Single Eyes Gaze Out of Antique Cutlery, Tins, and Other Objects in Miniature Paintings by Robyn Rich
The Georgian era saw the rise in a jewelry trend that’s equally sentimental and peculiar: to remember spouses who had died or to honor clandestine affairs without revealing anyone’s identity, people would commission tiny renderings of a person’s eye to be painted on broaches, rings, and other accessories they could carry with them. Similar to a lock of hair or portrait hidden in a locket, the abstracted feature was anonymous and indiscernible to most but deeply personal to the wearer.
Robyn Rich evokes this centuries-old fad with a substantial body of work that nestles minuscule oil paintings into cutlery, tins, and other antique vessels. “With a love of reusing and recycling, the found objects I use give a simple and often nostalgic canvas, which offers little distraction, allowing the beauty of the eye to be the focus,” she says. “These objects that we use every day are often taken for granted, overlooked, and forgotten, but in my work, they have another life and help tell a story.”
Whether centered on the eyes, nose, or lips, each realistic snippet conveys a wide range of human emotions—the expressive works capture everything from surprise and worry to contentment—through a single, isolated feature. “I paint friends, total strangers, and the eyes from painted portraits from the past. Each eye I paint becomes a little part of me,” the Frankston, Australia-based artist says.
Alongside her ongoing series of works on domestic objects, Rich is currently collaborating with designer Kelty Pelechytik on a collection of custom wearables. She also has an upcoming solo show at fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne. Titled I See You, the exhibition is the culmination of a call Rich put out in 2019 for women and female-identifying people to share their portraits and stories with her, resulting in more than 100 pieces that will be on view this October. Until then, find an extensive archive of her miniatures on Instagram.
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Flip through a treasured record collection and you’re likely to find tattered covers and faded, bent corners on the most played albums. Artist Erik Burke displays these signs of a well-loved LPs in a new mural that amplifies music’s outsized impact to a monumental scale. Tucked into a corner at Reno’s Record Street Brewing, the towering artwork gathers a vintage collection—The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die is slotted next to The Velvet Underground & Nico and Johnny Cash’s Live At Folsom Prison is side-by-side with Give ‘Em Enough Rope by The Clash—that’s an eclectic mishmash spanning genres and decades. “A large part of it was sourcing the original vinyl and choosing the most worn-and-torn covers to show how these records are a big part of our life and tell unique stories,” the artist tells Colossal.
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Preserved Grasses and Twigs Radiate Outward in Delicately Embroidered Sculptures by Artist Kazuhito Takadoi
Artist Kazuhito Takadoi (previously) tames the unruly grasses, leaves, and twigs grown in his garden by weaving the individual strands into exquisite radial sculptures. Stitched into paper or bound to wooden discs made of cedar of Lebanon, oak, elm, or walnut, the abstract forms hover between two and three dimensions and utilize traditional Japanese bookbinding techniques to secure the threads. Each artwork, whether an intricately overlapping mass or pair of circular sculptures, is an act of preservation and a study of inevitable transformation: although the materials won’t decompose entirely, subtle shifts in color and texture occur as they age. “As the light changes or the point of view is moved, so the shadows will create a new perspective,” the artist says.
Born in Nagoya, Japan, Takadoi is currently based in the U.K. His meticulously woven works will be on view from June 22 to 29 at Artefact in Chelsea Harbor, and you can find a larger collection of his pieces on Artsy and jaggedart.
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As the fear of a second wave of COVID-19 swept through Germany in the fall of 2020, photographer and artist Jörg Gläscher decided to channel his own worry into a project that felt similarly vast and domineering. “I was working (with the idea of) the pure power of nature, the all-destroying force, which brings one of the richest countries in the world to a completely still stand,” he tells Colossal. “A wave is a periodic oscillation or a unique disturbance the state of a system.”
Between November 2020 and March 2021, Gläscher spent his days in a secluded location near Hamburg, where he gathered deadwood and constructed nine massive crests—the largest of which spans four meters high and nine meters wide—that overwhelm the forest floor in undulating layers of branches and twigs. Each iteration, which he photographed and then promptly destroyed in order to reuse the materials, overwhelms the existing landscape with pools of the formerly thriving matter.
Gläscher’s installations are part of a larger diaristic project he began at the beginning of the pandemic. Since then, he published a few magazines to present the works that range from photography to sculpture in one place, which you purchase along with prints in his shop. Find more of his multi-media projects on his site and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
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Ben Denzer cultivates what could be the next trend in sustainable fashion with a green redesign of the classic Hermés Birkin bag. The artist and designer whipped up these vegetable versions of the iconic, high-end accessory by arranging asparagus stalks, cucumber slices, and cabbage leaves into a trio you’d be more likely to find in the produce aisle than a luxury shop.
Denzer is known for his playful food pairings, including books bound with cheese slices and condiment packets and an entire account dedicated to matching his favorite reads with ice cream. Find more of his quirky designs on his site, and check out his Instagram for the apple and banana bags that didn’t make the cut. You also might enjoy Nicole McLaughlin’s edible attire. (via The Morning News)
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Thin ribbons of porcelain ripple across the surfaces of Alice Walton’s abstract sculptures. Gently sloped domes and pillars are covered in countless individual strips, which vary in thickness and length and add irregular texture and depth to the finished pieces. “Every mark I make, whether this be a tool mark or a fingerprint, are preserved in the firing and are not covered or coated or inhibited by a glaze,” the artist writes. “I want the viewer to be able to look at my sculptures from afar and to have one perception of the surface (and) then want to explore closer. On a nearer inspection, the surface decoration reveals layers of multiple colours and time spent through process.”
Focusing on the meditative qualities of repetition, Walton combines pastels and vibrant Earth tones to evoke the sights of her surrounding environment and travels. “The vividly painted sun-bleached street walls and the monsoon-drenched temples, to me, instantly resembled the dry powdery palette of coloured clays,” she shares about a visit to Rajasthan, India. Her choices in pigment still revolve around what she sees on a daily basis—these range from old maps to the seasonal landscapes nearby her studio in Somerset, U.K.—that result in undulating stripes or bold gradients composed with more than 40 colors in “Clements Shade.”
At the 2019 British Ceramics Biennial, Walton was awarded a residency with Wedgwood, where she’s currently working on a new series of sculptural vessels made from the English company’s traditional Jasper clay. Those pieces will be shown at the 2021 biennial in September. She’ll also have work at London’s Chelsea Design Centre from June 22 to 29 and at MAKE Hauser & Wirth Somerset in November. Until then, explore more of her sculptures on her site and Instagram. (via Seth Rogan)
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