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Craft Design

It Was Better Tomorrow: Fashion Designer Benjamin Benmoyal Creates Powerful Silhouettes Using Recycled Materials

November 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Hulking silhouettes are enlivened with vibrant multi-colored stripes in futuristic garments by fashion student Benjamin Benmoyal. The fabric for the collection, titled “It Was Better Tomorrow”, was woven on a loom using discarded video and cassette tapes intermingled with recycled yarns and Tencel (a wood pulp-derived fiber).

In an interview with Dezeen, the French-Israeli designer explained that he was feeling pessimistic about the world after his compulsory service as an 18 year old in the Israeli army. “After high school I was completely lost in my life, I failed many things and needed to prove to myself I could do something that would push me, physically and mentally, to the limits,” Benmoyal said.

In enrolling at the renowned art school Central Saint Martins and creating this collection, Benmoyal sought to channel optimistic energy and harken back to the utopian outlook of the 1960’s. He also drew color inspiration from international travels and artists he admires, such as James Turrell. The collection was included in the multi-art show Designing in Turbulent Times this autumn. See more from Benmoyal on Instagram. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art Craft Design

Ceremonial Dragons and Colorful Cactus Gardens Formed from Intricately Worked Ribbon

October 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs: GAZE fotographica | Kei Furuse

Birthday presents, apparel decoration, hair-do accessories: this is what comes to mind when most people think of ribbons. But for Japanese duo Baku Maeda and Toru Yoshikawa of Ribbonesia, the ubiquitous material is fodder for multi-part sculptures. Ranging from colorful cactus gardens and floral landscapes to freestanding foxes and ceremonial dragons, Ribbonesia’s creations blur the lines between art and craft. In their artist statement, the duo explains their approach to the unusual material:  “Just as a painter would use hundreds of brush strokes, ribbon forms can also be made from a variety of twists, bends and folds. They become paintings as much as they are sculptures.”

Working in tandem since 2010 as Ribbonesia, Maeda is the artist of the pair, and Yoshikawa the creative director developing the theme and concept. You can explore more of their in-progress and completed projects on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 



Documentary History

Watch Art Conservator Diana Hartman Painstakingly Re-Weave and Patch a Century-Old Canvas

September 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Step into the conservation and restoration studios at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in this short documentary following the restoration of a 1907 painting. Featuring conservator Diana Hartman, the video follows Hartman’s problem-solving, tool acquisition, and hands-on work. The hundred year-old canvas, painted by Paula Modersohn-Becker, is unusual in that it is still on its original wood stretchers, and was presumably stretched by the artist herself. This also presents some complex logistical hurdles, as normally a canvas on non-original stretchers would simply be removed from its wooden structural support for repairs. After several months of planning the repair, Hartman re-weaves the canvas using eye surgery needles and tones a custom-shaped canvas patch with precisely matched watercolors.

MoMA reopens to the public on October 21, 2019, after several months of extensive renovations and expansions, including two new ground-floor galleries that are free to visit. (via The Kid Should See This)

 

 



Art

African Fabrics Connect to Form Quilted Portraits of Black Figures by Bisa Butler

September 28, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Broom Jumpers. Credits: Ian Rubinstein / Claire Oliver Gallery

Brooklyn-based artist Bisa Butler (previously) uses brightly colored cotton, wool, and chiffon fabrics with bold patterns to piece together quilts featuring detailed portraits of Black people. The materials and themes connect American subjects with their African roots and tell visual stories of history and culture.

Butler is a New Jersey-born African American artist with Ghanian heritage. A closer look at her portraits reveals intricate mosaics of shapes and patterns and complex multi-hued skin tones. For her James Baldwin-inspired piece “I Am Not Your Negro,” Butler created a portrait of a man seated in a pose similar to Rodin’s “Thinker” and a warm complexion inspired by The Fire Next Time, an important book written by Baldwin that was first published in 1963. “I used reds and oranges in his complexion to indicate this while this man sits calmly [there] is fire inside,” Butler said in a statement. “I use colorful imaginative colors in my figures because I am connecting color to emotion and I want their images to indicate a personality, mood, and temperament.”

The artist’s quilts also incorporate nods to Black wedding traditions, references to historically Black colleges and universities, and other elements that speak to the Black and African American experience. The Katonah Museum of Art is set to host the artist’s first solo museum exhibition with approximately 25 of her quilts on display from March 15 to June 14, 2020.

To learn more about the Bisa Butler’s work, head over to the Claire Oliver Gallery website and follow the artist on Instagram.

I Am Not Your Negro

Dear Mama

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (detail)

Kindred

To God and Truth (detail)

To God and Truth (detail)

Bisa at work

Bisa at work

 

 



Art

Enormous Panels of Patchworked Fabric Give Colorful Temporary Makeovers to Public Buildings

September 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Textile artist Amanda Browder collaborates with the communities she’s working in to built site-specific architectural interventions. Using hundreds of yards of donated fabric with bright colors and patterns, Browder and her volunteer teams stitch together enormous panels that resemble crazy quilts. The panels wrap around bell towers, sheath elevated walkways, and drape from gables and eaves to give passersby a new experience of familiar buildings. In a statement on her website, Browder describes her work:

A state of betweenness – ‘twixt soft sculpture /’tween orchestrated public object installation with a studio affinity for abstraction and minimalism”. I am in love with the transformative nature of materials, and how the combination of the familiar creates abstract relationships about place. This relational objectivity generates an open-ended narrative, ambiguous situations defined by the choice of materials and work ethic. Central to the psychedelic experience, I am drawn to reinventing Pop-Art colors by exploring shifts in scale and sculptural perceptions.

The Montana-born artist received a B.A. in studio arts as well as two master’s degrees in sculpture and installation art. Browder is now based in Brooklyn and frequently travels to create new work. She was recently awarded an opportunity with the prestigious ArtPrize organization in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The multi-part work, titled Kaleidoscopic, is currently on view at locations around Grand Rapids. Keep up with Browder’s projects on Instagram, and watch the video below for a time-lapse of a previous installation in Las Vegas and an interview with the artist.

Photo: Bryan Esler

Photo: Bryan Esler

 

 



Art

Traditional Textiles are Unraveled and Re-Woven in Installations by Aiko Tezuka

September 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Berlin-based Japanese artist Aiko Tezuka carefully unravels and re-weaves elaborate textiles to form new shapes and patterns. In some works, the separated threads hang from the bottom edge of an intact textile in perfectly parallel lines; others feature threads course down in waterfall-like sheaths, reconnecting as they crash into the floor. In still others, the loose threads come together to form images and words hovering on sheer substrates. Tezuka closely studies the cultural and economic histories interwoven in different Eastern and Western textile traditions, examining the greater symbolism embedded in each decorative element.

“My essential interest has been what makes up the surface of the object; through which processes was the surface produced; how could I peel off the surface; what things could I see behind the surface; and how could I embody these things behind the surface into my work,” Tezuka shares in an artist statement. “Although we are completely surrounded by surfaces, we cannot physically enter things in even one millimeter under the surface. Every time we peel a surface, a new surface will appear immediately, like an infinite loop. How does one perceive these infinite surfaces, or loosen the surfaces that seem to be firmly interwoven?”

She has exhibited widely and her solo show “Dear Oblivion” at Michael Janssen gallery, runs from September 14 to November 16, 2019 in Berlin. Tezuka’s work is also on view September 7 – 28, 2019 at MA2 gallery in Tokyo. See more from the artist on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

 



Art

Peaceful Portraits Shaped from Bunched and Layered Netting by Benjamin Shine

August 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

For his “flow” series, artist and designer Benjamin Shine crafts portraits of serene faces using lightweight tulle fabric. The fine netted material allows for dramatic differences in opacity depending on how densely it is is bunched or layered. In his artist statement, Shine explains that his work “centers on ideas of energy, impermanence and the relationship between the spiritual and the superficial.” With his most recent sculpture, “Quietude”, Shine scaled up his signature portraits and built an outdoor sculpture that measures over eight feet tall. The fuchsia-toned sculpture was made an 80 by 20 foot piece of recycled high density polyethylene shaped around a steel frame, and its color shifts as natural light changes throughout the day. Take a peek inside Shine’s studio in the video interview below, and see more of his work on Instagram.