Tag Archives: crystals

Artist Dan Lam’s Drippy Blob-Like Sculptures Develop Sparkly Color-Changing Surfaces 

Dallas-based artist Dan Lam organizes her gloopy sculptural works into three categories that perfectly capture the form factor of her general aesthetic: Squishes, Drips, and of course Blobs. The pieces appear to ooze from where they rest, growing stalactite-like appendages that drip from the edges of shelves. The pieces are made primarily from polyurethane foam and acrylic paint and are often adorned with spiky appendages. Some of her latest works have begun to incorporate layers of crystals and color-changing thermal paints that further bring the alien works to life.

“My work has always elicited pretty raw reactions from people, my favorite being the desire to touch the object, to make sense of it with another sense because just seeing it doesn’t satiate the curiosity,” Lam shares with Blackbook Gallery. “I like the tension that is created in that moment.”

Lam most recently had works on view with Black Book Gallery and Guy Hepner. You can see more of her behind-the-scenes process and studio experiments on Instagram.

A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

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Tens of Thousands of Metallic Lawn Ornaments Glisten Inside Nick Cave’s Monumental Installation at MASS MoCA 

Nick Cave, “Until” (2016), all images courtesy of MASS MoCA and the artist.

Composed from tens of thousands of metallic wind spinners, more than 10 miles of crystals, and thousands of other traditional lawn decorations is Nick Cave's installation Until, a work which exists at two levels within the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art's (MASS MoCA) football field-sized exhibition space, Building 5. Illuminated chandeliers peek from within dense clouds of dangling crystals hung from the building’s rafters a story and a half above the floor. Several bright yellow ladders lead to the top of these glistening structures, showcasing crowded platforms that serve as home to dozens of ceramic birds, gilded pigs, colorful flora, and cast iron lawn jockeys.

Collecting the enormous supply of lawn ornaments and decorations for the exhibition was a collaboration between Cave and MASS MoCA. A team of several individuals scoured eBay, thrift stores, and other second hand shops to find previously used materials that would be perfect for the towering installation. The thousands of found objects create a textured experience, one viewing his cloud-like platforms through mirrored kinetic objects. Not all inclusions are intended to dazzle however, as scattered images of guns, bullets, and targets lay within the comforting imagery of opulence and kitsch.

“Formally their [the metallic wind spinners’] reflective quality was important,” Cave shares with Colossal. “To have something that we can see ourselves within as well as something that becomes almost mirage-like. Conceptually, garden spinners are found in our own back yards, so using these everyday objects with images of guns, teardrops and bullets conveys the proliferation of this violence in and around the safety of our homes.”

Cave, an artist best known for his elaborately produced Soundsuits, created the installation as a response to gun violence and policies and race relations in America. The title, Until, sits at the center of two phrases. The first, which lays at the heart of our judicial system, “innocent until proven guilty,” and the second phrase, which is seen to be more commonly practiced, “guilty until proven innocent.”

Cave hopes the exhibition serves a catalyst for these topics to be more readily discussed, as well as a space for change to be motivated. During the run of Until he invited several dancers, singers, poets, and composers to perform their own messages within the work, allowing the visual exhibition to double as a rotating stage.

“By inviting other artists and community members to make their own work within it, the installation becomes a platform for their work and their audiences,” said Cave. “Their particular of sharing their view on the subject may strike a different or more specific chord in some and as such the whole project becomes more effective and reaches more people. This is in service to all of our goals. I also learn from their works the role of my own work.”

A nearly 200-page book centered around the exhibition, Nick Cave: Until which is published by Prestel, will be released on April 28 at MASS MoCA, featuring installation images as well as essays by MASS MoCA curator Denise Markonish, Talking Heads co-founder David Byrne, and Cave himself. It will also feature poetry centered around the justice system by Claudia Rankine and reflections by the head of the Police Board and Task Force on Police Accountability in Chicago, Lori Lightfoot.

The book is available for pre-order on MASS MoCA’s website and Amazon, and can be found in the museum later this month. There will be a book launch in NYC on April 26 at the New York Pubic Library and one at MASS MoCA on April 28. You can visit the monumental exhibition at MASS MoCA through August 2017. Until will then travel to Carriageworks in Sydney in 2018, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR in 2019.

     

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Glistening Oil Paintings of Minerals and Crystals by Carly Waito 

Amethyst Mountain. Oil on panel, 14″ x 11″

In these small oil paintings, Toronto-based artist Carly Waito depicts the most minute details of minerals and crystals as they sparkle and glimmer. Waito seems to have a profound understanding of how light affects an object and gives each work an amazing sense of depth and focus. From her artist statement:

As a painter, Waito has continued to pursue this inspiration, with a focus towards geology, geometry, light, and a sense of wonder and curiosity. These themes are uniquely encompassed by the tiny mineral specimens which have become her particular obsession. With each finely detailed painting, Waito focuses the eye on a specimen’s particular qualities, showing the beauty and magic that is present even in nature’s tiniest objects, if one looks closely enough and with a curious mind.

Collected here are a number of paintings spanning 2009-2015, but you can see many more through Narwhal Gallery. (via The Jealous Curator)

Dioptase II 8 x 10″. Oil on panel. 2014

Carly Waito Rhodochrosite II 6 x 8

Tangerine Quartz, 8 x 8in. Oil on panel. 2014

Amethyst VIII, 2015. 8 x 10 in. Oil on wood panel.

Dioptase. 10 x 9 in. Oil on Masonite 2011

Vesuvianite. 8.5 x 11 in. Oil on Masonite 2011

Amethyst Mountain III . 16 x 13″. Oil on panel. 2014

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New Discarded Books Transformed Into Crystallized Sculptures by Alexis Arnold 

“In the Shade of Vines” (2016)

San Francisco-based artist Alexis Arnold (previously) looks to isolate the material rather than the content of the books she freezes in time, calling attention to both their physicality and quickly diminishing presence in our day-to-day lives. Utilizing borax crystals Arnold sprouts hardened, iridescent forms from a publication’s pages, posing the work more like a natural artifact rather than human detritus. Culling through discarded and found texts, she chooses those that seem to hold the greatest metaphorical weight. These selected titles are often those centered around advances in technology or wonders of our natural earth—Arnold subtly gesturing to how many experiences we leave behind as computers continue to gradually store the bulk of our collective knowledge. You can see more of Arnold’s crystallized works on her website and Instagram.

“In the Shade of Vines” (2016)

“The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass” (2016)

“The Complete Book of Crochet” (2016)

“Hugh Johnson’s Story of Wine” (2016)

“The Art and Adventure of Beekeeping” (2016)

“The Art and Adventure of Beekeeping” (2016)

“Napa Valley: The Land, The Wine, The People” (2016)

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New Ornate Kaleidoscopic Installations That Mimic Patterned Textiles by Suzan Drummen 

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Meticulously placing small, ornate materials in eye-dazzling patterns Suzan Drummen (previously) produces kaleidoscopic installations that appear like three dimensional textiles. Within these pieces Drummen likes to explore how artwork can seduce and repulse, drawing the viewer in to take a closer look at the specific details that form the larger installation.

“From a distance they appear clear and orderly, yet upon closer inspection, the eyes become disoriented by the many details and visual stimuli,” said Drummen. “That moment of being able to take it all in or not is explored time and time again.”

Although many of her pieces when zoomed out appear like textiles, a recent installation takes this to heart, appearing like two oriental rugs—one in the color scheme of pink and red and the other in greens and blues. The first piece subtly climbs up the wall, playing further into the illusionistic quality of how her crystal constructions are perceived. This optical trickery is also reflected in her works that involve bodies, ordinarily dressed participants bedazzled to match the pattern on which they sit or lay.

You can see more of the Netherlands-based artist’s work on her Facebook page here.

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