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Design

Sanded Down Versions of Mass-Produced Chairs Speak to an Economy in Crisis

July 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dutch designer Frank Tjepkema of Studio Tjep created the Recession Chair in 2011 as a response to the world’s economic crisis. To produce the work, Studio Tjep sanded down a mass-produced IKEA chair to a ragged and skeletal structure. “The resulting object is barely functional as it most likely won’t withstand the weight of the person it is trying to support,” said Tjep in a statement about the chair, “much like a society plagued by recession.”

As an opposing gesture, Tjep cast the work in bronze, adding strength to the chair’s areas of fault. You can see various states of the chair in the images below, including a partially sanded version of the chair in white, and several examples of the piece fully cast in luminous bronze. To view more examples of Tjep’s work with architecture, objects, and interior design, visit their website. (via @designers_need)

 

 



Art

Sculptural Carvings of Mankind’s Best Friend by Gerard Mas

July 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The likenesses of domestic dogs and cats are deftly carved into tree trunks and alabaster stone by Spanish sculptor Gerard Mas. Using very minimal materials, Mas creates the signature folds and frowns of French Bulldogs, the sleek muzzles of English Bull Terriers, and the inquisitive faces of Siamese cats. Mas forgoes additional pigmentation, restricting the coloration of each animal to dark “fur” achieved through charring the carved surface.

Mas is also known for his contemporary updates of Renaissance women blowing bubble gum bubbles and sporting bikini-outlined sunburns. The artist is represented by Barcelona gallery 3 Punts, and most recently exhibited at KunstRAI art fair in Amsterdam. He shares his in-progess and completed sculptures on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art

Stumble Upon Seven New Reclaimed Wood Trolls by Thomas Dambo in the Forests of Boom, Belgium

July 9, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In anticipation of Tomorrowland’s 15th anniversary, the Belgium-based festival commissioned Danish artist Thomas Dambo (previously) to build seven of his world-renowned trolls throughout the De Schoore area in Boom. Like his previous installations in Copenhagen, South Korea, and northern Illinois, the new cast of creatures are built from recycled and reclaimed wood from pallets, buildings, and fallen trees. Carved wood forms geometric noses and human-sized feet, while scraggly tree branches create untamed hair and beards.

“Trash is a material and it only depends on how you work with it,” Dambo explained in a press release about the project. “We can design an entire world out of trash. We need to look at it and then think about what to do with it. That’s why I’m building these bigger-than-life scale projects. By doing that and involving people, they will open their eyes and see the possibilities and opportunities that lay in our trash. I hope that my art will inspire people to recycle and encourage them to be kind to nature and our planet.”

Although the trolls were built for the festival, visitors to the De Schoore recreational area can also happen upon the 13 to 60-foot-tall sculptures, in addition to an observation tower built from found branches. Follow along with Dambo’s friendly beasts on his website and Facebook.

 

 



Art

Found Domestic Furniture Transformed Into Raw Architectural Models by Ted Lott

July 3, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Sculptor Ted Lott builds wooden artworks based on one of human beings’ most fundamental requirements, exploring the different ways in which we’ve devised shelter as a product of the industrial revolution. Lott examines modern architecture at its core by building tiny scale models without the decorative designs imposed by exterior siding and paint. He then combines these bare yet elegant structures with domestic furniture, fusing the basic necessities of home with the comforts provided from within.

To build his works, Lott uses a bandsaw as a scaled sawmill to generate miniature pieces of wood and other proportioned raw materials. Found and vintage furniture provide the base of his structures which are then lit from within as if someone is home.

“Like us, these structures are regular, nevertheless they strive to be unique, transforming their everyday bones into something beyond the banalities of basic needs,” Lott explains in his artist statement. “To me, this is the reason for making objects, to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. Through this process we point to the complex interaction of necessity, artistry, economy, function and beauty present in the original objects, while highlighting the possibilities of transformation and growth that are a requirement for the continuation and evolution of life.”

Lott received his BFA from the Maine College of Art and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can see more of the artist’s hybrid wooden works on his website and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 



Art

A Massive Wooden Wave Surges From a Gallery Floor in an Installation by Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen

July 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In a gallery at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) this spring, an all-encompassing wave of wood surrounded visitors as they walk across gangplanks that bisect the space. The installation, Hubris Atë Nemesis, was by Maine-based artist duo Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen. Kavanaugh and Nguyen have been collaborating since 2005 and working exclusively with paper. “One of the foundations of our collaborative art practice is the act of shared seeing, the artists shared. “We find common ground by actively investigating our own visual reference points, memories and assumptions.”

For this installation, the artists pushed their practice to include new media and techniques: Hubris Atë Nemesis is their first piece in wood, and the first in which the pathway through the piece is an actual part of the installation. The artists explained in a statement that the title and concept of the work is derived from a three-part narrative arc common in Greek tragic plays:

Hubris, characterized as an arrogant confidence, transforms to Atë, a ruinous folly or madness, then ultimately to Nemesis, a force of retribution that resets the natural order. Like many paintings of the Maine coast, we hope this work captures a moment of suspense in a dynamic system—a snapshot with an uncertain future—and that it appears to be unwritten what the restored natural order should or might become.

Hubris Atë Nemesis was created with the support of the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation: Kavanaugh and Nguyen were selected from a blind jury of over two hundred applicants. The installation was on view through June 16, 2019 at the CMCA. If you did not get a chance to experience the work in person, an impressive 360° virtual tour by Dave Clough is available. You can explore more of Kavanaugh and Nguyen’s archive of monochromatic installations, like White Stag and The Experience of Green, on the duo’s website.

 

 

 



Art

Objects and Figures Trapped Within Carved Wood Sculptures by Tung Ming-Chin

May 31, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Inner Turmoil” (2009), 85 x 85 x 30cm

Sculptor Tung Ming-Chin carves wood into figurative shapes that seem to press against the surface of the finished work. In “Inner Turmoil” a face and hands are trapped inside a hunk of wood that has the smooth, stretched appearance of fabric, and in “Breath”, the rounded spine and feet of a crouched figure expand outside the confines of a stiff white box. Tung was born in Changhua, Taiwan, and received both his BFA and MFA from Taipei National University of the Arts. You can view additional sculptures by the artist on the Taiwan Contemporary Art Archive website.

“Between Round and Square: Past, Present, and Future” (2013), 37 x 37 x 140cm

“The Birth of a New Hero” (2008), 35 x 30 x 45 cm

“The Birth of a New Hero,” detail (2008), 35 x 30 x 45 cm

“Leather Concept – Character” (2015), 43 x 28 x 164 cm

“A Stack of Heads” (2009), 35 x 35 x 160cm

“Breath” (2013), 60 x 40 x 30cm

“Changes Inside the Forest” (2011), 100 x 40 x 120cm

 

 



Art

Mercurial Emotions Carved into New Glitched Sculptures by Yoshitoshi Kanemaki

May 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Japanese sculptor Yoshitoshi Kanemaki (previously) captures the emotional complexities of youth in his glitched 3-dimensional portraits. Kanemaki carves tree trunks into figures—often young women—whose faces are multiplied in expressions that range from distressed to joyful in a single sculpture. The figures’ casual, natural poses seem to capture them in real time: some of the artist’s characters perch on chairs mid-conversation, and others gesture with their arms to express confidence or bashfulness. In his finished works, Kanemaki usually uses lifelike coloring, but for one recent sculpture shown in detail below, the artist experimented with creating the sensation of an out-of-focus image by using soft, blurred shapes and colors to complete the expression. See more of the sculptor’s finished and in-progress works on Instagram and Facebook. (via Hi-Fructose)