consumerism

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Art

Crumbling Concrete Structures Transformed Into Designer Purses by Street Artist Thrashbird

June 29, 2018

Andrew LaSane

Los Angeles-based artist Thrashbird is known primarily for stencils and paintings that blend socio-political commentary and humor, which are often done in highly visible areas like on city walls or billboards. For a recent project called “Valley Of Secret Values,” the artist ventured off the beaten path to an abandoned industrial site. Thrashbird transformed crumbling structures into replicas of high-end designer bags using paint for designs and nearby found objects like tires and wood for the handles, straps, and hardware.

While on an expedition through Lime, Oregon, the artist happened upon what used to be a power plant. “To see [the stones] crumbling with the passage of time, returning to the earth as a dust, well the metaphor was too strong to disregard,” Thrashbird told Ignant. He chose to paint the structures as handbags as “part beautification project, part cautionary tale,” drawing parallels to the destructive nature of society’s obsession with consumerism while confronting his own demons.

“We grapple for status and purpose in society, and [consume] possessions to showcase how successful we are and to fill us with purpose, with complete disregard for the people and the planet affected by our careless overconsumption,” Thrashbird said. “Our measure of success has been skewed. We’ve come to a place in society where things and social status have become more important than our connection to each other.”

You can see more of the street artist’s roving installations on Instagram. Thrashbird also offers prints and small editions of original artwork in his online store. (via Ignant)

 

 



Documentary

Commodity City: A Fascinating Glimpse Inside the World’s Largest Wholesale Market

May 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The Yiwu International Trade Market in China is the world’s largest wholesale market, stretching nearly five miles and containing over 75,000 individual vendors. Chinese-American film director Jessica Kingdon peeks into the daily lives of the market’s workers in her observational documentary Commodity City, exploring the subtle interactions that occur amongst hoards of dolls, flowers, neon signs, clocks, and other consumer goods.

The work is filmed in long, static shots, mirroring the days each vendor spends inside the consumer metropolis. Commodity City has played in over fifty film festivals, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Cinema Eye Honors. The Brooklyn-based director received her BA in Film Studies from Columbia University and her MA in Media Studies from The New School. In 2017, she was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine. You can see more of the short films Kingdon has produced and directed on her website and Vimeo. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 



Art

A World Where Outdoor Advertising is Replaced by Classical Paintings

March 26, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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In this fun series of photos from the streets of Milan and Paris, artist Etienne Lavie imagines what the world might be like if invasive street advertisements were replaced with classical paintings. If instead of waiting for the bus next to a back-lit ad for a new car, you were given the opportunity to stare at Marco d’ Oggiono’s The Three Archangels. Lavie has shared very little about the tongue-in-cheek project titled “OMG who stole my ads?,” but art triumphing over consumerism in an urban utopia is pretty clear message. You can see much more of the series here. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

Mobile Mirrors: Manequins Covered in Mirror Shards by Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen

May 17, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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As part of her Mobile Mirrors exhibition at Christian Larsen gallery in Stockholm, artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen created a series of four reflective mannequins clad in shards of mirrors. Light was projected onto each sculpture creating a twinkling halo effect not unlike a disco ball, as a person wearing a similarly reflective body suit moved through the space. The exhibition was intended as commentary on consumerism; just as we project ourselves onto mannequins, Rasmussen’s is attempting to use the same object to reflect back on ourselves. Via Christian Larsen Gallery:

The mirror surfaces of the mannequins turn our gaze back onto ourselves, forcing us to become aware of our own bodies and consumption habits. This way revealed, we can see ourselves as part of a much larger system, as complex and chaotic as ever the sculptures’ reflections on the walls.

You can see many more images from the exhibition over on Facebook. (via ex-chamber)