Earlier this summer artist Chiharu Shiota unveiled her magnificent installation ‘The Key in the Hand‘ at the 2015 Venice Biennale. The sprawling artwork incorporates several old wooden boats, above which a dense cave-like network of red string suspends 50,000 donated keys. Though we wrote about the piece here on Colossal back in May, this video filmed by Sergey Khodakovskiy gives a fantastic sense of what it was like to walk through the artwork if you couldn’t make it to Venice.
Working with repurposed objects like aluminum cans and old gloves, artist Paul Villinski (previously) explores themes of flight, environmentalism, as well as addiction and recovery. His primary muse has taken the form of butterflies rendered in multiples as they swirl across walls, or carefully organize into shapes (fun fact: a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope).
“Underlying everything is the drive to simply share human experience in a way that elicits feelings of recognition and belonging — an impulse behind much of the history of art,” says Villinski. “I want to create images and experiences that allow viewers to ‘identify,’ to feel our commonality, to know that they are not alone.”
The son of an Air Force navigator, Villinski is an experienced pilot of sailplanes, paragliders and single-engine airplanes. These experiences of soaring through the sky are something he hopes to connect his audience with through his artwork. He shares with Jonathan Ferrara Gallery:
I’m not alone in this: from Leonardo to Lindbergh to Lenny Kravitz, the desire to “fly away” has had a grip on our collective imagination for millennia. Now and then, I have the extraordinary luck to spend a few hours floating along on currents of warm air, the earth’s surface slipping silently by, the mundane anxieties of daily life thousands of feet below the long, white wings of my glider. Back in the studio, I wish I could bring everyone I’ve ever met along in the tiny cockpit of my sailplane. Instead, I look for forms to describe the longing to enter the sky, to get us all aloft, even from within the confines of the gallery.
John Bisbee (previously) has worked with nails as a sculptural medium since he accidentally toppled a bucket of them years ago and was astonished to see how they remained intact, rusted and fused into a single object. Every since, he’s been hammering nails of varying size into complex patterns, using the smallest woodworking nails up to giant 12-inch spikes. Although nails large and small continue to be the focus of his artistic practice, his sculptures remain diverse in their presentation and composition, twisted works making wildly chaotic patterns against walls and neatly arranged nails snaking along gallery floors.
Bisbee currently has two solo exhibitions on view including “Floresco” at the SCAD Museum of Art (through January 3, 2016) and “Only nails, always different” at the PCA&D Gallery (through the end of December). His work is also included in the 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial titled “You Can’t Get There From Here” through January 3, 2016.
German conceptual artist HA Schult (b. 1939) has often worked in the realm of other people’s trash, creating large scale-works that force art into everyday life and call attention to the massive consumption of Western society. In Schult’s installation “Trash People,” he built hundreds of human-sized figures with cans, license plates, and soda bottles—a trash army built from garbage dumps that has been traveling the world for the last 19 years.
For his 2001 piece “Love Letters Building,” Schult used purposeful documentation instead of unwanted detritus to cover the facade of a former Berlin post office. Schult sent out a call for love letters—a gesture highlighting modern German romanticism, and a not-so-subtle reminder of the age before quick exchange email. The response to his public request was overwhelming. The resulting 150,000 letters ranged from heartfelt to humorous, subjects ranging between lovers, relatives, and even an owner and a pet.
A letter from the latter read, “I can’t live without you. The loss feels deeper by the day.” Then ends with the words, “It is a pity you’re a cat.”
About 35,000 of the collected letters were used to plaster the outside of the building in a colorful mass of whites, reds, oranges, and blues, while about 115,000 more were found inside. (via RIKA
To transform the interior of the Ahead Arena at the 2015 Habitare Design Fair in Finland (part of Helsinki Design Week), environmental artist Kaisa Berry and creative director Timo Berry of BOTH conceived of this lighter-than-air umbrella cloud suspended above a main stage. The duo used 1,1000 white umbrellas hung at various intervals, somewhat like similar outdoor installations we’ve seen in Portugal. The installation served as a backdrop for speaking events as well as live performances. You can see a few more views in this image search. (via Wallpaper)
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.
Lithuanian artist Agne Gintalaite has always been attracted to the “garage towns” of her native Lithuania—large areas filled with storage units for cars that were terribly inconvenient and often bus rides away from the owners’ homes. In her series Beauty Remains, Gintalaite explores the multitude of garage doors she has discovered on her explorations, the brightly colored wooden and metal doors that look as if time has tried to claw them to pieces, yet their vibrancy withstands each passing year.
Her project began after a recent trip to IKEA revealed a sprawling garage town near the megastore filled with hundreds of examples of these doors that outlasted the time when IKEAs were nowhere to be found. “By documenting these objects that are, most likely, about to disappear from Lithuanian society, I wished to communicate to the viewer the ambivalent, aesthetic, but also human significance of these garage doors,” said Gintalaite. “Beautifully painterly, these doors do not need be explained to the beholder. It is the fascinating play of colour and texture that I attempted to capture with my camera.”
In documenting these doors the artist also found herself documenting human dignity as the owners continue to hold onto their property in areas in which big businesses increasingly impede on the urban landscape. “As long as they last,” said Gintalaite, “this uncanny beauty remains.”
Gintalaite received her BA in Art History and Theory from Vilnius Academy of Arts in Lithuania, and is currently a freelance photographer and art director. You can find more of her work on her Tumblr and Behance. (via My Modern Met)