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Art

Found Text Weaves New Narratives in Sculptures of Common Objects by Cecilia Levy

March 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Lena” (2015). All images © Cecilia Levy, shared with permission

Artist Cecilia Levy (previously) carves individual words and phrases from vintage books that she then refashions into Mary Janes, fringed boots, and classic tea sets. As thin as a single sheet of paper, her fragile, pasted sculptures weave blocks of texts into new patterns and contexts that add intrigue and depth to their everyday forms. The sourced material “carries several narratives at the same time, both in the content itself and by the passing of time, for instance where light and age have turned the edges of the paper brittle and brown. My works are also about this. They reflect my inner stories and memories,” she tells Colossal.

Levy models many of her pieces after items found around her home or by casting objects in a silicone mold, though it’s not only the shape that guides the work but often the prose itself. Words like “poësie,” for example, nestle into the center of a teacup piece by the same name, while other sculptures like “Lena” or “Rosa” could be likened to narrative mazes that require navigating an array of words and phrases strung together in non-linear manners.

Based in Sigtuna, Sweden, Levy has two pieces available in her shop and several shows slated for this spring: her works will be on view at Homo Faber in Venice and two venues in Malmö, the Form/Design Center and at Southern Sweden Design Days. She’s currently working on a series involving paper maché clay that she’ll exhibit next year at Konsthantverkarna in Stockholm. You can see more of Levy’s process and works on Instagram.

 

“Hobo – Homeward Bound” (2012), book pages, paste, string. 40 x 30 x 30 centimeters

“Rosa” (2015)

“Rosa” (2015)

“Tea for two,” book pages, wheat paste, concrete base, 15 x 40 x 40 centimeters. Photo by Alvaro Campo

Detail of “Hobo – Homeward Bound” (2012), book pages, paste, string. 40 x 30 x 30 centimeters

“Hobo – Homeward Bound” (2012), book pages, paste, string. 40 x 30 x 30 centimeters

“Poësie” (2016), book pages and wheatpaste, 9-centimeter cup, 13-centimeter saucer

 

 



Craft Design Food

Tools, Snacks, and Other Household Goods Become Clever Wearables by Nicole McLaughlin

February 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Nicole McLaughlin, shared with permission

Peek into Nicole McLaughlin’s closet—or scroll through her Instagram—and you’ll find (literally) toasty winter hats, plush, pocketed work boots, and sandals that double as snacks. The New York-based designer is known for her playful edible apparel and brand-based conversions that turn household objects, logos, and individual servings of food into amusing and functional goods. Her latest creations include toothpaste tube slip-ons, LEGO shorts, and a vest designed with scent in mind. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 

 



Design

At the Forefront of Sustainable Fashion, Peterson Stoop Reconstructs Tattered Sneakers into New Patchwork Designs

December 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Peterson Stoop, shared with permission

Coinciding with the rise of repurposed fabrics and visible mending, the Amsterdam-based design studio Peterson Stoop is combating waste in one vector of the fashion industry. The company, which was founded by Jelske Peterson and Jarah Stoop in 2013, salvages worn shoes otherwise destined for landfills—it’s estimated that a single pair of trainers can take 1,000 years to break down—and repurposes them into mules, high-tops, and loafers. Combined with cork, leather, and other natural materials for support, the new shoes highlight the original logos and tattered fabrics through a patchwork of thick seams.

Stoop tells Colossal that the studio sources sneakers from sorting centers, secondhand shops, and retailers with overstock, although it gravitates toward brands like Nike, Adidas, and Converse because of their cultural relevance. “We deconstruct the shoes and rebuild them piece by piece. By re-designing them with traditional techniques, we create an interesting tension between two different worlds,” she says. “At the same time, we are creating a product that is repairable time and again.”

Now offering more than a dozen genderless styles, Peterson Stoop plans to expand its product line with a focus on the materials at hand. Gathering 20 pairs of blue Nike Blazers, for example, inspired a unique collection that maintains the integrity of the initial design with a new, repairable sole. “To see the same shoes worn differently with scuffs, marks, and different tints faded by the sun we documented it for ourselves. By framing so-called identical shoes in one shot, you realize how different, unique, and beautiful they all actually are,” Stoop says.

Peterson Stoop’s shop is stocked with original designs and is open for custom orders. See more of the company’s workspace and upcycling process on Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Art

Assembled Sculptures by Artist Willie Cole Cluster High Heels into Expressive Masks

May 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Street Dragon I” (2018), shoes, wire, and screws on a metal stand, 64.5 x 16 x 15.5 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse. All images © Willie Cole, courtesy of Alexander and Bonin, New York

Artist Willie Cole juxtaposes readymade footwear and African tradition in his series of sculptural masks. The figurative assemblages stack women’s heels into clusters that are expressive and distinctly unique, an effect Cole derives from the shoes’ material, color, and pattern rather than a preconceived plan or sketch. Depicting exaggerated toothy grins, pointed brows, and outstretched tongues, the sculptures span more than a decade of the artist’s career and influence a new collaboration with Comme des Garçons that’s comprised of headpieces made with black pumps.

Each piece is layered with cultural and societal markers, including those that comment on mass consumerism, fashion trends, and notions of femininity. This context is situated in time and place, which Cole describes as “a subtle catalyst for perception. I have discovered that high heels purchased in New York are very different than high heels purchased in Georgia,” he says. Cole explains:

I guess you could call the high heel both an anxious object and a readymade aid. ‘Anxious’ because as a symbol, it is fully loaded with history and a story all its own even as just a shoe. ‘Readymade aid’ because that history adds so much to your interpretation and/or reaction to these pieces. As for fashion, these pieces speak about the abundance of discarded high heels in the world as well as the various styles and trends.

The New Jersey-based artist is involved in a variety of projects at the moment, including a commission for Kansas City International Airport that’s an homage to Charlie Parker and a series of sculptures made with 75 acoustic Yamaha guitars that’ll raise money for music education. His work is currently on view at Alexander and Bonin in New York City and Beta Pictoris Gallery in Birmingham. This summer, he’s participating in a show at Hauser and Wirth and is involved in an installation celebrating a former Black neighborhood that’s opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this fall. See more from his expansive body of work that largely explores Black identities on his site and Instagram.

 

“Sole Brother 1” (2007), shoes, wire, washers, and screws, 18 x 18 x 19 inches. Photo by Jason Mandella

“Ashley Bickerton” (2016), shoes, wire, and screws on a metal stand, 63.5 x 16 x 15.5 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse

“Street Dragon II” (2018), shoes, wire, and screws, 19.5 x 15.5 x 10.25 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse

“Shine” (2007), shoes, wire, washers, screws, and shelf 16 x 15 x 16 inches. Photo by Jason Mandella

“Fly Girl” (2016), shoes, wire, and screws on a metal stand, 65.5 x 15.5 x 15.5 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse

“Sole Brother 2” (2007), shoes, wire, washers, and screws, 19.5 x 16.75 x 18 inches. Photo by Jason Mandella

 

 

 



Art

Everyday Objects Are Sliced and Re-Assembled into Distorted Sculptures by Fabian Oefner

April 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Heisenberg Object V – Cortez” (2021), leather, foam, and resin, 30 x 18 x 15 centimeters. All images © Fabian Oefner, shared with permission

In Heisenberg Objects, Fabian Oefner (previously) translates quantum mechanic’s uncertainty principle into a sculptural series of segmented objects. The Connecticut-based artist uses resin to solidify the everyday items, which include sneakers, a Leica M6, a tape recorder, a Seiko clock, and flight recorder, before slicing them into countless individual pieces. He then aggregates those fragmented parts into dissected sculptures that resemble the original object through a distorted view of the inner and outer mechanisms.

Drawing its name from German physicist Werner Heisenberg, the series is rooted in the basics of the uncertainty principle, which states that no two particles can be measured accurately at exactly the same time. “You can either determine one parameter and ignore the other or vice versa, but you can never know everything at once,” the artist writes about Heisenberg’s idea. The two opposing views—i.e. the inner and outer layers of the common items—converge in Oefner’s sculptures and visualize the principle through skewed perceptions. “As an observer, you are never able to observe the object as a whole and its inner workings simultaneously. The more accurately we see one view, the less clearly we see the other,” he says.

Check out Oefner’s Instagram for more views of the re-interpreted objects, along with videos documenting the slicing process.

 

“Heisenberg Object III – Leica M6” (2021), aluminum, glass, and resin, 20 x 15 x 5 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object I – Seiko Clock” (2021), plastics, metal, and resin, 20 x 15 x 10 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object II – Tape Recorder” (2021), plastics, metal, resin, 30 x 20 x 8 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object VI – Cortez” (2021), leather, foam, and resin, 30 x 18 x 15 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object VI – Cortez” (2021), leather, foam, and resin, 30 x 18 x 15 centimeters

Detail of “Heisenberg Object IV – Flight Recorder” (2021), plastics, metal, resin, 50 x 50 x 40 centimeters

“Heisenberg Object IV – Flight Recorder” (2021), plastics, metal, resin, 50 x 50 x 40 centimeters

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Fabian Oefner (@fabianoefner)

 

 



Design History Illustration Music

Inside Information: Cross-Sections of Retro Technology Reveal Historical Moments of Iconic Objects

October 2, 2020

Christopher Jobson

The distinctive Arriflex 35 IIC is one of the most significant motion picture cameras of all time, and a favourite of the Hollywood new wave of cinematographers of the 60’s ad 70’s. The hand held camera was famously beloved by Stanley Kubrick whose 1971 cult classic, A Clockwork Orange, was shot almost entirely on the Arri 35 IIC.

As part of an ongoing series titled Inside Information, UK-based design studio Dorothy explores some of the most iconic designs in the areas of film, music, personal computing, and fashion through clever “cutaway” infographics. Each illustration reveals a miniature isometric world packed with historical moments from famous concerts that used the Vox AC30 amplifier to films that utilized the Arriflex 35 IIC handheld camera, which transformed movies forever. All five of the Inside Information graphics are available as three-color litho prints on its website. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

Released in 1959 to meet the demand for louder amplifiers, the Vox AC30 was quickly adopted as the amp of choice for bands like The Beatles, The Kinks and The Stones, helping to define the sound of the ‘British Invasion’ when the popularity of British rock ’n’ roll bands spread to the States. Its appeal has continued through the decades with bands like Queen, U2, The Smiths, Oasis, Blur, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys all counted as loyal Vox fans.

The Nike Air Max is a bona fide design classic. Designed by Tinker Hatfield and released in 1987 it has, in its 30 plus years of existence, established a cult following. Inspired by the architecture of the Centre Pompidou, it was the first trainer to offer a window to the sole, kickstarting a revolution in sneaker design.

The Minimoog was the world’s first portable (and affordable) synthesiser. Billed as ’The Moog for the road’, it revolutionized music, acquired a cult-like following (which it still enjoys to this day) and quickly became the most popular synth of its time.

The Apple Macintosh (later know as the Macintosh 128k) was launched with an Orwell inspired commercial directed by Ridley Scott, and introduced to the world by Steve Jobs on 24th January 1984. It blew our tiny little minds and for many heralded the beginning of a lifelong love affair with all things Apple.