Art

Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum of Broken Relationships

Croatian artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić developed “Museum of Broken Relationships,” a touring exhibition of artifacts from past relationships. It emerged out of their own relationship of four years, after which the break-up inspired this museum, as Vištica explains in an interview with NPR. “When we were deciding to split up, every time people do that it’s connected with something ugly, something awkward, so we didn’t like that way of dealing with our own past, which was once really beautiful. We got this idea, maybe it would be a great idea to have a museum where you could store your emotional heritage.”

Jasmin Schuller's "Sweet Meat"

Jasmin Schuller's "Sweet Meat"

Jasmin Schuller’s “Sweet Meat” series combines three things I love dearly in life: 1) Dessert, which is my favorite course of any meal. 2) Fulfilling my carnivorous diet of meat. 3) The deceptive humor in trompe l’oeil art, which the New York Times once summarized as such: “There is no art more elementary (or more seductive) than trompe l’oeil. Truly a people’s art, it requires skill to produce, but no conditioning to appreciate and, as a branch of pie-in-the-face humor, it must be one of civilization’s oldest jokes.” In this case, Schuller tells a hilarious joke. She uses raw meat to create shockingly realistic and familiar-looking desserts like sundaes, pies, popsicles and delicate pastries. The reaction to the candy bright photos of these treats becomes unsettling revulsion once the viewer recognizes that there is more to these desserts than meats (pun always intended!) the eye.

Automotive cross-stitch embroidery

Automotive cross-stitch embroidery

Lithuanian artist Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene incorporates delicate, cross-stitched floral patterns into common household objects like plates, lamps and (unexpectedly) car doors, which are particularly impressive. The effect is especially awe-mazing in the close-up photos.

Yogi Proctor's gold painted Canon copy machine

Yogi Proctor's gold painted Canon copy machine

I freaking love this piece: a gold painted and fully operational office copy machine and printer by Yogi Proctor, titled “Canon 2011.” I love the visual impact of a common or utilitarian object covered with the completely unnecessary self-indulgent luxury of, in this instance, gold.

Passport photos and reality

Passport photos and reality

“Passport and Reality” is a photography project by Suren Manvelyan and Biayna Mahari “about how different a person can look in real life and his own passport photo.” The contrast is made all the more striking when you consider that passports often don’t expire for years. Case in point: I don’t think the guy pictured above grew into his features too early (pun totally intended). It’s probably because most of the subjects are smiling in their non-passport photo, but reality seems so much more pleasant. I finally had to renew my passport last year and gladly forked over the money to the US government because it meant I could finally update the photo of me with the buzzed look I thought was a really swell idea back in college.

Application for art reality TV show

Application for art reality TV show

For Frieze Magazine, Jen Dalton created this pitch perfect application (Click here to see the enlargement) for artists interested in being cast for an imagined art-focused reality TV show titled “The Biggest Ego.” In defense of the artists I’m friends and acquaintances with, not a single one fits the narcissist, pedantic stereotype that Jen humorously suggests in the application’s questions. However, this might just mean I actually don’t know enough artists. It does recall the art-focused reality show on Bravo called Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, where artists competed for a $100,000 prize and an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. The show was on my pop-radar at the time, but alas did not make my to-do list. However, I did read this essay by Jerry Saltz, one of the show’s judges, that was published in New York Magazine a month after the show’s finale. Saltz writes:

The hidden skeletal frames of common objects

The hidden skeletal frames of common objects

This Canadian artist carves amazingly detailed skeletal designs into everyday objects, including the axe shown above as well as wooden picture frames, tables, bed posts, and even stacks of newspapers. Considering his subject matter, the artist, Maskull Lasserre, is aptly named. Speaking of appropriate names (slight tangent alert!), it reminds me of this lawyer’s name which I blogged about a few years ago. Anyhow, Lasserre’s sculptures look like something from the imagination of a Guillermo del Toro film, and I find their effect rather uncanny and eerie, especially the way the bones are partly revealed. As cool as the artist’s carved coat hangers look, I think it would freak out my special lady guests if I was to have these hangers hanging in the closet of my bedroom (or as I now call it after The Bachelor/Bachelorette series on ABC, the “Fantasy Suite”).

Poetry bombing

Poetry bombing

For O, Miami, a poetry festival held in April, Agustina Woodgate visited various thrift stores and stitched small labels with various verses of poems printed on them, such as this one by Li Po: “Life is a huge dream why work so hard?” And that is your deep thought for the upcoming weekend.

DC Comics introduces gay characters

DC Comics introduces gay characters

We’re not comics fans, but even we know DC Comics. So now that they’re introducing a bunch of gay characters this fall, it’ll be nice for us to finally have a serious counterpoint to SNL’s Ambiguously Gay Duo. According to The Advocate:
DC Comics grabbed headlines last June when the company announced its entire line of comic books would be overhauled with 52 all-new #1 issues in September. Not only would iconic characters such as Superman and Wonder Woman restart with a fresh number, but costumes and origins for the entire universe of characters would be updated as well.

Abstract sandwich paintings

Abstract sandwich paintings

I’m liking artist Dan Kenneally’s “Lunchbox” series of acrylic paintings, which are “light-hearted, abstract sandwich paintings that use a single colored stripe to represent each ingredient.” It’s a pretty extensive collection that covers a wide variety of sandwiches for all different meal times. [Via]

A spooky story told using CAPTCHA words

A spooky story told using CAPTCHA words

Captcha from Gabrielle de Vietri on Vimeo. Gabrielle de Vietri narrates this haunting story using the nonsensical words found in CAPTCHA, the authentication system in place on many websites to try to weed out spam bots from real people. (Or to make a cinematic analogy, a text version of the Voight-Kampff test administered in the…

Why did Warhol paint Campbell soup cans?

Why did Warhol paint Campbell soup cans?

Christopher Knight of The Los Angeles Times wrote this interesting exploration into what compelled Andy Warhol to paint Campbell soup cans, which “was first displayed publicly at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in July 1962,” as opposed to painting countless other canned goods that reflected the mass consumer US culture. When asked Warhol’s “canned”…

Consumer brand badges

Consumer brand badges

Hope Chu adapted the military’s ribbons and decorations and created these “consumer badges” for her MFA thesis at RISD. Display your brand loyalties proudly!

Artist creates touristy NYC statue

Artist creates touristy NYC statue

Selected for this year’s Art In Odd Places festival on Oct 1-10, 2011 in New York City, artist Leon Reid IV is planning on adorning the statue of George Washington in Union Square with “large scale props such as an “I Love NY” hat, camera, NYC subway map, and local shopping bags” in a piece…

Renewable energy as art: the Bakken Museum's Green Energy Art Garden

Renewable energy as art: the Bakken Museum's Green Energy Art Garden

The Sonic Articulation of Sunbeams from Ben Moren on Vimeo.


A solar array, or a wind farm, can certainly have aesthetic appeal… but the visual interplay between the technology and its surroundings, or the beauty inherent in those panels and turbines themselves, usually isn’t high on the priority list of installers. The Bakken Museum in Minneapolis, which is dedicated to “exploring the mysteries of our electric world,” thought that beauty needed further exploration… and commissioned local artists to create works that “demonstrate a new, creative approach to using alternative energy sources.”

Coffee cup design a day

Coffee cup design a day

Bernat Cuni took the basic coffee mug and designed thirty different concepts for his One Coffee Cup a Day project. Most of the designs remind me of the flawed function product project that I previously blogged about here.

The art of flawed functional products

The art of flawed functional products

For his art project titled “Err,” Jeremy Hutchison contacted various factories around the world manufacturing various products with a seemingly bizarre request: make him a non-functional version of their product. There’s obviously a deeper subtext here, as he explains below, but on surface I can’t get over how hilarious they look, such as these sunglasses…

Matthias Heiderich's Berlin

Matthias Heiderich's Berlin

I am obsessed with Matthias Heiderich’s cropped square photos of Berlin’s buildings. Using color and composition, the photographer creates patterns and abstract images that may not obviously be architecture and the city’s skylines. Having just returned from Berlin last week it’s quite remarkable just how perfectly he captures the modern feel and cool, geometric shapes of…

Cindy "yawn" Sherman at the Venice Biennale

Cindy "yawn" Sherman at the Venice Biennale

In “ILLUMInations,” the main exhibition at this year’s Venice Biennale, lies a small gallery with walls covered floor to ceiling by larger-life-than photographs of Cindy Sherman in dress-up, framed by a background of blown-up images of 18th-century pastoral engravings. In typical Sherman style, she uses wigs and costumes to assume different roles, though in the case of “Murals,” the roles aren’t as clear as her usual easily identifiable stereotypes. First, we have Sherman in a baggy, Band-Aid colored body suit of naked woman. The breasts and pubic hair are rudely constructed. They look like something a child would make if children made naked body suits.She holds a sword at her crotch, suggestively pointed upwards, ever ready to juxtapose images of female sexuality with the power traditionally ascribed to the male phallus – an association so obvious and overdone by this point it teeters on boredom.

Alphabetized Bible

Alphabetized Bible

“Alphabetized Bible” is a clever re-conceptualization by Tauba Auerbach of the King James Bible that “investigates the idea that any piece of writing, no matter its intellectual weight, is nothing more than a collection of letters.” The artist deconstructs the characters of the bible and prioritizes them in alphabetical order. She explains: The intention of…

Giant comb bike rack

Giant comb bike rack

The founders of Knowhow Shop LA, a design studio and cooperative artist space, created and built this 400-pound bike rack for a public art initiative in Roanoke, Virginia. It reminds me of a functional utilitarian Claes Oldenburg piece.

Remembering Cy Twombly

Remembering Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly ranks high on my list of favorite artists, right alongside his friend and fellow artist Robert Rauschenberg, with whom he shared a studio as well as a propensity for cat scratch marks of paint and pencil. His seemingly haphazard compositions have held me captivated in museums, where I have stood fixated, letting my eyes roam his great expanse of canvas until my feet became so tired that I actually sat down on the floor – an ardent devotee. This particular experience happened early in high school, when seeing a Twombly after years of studying only formalist, realistic and namely old portraiture and landscapes left me stunned, transfixed, as if anchored to the space in front of the painting by a force beyond my own.

Ai Weiwei's photos of New York City

Ai Weiwei's photos of New York City

Currently on display at NYC’s Asia Society Museum are a selection of 227 photographs (curated from thousands) snapped by artist Ai Weiwei of daily life during his residency here in the Big Apple in the 1980s. This is the first exhibition of his NYC photographs outside of Beijing. “Mr. Ai worked as a street artist…

Netflix envelope art

Netflix envelope art

The notion of using the red Netflix envelopes as a blank canvas is a genius idea, especially for chronic doodlers like myself. Doodlers Anonymous compiled some great examples from various professional and amateur artists. I especially like the sea-scape above by Jovino. This might motivate me to finally getting around to watching my Netflix dvd…

New fiction (and music and film): "Lola, California" by Edie Meidav

New fiction (and music and film): "Lola, California" by Edie Meidav

The amazing writer Edie Meidav (who also happens to be our friend and neighbor) is out today with a new novel: “Lola, California”, called “brilliant” and “awesome” by Publisher’s Weekly. Meidav is such a force of inspiration that art practically gets spontaneously generated in her wake: above is a beautifully haunting short film created by Snapdragon that’s inspired by “Lola” along with Meidav’s narration; and here is music inspired by the book from Kevin Salem, who calls it “part soundtrack for the reader, part songs inspired by the text … and part music inspired by the cultural identity of the novel.” Below is one of two excerpts from “Lola, California” that Meidav is generously allowing us to publish here — this one about a rape on a Greek island. Stay tuned next week for the second excerpt about two friends go-go dancing. Both are compelling creepy and deeply moving, even without the context of the full novel: