If you’re anything like me, the city of Baltimore stands in my mind primarily as the setting for The Wire, once described perfectly as “A Russian novel of a television series.” But now I can add another string to my Baltimore knowledge bow, having come across the stupendous work of Jonathan Latiano.
The sculptor has a keen scientific interest and cites “biology, astronomy, physics and geology” as the starting points for his jaw-dropping installations which seem to wrestle with art’s traditional restrictions, overpowering these constraints to burst out of the frame, the floor or the earth. The brutal tactility of many of the materials he uses adds an unsettling dimension to his work which he says, "explores the tension created by the presence of fragility and the temporary.
He goes on: "I am interested in where things are physically and metaphorically beginning and ending, and questioning what is static and what is kinetic. Site-specificity has become a vital factor in my body of work, to let the art react and grow within a space in which it was created, to capitalise on a moment before it is gone forever. I find myself repeatedly drawn to specific materials to express these concepts such as feathers, glass, dust, and salt for their vulnerability and ephemerality, and resins, styrofoam, plastics, lacquers and enamel paints for their artificiality, permanence and unnerving beauty.
“I find the poeticism and concepts of the physics of our universe simultaneously fascinating, beautiful and horrifying. The pieces that I create contrast abstracted human intuition with the reality of our natural environment. My work, in many ways, is my own personal attempt to understand my place in the physical universe.”
Big ideas, realised with such bombast is a rare but winning combination.
- Spin studio shares its latest work and how to perk up "depressed-looking" v’s
- Animator Dan Castro tackles the intricacies of relationships in this funny short
- “I don't want to lose my connection with the tangible”: illustrator Jack Taylor on his new digital and 3D process
- Greta Thorkels: a graphic designer creating Gilmore Girls zines and record sleeves
- Grégory Michenaud’s ongoing project sees him explore identity in a Hasidic Jewish community
- Photographer Gilleam Trapenberg explores macho culture against rose-tinted skies in Big Papi
- The New York Times Magazine’s new cover is actually a painting
- BBC’s new typeface BBC Reith is designed to improve legibility on screen
- “It needs to be normalised that women masturbate”: meet illustrator Jordyn McGeachin
- Life through the lens of enchanting photographer Vicki King
- Six months in the (enviable) life of photographer Ryan Lowry
- We get to know hilarious and thoughtful illustrator, Ruby Etc