in thought or memory, an ethereal wind of distortion whirling temporarily through the subjects’ mind. Harris graduated in 2006 from the Auckland University of Technology and his since done work for Amnesty International, Vice Magazine, and BITE. She has a number of prints and several of the original paintings you see above available for sale through her website. (via flavorwire, ignant)

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Nine Reasons you Should Follow Brock Davis on Instagram

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You’re following Brock Davis on Instagram right? He just posted a collection of his best photos from this year that’s well worth a gander. And here he is on Tumblr, too.

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Artforum Magazines Carved into Dripping Waves of Color by Francesca Pastine


ArtForum #32, Unsolicited Collaboration with Brice Marden, 2012, 20 x 17 x 5 inches
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ArtForum #35, Unsolicited Collaboration with Bruce Naumann, 2012, 41 x 14 x 5 inches
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ArtForum #33, Unsolicited Collaboration with Frank Stella, 2012, 20 x 17 x 5 inches
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ArtForum #36, Unsolicited Collaboration with Roni Horn, 2012, 20 x 17 x 5 inches
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ArtForum #44, Unsolicited Collaboration with Michael Clark, 2012, 47 x 18 x 4.74 inches
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ArtForum #45, Unsolicited Collaboration with Trish Brown, 2012, 22.5 x 18 x 4.74 inches
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ArtForum #45, Unsolicited Collaboration with Trish Brown, 2012, 22.5 x 18 x 4.74 inches
Artforum magazine, wood, screw, matte board, Plexiglas

In her Artforum Excavation Series San Francisco-based artist Francesca Pastine created beautiful, dripping topographies from the colorful pages of Artforum Magazine. Pastine cut each magazine layer by layer with an X-acto blade to reveal narrow bands of the pages within, in some cases interacting directly with art printed on the covers creating new hybrid artwork she refers to as “unsolicited collaborations”—which is brilliant. You can follow more of Pastine’s work on her blog and she has upcoming shows at the Halsey Institute of contemporary Art and Studio Quercus. (via junk culture)

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Collect Sounds Like Fireflies in the ‘Re: Sound Bottle,’ a Device that Creates Your Own Personal Soundtrack

The Re: Sound Bottle is the audio equivalent of running around in a field in the summer collecting fireflies in a jar. Designed by Jun Fujiwara from Tama Art University, the bottle is simple in its usage but absurdly complex in its design which relies heavily on software to handle the recording, storing, and playback of audio tracks. To use it you simply uncork the device and if sound is present it immediately snaps into recording mode. As you record more individual sounds, an audio database is formed and tracks are automatically selected to create rhythmic tracks, essentially like a miniature robot DJ in a jar. To listen, you again uncork the top and wait for your personal soundtrack to play. Jun says he hopes the Re: Sound Bottle (still just a concept) will help people interact more directly with music by recording the audio from their daily life. The bottle won a special judge’s prize at the 2012 Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Awards earlier this year. (via jason sondhi)

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