Flattening three-dimensional installations into two-dimensional images, Alexa Meade compresses reality by covering models in specifically applied paint, making sure to focus on painted shadows and highlights to transform her posed subjects into paintings. Meade’s works, which she has referred to as “reverse trompe l’oeil” combine installation, painting, photography, and even performance, as many of her works are done live and with little room for error. Mistakes made during her painting process however, often add to the overall dynamism of the piece, creating an aesthetic tension for each of her living works.
“There are so many things going on at once in my process that something is always bound to go wrong,” Meade recently told Colossal. “Having to problem solve in the moment and hack together a solution will typically result in me bringing something new and fresh to the painting that I didn’t intend or expect. The artwork often turns out so much better than I had originally envisioned.”
Often these errors are due to the fact that Meade is creating her works on live models, and unlike swathes of canvas, her medium has interests, personalities, and needs which influence the work. “If you are a painter painting on canvas you don’t have to care about its feelings or emotions,” said Meade, “the canvas doesn’t have to go to the bathroom.”
Meade didn’t always start out as an artist, in fact she studied politics and worked in Washington D.C. before experimenting with her current practice. “I discovered my method completely by accident,” said Meade. “Then I had to actually teach myself out to paint.” Now Meade is a represented artist in three countries and is often asked to do live painting performances, such as this month during FORM Arcosanti, an outdoor micro arts and music festival which we attended with WeTransfer and came across Meade’s work. You can see more of her process and images on her Facebook and Instagram.
Alexa Meade’s live painting during FORM Arcosanti, base makeup by Josephine Lee
Artists Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley have constructed a giant wood hamster wheel with a 25-foot-diameter where the duo are currently living and working for 10 days until March 9 at the Boiler in Williamsburg, Brookyln. Why? Because …art! Titled In Orbit, the piece is a continuation of numerous installations where the artists live together in public spaces including Counterweight Roommmate and Stability which they refer to as “architectural performance pieces.”
For In Orbit, the rotating house is designed so that Shelley can live on the exterior of the wheel nearly 30 ft. off the floor, while Schweder lives on the inside due to a fear of heights. Through coordinated movements the pair can rotate the wheel to access beds, desks, chairs and even a kitchen-bathroom combo. You can learn more over at Gothamist and Peirogi Gallery. Photos and video by Scott Lynch. (via Laughing Squid)
We’re less than a day past October 31st and it would be reasonable to assume the people depicted in these portraits are wearing Halloween costumes, but they’re not. In his ongoing series of portraits titled Just the Two of Us, photographer Klaus Pitchler gained access to the homes of Austrian costume play (cosplay) enthusiasts where he photographed the elaborately costumed individuals against the backdrops of their everyday life. Via his artist statement:
Who hasn’t had the desire just to be someone else for awhile? Dressing up is a way of creating an alter ego and a second skin which one’s behaviour can be adjusted to. Regardless of the motivating factors which cause somebody to acquire a costume, the main principle remains the same: the civilian steps behind the mask and turns into somebody else. ’Just the Two of Us’ deals with both: the costumes and the people behind them.
While the costumes are incredible, terrifying, and laughable, it’s the strange juxtaposition of ordinary home life and the unknown identities of each individual that create such great images. See much more here. All images courtesy Klaus Pichler. (via Beautiful/Decay)
Conceptual artist Lisa Park has been experimenting with a specialized device called a NeuroSky EEG headset that helps transform brain activity into streams of data that can be manipulated for the purposes of research, or in this case, a Fluxus-inspired performance art piece titled Eunoia (Greek for “beautiful thought”). Park used the EEG headset to monitor the delta, theta, alpha, and beta waves of her brain as well as eye movements and transformed the resulting data with specialized software into sound waves. Five speakers are placed under shallow dishes of water which then vibrate in various patterns in accordance with her brain activity.
While the system is not an exact science, Park rehearsed for nearly a month by thinking about specific people whom she had strong emotional reactions to. The artist then correlated each of the five speakers with certain emotions: sadness, anger, hatred, desire, and happiness. According to the Creator’s Project her hope had been to achieve a sort of zen-like state resulting in complete silence, however it proved to be ultimately unattainable, a result that is actually somewhat poetic.
It’s important to note that artists have long been using EEG devices to create “music with the mind”. Composer and experimental musician Alvin Lucier had a somewhat similar performance called Music for Solo Performer back in 1965. Read more about Euonia over on the Creator’s Project. (via booooooom)
When you first begin watching this clip from Japan’s Kamiwaza 2013 talent show, you’ll notice a fair amount of dramatic lighting, deep breathing, and plenty of showmanship from Swiss performer Mädir Eugster of the Rigolo Swiss Nouveau Cirque. He carefully rests the feather on a small tree branch and then grabs another slightly larger stick and another and another. Fast forward ten minutes and the act miraculously continues, sweat pouring from the top of Eugster’s head down his bare back until a series of 14 enormous sticks zig zags from the performer’s lifted arm like a massive wooden Calder mobile. If you have any doubt of how precarious this might be, wait until the very end when he removes the feather. I’ve also included another video above of Lara Jacobs (Eugster’s daughter!) of Cirque Du Soleil’s Amaluna performing the same act. Pretty amazing.
Firewall is a new interactive artwork by New York media artist Aaron Sherwood created in collaboration with Michael Allison. The presentation is relatively straightforward but still visually stunning: different ‘modes’ of light are projected onto a taut membrane of spandex which then reacts kinetically in response to touch. Firewall was made using Processing, Max/MSP, Arduino and a Kinect that work in tandem to create the experience and will be used in an upcoming performance art piece involving dancer Kiori Kawai who will interact with the piece on stage. Learn more over on Sherwood’s blog. (via designboom)