Sunday, March 31, 2013

Beautiful Knife Paintings of Dramatic Female Figures

California-based artist Henry Asencio is a painter who focuses on the stunning beauty of the female form. He believes in the timeless essence of the human figure and so he creates a variety of classic portraits that feature elegant lines and graceful shapes. Asencio often uses a palette knife to achieve his rich oil paint textures, and the final result is an expressive technique that blends abstraction with modern style.
When speaking about his own unique approach to painting, the artist says that he is most influenced by abstract expressionists. His bio states, "Merging introspection and visual spectacle, Asencio's personal investigations of femininity, spirituality, and abstraction possess the power to transform today's ideals of elegance and contemporary sensuality."

Fabric and Paper Layered Into Spectacular 3D Sculptures

Artist Andrea Myers explores two- and three-dimensional space through painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Working mainly with fabric and paper, Myers says, "I feel my work is dependent upon various processes, such as cutting as drawing, the relationship between deconstruction and construction, and the inherent malleability and vulnerability of my chosen materials."
The Chicago-based artist originally focused her attention on flat paintings and printmaking, but, finding more interest in the process rather than the final prints, she gradually turned her skills towards experimentation with the physical materials. Layer upon layer, three-dimensional sculptures emerge from her sketches and ideas, which are mainly centered around juxtapositions between abstract nature and manufactured objects.
The artist says, "I find beauty in the cyclical behavior of nature, in the growth and in the decay and in all of the moments in between." She depicts that behavior through soft shapes and smooth lines, as well as with titles such as RipplePlateau, andMelting. However, viewers' expectations are immediately disrupted by the use of synthetic materials filled with bold, saturated colors that conflict with the muted tones of an organic world.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

99 Life-Sized Wild Animals Gather at a Watering Hole

Artist Cai Guo-Qiang is going to create a brand new installation that, no doubt, will have everyone talking. Called Heritage 2013, it will be the epic centerpiece of an exhibition coming to Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) from November 23, 2013 to April 21, 2014. Gathered together around a watering hole will be 99 life-sized artificial wild animals from around the world. The huge installation is meant for us to reflect on our relationship with nature as well as how we relate to each other in this time of globalization.
The Chinese contemporary artist, who most recently made headlines his explosive, otherworldly works, has decided to turn his attention away from the universe and, instead, look more closely at the Earth, our common home. Hence, the upcoming exhibition will be called "Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth."
In addition to Heritage 2013, Guo-Qiang will bring back his 2006 work Head On, which features 99 life-sized artificial wolves configured as a large group, leaping into the air before crashing into a glass wall. The thought-provoking work asks viewers to reflect upon mankind's destiny to repeat its mistakes.

Insomnia Leads to Large Scale Thread Installation

Too Much Time, Again is a thread installation by Los Angeles-based artist Pae White that stems from her own experiences with insomnia. White's spatial project is a culmination of the artist's affinity for working with fragile materials and her development of sleep deprivation. The large-scale structure echoes one's endless stream of thoughts when they are robbed of a good night's rest and come face to face with too much time to themselves.
The installation geometrically spells out the words "TIGER TIME" on one wall and criss-crosses with a parade of strands that connect to the word "UNMATTERING" on the opposite surface. The supergraphic text both emerges and dissolves, depending on which direction the viewer chooses to follow the flow of thread. The words and color scheme of the installation both reflect White's period of insomnia. The artist uses a black and purple color palette inspired by heavy metal rock band Black Sabbath's Master of Reality album cover, which was a "dangerous stack" kept under her bed, to reiterate a personal connection to the piece's inspiration.
Too Much Time, Again is currently on display at the South London Gallery through May 12, 2013.

Artist Builds Fascinating Surreal Landscapes Inside the Home

In the series by photographer Magdalena Bors, entitled The Seventh Day, each photograph features a single person set within a chaotic and surreal domestic space. Bors constructs the bizarre environments as a visual connection between ourselves and the natural world, saying, "I am fascinated by the simultaneous strength and fragility of this connection as we go about our lives, spending most of our time within the confines of the small compartments we call home.​"
The Seventh Day characters are overrun by the imaginative creations that Bors builds indoors. Colorful and artificial plants, stalagmite rocks, and Dr. Seuss-like tree branches overtake living rooms, basements, and hallways in an exciting cinematic display. Bors says the process of building the sets is labor-intensive, but she performs the repetitive tasks until her personal vision is complete and she achieves these final results, which are magnificent and unique indoor landscapes.

Incredibly Detailed Shadow Sculptures

Artist Diet Wiegman manages to sculpt mounds of irregularly shaped structures that are transformed into an intricately detailed silhouette when a light shines on it from a precise angle. Similar to the light and shadow sculptures of artistic duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Wiegman leaves audiences in awe with his puzzling ability to cast remarkably figurative shadows from heaps of seemingly abstract sculptures.
An oddly configured work that branches out unpredictably is, in fact, meticulously sculpted to cast a shadow that realistically resembles Michael Jackson. The King of Pop is resurrected with a simple spotlight aimed at the sculpture from a very specific angle. Similarly, Wiegman recreates the Venus de MiloAtlas, and even Michelangelo's David. The visual artist also utilizes the effects of reflecting light off shiny surfaces.
Perspective is everything in Wiegman's sculptures, as can be seen in the video below where his Michael Jackson shadow sculpture (known as Shadow Dancing) is slowly rotated in front of a fixed light and paused briefly when the image of Jackson is revealed.

Non-Photoshopped Anamorphic Illusions

Paris-based Swiss artist Felice Varini's paintings are the kind that have one vantage point from which its completed form can be viewed in its fluid entirety. The artist's vast portfolio of anamorphic illusions presents a variety of urban paintings, both indoors and outdoors. His large-scale creations are geometric in their composition and redefine each three-dimensional space they are applied to in such a way that one questions their own vision.
Using basic shapes like circles and squares depicted in vibrant pops of color, Varini distorts the viewer's perception of reality. It's as though depth doesn't exist as each line and curve connects perfectly with the next, regardless of distance or shape. Of course, when one isn't standing in the proper position, the illusion fades into an abstract smearing of color. The fragmented pieces distort the optical illusion, turning its applied surface into a piece of architecture with a weird paint job.

Felice Varini website