Art Archive

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    Artist and designer Taylor Holland enjoys visual trickery. His Frames project used Photoshop’s Content Aware tool to fill in frames of pictures hung in the Louvre and prior to that the Paris-based creative documented the weird and wonderful tour bus graphics he saw in his hometown. His latest project Vector Fields is a series of interactive websites which “explore what happens when the boundaries of sport are manipulated through play.”

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    Pretty hard not to want to peer inside a book of cartoons that “reference both philosophy (Descartes, Hegel, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer) and pop culture (Conan the Barbarian, Peanuts, Suicidal Tendencies.)” One of our favourite artists James Jarvis is back with an absolute whopper of a comic, presented to the world by publishing heroes, Nieves. This 380 page book contains 365 drawings by James, made daily in 2012. Follow his know well-known characters as they grapple with everyday life and contemplate life’s meanings as they skateboard around the place. A must-read for anyone whose life has a Calvin and Hobbes-shaped hole that needs filling.

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    Walead Beshty describes himself a photographer, though his practice is almost unrecognisable as such. Though he often manually develops rolls of film he has no interest in creating images in the traditional sense. Instead his work concerns itself with the relationship of the medium to the world at large and its development through political and social phenomena – the catalyst for which was the destruction of a selection of films during his passage through airport security post 9/11. As a result Walead often works with processes that mirror photography, beginning with a blank medium and allowing a variety of chance circumstances to shape the appearance of the final image.

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    As much as the sculptures of the time insinuate, the average man hanging round the forum in 500 BC didn’t necessarily have rippling quads, a laurel wreath and an angry God hot on his trail. This is perhaps why Tom Price’s sculptures of men he sees hanging around South London ring so true. In these beautiful sculptures of men, toned abs are replaced with beer bellies, divine movements swapped with bored slouching and catapults with mobile phones.

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    What better way to spend your Friday than on Rafaël Rozendaal’s latest creation, Fill This Up. Rafaël is one of the very few people that uses the World Wide Web productively, and he spends his time making websites for us proles to click around open-mouthed like those pigs those scientists convinced to play basic computer games. His latest venture sees him turn the boring browser into a canvas upon which we can drag our cursor around to make pastel shapes unfold like origami in quick succession. Drag to fill the page, click to reverse it back to white. Just like a lot of Rafaël’s work, this is simple, alluring and strangely brilliant.

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    Guy Yanai is a young Israeli artist doing super interesting things with oil on canvas. There’s a strong dash of Hockney in his work, which reconfigures poolsides and tropical landscapes with abstract forms in vibrant, summery strokes, and frankly in the deep dingy grey of January we don’t have a bad word to utter against them.

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    For a man with only 20 paintings and eight drawings surviving as testament to his talents, Hieronymous Bosch has had a phenomenal influence over the world of fine art. Looking back on his works today it’s almost unthinkable that the Dutch painter produced his masterpieces over half a millennium ago – his canvases are so rich both in technical detail and narrative vision. But Bosch predates the Renaissance pioneers upon whom western culture has lavished extraordinary reverence and arguably outshines with the violent brilliance of his imagination.

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    I remember the sense of pomp and circumstance by which the arrival of the full set of Encyclopedia Britannica’s was greeted in our house. In the innocent pre Wikipedia age, if you wanted to know what the capital of Djibouti was or whether lemurs were nocturnal you turned to the relevant EB entry and found out; all much more satisfying than its contemporary equivalent. When the makers of this rich resource announced they were to stop publishing it after 244 years, book artist Guy Laramée (who we last featured two years ago) went to work. Adieu is his tribute to this remarkable publication; using all 24 volumes he has created a landscape that ranges from lush mountains to grassy prairies. In both scope and imagination this is a fitting homage to a publishing institution. By the way it;s Dijibouti City and some types of lemurs are nocturnal, but not all.

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    Since we first covered Atelier Bingo back in July I’ve been following them more or less constantly on Instagram, tracking the development of their hand-built studio and the evolution of their screen printing skills. They’ve been nothing short of prolific in the last few months, turning their renovated space into a hive of activity, setting up an online shop, exhibiting in Korea, creating posters for German music venues, brushing up on their ceramic skills and churning out stunning screen prints as though their lives depended on it. We REALLY hope they’ll keep it up.

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    German artist Katharina Grosse has an obsession with scale. She told as much when we spoke to her for the autumn issue of Printed Pages magazine, an interview in which she revealed she goes surfing in New Zealand every year to reset her own sense of her place against the infinite natural scale. All this puts her latest project in a Brooklyn Park into perspective (in every sense of the word). Just Two Of Us is a series of massive multi-coloured sculptures which have taken over the MetroTech Commons plaza, looking like the architectural remains of a post-punk psychedelic society. It’s bright, bold and inescapably interactive; three things Katharina does as well as any artist we can think of.

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    If you find yourself passing London’s Blackfriars Bridge anytime soon, take a second glance at the house at number 20; artist Alex Chinneck has turned an 18th Century livery upside down. Quite literally. Following on from his incredible From the Knees of my Nose to the Belly of my Toes earlier this year, the artist has created Miners on the Moon as the finale to Merge Festival 2013. Using signage recovered from a reclamation yard he has transformed the building, which was erected in 1780 and originally used as a livery stables housing horses and carriages. Cool, huh?

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    Yayoi Kusama is one of a kind. Her signature polka dots have become widely recognised across the world, gracing trees, Louis Vuitton bags, mannequins and buildings alike, and seeing her rise to success in New York, France and her native Japan in the process. And yet, her entire oeuvre and all of the books she written were created from the confines of psychiatric hospital which she voluntarily submitted herself to in 1977, and has lived in ever since.

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    Interesting how adding an imminent UFO attack to a picture can ramp up the excitement and cool factor up to 11. These images by Paula Lopez Vallejo (or Paulova) we found on Art Nau are her take on vintage rug designs and are a window into an apocalyptic future where aliens sweep the skies as wild horses gallop across the earth. This project is a continuation from her 2011 Damas de Primavera where she used the same technique focusing only on women throughout the ages. We don’t know exactly how Paulova makes these images, but we appreciate their kitsch charm immensely on this cold morning.

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    If ever an image were to make you look twice, these intricate and infinitely layered digital collages from Womankind by María María Acha-Kutscher will do it. Yes, collages! Composed with hundreds of tiny fragments from the internet, magazines, books and the artist’s own photographs, each image is principally concerned with the two key historical moments for women’s emancipation; the British suffrage movement of the early twentieth century, and the introduction of the pill in the 1960s. Reclaiming each tiny piece from its original context and repurposing it in this way allows María to reconsider the meaning within a private, woman-centric sphere.

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    This is not a photo of a studio, this is a photo of a tiny scale model of a studio. It takes quite a lot to shock me these days, I once saw a dog eating another dog in India, but this work genuinely made me stare open-mouthed in awe. The series is by Joe Fig and it is his own way of creating a self-portrait by recreating his studio as a tiny, diorama-esque set. The level of detail is the first thing that gets you, then you see just how homely it looks, how lived in. How did Joe manage to recreate the actual feel of a studio with just a model? Mind-boggling. Check out the actual paintings he makes in his real studio over here on his site, they’re pretty cool too.

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    For the third year running Eastpak has challenged 56 artists across 14 countries to rethink, reimagine and reappropriate a blank backpack and once again the results are fascinatingly diverse and excitingly creative. On the more straightforward end of the spectrum there are designs which play with colour and texture to put the designer’s unique stamp on this unusual canvas; at the other there are those who have turned the bag into something else entirely; rocks, a giant insect, a birdcage.

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    ‘Tis the season of furniture adverts and we’re getting bombarded from all sides by bogus pine warehouses flogging their beige leather numbers at ‘only one nine nine!’ To counteract this is the cooling oasis of Nick V. De Marco’s website, which showcases his extraordinary, ultra non-boring furniture. Sure, Nick’s more of an artist than a carpenter, but it doesn’t mean we want his molecular Void table in every room of our house. Check out the rest of his rather colourful portfolio over on his site.

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    It’s difficult to do more than open a website today before you’re faced with a semi-hilarious internet meme, but Javier Mayoral’s small surrealist paintings are easily the best of them all. The artist, who has received no formal training, paints in his spare time when he’s not working as a chef – a fact that makes the sheer quantity of work that he has produced astounding. Over the last three years he has made around 4,600 of these pieces, usually painting at least five a day, which he then sells on eBay.

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    Blackpool has a certain place in the British psyche that is probably quite mystifying to outsiders, The seaside town is associated with a very particular type of UK holiday experience; smutty but silly, sleazy but in a charming way. It has nostalgic connotations of the resort golden age but also a contemporary cache too, a hedonistic enclave in an increasingly homogenised country.

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    To Seoul everyone, and don’t spare the horses! The artist Do Ho Suh has unveiled his biggest work ever at the city’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and it’s absolutely astonishing. Continuing his explorations of domestic space, the artist has built two exact scale replicas of both his childhood home and his first apartment in the USA. Created using jade silk, the ethereal structures evoke ideas of the relationship between memory and place, and the ways in which physical structures become part f our theoretical personal narratives.

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    Prepare to get knocked sideways into a cosmic, electric lady land of colour and texture in these paintings by Cuban artist Alberto del Pozo. These meticulously drawn portraits of gods and goddesses and tropical scenes of drape-heavy boudoirs are mind blowing! Something mystical about these paintings makes me feel that they wouldn’t look out of place in a Sultan’s palace, nor hanging in the hallway of Del Boy’s flat in Only Fools and Horses. Although visually rich, these paintings have a rather sombre back story – they are inspired by the slave trade, and the forcing of religious practice on to those who believe in another deity entirely. You can read more about them and the artist over here on But Does it Float?

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    If the overarching relationship between art and design is sometimes a complex one, the relationship between particular art movements and design can be equally problematic. How do designers respond to cultural movements rooted in a certain time and place? How are these movements affected when designers co-opt its visual language for their own ends? At what point do these designs become part of the art movement?

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    When I think of football in the 80s I think of the smell of freshly mowed turf, steaming styrofoam cups and old sheepskin coats with packets of Pall Mall tucked inside. Football and smoking kind of go together in a weird way, a similar vibe you really only get when you step into a classic British pub and get that first whiff of stale booze slap bang in your face. Leo Fitzmaurice has picked up on that, and has taken the really quite beautifully designed fag packets of yore and turned them into instantly recognisable football kits. It’s a simple, effective comment on the specific addiction many of us have to sport, and the infinitive nature of competition year after year.

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    Signs that you’ve made it: 1. You have a book of your work out. 2. The text for said book is written by Creative Review editor Patrick Burgoyne. 3. You have an accompanying exhibition of your work at super-cool east London gallery KK Outlet. 4. The press release for said show includes a quote from the people’s philosopher Alain de Botton.

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    Rutherford Chang listens to The White Album every day. As well as doing this, he also spends his time tracking down every single vinyl copy of the album he possibly can. He’s never paid more than $20 or less than $1 for a copy, and he prefers the white LP to be well-used. When his collection began to grow, what he found most exciting about it was the individual way in which each album had been decorated or annotated on by its owner. To provide the public with a blank album was The Beatles’ way of giving it to us to make of it what we wish, for us to decorate it and send it on to Rutherford Chang is precisely the kind of way that it will remain one of the most timeless albums of our time. Great project – see the whole collection in high res over on his site.

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    Luxembourgian artist Simone Decker likes to make work that’s BIG, playing fast and loose with her audience’s sense of perspective, scale and in many cases, reality. She’s a master of using strange materials to create extraordinary spectacles. In previous shows she’s covered entire exhibition spaces in reflective tape – and clothed all her visitors likewise – turning them all into a vibrant white at the flash of a camera, created a glow in the dark bridge over a canal and covered an entire park with sticky tape. Her work encourages a physical level of participation from her audience, inviting them to climb over objects, try on new outfits and get stuck to trees.

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    The humble typewriter has taken a bit of a bashing since its old rival, the word processor, came into being, and was then pretty much forgotten altogether when we all decided to invite computers into our homes full-time. Now those beautifully complex mechanical machines are only found on the desks of first year art students (all of them) to show off to their new housemates that they’re edgy as hell and really enjoy things that are second hand.

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    There’s a lot written about how in these days of digital, we hanker for real-world experiences and interactions. Bu Chinese artist Xu Bing has twisted this idea with his new installation at The V&A museum in London, creating an artwork that visitors can never fully experience, and with good reason.

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    SpY is an artist taking street-level communication to a new level. Stemming from simple observations he makes while out and about in the city, he creates large-scale installations and paintings that challenge society’s accepted passivity, encouraging active viewing from passers by and transcending the limitations of graffiti that we’ve become so used to seeing on a daily basis.

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    By day Drew Tyndell is a freelance director who makes animations for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon and suchlike, but by night he creates his own brand of puzzle-inspired wooden artworks using wood. Combining sculpture, painting and collage in one unique blend, his work is rooted in a graphic design education, using wooden blocks in strong colours to make subtle references to a grid form and to architectural processes.

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    The press release for a new series of digital paintings by husband and wife duo Rob and Nick Carter states that it “creates rare intersection between Old Master connoisseurship and contemporary new media art.” Technically that’s true, but it’s a bit like describing a parachute jump purely in terms of physics, shorn of the visceral emotional response so central to the experience. Because Transforming is (to coin a phrase) f**k-me fantastic. Working with visual effects experts MPC, Rob and Nick have taken four 16th and 17th Century paintings and turned them into staggeringly impressive living pieces; so flowers wilt, maggots ooze out of a dead frog and the reclining nude stirs in her sleep.

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    At this year’s Here conference I introduced Andy Rementer to the stage saying that “we feature him so often on the site he probably thinks we have a bit of a crush on him, which we basically do.” I’m not saying I regret saying that necessarily but I have replayed it in my mind a few times wondering just how appropriate it was. Nonetheless Andy got in touch a few weeks ago telling us about his new project which sees his bright and colourful cavalcade of characters go all 3D.

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    When David Maisel was visiting an old, disused psychiatric hospital, he was beckoned into a small room by a prisoner who had been brought in from the local jail to clean up the building, who had gotten to know the building well. The prisoner referred to the room as The Library of Dust and David was soon to discover that it was crammed floor-to-ceiling with nearly 4000 identical copper tins containing the ashes of patients who had died in the hospital from the 1880s to the 1970s. Respectfully, David took a selection of the canisters and photographed them in turn, segregating them and focusing on the incredible, luminous patterns that had now formed on the decaying copper.

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    I am getting to an age where more and more of my friends are getting married (2013 was the year of the gift list). Getting to know friends as part of a couple is an interesting experience, seeing how their personalities manifest separately and together in this new context. Longtime friend of the site Lenka Clayton has found an innovative way to explore this idea in her new project One Brown Shoe. She asked 100 married couples around the world to make a single brown shoe using materials found in their houses. They were asked to do this in secret and not discuss the project with their significant other. The results came in various shapes and sizes, made from materials as varied as cat food boxes to Cuban cigars.

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    Kuhl and Leyton are Brad Kuhl and Monique Leyton, two graduates from Miami who began collaborating while studying at Cornell University, Ithaca. Their fine art practice deals predominantly with illuminating the darker side of contemporary culture, creating pieces that act as a social commentary and a critique of capitalism. In this series, Elite Deviance, the pair explore the fraudulent crimes of the United States’ super-rich, creating a day-glo visual indictment of their extraordinary crimes.

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    I saw Jules’ work at Frieze this year, glowing like a beacon through the endless throngs of people flocking to see their reflections in a Koons. His paintings are huge, which is probably because he likes to cram a tonne of stuff inside them making each masterpiece like a scene from an exciting, adventurous novel. I don’t know if he’s taking these incredible epic snapshots from old books on blunderbusses or italian romance or if he’s drawing inspiration merely from his own memories. Either way, his foggy rays of sunlight, breezy boat outings and portraits of Clint Eastwood are transporting me to different and far more favourable worlds, and I’m incredibly glad I came across his work.

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    How’s this for a platter full of surrealist artwork to tuck right into? Eun Ji Ryu’s abstract paintings call up notions of weird wonderlands and graphic art inspired landscapes, and with two of these very unique paintings named “Living Room” I can barely contain my curiosity as to what Eun’s house might look like. Just to add to my already inquisitive mind, the series is called Gaze Inside raising all kinds of interesting questions about interiority, visual architecture and the like.

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    What is Daniel Gordon? Photographer? Artist? A hybrid of the two? We’ll go for hybrid. See, Daniel’s practice is made up of both photographic and sculptural processes, using found photos, magazine cuttings and coloured paper to build three-dimensional collages that are then photographed as a final 2D piece. It’s a complex journey for individual images, but one that Daniel travels expertly. The results feel like props from a Peter Gabriel video or a Guy Bourdin photograph made from paper; all bold colours, pouting lips and sensuously placed fruits. That’s what you get when you undertake an MFA at Yale; compositional perfection!

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    “Art is not always things created by people who call themselves artists,” said writer Barry Schwabsky, an observation that sums up an interesting new book from Phaidon. As shifting cultural, social and technological contexts change the way we look at art and how we define what is or isn’t worthy of this appellation, authors David Carrier and Joachim Pissarro have put together a collection of work that explores this brave new world. It’s a celebration of the kind of imagery which blows up the blogosphere but which wouldn’t normally trouble the so-called art establishment.

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    Oh, the hours of my childhood spent with my nose pressed up against the TV screen watching every tiny pixel change colour, my mum barking in the background to “get back or you’ll ruin your eyes!” (Insert the voice of Brian’s mum from Life of Brian here). Nicolas Sassoon makes computer art that induces my tender memories of that experience, and to very cool effect. Alas, screenshots just do not do it justice; to understand the full impact of Nicolas’ mind-bending, headache-inducing creations you need to spend a good couple of hours on his website, gaping open-mouthed like you couldn’t care less what either a caring parent or your ophthalmologist might think. And frankly, we don’t. Sorry mum.