Creating spaces: Rolex mentor and protege Anish Kapoor & Nicholas Hlobo

Article: Creating spaces: Rolex mentor and protege Anish Kapoor & Nicholas Hlobo

Both Anish Kapoor and his Rolex Arts Initiative protégé Nicholas Hlobo had big years in the art world. Both mounted large-scale, interactive sculptures at the Venice Biennale in addition to solo exhibitions around the world. But the two artists still found time to meet at Kapoor’s London studio to develop the trajectory of Hlobo’s work.

The world's slowest roller coaster in Duisburg, Germany

Article: The world's slowest roller coaster in Duisburg, Germany

Not to sound like a pageant contestant or anything, but I really like roller coasters. Big loops, crazy heights, upside down swirls—you name it, I’m into it. This isn’t true, however, of most of the friends and family members I find myself with at amusement parks, many of whom prefer to calmly eat their sugar-dusted funnel cakes and then maybe take a ride on the Ferris wheel, if they’re feeling saucy…

Run for your life – it's the shredded newspaper man!

Article: Run for your life – it's the shredded newspaper man!

I really love this new costume/sculpture “We are all here to do what we are all here to do,” by Fabio Lattanzi Antinori and Alicja Pytlewska. Resembling something that emerged from the imaginations of Maurice Sendak and Guillermo del Toro, it was constructed using “shredded newspapers found around East London” and is perhaps an unsubtle visual metaphor for the declining state of the traditional print news industry and the ongoing Murdoch/News International phone hacking scandal.

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

Article: 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.”

Takashi Murakami: big boobs, big bore

Article: Takashi Murakami: big boobs, big bore

In Takashi Murakami’s exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in London, he stakes his claim as the first person to represent “the Japanese male sexual complex” in life-size form. He’s referring to his sculptures “Miss Ko” (1997), “My Lonesome Cowboy” (1998) as well as a flock of new life-size 3D renderings of those 2D sexual hangups (animation, games, etc.) like “3-Meter Girl” (above), currently on view.

Cy Twombly as sculptor

Article: Cy Twombly as sculptor

Though Cy Twombly is best known, perhaps even exclusively so, for his paintings -those ferociously scribbled masterpieces – it’s his sculpture – seven pieces of it – that MoMA has recently acquired and put on exhibition. Almost all of Twombly’s sculptures are made from found materials, scrap wood and plaster that are assembled into composites and then covered in white paint, “unifying the various humble materials and giving them an ethereal presence.” Sure, or he whitewashed them right into the gallery walls and they stand out only because they’re mounted on a pedestal. Yes, his sculptural work possesses an undeniable textural quality – the variations in the monochromatic pieces of wood and fabric are quite lovely up close. From further back, however, they’re about as emotionally exciting as their color palette is varied.

Anish Kapoor at Monumenta 2011

Article: Anish Kapoor at Monumenta 2011

The major challenge – and draw – of Monumenta, France’s (mostly) annual grand art exhibition, is making the most of the 13,500-square-meter (over 44,000-square-feet) Grand Palais, Europe’s biggest and one of its oldest glass-roofed structures. Built in the Beaux-Arts style for the Universal Exposition of 1900, the Grand Palais boasts huge ceilings and an expansive exhibition space, so choosing the right artist to commission a site-specific piece from is key. In the past, Monumenta has had success with Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski and, that lover of the large-scale, Richard Serra. This year’d exhibition features a piece by Anish Kapoor, whose huge and hugely popular public sculptures like “Cloud Gate,” the enormous mirrorized pebble-shaped piece in Chicago’s Millennium Park, make him an apt choice.

Nick Van Woert at Yvon Lambert gallery

Article: Nick Van Woert at Yvon Lambert gallery

Sculptor Nick Van Woert seems to have more of sense of humor than most these days. His personal website displays his work using great animated .gifs that show his normally stationary work in motion. It’s just as cheeky as some of the sculptures themselves, like “Untitled,” a fiberglass bust that’s clearly Abraham Lincoln, only with chunks of his head, face and neck hacked off and attached to a separate steel form. The two pieces reside side-by-side as gruesome mirror images. It’s a bit of fun and a bit grisly too, what with the chopped pieces revealing bright bits of polyurethane plastic designed to resemble raw flesh.

Dalton Ghetti, microminiaturist

Article: Dalton Ghetti, microminiaturist

With a sculpting knife, a sewing needle and a razor blade, Dalton Ghetti creates unbelievably precise miniature sculptures on the tips of old, artfully weather-beaten pencils. Ghetti works the graphite slowly, carving away at it until the pencil becomes the base for his microscopic sculptures made from the pencil’s lead. The precision and level of detail Ghetti is able to achieve on such a small scale is something he’s spent the past 25 years perfecting.

San Francisco bail bondsman makes art from trash

Article: San Francisco bail bondsman makes art from trash

You may not think of a bail bonds office as a place associated with either environmental consciousness or artistic talent, but Barrish Bail Bonds on San Francisco’s Bryant Street breaks that mold. The 50-year-old business serves as a day job for artist Jerry Ross Barrish; his passion, according to KGO-TV, is making sculpture from plastic trash he finds washed up on the beach.

Sculptor Ron van der Ende's big Armory splash

Article: Sculptor Ron van der Ende's big Armory splash

As the excitement of this year’s Armory Show fades, a few stand-out artists have managed to keep a buzz going. Ron van der Ende is one such artist, easily making a name for himself with his eye-catching wall-mounted sculptures. The Netherlands-based artist is represented in the US by the Seattle gallery Ambach & Rice, which showed a series of his signature bas-relief sculptures made form salvaged wood. What is perhaps most remarkable about these pieces that van der Ende doesn’t paint over or alter the color of the wood in any way; He uses it in its original state, chopping of hunks and rearranging them into photo-realistic mosaics.

ART – looking back at Meret Oppenheim's "Object"

Article: ART – looking back at Meret Oppenheim's "Object"

I first encountered Meret Oppenheim’s “Object” in “The Erotic Object” show at MoMA, a 2009 exhibition of Surrealist sculpture. Many of the usual suspects were on display – Giacometti’s “Disagreeable Object,” a wooden phallus with three sharp points on the end as well as a few of Hans Bellmer’s bulbous, flesh-colored deconstructions of the female reproductive system. But resting on a pedestal right in front was Oppenheim’s show-stealing “Object.”

Plastic bag monster invades Slovenia

Article: Plastic bag monster invades Slovenia

The concept of a “plastic bag monster” isn’t completely new — reusable bag companies Blue Avocado and Chico Bags (above) have both created monstrous characters out of disposable shopping bags to represent the environmental damage created by these ubiquitous items. Slovenian artist/designer The Miha Artnak has expanded the concept literally with a plastic bag monster entitled Lovka na lovce, or “The Tackle of the Tentacle,” that extends through the streets of capital city Ljubljana.

Giant pink snails set to invade Miami

Article: Giant pink snails set to invade Miami

Want to get a discussion about recycling going in your community? You might organize a Meetup, create a website, or put up flyers. The Cracking Art Group and Italian Galleria Ca d’Oro have a different approach: giant pink snails made from recycled plastic. Forty-five of these “creatures” will take temporary refuge in Miami Beach, Florida tomorrow (Nov. 18).

Secret Richard Serra sculpture in the Bronx

Article: Secret Richard Serra sculpture in the Bronx

As a huge fan of Richard Serra’s installations, I found this recent New York Times article interesting: Hidden away in a crane yard in South Bronx are one and a half story high steel pieces of an unfinished Richard Serra sculpture. Whether art or art-to-be, it is striking just the same. Seen from the lot…

An artist's salute to Italian bankers

Article: An artist's salute to Italian bankers

Self-taught, provocative artist Maurizio Cattelan’s sculpture titled “L.O.V.E” recently arrived and was installed in front of the Italian stock exchange in Milan. The artist donated it as a gift to the city, which politely refused it. However, it will be on display for 10 days. View more photos, including its unveiling at DesignBoom.

Carole Feurman's swimmer sculptures

Article: Carole Feurman's swimmer sculptures

Thanks to Sprayblog, we were just introduced to Carole Feurman’s hyper-realistic, larger-than-life sculptures. She currently has a one-person show going on through September at the Louise Alexander and Ilan Engel Gallery in Italy, which is particularly well-suited for the end of the summer: large sculptures of swimmers in caps, suits and goggles. They don’t exactly represent the physical variety we see at our swimming pool, but there’s no doubt she knows how to capture wet perfection. Check out a few of them below. You can see a lot more on the gallery’s website.

Sculpture artists compete to create recycled masterpieces

Article: Sculpture artists compete to create recycled masterpieces

2009 Scrapfest Redux from SUCH Video on Vimeo.

Summer festival season is upon us, and towns and cities large and small are celebrating their history and culture (as well as trying to attract tourist dollars). In 2009, Lansing, Michigan’s Old Town district added a new event to its Summer solstice celebrations Festival of the Moon & Festival of the Sun: Scrapfest. For the two weeks leading up to the midsummer events, twelve teams of artists root through materials at local scrap processing and recycling company Friedland Industries, and create a sculpture from their finds.

Laura Keeble: Urban Interventions

Article: Laura Keeble: Urban Interventions

Gestalten’s latest release, “Urban Interventions” is really just a nice way of saying pranks. Artsy pranks, in this case. Simple, clever, public attention-getters like a banner on the side of a building that reads: The secret of happiness is t- before the rest is torn off. Like all good art there’s something deeper at work, but the important thing about these pieces is that they’re fun and playful, like the giant wad of gum stretched out between two buildings.

Jack Pierson at Regen Projects

Article: Jack Pierson at Regen Projects

From Jack Pierson’s “Self Portrait” series

Jack Pierson has made a name for himself in sculpture, collage and drawings, but photography is the medium he’s best known for and keeps coming back to. His latest solo show, “Some Other Spring,” which opens at Regen Projects in LA tonight, is a collection of works on paper, sculpture and photography. The gallery hasn’t released any images, but if it’s anything his shows in years past you can expect typographically heavy sculpture and photographs of beautiful men. Or at least beautiful photographs of men and young boys, like the photo above from his early 2000 “Self Portrait” series. If you remember, none of those pictures were of himself, but of 15 different males who represented in some way 15 different pieces of himself.

Ralph Helmick's "Disorders of Magnitude"

Article: Ralph Helmick's "Disorders of Magnitude"

Lo here, taking a break from the sex writing for just a day to talk about art. Did you see that cool wall installation made from staples by Baptiste Debombourg that Matthew wrote about the other day? I loved it too. Then, just yesterday, I got a letter from my first cousin once removed, the…

Andrea Myers sculpture

Article: Andrea Myers sculpture

The Internet all collectively liked this sculpture Andrea Myers. The artist explains: Within my artistic practice, I maintain an interest in exploring the space between the two- dimensional and three- dimensional, hybridizing painting, printmaking and sculpture. I feel my work is dependent upon various processes, such as cutting as drawing, the relationship between deconstruction and…

Channelling Joseph Cornell

Article: Channelling Joseph Cornell

Left: Joseph Cornell’s Untitled (Soap Bubble Set), 1936; Right: Michael Jones McKean’s “Young Saints and Garden,” 2009

Questioning the 2-D or 3-D-ness of something may seem arbitrary; Really it’s up to the artist. But when the artist works both ways, how does he or she decide? Take a look at Joseph Cornell, the famous assemblage artist. While he’s best known for his boxes that contained arrangements of objects, photos and Victorian bric-a-brac, his works on paper similarly combined elements both formal and surreal. It was his move to the 3-Dimensional world, however, that elevated and solidified his status as an artist.

Chainsaws make art

Article: Chainsaws make art

This video featuring a scary man wearing a Jason-like hockey mask and jumpsuit is brilliant. Clocking in at just over nine minutes it shows how a chainsaw can create a work of art. Starting with a giant tree and using the chainsaw to sculpt and cut, the man creates a wooden anime sculpture. And as if the…

Gold Mine at the Guggenheim

Article: Gold Mine at the Guggenheim

Almost more interesting than the work itself is how it enabled the relationship between artists Roni Horn and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The two pieces are, respectively, Forms From the Gold Field which later inspired Gonzalez-Torres to make “Untitled” (Placebo-Landscape-for Roni). He encountered Horn’s work at her solo show at the MoCA in Los Angeles a few…