Discover: Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures

Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures

Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures

Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures don’t seem intentional, more like ornamental sculptures used to wistfully decorate English gardens that nature had other plans for.  Aganetha’s work considers environmental issues, specifically the power of the small and its impact globally.  Over the past twenty-two years, she’s collaborated with bees to further her studies on interspecies communication, her research asks questions about the ramifications all living beings would experience should honeybees disappear from earth.

The porcelain figures are placed the bees in enclosures serving as a canvas, the bees are in effect her partners in the creations of the beautiful honeycomb sculptures. The figurines covered in the bee’s honeycombs are meant to show how intertwined our two species existences are, and start a conversation begin about our behaviors towards bees.  Leading to questioning the ramifications all living beings would experience should honeybees disappear from earth.

View “Guest Workers,” a short film on her sculptures after the pictures.

Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures

Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures

Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures

Chess • Tableau, beeswax, honeycomb, found figurine, 2008. Photo credit: Peter Dyck.

Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures

Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures

Veiled Lady • Figurine, beeswax, bees, circa 2007-08. Photo: Peter Dyck

Aganetha Dyck Bee Comb Sculptures

 

Catch it: Aganetha Dyck [Website]

Photos courtesy of the Aganetha Dyck website

F is for Frieke Janssens

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Do you remember this photo series by Frieke Janssens?

Photographer Frieke Janssens controversial series, Smoking Kids, saw children ages 4-9 dressed in outfits that evoked particular periods of cigarette culture.  While the costuming and posing of the children evokes perhaps a certain glamour that some still find in the begone ‘Mad Menesque’ era, visually you are forced to see the ugliness of smoking when juxtaposed with the youth of her subjects. These photo narratives question whether or not the fascination for cigarettes is as enticing when viewed on children. Now, the cigarettes used in the photos were actually fashioned out of cheese, candles and incense – though I doubt that will make most comfortable with the subject matter.

A lot of Janssens’ work tackles addiction and social change. The uneasiness the viewer experiences while looking at her photography parallels that of our society’s approach to tackling these long standing obstacles. We’ve allowed ourselves to view many of these as acceptable modern societal norms – and she challenges that.

Her latest series Animalcoholics goes surrealist as it imagines alcoholics down to their base selves, after loss of self control and self consciousness has reduced them to their primal selves.

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Frieke Janssens_Smoking Kids Frieke Janssens_Smoking Kids

Link up: Frieke Janssens Website / Instagram @friekejanssens_photography

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Genre: Photography

Discover: Tsurubride the art of Meghan Willis

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Brooklyn based artist, Tsuru Bride (Japanese word for crane), aka Meghan Willis, celebrates women’s strength and sexuality through her work; and I love her semi-super hero dossier. “By day I work in the apparel industry, and by night I explore the art of undressing, movement, and sensuality through embroidery,” she writes. “I aim to tempt the viewer to follow the delicate stitching that caresses the bodies I reveal through thread.”

Her work is hand embroidered on linen, leather appliques are stitched often creating colorful illusions, then hand painted with acrylics. Check it out these conversation starters…

 

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Tart, Stretched Canvas, 8″ x 10″

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Open Closed, 10″ x 11″

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TUG, silk organza, Liberty print, and leather appliques 10″ x 12″

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Double Exposure No. 5 (Tita), 8″ x10″

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Double Exposure No. 3 (Nina), 8″ x 10″

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Rift, 9″ x 17″

Tsuru Bride-coy

Coy, 10″ x 15″

 

Discover More:

Tsurubride Instagram

Tsurubride Website

photos courtesy of Meghan Willis website.

Steffen Dam’s Cabinets of Curiosities

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Danish artist, Steffen Dam’s grandfather, born in 1893, was a passionate amateur in the field of natural history.  As a child, Dam enjoyed pouring over his grandfather’s library of scientific books full of illustrations of specimens.

Today Dam, a highly skilled glass blower, uses his affinity for natural history to create his imaginatively wonderful backlit “Cabinets of Curiosities”.

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Mimicked oceanic specimens in glass cylinders seemingly containing liquid and air bubbles become optical illusions; the translucent character of the glass object in the cylinder imitates sea life. His specimens aren’t actually objects found in nature, rather a quirky re-writing of the biological world.

“I have been working with glass for 25 years. Initially I was blowing glass, but over the years casting, grinding and techniques from other crafts emerged. My aim is to describe the world as I see it. One could also say to describe what’s not tangible and understandable with our everyday senses. My cylinders contain nothing that exists in the ocean, my specimens are plausible but not from this world, my plants are only to be found in my compost heap, and my flowers are still unnamed.”

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*photos taken by HAHA MAG

Shifting Consciousness with Chiharu Shiota

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"The Locked Room" 2016, KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater, Yokohama, Japan, photo by Masanobu Nishino “The Locked Room” 2016, KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater, Yokohama, Japan, photo by Masanobu Nishino

‘A sleepy mystery intertwined with beauty’, is how I like to think of Chiharu Shiota’s intricate large-scale installation pieces exploring the relationship between body and mind. Her work feels like being let into remnants of someone else’s dreams.

She tethers her memories to objects with lengths of tangled, crisscrossing black threads, securing them in a physical realm. Here we are offered the questions, the quandaries of an woman who dreams herself in and out of reality without ever really leaving the suspension of time.

It’s rare to see Shiota’s installations come towards the U.S., although (claps) her 2017 exhibition calendar has a solo show booked for Feb 21 2017 – Aug 6 at the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA / U.S.A.

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Conscious Sleep, Venue: Cockatoo Island, 22th Biennale of Sydney, photo by Paul Green

Conscious Sleep, Venue: Cockatoo Island, 22th Biennale of Sydney, photo by Paul Green

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“When I dream, I feel the dream as reality. I can’t distinguish between dream and reality. When I wake up, I have the feeling I’m still dreaming.” -Chiharu Shiota

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I found a pretty amazing time lapse of “After the Dream” being installed at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery during the ‘Lost in Lace’ exhibition in London back in 2011.

DISCOVER: THE COMING UNDONE OF ANA TERESA BARBOZA

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Textile Artist, Ana Teresa Barboza is onto new things – embroidered landscapes and plants. But I’ll be forever attached to her series, BORDADOS, where she explores the art of embroidering the body and skin.

It’s visually intoxicating to imagine the grabbing, the pulling of oneself apart into threads to rearrange your fabric; stitch yourself back together in a way more suitable to breathe.

She makes it seem a natural course of thought, that one could exist in a space that allows nature to emulate canvas, where we can weave ourselves anew with needle and thread. These works are primal representations of structures torn from within or adorned throughout.

 

“Working with my hands, it’s something I’ve always done since childhood… and the incredible images that textiles can produce. I feel the fabric gives familiarity to the image, it pulls you in to stop and admire the details.”* – Ana Teresa Barboza

 

Artist Links: Ana Teresa Barboza Website

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bordados

 

*quote taken from interview with Barboza at Textile Artist.

Explore another artist who takes needle to skin, in our interview with  Eliza Bennet’s “A Women’s Work is Never Done”.

 

Discover: Yoan Capote

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Self-portrait (each one of us) 2002 to 2008 | Concrete and cast bronze |175 x 50 x 50 cm | Yoan Capote

 

Cuban artist, Yoan Capote peeks our interest with sculpture work that creates harmony between materials that stand in stark contrast in the face of their duality.  It might be what draws you to his work; but Capote mentioned in an interview that the materials don’t determine his work. “Ideas are critical to my deciding which materials to use…Whenever you have something interesting to convey, you look for the ideal way to express it.”*

His visual metaphors are striking; the chords of his work strike emotional tones of compassion, a connect with our humanity, and a sight into our fragility.  One of our favorites pieces is Self-Portrait.  In Self-Portrait, Capote used molds of real bones with provenance from different dead people; then, he reproduced each one of them in wax, adjusting them and creating the representation of a new subject in that sculpture. The weight of the concrete is used like a symbolic element. Equilibrium is a metaphor of struggle and resistance. Gravity reminds the spiritual weight that everyone supports and talks about fragility of our own life.

Discover more on Yoan Capote: Website

 

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New Man 2014 Real handcuffs, cast bronze and stainless steel structure | 221.5 x 61 x 46 cm | Yoan Capote

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*quote comes from Capote interview with Phyllis Tuchman
– description of Self Portrait and photos from the artist

Nicomi Nix Turner: Writhing & Withering @ Paradigm Gallery

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Nicomi Nix Turner’s latest solo exhibition, Writhing & Withering, just opened at Paradigm Gallery + Studio

Turner is usually recognized for her intricately detailed black-and-white graphite illustrations that evoke surreal understandings of the connections between nature, alchemy, mythology, decay and birth.  Here’s a little peek into her latest collection where she tackles a new technique—finishing her works using beeswax, resin, and oil medium that gives the work a dreamy, otherworldly feel.

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In her artist statement for Writhing & Withering, she explains, “Fruit plays the protagonist consumed by both the fearless and ignorant alike.”  Fleshing out tangible realms for her protagonists to flourish in is where Turner’s work turns gorgeously dark and romantic.  In her imaginative places, conjuring desire is left out to rot, worn in defiance, caught sweetly passing the lips and, left dangling from mouths in the midst of subtle revelations.  The works feast on the symbolic devices Turner has carried throughout earlier works – an offering sacrifice for renewal.

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In this realm, “the consumption of fruit leaves mortality withering – holds the eater writhing in hallucinatory suspension.

It recalls me to scenes out of Christina Rossetti’s poem, “Goblin Market”, where fruit is also the protagonist.  The young character Laura, eats the goblins’ fruits and grows older afterwards, but it isn’t by learning and getting wiser.  Laura has eaten the fruit and now she knows its taste, but it damages her in a way. Her craving for the fruit becomes like that of an addict, she writhes as her inability to be satisfied causes her to become completely debilitated.

“I ate my fill, yet my mouth waters still”, Rossetti’s Laura, says desperately and listlessly to her sister – who ultimately becomes her savior.  The problem with the fruit in “Goblin Market” is expressed by Laura herself: “Who knows upon what soil they fed their hungry thirsty roots?” The distinction between good and evil blurs when the juices of the fruit also become what sustains Laura in the end …to take and to give.

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Turner, in turn, explores the cultural and ideological meanings of fruit in celebration of nature and abundance while acknowledging its darker side.

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As you walk around the gallery during her latest solo show at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia, the eyes of the women she has drawn into existence hold your gaze with their eyes, boldly defying you to write another ending for them.

The show’s strength is due in part to the her connection with these women. She knows who they are. The realness of their lives are validated in the details: the wisps of hair that halo about their heads, the crazy pattern work that adorns their clothes, the eyes that take you on explorations of women whose mysteries you want to know.

If their stories still elude you, Turner has evoked her tale into tangible grabs as three-dimensional sculpts of striped fruits grow outside the canvas and further your descent into her story.

“Writhing & Withering” uses devices that carry weight regardless of its subjects’ innate gifts or abilities, all while securing us, the viewer, in a visual inability to be sated.

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†a version of this article was first published on the Paradigm Gallery + Studio  website

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“Writhing & Withering” works by Nicomi Nix Turner
November 18, 2016 – January 7, 2017

Opening Reception
Friday, November 18th • 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Closing Reception
Friday, December 16th • 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Location
Paradigm Gallery + Studio / 746 S. 4th Street, 1st Floor / Philadelphia, PA 19147

Social Media
Instagram: @_fernbeds_
Twitter: @fernbeds

Discover: Rune Guneriussen

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Norwegian conceptual artist Rune Guneriussen creates whimsical worlds that highlight the natural beauty of his chosen locales. Integrating everyday, man-made objects into his work, Guneriussen assembles temporary, site-specific sculptures that he photographs using a analog plate camera.

It can take days before he finds the perfect secluded location. Items are hauled there by foot and arranged to sit within the perfect balance of light, illuminated by what Guneriussen refers to as the ‘blue hour’. Once the image is taken, he quickly dismantles the work, leaving no trace of it behind.

“As an artist he believes strongly that art itself should be questioning and bewildering as opposed to patronizing and restricting…he does not want to dictate a way to the understanding of his art, but rather indicate a path to understanding a story,” Guneriussen states in the third person on his website.

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Discover more of Guneriussen’s work:
Website \ Facebook

Arcade Classics: Video Games from the Collection of Museum of the Moving Image

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All you need to know is laid in the museum’s press release below.  I’ll just add our ringing endorsement – the pleasure of being in several dark rooms with just the glow of screens to guide your way.  Whether you were reliving your childhood or showing your kids what it really means to have your name on the leaderboard – this exhibit was a field trip to drool over.

“Arcade Classics features more than 30 video arcade games released between 1971 and 1993, drawn from the Museum’s collection. All of the games will be playable. Though the era of the video arcade game is long gone, arcade games were the grounds for innovation and experimentation that informed the genres, conventions, and play mechanics of the video games that we know today.

The earliest game on view in Arcade Classics is Computer Space (1971), the first coin-operated video arcade game, created by Nolan Bushnell. While Computer Space was not a commercial success, Bushnell used the $500 he earned from it to found Atari. After seeing an early demonstration of a ball and paddle game for the soon-to-be-released Magnavox Odyssey (1972), he along with Allan Acorn developed Pong (1972), also on view, which became a massive commercial and cultural phenomenon, and spawned a new industry. The 38 games on view in the exhibition range in genre from early sports games (Atari Football, NBA Jam, Track & Field); fighting games (Karate Champ, Mortal Kombat); driving games (Pole Position, Out Run); puzzle and platformers (Donkey Kong, Frogger, Q*Bert); and a diverse array of “shooters,” many set in space (Asteroids,Galaxian, Defender, Space Invaders, Zaxxon), but also earthbound variations like Centipede.

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A complete list of games on view:  Arkanoid (Taito. Released in the U.S. by Romstar, 1986),  Asteroids (Atari, 1979), Atari Football (Atari, 1979), Battlezone (Atari, 1980), Berzerk (Stern, 1980), Centipede (Atari, 1981), Computer Space (Nutting, 1971), Crazy Climber (Nihon Busan / Distributed in North America by Taito, 1980), Defender (Williams, 1980), Dig Dug (Atari, 1982), Donkey Kong (Nintendo, 1981), Dragon’s Lair (Cinematronics, 1983), Frogger (Sega, 1981), Galaxian (Namco / Manufactured in the U.S. by Bally/Midway, 1979), Galaxy Force II (Sega, 1988), Gauntlet (Atari, 1986), Karate Champ (Data East, 1985), Missile Command (Atari, 1979), Mortal Kombat (Midway, 1992), Ms. Pac-Man (Namco / Manufactured in the U.S. by Bally/Midway, 1982), NARC (Williams, 1988), NBA Jam (Midway, 1993), Out Run (Sega, 1986), Pole Position (Atari, 1983), Pong (Atari, 1972), Q*Bert (Gottlieb, 1982), Qix (Taito, 1981), Robotron 2084 (Williams, 1982), Space Invaders (Taito, 1979), Star Wars (Atari, 1983), Super Breakout (Atari, 1978), 10 Yard Fight (Taito, 1984), Tempest (Atari, 1981), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Midway, 1991), Time Pilot (Centuri, 1984), Track & Field (Konami/Centuri, 1983), Tron (Bally/Midway, 1982), Zaxxon (Sega / Released in the U.S. by Gremlin, 1982).”

via Museum of the Moving Image

The New Symbol of Mumbai is Giving us Feels

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In it’s permanent placement at the Promenade at Bandra Reclamation

It’s India’s first typographic art installation to represent the city – perfect for a city marching into a vibrant cultural reclamation. Public art is thriving like never before in India and the new symbol of Mumbai is giving us real Milton Glaser (designer of the I heart NY logo) vibes; turning the heart into an iconic feeling of love for a destination.

The artist, Rocky, a type designer, found his inspiration in the perfect symmetry of the Devanagari letter लव (LA). “The form of the letter लव ‘LA” in Devanagari is such that deliberately if you join two terminals together, it becomes a heart with a shirorekha (top line in Devanagari script) …this powerful icon cuts across demographics and language barriers…This public installation is a monument of love dedicated by the citizens of Mumbai to the city as a mark of their undying love for each other. Love Mumbai and Mumbai will always love you back.”*

Rocky had been playing around with versions of this fun Hinglish script for a while. In 2010, he styled this photoshoot, using the Devanagari letter लव (LA) to mirror the coy n’ playful way of how love is depicted in Indian cinema (you know, Bollywood).

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“The mood of the photo shoot and style was the clichéd image of how love is depicted in Indian cinema.”

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Falling in love by a tree is a popular image in Bollywood films.

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Oh it’s a thing.

He was finally able to translate this idea into a full scale installation for a collaboration with St+art India Foundation for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016.  It quickly became a media sensation prompting an online petition to make the installation a permanent part of the Mumbai landscape – a symbol to represent the city of Mumbai.  Now the installation sits at its permanent home, at the Bandra Reclamation.

How does Rocky feel about having his work becoming a new symbol for Mumbai?

“… I did this for the sake of art rather than money. Like Picasso said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” This is my small contribution to beautify the city and I would be happy if my design makes people happy and puts a smile on their faces.”

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*Read the full interview with Rocky about the installation here.
Rocky: Website
via Kulture Shop

 

Amberella’s Goth Hearts

Goth Heart by Amberella. Photo - Conrad Benner/Streets Dept

Goth Heart by Amberella. Photo – Conrad Benner/Streets Dept

Amber Lynn (aka Amberella) is a Philadelphia-based mixed media and street artist who sees the world through candy-coated eyes. Most of her work is conceptual and often comments on popular culture, body image, or lady drama.  What we find intriguing is her honest draw on past and present personal life experiences and how she freely she lets it all bleed out into the street.

Her newest series, Goth Hearts is a culmination of feelings pulled from diaries, notes, sketchbooks, scribbles, memories, and every day feels.  It’s raw and vulnerable, seeking to touch on the viewer’s emotions and evoke feeling upon first glance.  Here, there are no candy-colored sappy sentiments packaged and disguised in an array of pretty lies.

“This work speaks to my own experiences and vulnerabilities. I’m revisiting, exploring, and releasing these emotions, whether past or present, back into the universe. The streets serve as a platform to create an unexpected raw reaction for the viewer. The streets are conceptually part of my process and I’m passionate about it enough that I push myself to places that are uncomfortable at times; literally putting my heart into the streets .

Besides the therapeutic nature of the work for myself, I hope that it will trigger emotion in others. In regards to the viewer, that’s all I’m after. The viewers experience is truly dependent on that persons’own thoughts, experience, perception, personality, and a plethora of other factors. I just want to provide a moment in time for people to connect with themselves and their emotions. Feelings, -all types- are so important. It means that you are alive and present.”

Truth.

Visit Amberella on Instagram and check out her past work on Streets Dept.

Amberella at Front Street Walls. Photo by @ronzanetich

Amberella at Front Street Walls. Photo by @ronzanetich

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Photo: Amber Lynn

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Photo: Amber Lynn

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Photo: Amber Lynn

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Photo: Amber Lynn

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Photo: Amber Lynn