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.
- Mikey Please takes us behind the scenes, and the backlash, of the Bake Off trailer
- From New York to Springfield, it's Best of the Web
- Taschen releases two volumes of National Geographic’s best photographs from the past 125 years
- Simon Landrein takes Dan Croll down the rabbit hole in his animated video for Tokyo
- Thomas Duffield on photographing his dad’s hidden heroin addiction
- Parker Day's lurid colours and grotesque characters elevate identity and fantasy (NSFW)
- Hate the iPhone X notch? There’s an app for that
- Lisa Simpson’s bookshelf: from the curator of Instagram’s Simpsons Library
- Biplab Hazra’s photo of elephants being attacked by mob wins Sanctuary prize
- Michael Bierut: 13 ways of looking at a typeface
- Uncle Ginger uses hypnotic shapes to animate the facts and feelings of bipolar disorder
- Michel Gondry’s John Lewis Christmas advert – Moz the Monster – is unveiled