At face value these small hand-carved wooden sculptures by scientist and artist John V. Muntean appear to be a random amalgam of mixed geometric shapes, curves and holes, but shine a light at the right angle and suddenly in the objects shadow is a discernable image. In fact, each sculpture contains three images, usually revolving around a theme. Via his website:
A Magic Angle Sculpture appears to be nothing more than an abstract wooden carving, skewered with a rod and mounted on a base. However, when lit from above and rotated at the magic angle (54.74º) it will cast three alternating shadows. Every 120º of rotation, the amorphous shadows evolve into independent forms. Our scientific interpretation of nature often depends upon our point of view. Perspective matters.
Over the past few weeks in a wooded area around Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, UK—a city known for quirky architecture and annual art festivals—three sculptures were surreptitiously carved into a number of felled trees by an unknown artist. These were not crude, amateur wood carvings, but clearly the work of an accomplished sculptor that the Daily Mail called “an anonymous Banksy-style guerrilla artist”. Right. Well, the sculptures are indeed incredible, and I think the world could use a healthy dose of accomplished mystery art, as was the case last year in Scotland where a series of book sculptures were left by a still unidentified individual in libraries and book festivals around the country.
The rogue tree carver’s identity was unveiled when the BBC decided to do the obvious thing and knock on the door of the person who owned the publicly-accessible private property where the sculptures were spotted, David Brown. Although Brown was unavailable for comment his housekeeper reported that the works were were commissioned from chainsaw-wielding artist Tommy Craggs who makes a living traveling around the world carving all matter of mystical creatures, animals, and figurative works into trees. Indeed in his own online gallery several photos a piece entitled King Hallow of Abbey Road identically match one of mystery sculptures found in Knaresborough. Case closed. Also there’s a gnarly looking dead tree in the park down the street here in Chicago desperately in need of Craggs’ chainsaw. Just putting that out there. (via gaks)
A few days ago I happened upon a rather unique art project called Last New Year in the Austin American Statesman, showing photos of a dilapidated home recently transformed with a number of installations by a small arts collective called Ink Tank. The premise for the project was fascinating: the ensemble imagined a fictional group of people living in the home who would react to the prophesied end-of-times 2012 date. One of my favorite pieces from the show is a giant installation called The Purge by artist Chris Whiteburch who decided to imagine how the house itself would confront the impending doom. The result is a structure purging its contents, all manner of debris and structural material shooting violently through a window into a giant wooden splash.
One of the most fascinating things about this project to me was its similarity to Inversion House, another modified house installation created by sculptors Dan Havel and Dean Ruck in 2005, roughly 150 miles east in Houston. The resemblance is uncanny in that they are essentially exact opposites. Via phone Whiteburch says the similarity is purely coincidental and that he wasn’t even aware of Inversion House until somebody mentioned it after seeing his work. Unfortunately the Last New Year has been taken down, but you can see more images over on Ink Tank’s website. I want to thank both Chris and photographers Julie and Adam Schreiber for providing the imagery for this post.
Created by Yale-graduates Caspar Lam and YuJune Park of Synoptic Office, Alphabet Topography is a physical examination of letterforms as it relates to usage frequency. Vowels and consonants like “R” and “T” were given more vertical prominence while lesser-used letters like “W” and “G” hardly make a blip. Of the creation process YuJune tells me:
I modelled the letters individually in Rhino and exported sections of each letter to AutoCad and based this alphabet on word frequency as defined by the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, which interestingly enough, is almost identical to word frequency as defined by old linotype machines. I wanted a total variable of 6″ from the most often used to least often used letter, which gave each letter a height difference of .23 inches. I used architectural butter board and laser cut each letter in sections, and there was no client for this project—we developed it from a desire to explore the idea of language landscapes—visualizing language and the ebb and flow of spoken English.
I’ve always been an incredible sucker for physical typography and this project is no exception. (via it’s nice that)
The Kai Table designed by Naoki Hirakoso and Takmitsu Kitahara contains a few surprises, being constructed almost entirely of secret compartments. From sliding drawers and hinged cupboards to a number of shifting panels, the entire piece is built like an elaborate wooden puzzle. (via architizer)
dailyDuJour has the first coverage I’ve seen of five new works by Japanese artist Haroshi who uses layered and pixelated pieces from reclaimed skateboard decks. Via his website:
Haroshi makes his art pieces recycling old used skateboards. His creations are born through styles such as wooden mosaic, dots, and pixels; where each element, either cut out in different shapes or kept in their original form, are connected in different styles, and shaven into the form of the final art piece. Haroshi became infatuated with skateboarding in his early teens, and is still a passionate skater at present.
These new pieces were on display last night as part of an exhibition at a distribution center for streetwear manufacturer HUF in L.A., and you can see much more over on dailyDuJour and Haroshi’s Facebook page. The last piece above, the moose, is another recent sculpture (not part of the HUF exhibition) that now hangs in the home of professional rally driver Ken Block. Out of control amazing.
I’ve always enjoyed the work of Netherlands-based artist Levi van Veluw, and this wonderful new Automata is no exception. The piece is made almost entirely of wood and is powered by 100 gears embedded in the base. (via faith is torment)
Shawn Smith (previously) has a number of new pixelated animal sculptures on display at Craighead Green Gallery in Dallas, Texas. Smith works primarily with balsa and bass wood that he meticulously cuts, dyes, and assembles to create these beautiful animals. Smith via the gallery:
For the past few years, I have been creating a series of “Re-things.” These whimsical sculptures represent pixelated animals and objects of nature. I am specifically interested in subjects that I have never seen in real life. I find images of my subjects online and then create three-dimensional sculptural representations of these two-dimensional images. I build my “Re-things” pixel by pixel to understand how each pixel plays a crucial role in the identity of an object. Through the process of pixelation, color is distilled, some bits of information are lost, and the form is abstracted. Making the intangible tangible, I view my building process as an experiment in alchemy, using man-made composite and recycled materials to represent natural forms.