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)
Pratt student Melanie Hoff connected cables carrying 15,000 volts of electricity to a large plank of wood and then documented the results. Surprisingly the areas around each contact point don’t simply catch on fire or burn in a circle, but rather traverse outward in a fractal-like pattern, like lighting in slow motion. Watch it all unfold above. (via colossal submissions)
According to the New York Times sculptor Mario Ceroli is one of the least known yet most influential artists of the Italian post-war scene. His work spans over forty years and I encourage you to take a deep dive into his website to explore his wide range of installations and sculptures. Two of his most beautiful works depict crashing waves sculpted from thin layers of precisely cut wood and glass titled La Vague and Maestrale. The energy present in the works is remarkable as if any moment the materials are going to crash into the gallery floor. Also, if you’ve ever been to the Adelaide Botanic Garden in Australia you may have seen a similar piece by sculptor Sergio Redegalli called Cascade. (via connaissance des arts, claudio, and tate_ellen)
Chuck is an awesome shelving concept by German designer Natascha Harra-Frischkorn. The flexible shelving unit is made from six 4mm thick planks of wood that can be adjusted to hold small collections of books and other objects in a beautiful organic shape. Really wish this was actually a thing. (via soft shock)
Montreal-based artist Maskull Lasserre (previously) recently completed a new body of work for an exhibition titled Fable at Centre Space gallery in Toronto that ran through January 19th. Lasserre is known for his incredible ability to carve anatomical forms of animals, people, insects and other forms out of inanimate objects such as doors, tables, pianos, and even instruments. In a two part interview with Liana Voia (part 1, part 2) the artist discusses the intent behind his work:
When the remnants of life are imposed on an object, and that’s true especially with the carving work that I do, it infers a past history or a previous life that had been lived, so again where people see my work as macabre, I often see it as hopeful, as the remnants of a life. Despite the fact that the life has ended, at least that life had a beginning and middle as well, so often by imparting these bodily elements to inanimate objects it reclaims or reanimates them in a virtual way.
For his MFA Thesis Exhibit last September, Pennsylvania artist James McNabb created a beautiful collection of architectural wonders using discarded wood. He describes his process as “sketching with a band saw,” and says initial intent was not to build skylines, but instead began with the creation of the individual wooden pieces which resembled tools or other strangely familiar objects. After he built nearly 250 of them in a day they collectively began to resemble a miniature city. You can see many more works from the exhibition on his website.
The Small Knocking Down the Big is a 2009 installation by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie made from hundreds of cut wooden dominoes meant to loosely demonstrate the effects of something that has become known as Domino Magnification (if you really, really enjoy physics see the recent work of J. M. J. van Leeuwen). The basic premise is that any domino can knock over another domino that’s roughly 1.5 times larger, meaning that if you gently pushed a normal sized domino into a chain of bricks that increase in size each time by 1.5, the 32nd object will be large enough to topple the Empire State Building. In the video example above it takes only 13 dominoes starting with an object the size of a bean to knock over a 100 lb. slab!
Zhijie’s installation is somewhat less mathematical and more visual, but the same mathematical principles hold true. Participants are invited to knock over the small dominoes at the outer branches of the installation which eventually gain enough momentum to knock over the thicker blocks at the trunk. (via lustik)