While living in Beijing several years ago German artist Wolfgang Stiller acquired several head molds and large pieces of wood. After experimenting with the various components the artist struck on an idea to create several large-scale burnt matches where the charred remains of each tip appeared as the face of a human, a series he calls Matchstickmen. While Stiller leaves the meaning of the artworks open for interpretation the pieces exist in a surprisingly strange area between morbid and humorous. At a distance each match seems almost laughable in its appearance almost like a toy bobblehead, but up close the somber, lifeless faces often resting in coffin-like matchboxes are pretty disconcerting. The Matchstickmen will be on display again in just a few days starting March 8th, 2013 at Python Gallery in Zurich as part of the show Burnout which runs through April 20th.(via lustik, designboom, lustik)
U.S.A. (burnt/unburnt) is a 2011 installation by Paris-based artist Claire Fontaine (previously) constructed from thousands of green matches that were inserted into a wall at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art as part art of “Evidence of Bricks” at the 2011 Time-Based Art Festival. Fontaine has made somewhat of a name for herself with her match installations and flaming geography, most recently completing a similar U.S.A. map at Queens Nails Gallery in San Francisco. Unlike the installation in Portland above, the Queens Nails artwork was actually set on fire, and while it may not have gone exactly as intended, the final post-flame artwork is impressive nonetheless. Photographs above for PICA by Dan Kvitka.
Update: Hyperallergic has the scoop in the latest US Map fire.
Artist and illustrator Jason D’Aquino draws incredibly small illustrations inside of matchbooks. His muse is frequently pop culture itself, with numerous references to horror films, famous artworks, pulp fiction magazine covers, and even human anatomy. If you happen to be in New Orleans D’Aquino has work available at the Shop in the French quarter, and he’ll also have work at Art Basel Miami through Red Truck Gallery. (via juxtapoz)
A wonderful new piece from Chicago artist and architect Pei-San Ng (previously) who makes tightly compact sculptural pieces out of matches. This latest work, a bold phoenix with an appropriate ashen tail is the most complex piece I’ve seen from her. This sculpture and some new typographical works are for sale in her shop. (via my modern met)
(click images for detail)
I don’t normally post two things from an artist in one day; however this seemed too good to pass up, especially due to this blog’s affinity for matches. Ryo Shimizu created this delicate human shell out of hundreds of matches entitled Matchstick Drawing. How macabrely awesome it would have been to watch this figure meet his flaming demise.
Brighton-based designer Kyle Bean has been busier than us and he updated his portfolio to prove it with a slew of really fun work including these meticulously constructed matchstick insects (photos by Owen Silverwood). I also really enjoyed the window displays he did for Selfridges. Previously. (via notcot)