Taking the analogy comparing blood vessels and tree branches literally, Nunzio Paci (previously) creates oil and graphite paintings that connect humans back to nature. Paci’s works look almost straight from a medical textbook except for one flaw—the trees and animals that sprout from his subjects’ mouths, chests, and necks. Paci ultimately takes a painterly approach to his works, paint dripping down the canvas to add balance to his extreme detail.
Paci’s practice centers on the relationship between man and nature, especially focusing on the visual overlap of our intrinsic and extrinsic systems. The beautiful and minimally colored works could be interpreted as extremely morbid—Paci showing us our ultimate fate when nature takes over.
Paci lives and works in Italy. His last exhibition was titled In the Garden of Idne at Oxholm Gallery in Copenhagen this past January.
The brilliant minds at ThinkGeek just launched this set of 10 glass coasters printed with sequential illustrations of the brain. When stacked in the correct order they reveal a complete three-dimensional “scan” of human brain. Available here. (via Laughing Squid)
Composition II: Lutrinate, Salmonidae, Anguilliformes
Belgian artist ROA (previously) just opened his first solo show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in NYC titled Metazoa. The new series of mixed media works feature the artist’s familiar black and white depictions of animals painted on various cabinet-like furniture pieces that can be opened or shifted to reveal anatomical details. ROA often chooses to depict animals native to where he is working, specifically species that have been forced from their native habitats and now live on the outskirts of urban areas. Here’s a comment about ROA’s decision to depict the beaver, New York’s state animal, via Jonathan LeVine:
ROA views the beaver, the state animal of New York, as a metaphor for the idea that nature has the ability to reclaim itself. The recovery of the beaver in New York City after it was previously thought extinct is exemplary of how humans and animals affect each other and reflects the artist’s interest in how animals evolve within urban landscapes. Wherever man settles, the desire to explore beyond the borders of survival leads to the extinction of species. This extermination due to mankind’s impact not only disrupts the natural balance but also leads to drastic cosmic changes, which ROA aims to convey by depicting the life, transience and carrion of animals.
Metazoa will be on view through May 2, and you can see plenty more gallery views and an interview with the artist during a studio visit on Arrested Motion from earlier this year.
Composition I: Castor, Didelphimorphia, Sciuridae
Composition I: Castor, Didelphimorphia, Sciuridae (DETAIL)
Cervidae Tableau Dormant
Composition III: Alligatoridae, Testudinidae, Gastropoda
Cabinet Specula Crania
Photo by M. Elsevier Stokmans; Boeddhamummie (Drents Museum)
(MMC / Jan van Esch)
What looks like a traditional statue of Buddha dating back to the 11th or 12th century was recently revealed to be quite a bit more. A CT scan and endoscopy carried out by the Netherlands-based Drents Museum at the Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoort, showed the ancient reliquary fully encases the mummified remains of a Buddhist master known as Liuquan of the Chinese Meditation School. While it was known beforehand the remains of a person were inside, another startling discovery was made during the scan: where the organs had been removed prior to mummification, researches discovered rolls of paper scraps covered in Chinese writing.
The Liuquan mummy has since been transported to Hungary where it will be on view at the Hungarian Natural History Museum through May of 2015. (via Robs Webstek, Neatorama, Creators Project)
Update: Among some practicing Buddhists it’s been said that similar mummies “aren’t dead” but are instead in an advanced state of meditation. (thnx, Alan!)
Israeli ceramicist Ronit Baranga‘s “body of work” is unsettling, to say the least. Sculpted from clay, realistic fingers emerge from plates while mouths lurk inside cups. The gnarled fingers and lips seem poised for action. We would most certainly hesitate before using any of these for fear of being bitten.
The mouth is an interesting element for ceramic tableware as its main purpose, at least conventionally, has been to carry food and drink until it reaches the mouth. “I chose to deal with ‘mouth’ as a metaphoric connotation to a border gate,” said Baranga in an interview late last year. “A border between the inner body and the external environment surrounding it.”
Ronit Baranga’s curious works, which blur the border between living and still, were most recently part of the two group exhibitions at Bet-Binyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center in Tel-Aviv. (via I Need A Guide)
Wisdom / 11″h x 11″w x 5″d / Hand-dyed wool in Wall-Hanging Shadow Box
Autumn Hawk / 8″h x 5″w x 5″d / Hand-dyed Wool housed in a Glass Dome
Still This Heart / 4″h x 4″w x 4″d / Hand-dyed wool under Glass Dome
Study In Monochrome / 9″h x 5″w x 5″d / Hand-dyed Silk and Wool under Glass Dome
Textile artist Lana Crooks constructs extremely realistic small anatomical specimens from hand-dyed silk and wool. Fascinated by “the antique, the creepy, the cute and the mysterious” Crooks has received numerous accolades for her plush toy designs and is a member of the OhNo!Doom Collective here in Chicago. You can follow her work on Facebook or Instagram and see it in person next month at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco. (via Geyser of Awesome)
Photos via Jozsef Hajdu and Ksenia Vytuleva
Photos via Jozsef Hajdu
If you asked me when the history of bootleg music began, I would have assumed it arrived with the invention of the cassette tape, something small, inexpensive and portable that was easily duplicated in any garage from deck A to deck B. In reality, widespread bootlegging dates back even further, to the 1950s in the Soviet Union where music lovers, desperate for banned Western tunes, devised an ingenious way to print their own records. The only problem was the scarcity of vinyl.
Desperate times called for desperate measures. With the aid of a special device, people started pressing banned jazz and rock n’ roll music on thick radiographs scavenged from the dumpsters of hospitals. X-rays were plentiful (not to mention cheap), and while the records could only be pressed on a single side, the music they produced using a standard turntable was passable. The recordings even had a catchy name: bone music. From an interview with author Anya von Bremzen via NPR:
“They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole. You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan—forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens.”
By 1958 the authorities caught on and the act of making x-ray records was made illegal. It wasn’t long before the largest distribution networks of illicit bone music were discovered and shut down. You can see more scans of bone music over on this page created by Jozsef Hajdu, and FastCo has a great article about the entire phenomenon. (via Junk Culture, NPR, FastCo)