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.
Incorporating aspects of South American folklore, mythology, and religion, Berlin-based artist Olaf Hajek depicts thoughtful portraits of women and men infused with elements of life—often in their hairdos. Over the last few years Hajek’s illustration work has appeared in major publications from the New York Times to the Guardian, but he also exhibits his acrylic paintings on wood and cardboard in galleries around the world. His most recent collection of work is being published in a forthcoming book titled Olaf Hajek: Precious, and one of his pieces was selected for the Communication Arts Illustration Annual 58. You can see more of his work on Saatchi Art.
Working with a mixture of cold porcelain and polymer atop a metal wire armature, artist Ellen Jewett (previously) creates wildly intricate sculptures of animals covered in a tangle of surreal embellishments. The artist describes her works as “anthrozoology meets psychoanalysis,” where tiny clues left in the feathers, fur, and tentacles of each piece lead to a greater story of its meaning. From her artist statement:
Each detail, down to the finest filigree, is free-modeled by hand. Within each piece precision is balanced by chaos. The overarching aesthetic knocks on the door of realism, yet the hand of the artist is never intentionally erased; brush strokes and fingerprints abound. Even the narratives themselves harbor a degree of anarchy as they are rarely formally structured. Rather, I seek to achieve flow states while working to create a fluid progression of unconscious imagery.
Tokyo-based industrial designer Duncan Shotton (previously) is known for his unique approach to houseware and stationery design, where he takes common objects from pencils to bookmarks and conceives of a novel twist. His latest creation is a series of push pins designed to look like the solar system called Planet Pins. The set includes the 8 planets (sorry Pluto fans) and an optional moon pin cast in concrete. Planet Pins just launched on Kickstarter and 100 sets are available as a signed limited edition.