I had a class by this Belgian artist not too long ago -I still have to write a paper about it- and I was really surprised by how awesome his work is. Op de Beeck was really nice, engaging and interesting and there was something no-nonsense about him, which I really liked. He paints, draws, films, writes, sculpts and designs. Even though he told us he gets his income mostly out of selling his drawings I really like his installations, especially the Location series. They’re just so ambitious and huge, and using perspective he makes them look even bigger than they actually are. They’re like eerie film sets with each a specific mood, and there’s just this solitude and serenity in all of them.
He doesn’t work with ready-mades so everything you see in the installations is specifically designed for it. Even things like chairs and lamps are all designed after how he imagines them to look like based on memories of them. Because they’re so big and unpractical, they’re also difficult to transport and therefore difficult to curate because they take up so much space. Luckily most of them still manage to find a permanent home. But there’s much more cool stuff on his website and of course he explains his own work better than I can.
Location (6) Op de Beeck built this panorama inside a large dome, but from the spectators point of view, this snowy landscape looks infinitely large.
Location (5) This is actually a 24 x 12 meter large art installation. You can take a seat in the roadside restaurant, look out over the highway and pretend you’re expecting someone.
Augmented reality is booming. The first pictures taken with Project Glass have been published and if the Google glasses take off we might be on our way to the Minority Report aesthetic, which is pretty cool. But for now augmented reality in everyday life is mostly experienced through apps.
A while back I did a post about friendly street art, well it can get even friendlier. Like non existent. Absolut Vodka, bringer of hangovers, just started a new campaign with the app Absolut Inspire. Using Google Street View, the app will allow you to to draw, tag and design anywhere in the Google street view version of the real world. The concept is not new at all, Artags has been around for a year already, but if you share your Absolut Inspire creation you can win a bottle of liquid headache with your design on it and I don’t think any of the similar apps ever used Google Street View before. The campaign is the result from the Future Lions 2012 student competition.
By the way, another party beverage developed Google street art view, if you want to see some actual street art from the safety and comfort of your home. The image quality is not always great, but at least you know where to look now.
I made some indoor clouds of my own yesterday, I was baking a ciabatta in my combination microwave oven when about five minutes in I realized that my entire room was filled with thick grey smoke. It stung in my eyes and ached in my lungs and for one panicky moment I thought the room was on fire and that I would have to use the wobbly fire escape that would surely kill me before the fire would. But then I quickly put myself together, opened the windows, put on my ski goggles and my yellow rubber gloves (I still don’t know why on earth I put gloves on, rubber gloves, really, what kind of survival instinct is that?!) Luckily, it was not a fire, but some kind of oven malfunction. My oven was now transformed into a smoke machine and my ciabatta was sadly black and inedible. Everything still smells like a barbecue gone bad, and probably will continue to do so for at least a couple of days. These were the bad kind of indoor clouds.
However, there’s also a good kind of indoor clouds. Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde makes them with science. He regulates the temperature and humidity in an empty space, then a fog machine comes in and some strategic light projection and tadaa, a beautiful cloud. The project is named Nimbus, as in ‘dark cloud’ in latin, and he uses empty art galleries in Amsterdam for the installation. Unfortunately, the clouds fall apart pretty quickly, which is more than I can say for my little experiment yesterday. So while Smilde’s installation makes ethereal heavenly clouds, I now own an ‘art’ installation which fits the name Nimbus much better.
This is so cool! Mysterious Italian art studio Foto Marvellini makes vintage looking portraits of the supposed ancestors of pop culture superheroes and villains. They take vintage photographs and draw on the masks of the superheroes we all know and love. Wolverine’s great grandfather, Spiderman’s great uncle, Darth Vader’s great aunt and Captain America’s great great grandmother, they’re all there.
I actually recognized the picture they used for Catwoman’s great grandfather, it’s a vintage mug shot of an Australian criminal named Eugenia Falleni, yes you heard it, in a unexpected plot twist Catwoman’s great grandfather is actually her great grandmother. She passed herself of as a man, married a woman and was later arrested and charged with murdering said woman in 1920. She was condemned to death but her sentence was commuted. A true cat always knows how to wriggle itself out of tight situations. However, she didn’t actually have nine lives because she was fatally hit by a car soon after. Now we know where Catwoman got her evil streak.
When I first moved to Antwerp last October I ran into what I believed to be urban knitting, it was right outside the square in front of Villanella. A friend quickly corrected me, it was in fact urban crocheting. Both go by the name of yarn bombing and it actually started in the Netherlands in 2004.
It’s such a fun and colorful way of temporary street art, it doesn’t show in the picture, but the whole square was kind of covered. Even benches and trees and the like. Perhaps it’s not as eco-friendly, but it did remind me of the moss graffiti tutorials that showed up on the Internet a while a go. Both are less evasive forms of street art. The idea is that you make this moss-sugar-milk mixture, apply it in shapes to walls or other surfaces and then sit back for about a month to watch it grow. Instead of waiting for it to grow, artist Stefan De Croock introduced his own version of moss graffiti in Leuven by pressure washing figures out of existing moss surfaces.
De Croock’s art is not limited to moss, he also works on canvas. Usual themes in his work are men-machine relationships. From his website:
More and more, we are dictated by technology. That intrigues me. And so do the cities we live in. That’s why I populate my drawings with humanoids – robots with a human shape – and cyborgs – physical merges of man and machine.