Ceramic artist Keiko Masumoto is intensely interested in the intersection of art and craft, whether a craft object can simply be decorative or if an artistic work can still remain functional. Her questions have resulted in a series of traditional ceramic plates, bowls, and vases embedded with unlikely objects from wriggling octopi to entire buildings. You can explore a bit more in her online portfolio and at Spoon & Tamago.
Focused on environmental change rather than flavor, art students Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui, and Cheng Yu-ti from the National Taiwan University of the Arts concocted a line of “frozen treats” titled Polluted Water Popsicles. The group collected polluted water from 100 locations in Taiwan, first freezing the collected sewage samples and then preserving their creations in polyester resin.
At first glance the visually pleasing treats seem to imitate the aesthetic of recent craft and artisanal food trends. However on closed inspection you can identify the trash contained within each mold—bits of plastic, bottle caps, and wrappers lying within the popsicles’ murky waters.
The project is intended to spread awareness about water pollution and its deep effect on our world’s population. The 100 pieces, which also included designed wrappers, was nominated for the Young Pin Design Award and featured in the New Generation of Design Exhibition this May at the Taipei World Trade Center. You can view more of the creatively designed inedible works in the video below. More information about the project can be found on the group’s Facebook. (via Mashable and Quartz)
Artist Dan Rawlings merges subject matter that would seem to be in direct contrast to its medium: trees cut into an old silo or ferns that sprout from rusty street signage. A collision of urban and rural. “I try to create images that remind people of the moments when everything seems possible and free,” says Rawlings, “times when climbing a tree, or sitting admiring the way its branches twist and curl means nothing, but means everything.”
Masayoshi Matsumoto (previously here and here) doesn’t twist up your average balloon animal creations. Instead, the Japanese artist produces larger than life beetle larva and spider crabs, creating latex masterpieces that blow away the simplistic balloon animals we’ve come to expect. Multi-colored and not bound to any particular species, the works are incredibly realistic interpretations of the animals they imitate, making the requests at your child’s next birthday particularly bizarre. You can see more of his insects and animals on his Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.
Working with varying weights of iron wire, Italian artist Roberto Fanari constructs life-size figurative sculptures of both people and animals, applying the material like the strokes of a pencil to vary the density throughout each work. Some figures are almost wholly transparent, allowing for only a handful of lines to define the volume of a leg or torso while shifting to a more solid approach for the area around an eye or a thick tuft of hair, giving each each piece an almost ghostly, unfinished appearance. Fanari debuted a number of his wiry pieces at White Noise Gallery for a 2016 exhibition titled “Ferro,” (Iron) and you can see more of his work here.
A girl is seen softly touching the nose of a giant, white horse frozen in mid-air within the Argentinian Pavilion of this year’s Venice Biennale, a large sculptural work by artist Claudia Fontes. The Horse Problem, and the Argentinian Pavilion, are located within the biennale’s Arsenal building, the largest pre-industrial production center of the world. Made long ago from wood, bricks, and iron, the building is one that could have only been built by horse-power, the work highlighting the hidden influences the animal had on the city.
The installation, which also features 400 white rocks scattered around the two central figures, is inspired by 19th-century icons around which Argentina’s national presence was falsely based. Fontes uses these borrowed characters in her present work to examine how nations develop across history, especially in her own country of Argentina.
“By highlighting how the destinies of the human and horse species have been intertwined through exploitation from the very moment that horses were domesticated, The Horse Problem offers in a flash, a way to reinterpret history in a different way, a chance to construct an alternative narrative for our future as species,” said Gabriel Giorgi in his essay for the work’s catalogue.
The Horse Problem is curated by Andrés Duprat, director of the National Museum of Fine Arts of Argentina. You can see Fontes’ work in the 2017 Venice Biennale through November 26, 2017. (via Art Ruby)