Posts Tagged ‘sculpture’

Book excavations

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of books and book art.

This is the work of Brian Dettmer.  I’ve seen his work around without actually knowing who was doing it.  I love the idea of taking old books and finding something new in them.

From the artist statement on his website:

When an object’s intended function is fleeting the necessity for a new approach to its form and content arises. By altering preexisting materials and shifting functions, new and unexpected roles of old materials emerge. This is the area I currently operate in. Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit or dissect a communicative object or system such as books, maps, tapes and other media. The medium’s role expands. Its content becomes recontextualized and new meanings or interpretations emerge.

Explanation of Book Dissections

In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and other surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each page while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose a book’s hidden, fragmented memory. The completed pieces expose new relationships of a book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.

I’ve done some work with altered books, but I can only imagine the amount of time and patience it must have taken to work on these.

This last one I found on his flickr stream which I highly recommend you all go check out right now.  He seems to have done an excellent job posting a lot of his most recent work there.  What caught me first about this piece was the title: Do it, Complete Yourself Man (2010)

and here is a detail from same work:

For more on Brian and his work, you can check out his wikipedia page.


artist: Jen Stark

Today has been such a wonderful, awful, crazy, emotional day that for my post tonight, I just want to celebrate the beautiful.

I want to share the work of the artist Jen Stark.  She makes these amazing cut paper sculptures that are just mind blowing to me.

Jen Stark / Flash Spectrum / 12″ x 12″ / hand-cut paper / 2007

Jen Stark / On The Inside / 34″ x 23″ / varnished hand-cut paper / 2008

Jen Stark / Over and Out / 19″ x 19″ x 5″ / hand-cut paper / 2008

Jen Stark / Coriolis Effect / 12″ x 12″ / hand-cut paper / 2007

I wish I had something more profound to say than PRETTY, but at the moment, that is all I can muster.  I just love looking at her work.  I love the pattern, the precision, the apparent simplicity that belies a far more complex underlying structure.  Each piece represents a huge amount of work and all I can think when I look at them is COLOR PRETTY.  Better than HULK SMASH I suppose. I’m also a sucker for works in paper, so that doesn’t hurt either.

For a slightly more coherent take on her work, read this.

To see what she has been up to lately, check out this awesome looking show in Thailand that happened in April of this year:

Wonderful Bad Art

Lately, I’ve really been enjoying the site Craftastrophe.  And not just because they came up with a fabulous name.  The site is dedicated to finding the best of the worst art/craft on the web.  My latest favorite is this:

Beethoven Elvis

Now, the art itself is cringeworthy enough.  But what really tips this piece over the edge is that the creator of the piece actually tried to pass it off as a legitimate art success.  From the original posting:

This sculpture is of a young Beethoven and was hand sculpted and hand painted by Titano Art (artists Scott O’Connor and David Kwon)
This sculpture won the 2010 Matthew Hussein Award for Innovation! It was selected from a field of 77 artists, some of whom entered more than one sculpture!
Here is what renowned art critic Adele Padgett had to say about the sculpture at the award ceremony: “These artists have used a very innovative style in this piece. They have achieved extremely accurate proportions but also used blacks where there are already natural shadows and whites where there are already natural highlights for emphasis. A dripping effect on the face also gives the viewer an accurate feeling that Beethoven was a tragic figure. The effect is truly stunning, and I believe Matthew Hussein would be very happy with this year’s winning piece if he were still alive.”
Since nobody knows for sure what Beethoven looked like when he was younger, reference pictures of an older Beethoven, Elvis, and Robert Pattinson were used.

A Google search done by the lovely folks at Craftastrophe shows that none of the people or events named (besides Beethoven, Elvis and Robert Pattinson) actually exist.  It’s all made up!  AND there are plenty of images of the young Beethoven.  But I’m sure there was only one old Elvis statue around to modify so I guess you do what you have to do.

In spite of all of this (or perhaps because of it) the sculpture sold for a whopping $5.50 (plus $34.99 in shipping).  In a strange way, these people really did make some art, just not quite in the way they intended.  They embraced the idea that the inherent value of art comes from who made it and not whether it stirs some response (positive or negative) in the viewer.  So they fabricated a history for their art in order to increase the amount that someone would be willing to pay for it. In this way, the act of selling the art almost becomes performance art, completed when someone buys the work and the story.

It’s also just really funny.