Artist Sayaka Ganz was born in Yokohama, Japan and grew up living in Japan, Hong Kong and Brazil, and now lives and works in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Ganz was deeply impacted as a child by Japanese Shinto beliefs that all objects and organisms have spirits, and was also taught that objects discarded before the end of their usefulness “weep at night inside the trash bin” (this is so wonderful I’m going to start teaching this to my son immediately). As her artistic side developed, she infused her artwork with these beliefs, using discarded and reclaimed household objects as a medium for her sculptures. Ganz says:
I only select objects that have been used and discarded. My goal is for each object to transcend its origin by being integrated into an animal/ organic forms that are alive and in motion. This process of reclamation and regeneration is liberating to me as an artist.
Building these sculptures helps me understand the situations that surround me. It reminds me that even if there is a conflict right now, there is also a solution in which all the pieces can coexist peacefully. Though there are wide gaps in some areas and small holes in others, when seen from the distance there is great beauty and harmony in our community. Through my sculptures I transmit a message of hope.
Outliers is an ongoing project by artist Maskull Lasserre (previously here and here) where shoes are outfitted with specially carved rubber soles meant to mimic the footprints of moose, Kodiak bears, deer, rabbits and other animals. The shoes are then worn in the snow leaving the impression to unsuspecting passersby that wildlife has wandered into urban areas including Montreal, Ottawa, Boston, and New York. See much more on his website. (via laughing squid)
When I first spotted the work of Diana Beltran Herrera (previously) last year she had published less than half a dozen or so images of her crisp, colorful paper birds. Her work with paper-craft animals has branched out considerably since as she cranks out new sculptures almost daily which you can explore in her bird and animal galleries.
There’s nothing like the awe of a child encountering a new life form, but in this fantastic shot by Christopher Wright of CMGW Photography it looks like the feeling radiating from this enormous old manatee might be mutual. (via stellar)
Just a phenomenal capture by Michigan photographer Brooke Pennington. I love how brave the little mantis looks in the face of the pending kitty smack down. There’s a lesson to be learned here, surely. See it larger.
Generally when you encounter a photograph of a snake it’s coiled up in a circle, a clump, or perhaps dangling from a limb, twisted into a naturally organic shape. Y’know, it’s snakelike. Photographer Guido Mocafico has taken a decidedly different approach with his Serpens series (Part 1, Part 2), choosing instead to place the snakes into rectangular boxes, snapping each photo from above at a precisely balanced moment, turning chaotic figures into something distinctly geometric. From Mocafico’s selection of different species to their gorgeous coloration and almost zen-like positioning, I’ve never seen anything like these. For more serpentine photography don’t miss the work of Mark Laita who travels everywhere to photograph the world’s deadliest snakes. (via supersonic electronic)
One of my favorite recent additions to the 200 or so photographers I keep up with on Flickr is the work of Kyoto-based Kiyoshi Ookawa who has been capturing these wonderfully intimate portraits of snow monkeys. The monkeys live in a sanctuary at the Jigokudani Monkey Park which is at an elevation of 850 meters (2,788 feet) meaning that the ground is covered in snow for a third of the year. The monkeys congregate at a hot springs in the facility and if you’re lucky you might even catch them on their live webcam (no monkeys at press time).
Brooklyn based artist George Boorujy creates impossibly detailed ink paintings of North American birds and other animals, often pouring numerous photographs and visiting zoos where the animals are kept before embarking on a piece.
Boorujy challenges the viewer to confront both the animal and their preconceived notions about it. Through their gaze an interaction evolves with the wild that otherwise would have to be sought out or birthed from happenstance. However fleeting our exchanges with the wild are, an impression of their presence marks our memories. There is something mystical at play; a silent exchange that either moves us towards awareness or heightens our fear of the unknown.