Digging through electronic refuse and found metal in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, Cyrus Kabiru refashions found materials into different wearable forms. Often these take the form of flamboyantly composed glasses, large eyewear that can often mask the entire face.
Kabiru explains that his glasses obsession started at a young age, and blossomed as his father crushed his dreams of owning his own pair. “When I was young, I used to admire real glasses but my dad was a bit harsh and he never wanted me to have real glasses. That’s the reason I started making the glasses.”
His creations situate themselves in several different areas of art, shuffling between performance, sculpture, and fashion—embodying the playfulness of the youth generation in Nairobi. “When you walk in town and you see someone with my glasses, the glasses will [get] all your attention,” said Kabiru. “If you have any stress it is like a therapy.”
In addition to his found object sculptures and glasses, Kabiru is a self-taught painter, his subject matter being humorous portrayal of contemporary Kenyan life. His most recent series uses thousands of bottle caps sewn together to depict African nature. “I really love trash. I try to give trash a second chance. I change it to be something else, which is like it will stay for more than 100 years now.” (via prosthetic knowledge)
Working with liquid synthetic resin and wire, Japanese artist Sakae (previously) crafts these ornate bunches of translucent flowers worn as hair sculptural hair ornaments called kanzashi. Kanzashi were traditionally made from small pieces of folded cloth, but have since evolved into a number of different mediums. Each of Sakae’s pins are one-of-kind, requiring anywhere from a few days to a month to fabricate, and due to extraordinarily high demand she chooses to put each piece up for auction through an announcement on her website and Facebook page (usually selling for several thousand dollars). You can see her most recent pieces on Pinterest.
While we’ve seen everyone’s favorite plastic building brick turned into chocolate, retro toy sculptures and street art, we haven’t seen too many fashion accessories. Poland-based Agabag have set about to change that with their huge array of handbags and jewelry encased in official LEGO bricks. They have shops both on their website as well as on Etsy. (via Design Milk)
For spring 2015, Bloomingdale’s reached out to several designers to create pieces that both matched and were constructed by iconic Crayola colors. The pieces are designed with playful colors, yet have a sharp edge, the points of the crayons adding 3D elements to many of the elaborate pieces. The most dynamic, a bright yellow dress designed by Nanette Lepore, showcases a bustier of organized pinwheel crayon segments extending from the ornate neckline.
Other designers chosen were Rebecca Taylor, Clover Canyon, Rebecca Minkoff, Torn by Ronny Kobo, and Parker. Parker added a creative spin to the project, incorporating the Jungle Green crayon wrappers as faux-fabric within their designed romper. Designers Derek Farrar and Laurieanne Gilner explained that not only was the piece environmentally sound, but also gave them a serious case of spring fever.
The pieces, photographed by Matthew Carasella, are currently on display at the 59th Street Bloomingdale’s location in New York City, and more detailed shots can be found on Carasella’s portfolio site here. (via Laughing Squid)
For the last 20 years, unassuming Dutch photographer Hans Eijkelboom has traversed the world, picking a spot, be it in Shanghai, New York, or Paris, and meticulously photographed what he saw. “I take between 1 and 80 photographs a day, almost every day, 12 months a year,” he says, referring to his “Photo Notes” project, which has now been turned into a book titled People of the Twenty-First Century. The “Photographic Journal,” published by PHAIDON, is the largest, most comprehensive work of his to date, and includes thousands of photos that, together, create a fascinating picture of mankind.
The “anti-sartorial” photographs of everyday people capture specific visual themes – people in red jackets, men with bare chests on roller blades – that are grouped together with the date, city and time range they were taken. And this combination and repetition is what makes the photographs so powerful. Viewed separately, they would hardly even catch our eye.
“I don’t use this diary to show what happens in my life but as a method of visualizing the development of my world view,” writes the artist. Much like the way stalagmites form in caves over hundreds of years, Eijkelboom’s landscape is the result of a methodical fixation to the banality of everyday life. Hans Eijkelboom’s “People of the Twenty-First Century” is available for around $26 (Via Citylab)
Starting with vintage photography and illustrations of models sporting fashions from the 1950s, Amsterdam-based artist Hinke Schreuders applies a rich layer of hand-stitched embroidery, beading, lace, and flourishes of ink to entirely new images that can be both unsettling and exuberant. The pieces seen here are part of an ongoing series called Works on Paper, started in 2008. With her work Schreuders says she seeks to “subtly confuse notions of feminine vulnerability and reinforce the position of embroidery as an artistic medium,” something I think we can all agree she has done masterfully.
Schreuders most recently exhibited as part of a group show at Robert Mann gallery titled the The Embroiderederd Image which brought together almost a dozen artists currently working at the intersection of photography and embroidery or textiles. She’ll have more work on view in Amsterdam next month at both We Like Art and Amsterdam Drawing 2014. You can follow more of her work on Facebook.