Enveloped by trailing vines and mosses, the dilapidated shelters that Paris-based artist Simon Laveuve crafts appear to emerge from a post-apocalyptic universe as eerie safe-havens. Often elevated aboveground, the miniature buildings feature vertical constructions with various platforms and stairs leading upward. “My pieces, for the most part, have this aspect of shelter… I like to work on the height and the inaccessible. Protection and surrender. Fallen icons and their symbolism. Resistance and insubordination,” the artist says.
Marked with signage and advertisements plastered on the walls, the decaying dioramas showcase an alternate world now abandoned. Graffiti marks the siding, and thick vegetation cradles the remaining environments. Each sculpture displays the destructive qualities of humanity, while ultimately showing the natural world’s ability to survive.
Laveuve’s shelters are featured in Small Scale, Big World: The Culture of Mini Crafts, which is available from Bookshop. Explore more of the uncanny works on the artist’s site and Instagram, where he also shares glimpses into his process.
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Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison have been a collaborative duo for the last 20 years, mixing Shana’s interest in dance with Robert’s background in photography to produce environments specifically for their combined practice. A constant theme throughout the couple’s two decade long work has been man’s effect on the landscape—showcasing how we are constantly influencing, and more often than not damaging, the Earth.
“We create works in response to the ever-bleakening relationship linking humans, technology, and nature,” says the ParkeHarrison’s artist statement. “These works feature an ambiguous narrative that offers insight into the dilemma posed by science and technology’s failed promise to fix our problems, provide explanations, and furnish certainty pertaining to the human condition. Strange scenes of hybridizing forces, swarming elements, and bleeding overabundance portray Nature unleashed by technology and the human hand.”
Recently the work has reflected the pair’s love of theater and performance, with pieces such as Intermission (2015) and Soliloquy (2015) showcasing stages large and small set inside larger post-apocalyptic scenes. In Riverview (2015) the subject holds a tapestry in front of a rundown carnival, an image of a beautiful river masking what may have paved over its former place. In First of May (2015) the subject listens closely to two megaphones in a hazy field, perhaps searching for wisdom from nature rather than man.
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Martin Wittfooth transposes the temperament we typically associate with large animals to those much smaller, painting foxes and birds as the heroic victors of this works while making larger animals much more passive and calm. Each of his paintings feature these creatures in environments that deviate from the peaceful surrounding we would expect—trash and decay littering the the ground while smog fills the sky.
“As a species we share a pretty significant degree of similar reactions to the natural world: there are forms in nature that we seem to have innate responses to,” said Wittfooth in an interview with beinArt. “Like a sense of awe or respect for large mammals, and revulsion for spiders and snakes. I’m interested in this kind of shared pattern recognition and instinctive responses. I’m pretty invested in trying to imbue my paintings with some sense of ‘presence’ and hence am working with subject matter that can impart an emotional reading of it, not just a rational (strictly observing) analysis.”
The Brooklyn-based painter’s work is included with 27 other artists fascinated with the wild form in the new book Juxtapoz Wild. You can see more of Wittfooth’s work on his Facebook page here. (via Juxtapoz)
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.