Artist Hilary Berseth collaborates with honeybees to create intricate sculptures made of beeswax and honey. He builds a template for the shape he wants, places it inside the hive in the Spring, and waits. (And waits.) The outcome is often different than he expects, as the bees riff on his guidelines and add their own input into the process. But that's how you arrive at a truly delicious partnership, right?
Artist Yuliya Kyrpo, a secondary school student in England, constructed this dress out of one thousand paper cranes made from free Metro newspapers. I'm pretty sure I've heard that if you accomplish such an astounding undertaking, you're granted free flights via paper crane for life, so I hope Yuliya chooses some incredible destinations. She's earned it.
I saw these colored pencil portraits by Marco Mazzoni of ladies' faces surrounded by flora a few days ago, and they've stayed in my mind so consistently that I needed to post. The subject matter seems fairly standard, yet something has haunted me about the concept. The surrounding foliage is so much more detailed and vivid than the faces in the center of the images, which seem to fade away entirely around the eyes as flowers and butterflies take over. There's a tension between the greater color of the flowers and the centrality of the faces that grabs my attention, and the glimpses of expression make me curious what occupies the minds of the subjects.
Photographer Anton Tang poses tiny figures called Danbos in a variety of scenarios, photographs them using a macro lens, and gives each one a soul. Watching the little girl Danbo share a special day with her dad, or fail at swimming for the first time, or get punched in the face by a bully, I somehow keep rooting for her as if she were really alive. And she is...in my heart. (If I made you say "Aww!" or groan disgustedly just now, I have achieved my purpose.)
See the photos here -- they're truly wonderful, and you forget just how teensy the subjects really are as you follow their triumphs and their...well, not-so-triumphs.
Photographer Richard Renaldi is working on an ongoing photo project called Touching Strangers, which is basically what it sounds like, only less dirty. Here's the premise, according to him:
"I meet two or more people on the street who are strangers to each other, and to me. I ask them if they will pose for a photograph together with the stipulation that they must touch each other in some manner. Frequently, I instruct or coach the subjects how to touch. Just as often, I let their tentative physical exploration play out before my camera with no interference...Touching Strangers encourages viewers to think about how we relate physically to one another, and to entertain the possibility that there is unlimited potential for new relationships with almost everybody passing by."
Which is interesting -- it's interesting to think about all the minute, codified rules we have about touching and levels of intimacy. It's interesting to think about what we might gain (and lose) by playing with those limits. And most of all, it's interesting to think about how insanely uncomfortable I'd be participating in this whole exercise.
I'll be honest with you: I watch a lot of cartoons. I mean a lot. I mean that, with the exception of Mad Men, I watch nothing but Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and Turner Classic Movies. Popeye is set to record regularly on my DVR.
So I cannot resist Love & Theft, an animated short by Andreas Hykade in which familiar and not-so-familiar cartoon faces morph and shift and entangle themselves in each other in that way that things do as they become a part of our subconscious.
These cast glass sculptures of gowns by artist Karen LaMonte are exquisite, wonderfully detailed and finely wrought. They provoke questions of transparency, of clothing the body to conceal and to adorn, of feeling exposed and on display. But also? They're just plain beautiful to look at, and make me start wondering whether glass clothing might be a viable option, after all.
If you've ever loved a book so much you wanted to live in it, now's your chance. Artist Matej Kren's incredible house of books on display at the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna proves it's possible, a thousand times over. Photos at link.
But for all their stillness and smallness, these figures are always engaged in their surroundings. They're a part of their environment, not separate from it. And because we've all felt like a tiny little creature doing a Very Big Thing, it's easy to identify with them, even if logically we know they're actually just plastic figurines less than one inch high.
“This show was inspired by the Steampunk movement that is sweeping Britain. Instead of steam, however, my devices are mostly run by electricity and madness. I was vacuuming one day and noticed the amount of plugs and cables on the floor... a veritable wasp's nest of wires and sockets connecting a hoard of gadgets and doo-dads intertwining around the house and my life. I was trapped like a fly in an electrical web. What had happened? Were these things making my life easier or more complex? I began with The Steam Punk Pocket Watch, an absurd idea of a time piece too huge & complex for anyone's pocket, and went whirling on from there. These machines are designed to hinder, control and/or give the illusion of technology. I had a tremendous amount of fun creating the images and think that this show will touch anyone who has ever become entwined, up to the eyebrows, in the Technological Age.”
Preview her marvelously detailed and inventive drawings here -- the show opens at La Luz de Jesus Gallery on the 5th of November. (Remember, remember.)