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Art

Two Curtains of 30,000 Prescription Lenses Cast a Distorted Water-Like Glimmer Across a Beijing Gallery

July 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of PIKOU, shared with permission

Suspended from an undulating metal rod, two translucent patchwork curtains of prescription eyeglasses evoke the gleaming shimmer of a waterfall. The disorienting installation is the second in a series of optical works by Canadian artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett (previously), who created a smaller kinetic piece centered around the concept of collective vision back in 2015.

Larger in scale and greater in material than the first, “And Between Us, An Ocean” utilizes 30,000 recycled polycarbonate plastic lenses sourced from a Beijing factory and Calgary recycling center. The dual installation bisects a gallery at Times Art Museum and distorts the space as visitors move amongst the glimmering curtains. A pixelated, contorted view emerges through the various prescriptions in each lens, skewing perspectives and proposing questions about the relationship between single and shared vision. Brown and Garrett write in a statement:

What faint ghosts are carried by such intimate objects—windows on the world for the audience of one? How is our shared reality shaped by so many perspectives of the same place and time? Removed from their original purpose, the eyeglass lenses implicate something specific about the mass and scale of our human experience, and the power of our desire to see the world (and each other) more clearly.

“And Between Us, An Ocean” is on view at the Beijing museum through September 12 before it travels to its next location. See the process behind the construction, which happened between Canada and China, and find more of the pair’s ocular works on their site.

 

 

 



Art

New Sculptural Eyewear Produced From Salvaged Street Metal and Found Objects by Cyrus Kabiru

March 24, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Kwa Kubadilishana Utamaduni, Macho Nne: At the Dot, 2017. 59 1/10 × 47 1/5 in

Self-taught Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru (previously) fashions extravagant eyewear from pieces of found metal and other salvaged materials on the streets of his hometown of Nairobi. Kabiru has been building his futuristic glasses since childhood and dedicates much of his time to producing works for his C-Stunner series of eyeglasses and coordinating photographs. Recently Kabiru has begun to expand his work to include large non-body-based sculptures, installations, and collage.

Kabiru’s practice is deeply tied to Afrofuturism, a genre that combines science fiction, magical realism, and historical fiction with the culture and politics of the African diaspora. His work was featured in the newly released Gestalten publication Africa Rising: Fashion, Design and Lifestyle from Africa. You can see more of his eyewear and larger sculptures on Artsy and SMAC.

 

Kubwa Macho Nne – American Darts, 2015.

Kubwa Macho Nne – Tom and Jerry (2015)

Mali Ya Mfalme, Macho Nne | Nubia Kale (Ancient Nubia), 2016

Njia Ya Maisha Macho Nne Throwback, 2015

Njia Ya Maisha, Macho Nne Egyptian Peacock, 2015

Kwa Kubadilishana Utamaduni, Macho Nne: Catalan Sun, 2017

 

 



Art

Kenyan Artist Digs Through Electronic Refuse and Found Metal to Create Dazzling Sculptural Eyewear

July 17, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Digging through electronic refuse and found metal in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, Cyrus Kabiru refashions found materials into different wearable forms. Often these take the form of flamboyantly composed glasses, large eyewear that can often mask the entire face.

Kabiru explains that his glasses obsession started at a young age, and blossomed as his father crushed his dreams of owning his own pair. “When I was young, I used to admire real glasses but my dad was a bit harsh and he never wanted me to have real glasses. That’s the reason I started making the glasses.”

His creations situate themselves in several different areas of art, shuffling between performance, sculpture, and fashion—embodying the playfulness of the youth generation in Nairobi. “When you walk in town and you see someone with my glasses, the glasses will [get] all your attention,” said Kabiru. “If you have any stress it is like a therapy.”

In addition to his found object sculptures and glasses, Kabiru is a self-taught painter, his subject matter being humorous portrayal of contemporary Kenyan life. His most recent series uses thousands of bottle caps sewn together to depict African nature. “I really love trash. I try to give trash a second chance. I change it to be something else, which is like it will stay for more than 100 years now.” (via prosthetic knowledge)

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Art Photography

New York Snaps into Focus through Bespectacled Animated Cinemagraphs

February 6, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Digital artists and photographers Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, arguably the masters of cinematic animated gifs, recently shared this wonderfully executed series of images featuring locations in their native New York as viewed Armani eyeglasses. Cleverly, as objects and people move across the lenses they suddenly snap into focus, revealing the finer details of Times Square, Central Park and Grand Central Station. You can read more about the series over on Ann Street Studio. (via Ignant)