1. The artist I've always admired most is Isamu Noguchi. Primarily a sculptor, he explored almost every medium and area of art. he originally started going to school studying to be a doctor, but took art classes as well and decided to continue his studies in art further. He started sculpting portraits, and then decided to become a full-time sculptor. He is half japanese half american, and as a result has a unique insight on both cultures, particularly since he lived during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He experienced and worked with almost every area of art, in mediums including: stainless steel, marble, cast iron, balsawood, bronze, sheet aluminum, basalt, granite, and water. He also worked with architecture and design as well as 2D work and 3D. Different time periods reflect very different styles and thought processes, as he never stopped continuing to challenge and develop his work as an artist. While his sculptures leave me speechless--his museum in Queens is my favorite place in the whole world--I admire him mostly because of who he was, how he made art such a huge part of life and was able to experience almost every art of it, never got stuck doing the same thing over and over. He is my hero--if I could come close to experience art the way he did I would be forever happy.
I found this through a friend and was BLOWN AWAY. Oh my god. Stunning. By Jason de Caires Taylor, these sculptures of people are dropped into the ocean and left. I love that concept--while these sculptures would be beautiful on land, they are more stunning underwater, with the concept of people living beneath the surface beyond where we can see them. We can't experience them in the same way we would on land. I also like that included in the photos on the site are images of the gradual process of becoming a part of their environment: coral grows on their features and makes them EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL!! Allowing sculptures to naturally erode or decay, to let time affect them the way nature intended, is so so beautiful to me. I love this concept and the sculptures are super cool.
The cotton monster is such a cool site as well as a good example of sculpture. I love the uniqueness of the monsters, and how something 'scary' can be so innocent. All seem so sweet and unique. I love the relationship between soft sculpture and toys, and I think it's cool when artists combine both function and aesthetics, especially when it means an artist can make a living off their art. The toys come in so many varieties of appearances sizes and shapes. I would love to own one.
I think her work is beautiful visually and fascinating conceptually. The giant spiders are stunning, elegant, organic and creepy but in a really compelling beautiful way. I can't imagine constructing something that size, which makes me even more impressed. The fact that these spiders are a symbol of her mother are really powerful to me. I originally started making ghosts in monotype prints as a symbol for my family. I have a small phobia of spiders, inherited from my brother, as I didn't used to be afraid of them and would keep them in jars. But now when I know a spiders in the room it makes me a little nervous, so the concept of an artist associating their mother with something mildly disturbing seems strange. her argument for why is interesting too: spiders are actually extremely beneficial, they don't carry diseases like other bugs such as mosquitoes, and in fact eat them. So the spiders represent this protective mothering presence. Sitting under them I can imagine I would feel safe too--there is something sheltering about their structure.
5. Jeff Koons
I love the concept of taking unusual materials and using them to create art, specifically in sculpture because the outcome is already interesting in a sense, just in the manipulation of a new material. Jeff Koons seems to do this a lot. his topiary work is stunning: again, allowing art to change is really moving to me. I like that the material is organic and will naturally shift and change overtime, won't last forever. His work with inflatables is interesting as well, it's not a material I would've expected to be used a lot in art. His flowers are very sweet.
6. Ralph Helmick
His work is very very different in each piece: of course because he made all of them there are similar elements but they strike me as very separate works. He works a lot in multiples, and has them suspended in a really cool way, as if they were swarming. I really like the piece Exquisite Corpse, I love when artists combine scientific elements into their creations: science and art both depend on innovation and creativity, inventiveness. I really like his wood sculptures too, I wish I had more patience for wood. His wood pieces seem to be structured of pieces as well. The portrait of Neal constructed from many stones blows me away, it is so beautiful.
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Thanks so much Abbi!