In Christchurch, New Zealand, 10 massive optical illusion-inducing mixed-media art pieces by Mike Hewson pay homage to the former Christchurch Normal School which opened in 1876.
The building, completely renovated for apartment and retail use in 1981 and renamed Cranmer Courts, was damaged badly in the February 2012 magnitude 6.3 earthquake and it is now destined for demolition.
Before it is gone forever, Hewson wanted to pay homage to the building that used to house a vibrant community. He covered the total of 130 square meters of plywood with mixed-media images depicting artists and others who lived and worked in the building.
Private donations and Hewson's own money covered the $15,000 installation costs. New Zealand-born (in 1985) Mike Hewson is a civil engineer, graduate of Canterbury University (2007). He has worked as a civil engineer in Port Hedland in Western Australia, but has travelled regularly to New Zealand to complete works of art there. He will move permanently back to New Zealand next month and focus on his art full time. - Tuija Seipell
Pencils, pegboards, pins, pixels — we’ve been fascinated for a long time by the notion of creating big things from tiny parts. Hiding the image in plain site. Creating pointillist art with physical objects.
So whenever we see yet another iteration of this idea, we pay attention.
Apparently, Stockholm-based photographer Philip Karlberg has also been twirling his pencils for some time, and now all that toying has resulted in a photo shoot for Plaza Magazine.
Karlberg’s six famous sunglass wearers were created using 1,200 sticks and photographed over six days.
From top: Karl Lagerfeld - Jackie O - Lady Gaga - Johnny Depp - John Belushi
We envision using something like this for an eyeglass or sunglass brand, a movie theatre, an optometrist office. The fertile pointillist idea continues to fascinate us every time we witness the power of tiny components exploding into huge impact. - Tuija Seipell
With its black-and-white richness and its familiar graphic themes integrated into a smooth flow, this short contemplation of the Circle of Life is stunningly beautiful. It is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s quote "The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
The film was created by Saskia Kretzschmann as part of her fifth-semester studies at the famous Anhalt University of Applied Science, in central Germany. The music is by Thomas Mayer. - Tuija Seipell
If Paul Gauguin hadn't died four years before Frida Kahlo was born, one might suspect that Gavin Brown is their lovechild. Certainly his art carries the organic lushness and slight madness of Kahlo's many self-portraits and Gauguin's Polynesian-period art.
You cannot blame the Melbourne-born, 47-year-old Brown for subtlety or minimalism. His world is populated by richly coloured graffiti-like images of people and situations where fleshy faces and tattooed skin compete for attention with birds, fruit and flowers. The vivid richness and underlying drama contradict each other.
The colour palette is happy and lovely, but these people are not happy. There is something sinister, tormented, going on. Which of course brings us back to impressionists and the most tormented of them all, Vincent van Gogh, whose self-portraits, if combined with his sunflowers would look completely comfortable with Brown's gallery of people.
Brown has had an illustrious and multi-faceted career in fashion, film and many other forms of art and design, but his focus is on painting.
He has participated in more than 25 solo and group exhibitions. Several of his large commissions adorn the luxurious Marina Bay Sands Singapore hotel and casino. - Tuija Seipell
Japanese artist Makoto Tojikil is fascinated by light. He uses it in ways that create amazing illusions and out-of-this-world experiences in a subtle, inquisitive way.
But what we love most is the way his No Shadow pieces – large animal and human sculptures made of strands of light - evoke a sense of playfulness, awe, possibility and wonder. We find ourselves unable to stop staring, unwilling to leave the area of influence of the magical, somehow celestial beings and creatures.
Tojiki was born in 1975 in Miyzaki, Japan, and graduated from Kinki University in 1998 as an industrial design engineer. After a stint designing home appliances, he launched his artistic career full-time in 2003. Of the No Shadow pieces, he says “An object is seen when our eyes capture light that is reflected from the object. If we extract just the light that is reflected from ‘something,’ are we still in the presence of that ‘something?’ Using contours of light, I try to express this ‘something.’” We envision all sorts of opportunities for brands to use this type of sculpture at events, launches, stores, showrooms… - Tuija Seipell.
Is it visual art, audio art, a sculpture, a product, a machine? Byoungho Kim's works could be described as all of these. They are visually stunning, make sounds, have a sculptural quality and they are manufactured just like any other highly-engineered industrial products.
Born in Seoul, Korea, in 1974 Kim has explored the edges of art and product, sounds and visuals throughout his career. As his sound sculptures have no “practical use,” they are defined as art but their intrigue lies in the technology behind them.
The two lighting fixture-like pieces we are featuring are made of aluminum and they use both piezo and arduino technology. A piezo is an electronic device that be used to both play and detect tones. arduino is a popular open-source single-board microcontroller. None of this means much to most of us, but the result — sounds being emitted and changed by the sculptures — is fascinating.
The rounded Soft Crash (330 x 330 x 165 centimeters, or 130 x 130 x 65 inches) was one of the pieces on display at Kim’s solo exhibition at the end of 2011 at the Arario Gallery in Seoul. The second piece, from 2010, is called Horizontal Intervention (96 x 280 x 25 cm, 38 x 110 x 10 in.)
Byoungho Kim describes his pieces as “constructed fantasy” that expresses mankind’s continuous pursuit of new desires. - Tuija Seipell
Based on Dr. Seuss's final book (Oh, The places You'll Go) before his death, this is a story about life's ups and downs, told by the people of Burning Man 2011. Genius idea Teddy Saunders
We continue our curiosity with bicycle art.. Here is the latest installation by the activist Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. This piece is one of 21 works by Ai from 1983 to present that form the “Ai Weiwei Absent” exhibition, opened at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum at the end of October.
“Forever Bicycles” is made of 1,000 bicycles installed in a 10-meter high space in a moving, abstract shape to symbolize the way in which the social environment in China is changing.
Ai Weiwei is known for example for his cooperation with Swiss architects Herzog & Meuron as the consultant for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Birds Nest building.
Ai is prohibited from leaving Beijing and cannot attend the exhibition. In a Reuters article, Ai was quoted as saying: “This is the first time I’m having an exhibition of my art works in the wider Chinese world. I’m really happy that it can be exhibited in Taiwan, because recently it has not possible to have an exhibition in my own place of residence. I have been notified that I won’t be allowed to go -- that was the outcome of my application -- so right now I cannot attend. But my family members will attend.” - Bill Tikos
Some city councils get it, others don’t. Tapping the creative talents of street artists, illustrators and graphic designers is an effective and cool way to make bland public spaces, old buildings, bridges and car parks new again, and to freshen up the concrete jungle.
It is also an effective way of keeping graffiti away. Plus it draws attention to the building or structure as “potential” not as something to be hated. Maybe it will even bring a buyer, a new occupant or additional creative ideas about how to revitalize the building? Anything but the current dilapidated state of abandoned spaces!
Street artists and muralists bring with them vibrant and a new perspective that architects or designers may not have. This does not mean that millions need to be spent to upgrade the buildings immediately, all you need is vision, courage, local creative talent and some colourful paint like these perfect examples here. Our subscriber list reads like the Who-is-Who of city councils around the globe. So here’s a challenge to you: You need to step up and change the face of your city. There are way too many ugly, run-down buildings, bridges, tunnels and walkways that can be completely transformed into exciting and fun environments with some creative input.
Contact Access Agency so we can help. - Bill Tikos
Anyone who has ever attempted to master various forms of visual art will attest that watercolour painting usually turns out to be one of the most challenging.
This has not discouraged Cate Parr, a UK-born fashion illustrator, who has managed to capture the ethereal, fleeting and vulnerable qualities of fashion imagery in her watercolours.
There is a dreamy, beautiful undertone, yet the images are not entirely virginal. A darker undertone, beneath the pastelly beauty demands the viewer to look closer, a quality we admire in any image-maker's work. In today's world of a million images a second, it takes a lot to make any of us stop and pause and really see.
Parr's work, which has appeared in both editorial and brand contexts, hasn't been seen in massive formats or super-brand environments yet, but somehow we envision these images appearing in enormous window displays in the world's fashion capitals this coming spring. - Tuija Seipell