For his MFA Thesis Exhibit last September, Pennsylvania artist James McNabb created a beautiful collection of architectural wonders using discarded wood. He describes his process as “sketching with a band saw,” and says initial intent was not to build skylines, but instead began with the creation of the individual wooden pieces which resembled tools or other strangely familiar objects. After he built nearly 250 of them in a day they collectively began to resemble a miniature city. You can see many more works from the exhibition on his website.
Sit back, turn up the volume and set this video to full-screen. Behold the lastest stop motion music video from animation duo Katarzyna Kijek and Przemysław Adamski (previously here and here) for Japanese singer-songwriter Shugo Tokumaru. The video was launched just this morning courtesy of Pitchfork and features a brilliant, continuous parade of what must be thousands of cut paper and foam core silhouettes set to Tokumaru’s quirky track Katachi.
Before inviting Scott Carter to show in your exhibition space, be sure you’ve done your homework and have a stellar insurance policy, the Chicago artists’ medium of choice is drywall and wood cut directly from the walls of the gallery. Blurring the lines between sculpture and installation Carter first develops digital prototypes which he then translates into the myriad components needed to construct the furniture and other sculptures that comprise each exhibition. The eviscerated and ragged walls then form the backdrop to each piece like a curious set of physical blueprints, not unlike wooden insect skeleton models you might have played with as a kid. Scott currently has work at Beers.Lambert Gallery in London through January 26th and will have another solo show there in 2014. See much more of his work via his website (flash).
San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Mann executes these sublime, moody cityscapes using oil paints. To create each work he relies on a wide range of techniques including surface staining, the use of solvents to wipe away paint, and the application of broad, gritty marks with an ink brayer. The resulting paintings are dark and atmospheric, urban streets seemingly drenched in rain and mystery. Mann’s work is in no way limited to cityscapes, he also paints the human figure, still lifes, and landscapes. He currently has work at John Pence Gallery and you can see many more of his cityscapes here. (via my darkened eyes)
Some figurative sculptors carve their artworks from unforgiving stone, while others carefully morph the human form from soft blocks of clay. Artist Jonty Hurwitz begins with over a billion computer calculations before spending months considering how to materialize his warped ideas using perspex, steel, resin, or copper.
Born in Johannesburg in 1969, Hurwitz now lives and works in London where he’s somewhat of a renaissance man, focusing both on his artwork and micro-loan website Wonga which he co-founded in 2007. His anamorphic sculptures rely on scans of objects (hands, faces, frogs) that are then distorted digitally and fabricated, but when placed in front of a cylindrical mirror the projected reflection reveals the original object. Still, other works deal with pixelated or sliced human forms that are only viewable from a single perspective. A scientist at heart, Hurwitz explained to me that his artwork is his way of “expressing calculations visually,” and also allows him to experiment with cutting-edge manufacturing and fabrication technologies. Of the more mind-bending anamorphic pieces, he shares:
For the anamorphic pieces its an algorithmic thing, distorting the original sculptures in 3D space using 2πr or πr3 (cubed). Much of it is mathematical, relying on processing power. There is also a lot of hand manipulation to make it all work properly too as spacial transformation have a subtle sweet spot which can only be found by eye. Generally I will 3D scan my subject in a lab and then work the model using Mathematica or a range of 3D software tools. I think the π factor is really important in these pieces. We all know about this irrational number but the anamorphic pieces really are a distortion of a “normal” sculpture onto an imaginary sphere with its centre at the heart of the cylinder.
I strongly urge you to watch the two embedded videos above to get a sense of how remarkably precise each artwork appears up close. What I’ve shown you here is honestly just the tip of the iceberg; please head on over to his website, Facebook, Saatchi profile, and Youtube to see more of his work. He’ll also have a piece on display at the Kinetica art show in London in February. The photography above was taken by Niina Keks, Otto Pierratto, Richard Ivey, Alex Brenner and Jonty Hurwitz and provided courtesy of the artist.
Update: If you’d like to read more about the history of anamorphosis in art, Wikipedia has a great article, tracing the known roots of the technique back to a 1485 artwork by Leonardo da Vinci. You can also explore the anamorphism tag here on Colossal.
Update 2: In reaction to some of the commentary online regarding the historical context of Hurwitz’ work, the artist shares with us via Facebook: “I have always been torn between art and physics. In a moment of self-doubt in 2003, I wondered into the National Portrait Gallery and stumbled across a strange anamorphic piece by William Scrots (Portrait of Edward VI, 1546). Followed shortly down the isle by The Ambassadors (Hans Holbein, 1533). My life changed forever. I rushed home and within hours was devouring the works of Escher, Da Vinci and many more. In a breath I had found “brothers” in a smallish group of artists spanning 500 years with exactly the same dilemma as me. Within two months I was deep in production of my first work. My art rests on the shoulders of giants, and I am grateful to them.”
London-based artist Carne Griffiths has a new body of work currently touring as part of a group show in Hong Kong called Trailblazers curated by Coates & Scarry. The multi-layered portraits include Griffiths’ trademark floral and geometric flourishes made from coffee, tea, ink, brandy, and vodka. To accompany the exhibition the artist also produced a new set of limited-edition postcards available through Etsy (where you can also see these at a much higher resolution).
Artist Jeongmoon Choi uses light and thread to create amazing installations that play with aspects of perspective and illusion. Reminiscent of something produced at a laser light show, her fields of three-dimensional lines are installed in place and lit with ultraviolet light to create interactive environments. Choi currently has a solo show at Gallerie Laurent Mueller in Paris through January 26th. You can see much more of her work via her website and on Facebook. (via my modern met)