Using dismembered plastic parts from old dolls and other toys, artist Freya Jobbins assembles these exceedingly strange portraits of people and pop culture icons. Chances are when viewing these you fall firmly into one of two camps: the highly amused or the highly disturbed. Regardless, it’s hard to deny the incredible amount of labor that goes into each piece, from the exploration of form and the use of color to make each anatomical amalgamation.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and raised in West Sydney, Jobbins is influenced in part by Guiseppe Archimboldo’s fruit and vegetable paintings as well as Ron Mueck’s oversized humans. I first encountered Jobbins’ work close-up at the Toy Cycle exhibition in Tel Aviv back in December courtesy of Kinetis, and despite the mild case of heebie-jeebies it was impossible to look away as I tried to figure out how each piece came together.
Completed in 2012, Serpent d’océan is a giant aluminum sea serpent skeleton by artist Huang Yong Ping (previously) situated off the shore of the Loire River where it empties into the Bay of Biscay just outside of Nantes, France. Measuring nearly 425 feet (130 meters) in length the curving skeleton mirrors the curves of the nearby Saint-Nazaire bridge and was created as a permanent work for the final Estuaire contemporary art exhibition in 2012. Via Nantes Tourisme:
By having a major figure from Chinese mythology appear on European shores, Huang Yong Ping examines, the notions of identity and cultural hybridity, as is often the case in his work. The environmental question is also very present in his art where he regularly exposes the paradox of the man sawing the branch he is sitting on, torn between creative abilities and destructive impulses. This is one of the many possible interpretations of this work: placed on the beach, the skeleton appears with the tide and, little by little, will be home to marine fauna and flora.
Depending on weather conditions, tide levels, or the perspective of a photographer, Serpent d’océan appears dramatically different from day to day, a phenomenon you can witness over on Flickr. (via Beautiful Decay)
About two years we featured a great selection of skull nickels, a numismatic curiosity where miniature bas relief sculptures are carved into coins, an artform that’s broadly referred to as hobo nickel art. While researching a follow-up article on Hobonickelart.com I stumbled onto the work of Paolo Curcio (aka “mrthe”) who appears to have taken the process of carving coins to an entirely new level. Using a variety of different coins the Barcelona-based artist creates etched homages to pop culture, illustrations of figures from literature, and most commonly: macabre portraits of skulls and death, probably the most prevalent theme in hobo nickel art.
One aspect of Curcio’s process that’s really amazing is his ability to use coins made from multiple layers of metal (referred to as clad coins) which he then strategically reveals to create colored flourishes and background patterns. You can see much more of his work over on his website, and keep an eye on his Ebay page for occasional coin listings.
Created in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, Evolution is an extraodinary collection of images by photographer Patrick Gries that tells the visual story of evolution through 300 black and white photos of vertebrate skeletons. Unlike a textbook approach to photography, the skeletons Gries’ photos appear to have been reanimated, artfully posed and lit in lifelike scenarios resulting in images that are both beautiful and haunting.
In addition to the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, Gries acquired anatomical specimens from numerous veterinary and natural history museums throughout France and Monaco to round out the series of photos that are accompanied by passages from writer and scientist Dr. Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu. Evolution is available through Editions Xavier Barral.
All images courtesy Patrick Gries. (via Photojojo)
To help reinforce their assertion that sugar is evil, the designers over at Hundred Million designed this wicked Sugar Skull Spoon. Cut from stainless steel, this anatomical serving utensil serves as a morbid reminder every time you get a little scoop happy. Though even if you’re not counting calories it still beats a regular spoon. Pick it up on Kickstarter for about $13. (via Cool Material, This Isn’t Happiness)
So I’m not exactly sure what’s going on in this video from designer Dave Razor. Suffice to say there are lots of fingers, bizarre sounds, and generally it’s all a little creepy. And yet I can’t stop watching. (via Jason Sondhi)
The Human Body is the first release from design studio Tinybop as part of their Explorer’s Library series that seeks to “help children develop a foundational understanding of the world.” The immersive anatomy app for kids features some great artwork work from illustrator and designer Kelli Andersen who created 200+ illustrations of bones, veins, muscles and other components that comprise the interactive environment as well as the stop motion video above. The app is extraordinarily well conceived and designed, every attempt to pry the iPad out of my son’s hands so I can actually try it myself have failed. Get it here. (via Kottke, Swissmiss)
And we have another great documentary short today. Meet Toronto-based artist Christine Kim whose recent artwork explores intersections between illustration, cut paper collage, and architecture. The video above is part 10 of an ongoing series of top-notch artist interviews conducted by filmmaker Jesse Brass called Making Art.