Working only with layers of painted galvanized wire atop steel armature, UK artist Kendra Haste creates faithful reproductions of creatures large and small for both public installations and private collections around the world. A graduate of the from the Royal College of Art, Haste says she is fascinated by how such a seemingly ordinary medium, chicken wire, is capable of suggesting “the sense of movement and life, of contour and volume, the contrasts of weight and lightness, of solidity and transparency—values that I find in my natural subjects.” She continues about her work with animals:

What interests me most about studying animals is identifying the spirit and character of the individual creatures. I try to create a sense of the living, breathing subject in a static 3D form, attempting to convey the emotional essence without indulging in the sentimental or anthropomorphic.

In 2010, Historic Royal Palaces commissioned Haste to fabricate thirteen sculptures around the Tower of London that will remain on view through 2021. You can see much more in this online gallery, and as part of the Art and the Animal exhibition currently at the Ella Carothers Dunnegan Gallery of Art in Missouri. (via Colossal and Christopher Jobson)


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The artist Christopher Schulz decided to combine two dangerous objects, a firearm and a shark, one of the largest predators. The metal sculptures goes under the name “Surreal Shark Guns”.  (via Fubiz)

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Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko (5 December 1891 – December 3, 1956) was a Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. He was one of the founders of constructivism and Russian design; he was married to the artist Varvara Stepanova.

Rodchenko was one of the most versatile Constructivist and Productivist artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution. He worked as a painter and graphic designer before turning to photomontage and photography. His photography was socially engaged, formally innovative, and opposed to a painterly aesthetic. Concerned with the need for analytical-documentary photo series, he often shot his subjects from odd angles—usually high above or below—to shock the viewer and to postpone recognition. He wrote: “One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again.”

Rodchenko was born in St. Petersburg to a working class family. His family moved to Kazan in 1909, after the death of his father at which point he studied at the Kazan School of Art under Nikolai Feshin and Georgii Medvedev, and at the Stroganov Institute in Moscow. He made his first abstract drawings, influenced by the Suprematism of Kazimir Malevich, in 1915. The following year, he participated in “The Store” exhibition organized by Vladimir Tatlin, who was another formative influence in his development as an artist. Rodchenko was appointed Director of the Museum Bureau and Purchasing Fund by the Bolshevik Government in 1920. He was responsible for the reorganization of art schools and museums. He taught from 1920 to 1930 at the Higher Technical-Artistic Studios.

In 1921 he became a member of the Productivist group, which advocated the incorporation of art into everyday life. He gave up painting in order to concentrate on graphic design for posters, books, and films. He was deeply influenced by the ideas and practice of the film-maker Dziga Vertov, with whom he worked intensively in 1922. Impressed by the photomontage of the German Dadaists, Rodchenko began his own experiments in the medium, first employing found images in 1923, and from 1924 on shooting his own photographs as well. His first published photomontage illustrated Mayakovsky’s poem, “About This”, in 1923.

From 1923 to 1928 Rodchenko collaborated closely with Mayakovsky (of whom he took several striking portraits) on the design and layout of LEF and Novy LEF, the publications of Constructivist artists. Many of his photographs appeared in or were used as covers for these journals. His images eliminated unnecessary detail, emphasized dynamic diagonal composition, and were concerned with the placement and movement of objects in space. Throughout the 1920s Rodchenko’s work was very abstract. In the 1930s, with the changing Party guidelines governing artistic practice, he concentrated on sports photography and images of parades and other choreographed movements. Rodchenko joined the October circle of artists in 1928 but was expelled three years later being charged with “formalism”. He returned to painting in the late 1930s, stopped photographing in 1942, and produced abstract expressionist works in the 1940s. He continued to organize photography exhibitions for the government during these years. He died in Moscow in 1956.

Much of the work of 20th century graphic designers is a direct result of Rodchenko’s earlier work in the field. His influence has been pervasive enough that it would be nearly impossible to single out all of the designers whose work he has influenced. American conceptual artist Barbara Kruger owes a debt to Rodchenko’s work. His 1924 portrait of Lilya Brik has inspired a number of subsequent works, including the cover art for a number of music albums. Among them are influential Dutch punk band The Ex, which published a series of 7″ vinyl albums, each with a variation on the Lilya Brik portrait theme, the cover of Mike + the Mechanics album Word of Mouth, and the cover of the Franz Ferdinand album You Could Have It So Much Better. The poster for One-Sixth Part of the World was the basis for the cover of “Take Me Out”, also by Franz Ferdinand.

In 1921, Russian avant-garde artist Alexander Rodchenko executed what were arguably some of the first true monochromes (artworks of one color), and proclaimed “I reduced painting to its logical conclusion and exhibited three canvases: red, blue, and yellow. I affirmed: this is the end of painting.” These paintings were first displayed in the 5×5=25 exhibition in Moscow. For artists of the Russian Revolution, Rodchenko’s radical action was full of utopian possibility. It marked the end of easel painting – perhaps even the end of art – along with the end of bourgeois norms and practices. It cleared the way for the beginning of a new Russian life, a new mode of production, a new culture. (via Wikipedia)

The Memphis-Milano Movement was an Italian design and architecture group started by Ettore Sottsass that designed Post Modern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass and metal objects from 1981-1987.

The group was founded by Ettore Sottsass led on 16 December 1980, and resolved to meet again with their designs in February 1981. The result was a highly-acclaimed debut at the 1981 Salone del Mobile of Milan, the world’s most prestigious furniture NEWY fair. The group, which eventually counted among its members Alessandro Mendini, Martine Bedin, Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Michele de Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier, Michael Graves, Hans Hollein, Arata Isozaki, Shiro Kuramata, Matteo Thun, Javier Mariscal, George Sowden, Marco Zanini, and the journalist Barbara Radice, Sottsass left the group in 1985 and it disbanded in 1988 after the last 1987 collection.

Named after the Bob Dylan song Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again, the movement was a reaction against the post-Bauhaus “black box” designs of the 1970s and had a sense of humor that was lacking at the time in design. Ettore Sottsass called Memphis design the “New International Style”. In contrast the Memphis Group offered bright, colorful, shocking pieces. The colors they used contrasted the dark blacks and browns of European furniture. All this would seem to suggest that the Memphis Group was very superficial but that was far from the truth. The group intended to develop a new creative approach to design. On 11 December 1980 Ettore Sottsass organized a meeting with other such famous designers. They decided to form a design collaborative. It would be named Memphis after the Bob Dylan song Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again. Coincidentally the song had been played repeatedly throughout the evening. They drew inspiration from such movements as Art Deco and Pop Art, styles such as the 1950s Kitsch and futuristic and in 1972 the themes. Their concepts were in stark contrast to so called ‘Good Design’. Memphis was the collective name of a group of architects and designers who were working in Milan – among them George Sowden, Michele de Lucchi, Marco Zanini, Aldo Cibic, Matheo Thun, Nathalie du Pasquier and Martine Bedin, who were strongly influenced by the radical work of their ‘mentor’, the older architect and designer, Ettore Sottsass (b. 1917), who had worked for Olivetti through the 1960s as well as experimenting on his own designs from the 1950s through to the 1970s. The group produced and exhibited, annually between 1981 to 1988, collections of radical one-off designs – furniture and decorative art objects for the most part – which, with their unconventional shapes, brightly-colored and patterned surfaces and apparent disregard for function, shocked the international design establishment and caused a widespread re-think about the rational, all-black, industry-oriented conventions of the ‘modern’ design of the day and the emergence of a new movement, often referred to as ‘Post-Modernism’.

Prepared to mix 20th century styles, colors and materials, it positioned itself as a fashion rather than an academic movement, and hoped to erase the International Style where Postmodernism had failed, preferring an outright revival and continuation of Modernism proper rather than a re-reading of it. The Memphis group was composed of Italian designers and architects who created a series of products in 1981. They disagreed with the approach of the time and challenged the idea that products had to follow conventional shapes and colours and textures and patterns.

The work of the Memphis Group has been described as vibrant, eccentric and ornamental. It was conceived by the group to be a ‘fad’, which like all fashions would very quickly come to an end. Sottsass left the movement in 1985 and it dismantled in 1988. An exhibition of the design which will feature the collection in the external links below will be in late 2011-2012 in Memphis. (via Wikipedia)

I saw Ernesto Neto´s exhibition “The Malmo Experience” in 2006 and was blown away. It´s hard to describe “The Malmo Experience”, but I rank it as one of the best art experiences I have had so far. Walking through his abstract fairytale landscape was something unique and amazing. It was like passing through something humanlike internally.

“Ernesto Saboia de Albuquerque Neto (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil 1964– ) is a contemporary visual artist. Ernesto Neto began exhibiting in Brazil in 1988 and has had solo exhibitions abroad since 1995. He represented with Vik Muniz their country in 2001 Venice Biennale, his installations were featured in Brazil’s national pavilion and in the international group exhibition at the Arsenale. Neto’s work has been described as “beyond abstract minimalism”. His installations are large, soft, biomorphic sculptures that fill an exhibition space that viewers can touch, poke, and even sometimes walk on or through. These are made of white, stretchy, stockinglike material — amorphous forms stuffed with Styrofoam pellets or, on occasion, aromatic spices. In some installations, he has also used this material to create translucent scrims that transform the space’s walls and floor. His sculptures can be regarded as expression of traditional abstract form, but in their interaction with the viewer, they work on another level as well.

One of his most acclaimed installation is at the Panthéon in Paris called Léviathan Thot. In 2009 Neto exhibited a new work at New York’s Park Avenue Armory called anthropodino. Filling the 55,000 square foot hall, the aim is to help the Armory reposition itself as a big-art destination like the Turbine Hall in London’s Tate Modern. Neto has been awarded chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. This art related is a stub.” (via Wikipedia)

This is amazing woodcarving sculptures/installations from the italian sculptor Willy Verginer. I love this. Truly inspiring. (via fubiz)