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.
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For nearly a decade since the late 1970s artist Takanori Aiba worked as a maze illustrator for Japanese fashion magazine POPYE. The following decade he worked as an architect and finally in 2003 decided to merge the two crafts—the design of physical space and the drawing of labyrinths—into these incredibly detailed tiny worlds. Using craft paper, plastic, plaster, acrylic resin, paint and other materials Aiba constructs sprawling miniature communities that wrap around bonsai trees, lighthouses, and amongst the cliffs of nearly vertical islands. I would love to visit every single one of these places, if only I was 6 feet shorter. See more of Aiba’s work here.
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