Artist Daniel Jacob began making art in Chicago in the early 1990s, channeling his ideas into sculptures and works on paper. After spending most of his career in business, he has returned to his love of art. His current practice experiments with crystals and stones to create pop culture-inspired sculptures of dripping popsicles, Air Jordan sneakers, animals, and elements of city infrastructure, like sewer grates.
Each of Jacob’s works begin as three-dimensional scans which are then sculpted into cast resin and finally topped by hand with hundreds of thousands of multi-colored Swarovski crystals. A few of Jacob’s sculptures are currently on view at the recently opened Nonfinito Gallery in New York through May 31, 2018. You can see more of the artist’s work on his website and Instagram.
Uplift is a architecturally-minded desk sculpture that slowly rotates using the power of the sun. The walnut work hovers inside a glass bell jar, powered by a steel and brass mechanism that allows the staircase endlessly rotate. The mesmerizing design was invented by friends Tom Lawton and Ben Jandrell, seasoned inventors who spent the last two years optimizing the technology behind the spinning object.
The first generation of Uplift sculptures are currently produced by the pair in Lawton’s home town of Malmesbury, UK, and are being funded through Kickstarter. You can see more of Lawton’s inventions, like this motion-activated running light he co-invented with Jandrell, on his website.
Wrocław-based tattoo artist Joanna Swirska, aka Dżo (previously), produces nature-based tattoos through her own psychedelic lens. In one work a crystal-studded snail inches across ombre leaves, while in another, a ginkgo tree sprouts from the palm of a poised hand. Human forms are often overlaid with plants or animal motifs, such as her Frida Kahlo tattoo above which features the detail of a deep red bird mask inked across the painter’s face.
Dżo initially studied painting, and made her switch from canvas to skin about five years ago. You can follow more of her recent work on Instagram, and buy prints and other merchandise based on her tattoo designs from her online shop. (via Cross Connect Magazine)
Japanese designer Norihiko Terayama suspends simple floral arrangements in polygonal forms, contrasting the organic material with straight, meticulous lines. With the simple addition of pins and thread his series Crust of the Polygon reframes the dried plants as poetic sculptures. Another one of his series, Polygon of Tree Branch, features full branches encased in a similar geometric style.
Terayama studied at Design Academy Eindhoven where he trained under designer Richard Hutten and was immersed in Dutch conceptual design. His company Studio Note designs home and lifestyle products which often incorporate natural elements. You can see more projects by the Japanese designer on his website.
From the outside, artist Mark deJong’s contemporary installation, Swing House, doesn’t particularly stand out from the other residences lining the street of Cincinnati’s Camp Washington neighborhood. The blue 19th-century building is narrowly built, and features charming architectural details that cap its windows and roof. The interior however, is remarkably different. All three levels of the home have been completely gutted to create an open floor plan void of any interior walls or floors, with a single swing positioned at the center of the space.
“Swing House is a piece of art in itself,” deJong tells Colossal. “All of my major decisions were based on the arc of the swing, which started by emptying out everything on the inside. The arc of the swing then dictated where the stairs to the basement went, as well as the placement of the bed and kitchen. While swinging, your feet miss those things with a considered clearance. You are able to swing way over both the bed and kitchen.”
The seat of the swing was formed from reddish pine salvaged from inside the home. Its natural-fiber rope attachments extend 30-feet into the air, and are secured into a metal beam from the home’s three-story ceiling. It is here that deJong painted a black and white hour glass shape, a nod to the motif of passing time represented in the pendulum-like swing.
The installation took three years to build, but had been a dream of deJong’s for nearly thirty. He originally thought of the idea shortly after finishing art school. “I stopped making art for 20 years, so this house was my leap back into the art world,” he explains. He has worked in construction for the past several decades, so this art-based house was a way for him to marry his formal training with his lifelong career.
DeJong is currently renovating another house on the same street which will also be mostly gutted, except for as set of freestanding stairs which will serve as the main focus. Objects created from salvaged elements of the Swing House are currently on view at his solo exhibition of the same name, which runs through September 2, 2018 at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. Tours of the home will occur throughout the duration of the exhibition. (via CityBeat)
British graffiti artist Pref explores words and common phrases through unique multi-layered murals. His 3D text is used to create amalgamations of quippy sayings, often placing one word inside of another to give a piece multiple perspectives. In the work below a turquoise “more” subtly shifts into a salmon “less” simply by a twist of the viewer’s head.
Since he got his start nearly two decades ago, Pref has been interested in challenging graffiti’s aesthetic, working with typography to bring a more accessible appearance to painted text. At first the street artist worked with the negative space between letters, which eventually became letters themselves. This transformed into his signature style of combined texts, which he has been exploring since 2010.
“Since then I have pushed and experimented with this idea of overlapping words, seeing how many I can fit into the space of one word, and then slowly boiling it down and simplifying this idea to become more legible,” he tells Colossal. “This in turn lead more to the use of ‘typography’ throughout my style as you see today. I have always been interested in the idea of graffiti speaking to the general public, rather than just other graffiti writers, and readable letters or a more ‘typographic’ approach has been a good route to that.”
Recently Pref partnered with fellow typographic street artist Gary Stranger to launch a collective titled Typograffic Circle. The group unites artists working in the type-based street art subgenre, and their first self-titled group show is on view through June 3, 2018 at London’s StolenSpace. The exhibition features work by Georgia Hill, Saïd Kinos, All Type No Face, along with Pref and Stranger. You can see more of Pref’s recent work on his Instagram and buy select prints through his Big Cartel.
The Yiwu International Trade Market in China is the world’s largest wholesale market, stretching nearly five miles and containing over 75,000 individual vendors. Chinese-American film director Jessica Kingdon peeks into the daily lives of the market’s workers in her observational documentary Commodity City, exploring the subtle interactions that occur amongst hoards of dolls, flowers, neon signs, clocks, and other consumer goods.
The work is filmed in long, static shots, mirroring the days each vendor spends inside the consumer metropolis. Commodity City has played in over fifty film festivals, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Cinema Eye Honors. The Brooklyn-based director received her BA in Film Studies from Columbia University and her MA in Media Studies from The New School. In 2017, she was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine. You can see more of the short films Kingdon has produced and directed on her website and Vimeo. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
Self-taught Gabonese photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga is known for portraits that highlight the diversity of cultures and identities in the African diaspora. His works are often richly hued, with subjects positioned against bright gradient backgrounds or adorned in warm tones.
In his project The Darkest Colour however, Guibinga moves away from his multi-colored photo shoots to focus entirely on the color black and its relationship to darkness, mourning, and death. The series is set in front of a matte black background and features two nude models whose skin has also been painted black. The works seek to unpack the negative aspects of the both the color and its symbolism.
“Black is generally the colour associated with tragedy, death, and mourning, and the act of passing away is considered to be a tragedy in many cultures,” Guibinga tells Colossal. “‘The Darkest Colour’ seeks to redefine association of black and death with tragedy and sadness by representing the act of passing away as more of a relaxing experience.”
The 22-year-old photographer is currently a student in professional photography at Marsan College in Montreal. You can see more of his portraits, like his series 2050 which explores the future of fashion from a black woman’s perspective, on his website and Instagram. (via WideWalls)