Thursday, December 15, 2011

Erik's artist research projects

This installation was done by Tom Price using polypropylene pipe and cables. It was inspired by the National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. He cut cross-sections of the pipes for the leaves, and heated the tubing to create the sinuous trunks and limbs. The idea was to take something mundane and showing it as we wouldn't normally see it; taking something artificial and making it organic. That's a nice concept, but the thing that I like the most about it was the lighting, and how the canopy filters it in a very convincing way. It definitely has the feeling of a japanese enamel work, how the limbs splay out and flatten into continental plates stacking one on top of one other.  It looks like it could have been made of gold, ivory and ebony. The trees hold up this giant inverted dome of space, arching up around the edges. It feels so familiar as a whole, and on closer inspection comes across as abstract and alien.

 This is kind of on the 2D side of 3D.  They're all done by artist Peter Koler.  Although it is technically 2 dimensional for the most part, it pulls the viewer into a 3d world beyond the flat walls.  I liked his room installations better than his outdoor installations, which were integrated into architecture.  The emersiveness of the room is a more effective canvas for his work, especially when the object is to disorient. These were apparently inspired by "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." I can certainly see the influence.  I've only seen clips and previews of the film, so I can't speak with any real authority on the subject, but with the skewed angles and forced perspectives match up with the disorienting style of the film, but to me the influence ends on the surface.  I don't get the same feeling of dread from this that I did from the movie.  The movie was a product of a ravaged Europe between wars and in a constant state of panic.  The feeling I get from this more of a yuppy mescaline trip kind of panic.  In any case, it is a very visually striking setup that plays with perception, and only good things can come from that.

It looks like a bored high schooler's notebook ate a room.  Here, Brazilian street art team, duo Os Gemeos has created something like a Terry Gilliam Peewee's playhouse.  I like anything that has places I could see myself crawling into, and there are so many places to go here.  The overall look of the room is fantastic.  At a distance, the unifying backdrop of the scene appears woodgrain-like in nature, but on closer inspection, there is an infinite variety of color bars.  They cross hatch repeatedly, masking corners, sweeps and outcroppings, leaving us to wonder where the space ends.  The pleasing overall effect of the room also rewards us up close, with the integration of their two dimensional styles, which meld successfully into this world.  It's difficult to tell what is in which dimension.  There are so many insane new ideas at play here I could see myself occupying an afternoon in this room and not getting bored.  My favorite part of the installation is the incredible musical caravan.  It is insanity made palatable.  Of course I could eat any kind of insanity.  I'm not too picky.

These are relief sculptures by SangSik Hong, made entirely out of drinking straws.  Again, I'm immediately drawn to the unusual material the artist used. It makes me think of how unsubstantial the everything really is. I was really impressed with the subtle details he was able to achieve, and it made me think about he must have made them.  He must have built the sculptures and then stacked the straws on top of to capture the contours.  I also liked the role reversal concept of the drinking straws wanting to suck you.  The texture is amazing, and I would love to see these in person, and be able to walk by them, seeing the angles of the straws change, and getting that effect you get when you walk by rows of bookshelves.  It looks like he put objects behind the straws too, so you can barely see them until you are staring directly at them through the straws.  Wow.


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