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Design Illustration

Woodblock-Printed Matchboxes Light up with Canine Personalities

July 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

As a follow-up to last year’s wildly successful woodblock-printed matchboxes featuring the questionable decisions of tipsy cats, Ravi Zupa has just released a set of canine designs. Comprised of ten designs, the set includes a Boston Terrier with a high opinion of himself, a loyal hound, and an endearingly self-deprecating pug.

“These are the people in our lives with complicated dispositions and attitudes who never fail to bring
us joy, even when they’re jerks,” Zupa explained in an artist statement. “This new set of matchboxes is an effort to give the overly expressive, stubborn, supportive, unpredictable, confused and self important beings in our lives the recognition they deserve.”

Zupa used oil-based intaglio ink to create the three-color prints, and each one includes a pint-sized certificate of authenticity. The matchboxes can be ordered in the artist’s online shop, along with pre-orders for larger prints of the same designs. You can see more of Zupa’s vintage-inspired and humorous works, ranging from prints to paintings and sculptures, on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Conceptual Typewriter Sculptures by Glenda León Replace Keys With Dripping Candles and Acrylic Nails

May 2, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Glenda León affixes objects such as matchsticks, melted candles, and acrylic nails to typewriters she sources from antique dealers in Havana, Cuba. Each item replaces the machine’s rubber stamps or keys, and is presented with a different meaning, such as her piece The Insatiable Writer which contains a variety of collected teeth. “The pieces of human teeth establish an analogy between the act of speaking, chewing, consuming and writing,” León explains in an artist statement about the piece. “In the absence of something to swallow, or imagining only a blank sheet as possible food, writing becomes then a devourer of voids, blank sheets.”

The Cuban artist currently splits her time between Havana and Madrid. Her work is currently included in the group exhibition Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago at the Portland Museum of Art through May 5, 2019 and Never Real / Always True at the Azkuna Zentroa in Bilbao, Spain through September 22, 2019. You can see more of León’s interventions, like her cubed piano key sculpture, on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Design Illustration

Hilarious Matchboxes Depict Cats Making Questionable Decisions

June 8, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Colorado-based artist Arna Miller uses vintage style packaging, advertising, and illustrations as inspiration for her goofy creations. The serious historical aesthetic and matter-of-fact text subtly ridiculous, finding humor in imagining animals experiencing human emotions, ambitions, and failures.

In a statement on her website, Miller describes her guiding principles as an artist: “My aim is to create narrative illustrations that depict magical moments…I often use text to tell part of the story, but like to leave most of the narrative up to the viewer. My guiding rule—which I sometimes break—is Possible, but Not Likely. For example, it’s possible for a vole to sit on a cigarette box and float down a river, but it is not likely. On the other hand, dinosaurs didn’t have laptops and headphones, so I would not draw that.”

The matchbox series “Strike Your Fancy,” which Miller made in collaboration with her husband Ravi Zupa, shows cats staying out late and making dicey decisions. The series is on view at Abstract in Denver through June 30, 2018. Matchboxes are also for sale in Miller and Zupa’s online stores. You can see more of Miller’s clever artwork on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Matchstickmen: Burnt Matches Resembling Charred Human Heads by Wolfgang Stiller

March 5, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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While living in Beijing several years ago German artist Wolfgang Stiller acquired several head molds and large pieces of wood. After experimenting with the various components the artist struck on an idea to create several large-scale burnt matches where the charred remains of each tip appeared as the face of a human, a series he calls Matchstickmen. While Stiller leaves the meaning of the artworks open for interpretation the pieces exist in a surprisingly strange area between morbid and humorous. At a distance each match seems almost laughable in its appearance almost like a toy bobblehead, but up close the somber, lifeless faces often resting in coffin-like matchboxes are pretty disconcerting. The Matchstickmen will be on display again in just a few days starting March 8th, 2013 at Python Gallery in Zurich as part of the show Burnout which runs through April 20th.(via lustik, designboom, lustik)

 

 



Art

United States Map Made from Thousands of Wood Matches by Claire Fontaine

February 11, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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U.S.A. (burnt/unburnt) is a 2011 installation by Paris-based artist Claire Fontaine (previously) constructed from thousands of green matches that were inserted into a wall at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art as part art of “Evidence of Bricks” at the 2011 Time-Based Art Festival. Fontaine has made somewhat of a name for herself with her match installations and flaming geography, most recently completing a similar U.S.A. map at Queens Nails Gallery in San Francisco. Unlike the installation in Portland above, the Queens Nails artwork was actually set on fire, and while it may not have gone exactly as intended, the final post-flame artwork is impressive nonetheless. Photographs above for PICA by Dan Kvitka.

Update: Hyperallergic has the scoop in the latest US Map fire.

 

 



Art

Tiny Illustrations Drawn Inside Matchbooks by Jason D’Aquino

October 18, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Artist and illustrator Jason D’Aquino draws incredibly small illustrations inside of matchbooks. His muse is frequently pop culture itself, with numerous references to horror films, famous artworks, pulp fiction magazine covers, and even human anatomy. If you happen to be in New Orleans D’Aquino has work available at the Shop in the French quarter, and he’ll also have work at Art Basel Miami through Red Truck Gallery. (via juxtapoz)

 

 



Art

New work by Pei-San Ng

June 21, 2011

Christopher Jobson

A wonderful new piece from Chicago artist and architect Pei-San Ng (previously) who makes tightly compact sculptural pieces out of matches. This latest work, a bold phoenix with an appropriate ashen tail is the most complex piece I’ve seen from her. This sculpture and some new typographical works are for sale in her shop. (via my modern met)

 

 

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