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Art

Plants and Knotted Branches Sprout from Camille Kachani's Impractical Household Objects

August 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Guilherme Gomes, shared with permission

Human progress and the insurmountable force of nature converge in Camille Kachani’s overgrown sculptures. The Lebanese-Brazilian artist (previously) is known for his furniture, tools, and other practical objects that are overrun with new plant growths and gnarly roots, rendering the seemingly functional items like stools, hammers, and books humorously impractical.

Whether a text bursting with vegetation or dresser drawers housing young sprigs, Kachani’s works highlight the futile attempts humans undertake to control the environment. This relationship has been central to his practice in recent years, and his goal is to showcase the conflicts that arise from their intersections especially in relation to life in Brazil—the South American country is more frequently experiencing the effects of the climate crisis like the worst drought its seen in decades and rampant deforestation that’s only intensifying the ongoing devastation—which he explains:

When we speak human and nature, we mean culture and nature, an (un)stable and unpredictable relation. We depend on nature but also see it as a major obstacle to our complete mastery of the planet. But in fact, it is impossible to talk about nature and culture as two distinct subjects, as they are so intertwined and contaminated from each other that I come to believe that everything is nature and culture at the same time.

Kachani is based in São Paulo and is preparing for a forthcoming book chronicling 20 years of his practice, which will be published in 2022. You can follow his work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Vintage Cross-Stitch Motifs Conceal Common Household Objects in Sculptures by Ulla-Stina Wikander

July 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ulla-Stina Wikander, shared with permission

Pastoral landscapes and quiet domestic scenes stitched into vintage textiles envelop Ulla-Stina Wikander’s needlepoint sculptures. Using rotary phones, kitchen appliances, or an antique gramophone as her foundation, Wikander (previously) molds the cross-stitch works around her chosen object, cloaking it in a blanket of color and texture while preserving its original shape. Multiple facets of domestic life intersect in the revitalized pieces, which bring the age-old craft traditionally associated with home decoration and items commonly found in kitchens and garages together into reinterpreted forms.

Splitting her time between Stockholm and Kullavik, Wikander shares that she’s started to work with sports equipment and more elaborate tools, which you can see on Instagram. You can browse her available works at Philadelphia’s Paradigm Gallery, and see her pieces in person through August 6 at Jane Lombard Gallery in New York and at M Contemporary Gallery in Sydney in the coming months.

 

 

 



Design

A Morphing Fractal Vise Pivots to Grasp Irregular Shapes for Engraving

July 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

Nebraska-based artist Steve Lindsay is equally interested in engraving metals and other surfaces as he is in the tools needed to etch with exacting precision. He’s spent the last six years toying with this vise design, which in its latest iteration, has jaws that pivot to hug whatever object is placed between them. Based on a 1900s milling machine, the fractal components create a tight grip on irregular shapes like wrenches and scissors.

Lindsay currently is taking pre-orders for the 16- and 8-finger versions on his site, and check out his YouTube for a deeper dive into his engraving processes. (via Core77)

 

 

 



Art

Sledgehammers and High Heels Find a Modern Pairing in Kelly Reemtsen's New Paintings

November 15, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Painter Kelly Reemtsen (previously) paints images of anonymous women in thick impasto. The pieces juxtapose high fashion with tools and other construction equipment, placing sequenced high heels alongside sledgehammers and hefty axes. The colorfully painted works are Reemtsen’s comment on modern femininity. By placing tools in each of her subjects’ hands, the LA-based artist showcases that having feminine identification doesn’t mean fitting into a predetermined role.

Reemtsen is represented by Detroit-based David Klein Gallery and Lyndsey Ingram in London. You can view more of her fashionably dressed subjects on her website.

 

 



Art

Kelly Reemtsen's Painterly Juxtapositions of Chic Dresses and Power Tools Showcase Modern Femininity

November 16, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

Labor-Force (1)

Labor Force, 2015

Los Angeles-based painter Kelly Reemtsen's newest works focus on the subject matter of well-dressed women toting household tools that range from mallets to power saws, each held in a causal position that demonstrates a comfortableness with the object in-hand. Each figure is anonymous, the head of the woman not included in the cropped images of dress, heels, and tool.

The collective works question what makes the modern woman, flouncy dresses coordinating with more masculine tools to showcase the objects’ relatability rather than create a contrast between the woman and her wrenches and shears. The brightly colored impasto paintings each provide a burst of color—yellow, greens, and pinks catching the eye.

Reemtsen just closed a new exhibition of work titled “Smashing” at De Buck Gallery in New York and is also represented by David Klein Gallery, which relocated to Detroit this fall. Her 2013 book “I’m Falling” won both the Independent Spirit Award and 2014 Independent Publisher Books Award.

Unstuck

Unstuck, 2015

Shear-Bliss

Shear Bliss, 2015

Spotted

Spotted, 2015

Forced

Forced, 2015

Handled

Handled, 2015

I Pick You, 2015

I Pick You, 2015

Striking-Distance

Striking Distance, 2015

 

 



Design Science

The Cyanometer Is a 225-Year-Old Tool for Measuring the Blueness of the Sky

May 9, 2014

Christopher Jobson

Hot on the heels of a post earlier this week about centuries-old guide for mixing watercolors, I stumbled onto this 18th century instrument designed to measure the blueness of the sky called a Cyanometer. The simple device was invented in 1789 by Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt who used the circular array of 53 shaded sections in experiments above the skies over Geneva, Chamonix and Mont Blanc. The Cyanometer helped lead to a successful conclusion that the blueness of the sky is a measure of transparency caused by the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. You can learn more at the Royal Society of Chemistry. (via Free Parking)

 

 

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