Amazing to see how people are taking Google’s image capturing technology and adapting it for their own art. Top, Aaron Hobson’s photo-stitched images taken from remote Google street views are both beautiful and haunting. Below, Jenny Odell uses Google satellite photos to create collages of related objects. There is something so satisfying about seeing objects grouped together. The photo above shows a collection of salt ponds.
Archive for the ‘art’ Category
Nice project from Christoph Brach & Daniera ter Haar, who graduated from Eindhoven in 2007. The pair have been experimenting with vegetables and their natural color. The vegetables are made into inks which are fed into a specialized printer. The result is a print that oozes and grows before your eyes.
Artist David Prince recently exhibited his Lumberjack project at the Otis College of Art and Design in LA. Prince hand whittled toothpicks out of poplar wood and is selling them one by one. The starting price was 25 cents and they go up a little with each sale. I knew I should have jumped in when they were at ten, get your limited edition piece here.
Before I moved back to the US I was fortunate enough to take a class at the Orsoni mosaic foundry in Venice. Located in the Cannaregio district, the workshop is tucked away down one of the endless alleys that line the city’s canals. The only indicator of the place’s existence is a small mosaic sign outside the Domus Orsoni, the bed and breakfast that is run out of the original Orsoni home (above).
I wanted to share some pictures and background of this special place, where the same tools, techniques and recipes have been used to create mosaic glass (smalti) for over hundred years. Founded in 1888 by Angelo Orsoni, the workshop was run as a family business until 2003 when Trend bought the company. Though the ownership has changed, almost everything else seems to have remained untouched by the hands of time.
During my week long course, the staff was kind enough to show us how the glass is made. Our tour begins in the Orsoni color library, home for the 2,000 plus colors of smalti the foundry has produced. Some colors are part of their collection of 100 standard tones, while others are remnants from special orders, one-off colors that would make Crayola jealous.
The glass plates are made in a furnace from a mixture of sand, soda and various oxides for color. The ingredients are hand mixed in ceramic crucibles, which only last for about 5-6 weeks before cracking. Inside the Orsoni courtyard there were stacks of these crucibles, dripping with color from their final firing (above left). The cracked pieces are sold and find a second life as planters. If only I could have lugged one home.
When an order comes in, glass is taken from the color library to the cutting room where the larger plates are hand scored and cut into the smaller squares used in mosaics (smalti). During our class everyone from the fellows working the furnace to the business administrator stopped by to see our work and chat. It was such a welcoming and friendly environment; its like every student becomes part of the Orsoni family.
My teacher, Antonella Gallenda, has been making mosaics (like the ones above) since she was a teenager, having been taught by the last Orsoni owner Lucio Orsoni (great grandson of the founder Angelo). Being in this place was amazing; getting to see firsthand the dedication of the artisans who make the glass and the mosaic works. Though I gladly would have stayed for a month, my ticket back home dictated I take the one week course. Orsoni offers a variety of classes including 3, 5 and 10 day workshops.
Sometimes when you are traveling it is nice to step beyond the regular tourist agenda and get a different perspective on a place. For the week I was in Venice, I felt like I was part of the fabric of the city, learning a cherished trade and celebrating the work of a renowned Venetian family. Thanks to Antonella, Mirta and everyone else at Orsoni for making the course so wonderful, I hope to come back soon!
Amazingly beautiful installation by artist Catie Newell in Detroit. Constructed with salvaged pieces of wood from a burned out building, Newell created a passageway through the charred structure’s frame. The geometric front facade shows the unburnt cross sections while the back reveals the story of the burnt wood, piece by charred piece.
Newell’s installation is part of a new Detroit non-profit called the Imagination Station. The story of this space is inspiring, I’ll post more about it on my other site Poesy & Praxis here. Newell was invited to create the installation in the burnt remains before the building is torn down to make way for a new artist space.
Charley Harper’s graphic imagery has been an inspiration to many artists. I always thought his work was primarily illustrations and prints, so I was surprised when I came across images of two large mosaic murals the artist made in the John Weld Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati, Ohio (1964). These large scale works (18 x 10.5 feet), depict 100 animals in Harper’s iconic style.
(images via visualingual)
Another highlight from this year’s Brit Insurance Design of the Year nominees came from Evan Roth. In April, 2009 Roth photographed over 2,400 graffiti tags throughout the city of Paris. Afterward he sorted, labeled and analyzed each of the tags’ letters and identified the ten that were most used. Roth created an online system where the visitor can scroll through these letters, which are, “not intended to display the best graffiti tags in Paris, but rather the aim is to highlight the diversity of forms ranging from upper case to lowercase, simple to complex and legible to cryptic.”
My last stop at the Designer’s Fair was at the display of the Cologne-based Grassland studio and of course this is where my battery died. Thankfully, Grassland had their new products on their website already. In addition to wall hangings and orbs, the company just released these grass-covered letters and lamp shades. All of their products are made with real grass that will naturally fade and change color over time. No watering or trimming required.
Artist Daniel Rozin created ‘Trash Mirror’ from 500 pieces of rubbish he found on the streets of New York. Through the miracle and magic of science, he configured each scrap to tilt down when someone passes in front of it, casting a shadow in the trash. You can see a man with a cowboy hat on the left and a person with their arm up on the right. If that all sounds a little confusing check out a youtube video here.
The Museum of Everything is a new London venue showcasing the work of the, “untrained,unintentional and unseen creators,” of our world. Founder James Brett has done an amazing job of transforming an old dairy and recording studio into a the perfect space to celebrate these secret artists. In Exhibition #1 over 200 hundred drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations are on display. The stories behind the pieces are as interesting as the work itself and I can’t even begin to describe them here. It just wouldn’t do the project justice. If you live in London or are planning a visit soon, I highly recommend a visit. Free.