Inspired in part by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, artist Jim Kazanjian (previously) assembles foreboding buildings using snippets of photographs found in the Library of Congress archives. Equal parts secret lair, insane asylum, and the work of a deranged architect, Kazanjian’s collages are created from 50-70 separate photographs taken over the last century. Each piece takes nearly three months to complete as he painstakingly searches for just the right elements, a process he likens to “solving a puzzle, except in reverse.” From his artist statement:
I’ve chosen photography as a medium because of the cultural misunderstanding that it has a sort of built-in objectivity. This allows me to set up a visual tension within the work, to make it resonate and lure the viewer further inside. My current series is inspired by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and similar authors. I am intrigued with the narrative archetypes these writers utilize to transform the commonplace into something sinister and foreboding. In my work, I prefer to use these devices as a means to generate entry points for the viewer. I’m interested in occupying a space where the mundane intersects the strange, and the familiar becomes alien. In a sense, I am attempting to render the sublime.
When we last covered the pen and ink drawings of Ben Sack, the artist was in residency aboard the m/s Amsterdam, a ship that circumnavigated the globe from January through April 2014. Sack’s latest drawings are partially influenced by stops in dozens of port cities during the expedition. As well as geography, his drawings are heavily influenced by architecture, history, and classical music. Via Robert Fontaine:
Sack’s work explores architecture as a flexible medium capable of expressing the unique space between realism and abstraction; where interpretation and our ability to create meaning is in flux. Within this space, Sack, furnished with pen and ink, encapsulates both the infinite and infinitesimal. His work invites the eye to explore drawings of the “big picture,” to gaze into a kaleidoscope of histories and to look further into the elemental world of lines and dots.
One of my favorite new Tumblrs to follow is Paperholm, a project that started this summer by Charles Young who challenged himself to build a new paper structure each day. Young received his bachelor and masters degrees from the Edinburgh College of Art where he taught himself paper and card modelling. Despite a long-time familiarity with the process and materials, it’s amazing to see the progress he’s made in just the last three months or so as the models become more intricate and lend themselves to bits of animation. You can follow Young’s growing paper city here. (via My Modern Met)
Earlier this year we mentioned Thomas Yang over at 100copies used the prints from bicycle tire treads to create a poster of the Empire State Building. Yang has since explored three additional landmarks around the world that merge his passion for cycling and architecture including depictions of the Eiffel Tower, the Tower Bridge, and China’s Forbidden City. While it appears the individual prints are sold out, they are still available as a full set. (via Arch Atlas)
The artist Kat O’ Sullivan has been creating upcycled sweaters and clothing for over 20 years. “It seems like anything within my grasp ends up painted a million colors,” she says. And this statement certainly held true when the artist decided to purchase a home in upstate New York that had been built in 1840. “I just thought it was cute,” explains Sullivan, but “it was the kind of house you would drive by and never notice.”
But once in the hands of the artist and her “creative mayhem” the home quickly began to change. After a trip to the local paint shop – “give me one of everything!” – Sullivan spent countless hours painting and renovating until the home looked like a psychedelic rainbow complete with oddly shaped windows, eyes and a big mouth. But “Calico,” as Sullivan calls her home, is an eternal work in progress. “It will only get weirder.”
You can keep up with Sullivan and her psychedelic home on Facebook or on Etsy, where she sells sweaters and tutorials on how to make her sweaters. (via Designboom)
The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong was built gradually—building on top of building—over time. Without a single architect, the ungoverned and most densely populated district became a haven for drugs, crime and prostitution until it was demolished in 1993. Photo documentation of the site exists but for the most part much of the inner-workings of the city remained a mystery.
Perhaps due to its proximity, Japan, in particular, developed a keen interest towards Kowloon. Its demolition in 1993 was broadcast on national television. But watching the footage, what most spectators didn’t realize was that up until the night before demolition a team of Japanese researchers were taking precise measurements and documenting the vacated city. Their findings were compiled into a book that, among other things, featured this panoramic cross section of the city depicting what life was like inside. You can read more about the book on Spoon & Tamago, and if you look hard enough, a few rare copies of it are available online. (via deconcrete)
Located in a park near the center of Lede, Belgium, the Castle of Mesen dates back to the 17th century where it served as a home for various lords before a conversion to an industrial site. Throughout the 1800s the complex was used as a gin distillery, a tobacco factory, and a sugar refinery. In 1897 the castle was then sold to a religious order who constructed an impressive neo-gothic chapel and turned the entire facility into a boarding school.
Although it was still in use up until the 1960s, a tragic storm of abandonment, looting, and a failed attempt to designate the castle as a monument lead to a decision to demolish of the entire castle just a few years ago. Lucky for us, photographer Jan Stel of Past Glory managed to sneak inside and capture a few amazing shots before it disappears forever. The juxtaposition of the stained glass windows and decaying roof and sprawling foliage is especially striking. See more from this series here. (via Arch Atlas)