Casey Curran – Curiously insect-like Sculptures

Casey Curran, maker of weird and strangely endearing kinetic art.

I stumbled upon the work of Casey Curran the other day, as a result of a friend ( a real one, not a Facebook one) posting one of his videos on their Facebook page, and was truly taken with his work.

As you will see in the following videos, his “machines” have a curious delicacy  about them, and on first glance seem to be alive, but very quickly that feeling fades away and one becomes aware that one is looking at an incredibly delicate machine, one that replicates in its own way the vastly speeded up life cycle of a plant.

This first video from his website shows very well what it is I mean as I think you will agree once you have seen it.

I am not sure if the music is simply a sound track for the video or if you actually hear music when the piece is being played in a gallery.  However that may be, I think this video demonstrates very well the work of this extraordinary artist.   The machinery that makes it happen is almost as much fun as the art work itself – though to be honest, I rather assume that it should be seen as a whole, and no separation between the moving, and the machinery that drives the movement.

As it is all made from bits of twisted metal wire, this obviously makes it move in a slightly jerky fashion, but I don’t find this any sort of a problem in fact, for me it merely strengthens the feeling that it is alive – though I expect this feeling is made stronger by seeing the work on a video rather than in the flesh as it were – lends it a sort of stuttery time exposure effect that we are used to seeing on TV documentaries.

That last one was worked by some sort of motor, but a lot of his works are simply provided with a hand crank, also made from relatively thin wire – not sure how that would bear up under over enthusiastic use – which gives the machine a very jerky movement, as you can see in the video below. Continue reading “Casey Curran – Curiously insect-like Sculptures”

David Zinn – Creator Of Fantastic Street Art

A friend recently introduced me to the work of David Zinn, an Ann Arbor based commercial artist, who in his spare time goes out with a box of chalk and creates the most wonderful images on the street, simply for the fun of it.

Typically his street art-work consists of whimsical visual jokes making use of street furniture, bricks or any other fixed object on the street as you will see in the images below. Apparently he has been happily drawing on pavements and similar since about 1987, and has frequently been a feature of the various street festivals they have there, more about these in the videos below.

As he is actually a commercial artist, he obviously earns his living from the various creations that he makes, not least being these superb (but temporary) chalk drawings.  So he photographs them and turns them into books, calendars and other such useful things, which he then sells via his website..   So if what you see here amuses you, drop by his site and see if there is anything there you would like to own, and make him into a happy man by so doing.   Here is the link you need to achieve that:

http://zinnart.com/

OK, so enough of his blurb stuff, what does his work actually look like?   Well here is a small sample of the thousands of images he has created over the years on various pavements all over the world.

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Or these……………….

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So now you have a reasonable idea of his work, and have met his main character, the charming Sluggo – that sort of green creature with eyes on stalks.  Sluggo, and a flying pig named Philomena are two creatures who figure very largely in Zinn’s work, and are  justly both famous and much loved in Ann Arbor where they appear at very regular intervals on the streets. Continue reading “David Zinn – Creator Of Fantastic Street Art”

Fred Einaudi – A Very Odd And Morbid Artist

Fred Einaudi is one of the oddest and most disturbing painters working today – or at least that is my feeling, and once you have had a look at some of the paintings below, I think you will probably agree with me on this. So before discussing this artist, I thought i would give you […]

Fred Einaudi is one of the oddest and most disturbing painters working today – or at least that is my feeling, and once you have had a look at some of the paintings below, I think you will probably agree with me on this.

So before discussing this artist, I thought i would give you an example of his work, so you know what it is we are looking at here.

fred-01

This is reasonably typical of his work.   Most of his paintings are extremely realistic, in the sense that they could be photos, but in fact all his work is oil on canvas, and all of them without exception are morbid and worrying in what they depict.

So, who is this guy?  Well he was born  in 1971 in a small town in Nevada, but moved to San Francisco as soon as he was able, which is where he now lives and works.

And this is what he looks like…..

fred_einaudi

Sort of tells you a lot I feel.

The next question I wanted an answer to was why he paints such depressing images?  Does he have a death fixation?  Is he simply sick, or is there a much deeper reason for his choice of subject? Continue reading “Fred Einaudi – A Very Odd And Morbid Artist”

The Carved Wall – A Bit Kitsch, But Still Good

The Wall, which someone has mentioned to Lotty in the shower at the previous night’s camp site as being a place we simply should not miss visiting if we happened to go past it.

As we were chugging along the road from Hobart to the west coast, we went past a place called Derwent River Bridge, and saw a sign for something called The Wall, which someone has mentioned to Lotty in the shower at the previous night’s camp site as being a place we simply should not miss visiting if we happened to go past it.

So, being obedient souls, we turned in and found a parking place in front of a long blank wooden building, with an entrance at one end.

So in we went, to be received by a very verbose and friendly guy who told us everything we could possibly wish to know about what was about to be revealed unto us inside this rather beautiful wooden building.

What it was is an enormous carved wall of pine wood panels about 2 meters tall and about  100 meters (in 2 sections of 50 meters each)  long.  The whole thing was carved in relief and more or less told the story of that part of Tasmania, with excursions into making points about the wildlife that still lived there, or had become extinct owing to the activities of the white colonists.

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Whilst generally such totally realistic wood carving is absolutely not my thing, this has been done with such consummate skill that I was overcome with awe at the guy’s work. The pictures here will give you an idea of the quality of his work.

The artist who is still busy carving this monstrous art work, is still a relatively young man, about 38 years old, and has been doing this for the last 10 years at every free moment he has from his work.

Almost as impressive as his carving is the building that he has caused to be created to house his work.   Totally made of wood, and finished with a totally unbelievable attention to detail it is one of the most beautiful and warm buildings I have ever seen.

So, should you ever find yourself in this part of Tassie, it is worth a visit and the $13 entry fee to see his work.

Here is a link to his website so you can find out more about this extraordinary work.

http://thewalltasmania.com.au/

Sarah DeRemer – Weird And Terrifying Images

Sarah DeRemer, an American born photographer who currently lives in Korea makes the most extraordinary and weird images, mostly a juxtaposition of several images to produce a most unlikely, but frequently somewhat scary creature. To demonstrate what I mean, here is a creature created (in Photoshop) from a baboon and some sort of small bird. […]

Sarah DeRemer, an American born photographer who currently lives in Korea makes the most extraordinary and weird images, mostly a juxtaposition of several images to produce a most unlikely, but frequently somewhat scary creature.

To demonstrate what I mean, here is a creature created (in Photoshop) from a baboon and some sort of small bird.

You see what I mean?  And to make sure you realise that by combining two more or less harmless creatures into one beast you tend to end up with something truly horrible , here are a couple more of her strange creations.

This odd creature she calls a Marmowolf, reasonably enough I feel.

Or this one…………..

Continue reading “Sarah DeRemer – Weird And Terrifying Images”

MONA – The Best Modern Art Museum In The World?

During a recent trip to Tasmania I visited a museum that is known as MONA just outside Hobart, which translated stands for the Museum of Old and New Art and speaking as one who has been to modern art museums all over the world, I have to say that this one is probably the best […]

During a recent trip to Tasmania I visited a museum that is known as MONA just outside Hobart, which translated stands for the Museum of Old and New Art and speaking as one who has been to modern art museums all over the world, I have to say that this one is probably the best by a heck of a long way.

It has the most eclectic collection of art, and true to its name, it has objects ranging from
ancient Egypt to things made a few weeks ago.   But curiously, it has almost nothing from the impressionists, or any of the various types of art that flourished in the 20th century – nary a Picasso or Surrealist in sight, nor any of the later 20th century artists… no Pollock, nor Warhol either.

But I actually found this to be a pleasant change, as to be honest, I had never heard of any of the artists whose work is in this incredible collection, which meant I was able to approach them without any preconceptions, which I found a very liberating experience.  I was thus able to judge each piece simply on how it effected me, and not be influenced by any baggage caused by knowledge of the artist concerned.

And what makes it even more amazing is the setting of this museum, which basically is all underground.   If you follow the link I shall be placing below, you will see what I mean about both the art in the collection, and the amazing setting too.

All that you see when you approach the front door of this museum is a low and rather unimpressive building of no great architectural value, but once you get inside this building and discover where the actual museum is placed, it dawns on you that you are about to have a serious experience.

There are four floors to this museum, the first being on the ground level, the other three being below ground. Basically what it is is a huge hole dug in the solid sandstone that the ground is made up of, so as you will see in the video, the walls are simply beautifully carved sandstone.

 

The actual exhibition is spread all over these three underground floors in a very complex fashion, causing one to go up and down between levels, many of the actual ¨rooms¨ are in a series of black rooms that are interjoined in complicated ways, so wandering around is an experience in itself.

 

Continue reading “MONA – The Best Modern Art Museum In The World?”

Face Swap – Deeply Disturbing Images

I don’t know if you have noticed a rather disturbing new activity on-line, especially in places such as Facebook, and that is the “art” of Face Swapping.   Basically this takes the form of taking a photo of two or more people or animals and using a program such as Photoshop, swapping the faces over, so you end up with, for example, a photo of a man and his baby, in which the adult body has the face of the baby, and the baby’s body has the face of the adult, as in this example here…..

baby

You see what I mean about it being rather disturbing?

I first saw this idea when a series of beautifully executed images of Rowan Atkinson appeared on-line, in which his face had been placed in a number of famous art works, such as this example below.

mr-bean-historic-portraits-rodney-pike-21

Normally there have to be two bodies in the image, so that one can see that it is in fact a swap, but obviously in the case of Rowan Atkinson, his face is so well known that the second body is not needed,

One might assume the same rule applies when dealing with well known public figures, such as Donald Trump in this one, but the maker of this image obviously felt safer with the cat in the image as well……………..

eJKSCIzDhD1l

Neither of them have pleasant faces… a grumpy looking Trump and a downright nasty looking cat…  Oh well.

Continue reading “Face Swap – Deeply Disturbing Images”