Category Archives: Pick from the Web

The Art of ‘The Art of Swimming’ (1587)

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Everard Digby, born in 1550, was an academic theologian at Cambridge University. Digby created a series of 40 charming woodcuts to illustrate his book titled De Arte Natandi (The Art of Swimming) published in 1587 and is considered the first English treatise on the practice. The Art of Swimming was very influential and not only taught readers how to swim but also covered many safety issues. Digby warned of the dangers of swimming outdoors, jumping in feet first (particularly if the water has a muddy bottom to which your feet would stick), advised against swimming in murky ponds (in which animals may have been washed). and also suggested swimmers have a companion with them, to help if they get into difficulties. (Via) Continue reading

A River Runs Through It

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Danish-Icelandic artist and designer Olafur Eliasson has created a riverbed in Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art entitled ‘Riverbed’. The whole floor of the South Wing of the museum was layered with rocks, creating a terrain for a stream of water to wind through. Visitors to the gallery are transported back outside, to experience walking on top of loose terrain, along a river.

Eliasson’s says of the piece ‘what I’m interested in with my work at the Louisiana isn’t really that you experience an object or an artwork. I am interested in how you connect this landscape to the rest of the world and ultimately, how you experience yourself within it. when we’re in our familiar surroundings, in our circle of family and friends, our senses are very finely tuned, but the further away we get from the local context, the cruder the sensing becomes. I wonder if our focus on the atmospheric can give us a relationship with something that is very abstract and far away.’ (Via)

Abandoned Jellyfish

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Alongside the Liverpool biennial, every evening until July 27th, at a derelict building in the Toxteth district, an unused storefront shutter automatically opens at 10:00 pm. A beautiful glowing installation is revealed to unsuspecting passers-byes of a stunning, luminous tank filled with living, floating jellyfish. Created by artists Walter Hugo & Zoniel, the piece will be live streamed from the jellyfish tank and shown on the exterior of the Gazelli Art House in London. (Via)

‘A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby’ by Kara Walker

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Kara Walker, known for her silhouette drawings and installations, has created her first public art project in the soon to be demolished Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, NY. On entering the crumbing factory, visitors are unexpectedly met with a monumental sugary sphinx, peering down at them, from the dark and becomes a mysterious and powerful tribute to the building and the commodity once created within. The title ‘Subtlety’ means a sugar sculpture made from sugar paste, marzipan, fruits and nuts, which was made to portray as well as to be consumed, by royalty. The grand sugar sphinx is on view until July 6, 2014. (Via)

Christian Rex van Minnen’s ‘Glazed and Confused’

VAN_MINNEN_Christian_2014_HOT_HORROR_ON_THA_DANCE_FLOOR_Oil_Linen_46_x_32in”Rex van Minnen explores the techniques and styles of Old Masters’ oil painting while seeking out opportunities within the traditional layers and glazes of paint to create a confused stratum of form, content and meaning. The end result are paintings that marry opposing forces of harmony and dissonance, beauty and horror, meaning and absurdity.

The works in this exhibit depict grotesque portraits tattooed with a matrix of old and new tattoos, psychedelic patterns draped over mutated and chimeric forms, and hidden drawings embedded within the flowers of a still-life: images that present confusions of truth within the layers of paint; the mask and the face; psychedelia and psychosis; the cancer and the body; cultural inclusivity and assimilation; profundity and the absurd.” (Via)

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Dan Attoe’s ‘Landscapes With Water’ at Peres Projects, Berlin

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Dan Attoe paints mystical and eerie fictitious landscapes, populated with tiny figures expressing distinctive character traits of the artist and how he would like to embrace the environments he creates. For this body of work, Attoe has revisited several landscapes he has previously explored, playing with different elements and discovering new possibilities for the characters in the scene.

Attoe says “These paintings are a series of landscapes that I’ve been kicking around in my head and in my drawings for a while. Some come from places that I’ve lived in and have personal relationships with, like the North Shore of Lake Superior, the rivers and waterfalls of Washington state and Idaho, and the coast of the Northwestern U.S. Others exist some place in popular culture or in some kind of collective visual vocabulary. With this body of work, I’m playing with the character of these places and trying to make images that have some kind of deeper meaning.” Continue reading

Camel’s Final Wish Is To Have Bones Perfectly Carved Into Bicycle

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Algerian artist Adel Abdessemed’s ‘la chine est proche’, translated from french as ‘china is near’ is a full-scale gentlemen’s bicycle. Superbly carved from camel bone with lovely details from the ridges on the tires to the break cables. The bone bike sculpture is delicate yet durable, and plays with a historical and cultural influence from Chinese artisans who use the material to craft jewelry and charms. (Via)

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Lucy Glendinning’s Genetically Modified Sleepy Feathered Children

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Lucy Glendinning’s ‘Featherchild’ series comes from the artist’s fascination with a future society inhabited with genetically modified children and the possibilities from such experiments. Covered from head to toe, the feathers may act as a camouflage, keeping the children hidden or they may enable them with a unique ability to survive whatever landscape they now populate They may also just be tired freaks, taking refuge in art galleries. Glendinning’s tactile sculptures are beautifully crafted, showing a very sensitive and vulnerable side to her bizarre subjects, leaving the viewer uncertain whether to take the mutant child into their care or throw them into the fire. (Via)

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Adrian Esparza’s Mexican Serape Blanket Turned Geometric Wall Installations

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Texas-based artist Adrian Esparza unravels Mexican serape blankets and uses the threads to weave them back into multi-dimensional, geometric installations. As well as the deconstruction and transformation of this cultural symbol, Esparza is interested in reinventing the ordinary and encourages the viewer to do the same, looking for the creative potential which can be found in the familiar and the mundane. ‘Wake and Wonder’ will be on vshow at Pérez Art Museum Miami until May 2015.

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Wild Animals All Drink in Harmony in Cai Guo Qiang’s ‘Falling Back To Earth’ On Show at the Queensland Goma, Australia

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Chinese artist Cai Guo Qiang has created three spectacular installations for “Falling Back to Earth”, on show at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Australia. The centerpiece consists of 99 replicas of wild animals, all circled around a water pool and sharing a drink with each other. Also on show is “Head On 2006,” featuring 99 wolves leaping through the air and crashing into a glass wall!