We love this particular series of abstract paintings by French artist Gerard Stricher. There is a fantastic mix of nature and industry in them.
We see waterfalls and ships at sea, cities and factories, all dynamic and slightly dangerous yet somehow limitlessly beautiful. Dreamlike, not nightmarish. Stories full of drama and feeling. Perhaps his one-time studio, an old mill in the French Vexin, has given him inspiration for some of these.
The 65 year-old abstract painter creates mostly large-scale works of vibrant color on multiple themes, including people as seen here.
Stricher has become better known in the U.S. in the past few years and he is now represented by Gallery Schwab Beaubourg in Paris and the Canfin Gallery in New York where his work will be exhibited this May. - Tuija Seipell
Fiddian-Green was at Reschio, working on a commission for the owner, Count Antonio Bolza. And, of course, the subject matter of his massive sculpture was the horse, in this case Count Antonio's favorite stallion, Punto, born and bred at Reschio.
We say "of course" because the British sculptor, who normally works at his hilltop studio near Guildford in Surrey, UK, has been obsessed with the equine head for nearly three decades.
Ever since he saw a fifth-century B.C. carving of the head of a horse of Selene from the Parthenon at the British Museum he has worked at perfecting the form of the horse's head, as well as mastering the ancient 'lost wax' technique. He works in clay, plaster, beaten lead and marble, and he oversees the casting into bronze himself.
Fiddian-Green's colossal, classically inspired equine heads are exhibited around the world in prominent locations, including 'Still water ', the 30-foot head of a drinking horse right next to the Marble Arch in London.
Celebrities have also found his work irresistible and collectors include J.K. Rowling, Ringo Starr, Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe.
Of his work at Castello Di Reschio, Fiddian-Green said in a statement: "At Reschio, I found new inspiration not only from the study of these wonderful Andalusian horses, but from the light, the smell, the hills, the sense of ancient peace that pervades the land from the days when St. Francis wandered through these hills, and before, way back to the time of the Etruscans. In fact the very air that fills this land upon which Reschio sits has ignited a new fire in my work." - Bill TIkos
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We may be leaning toward minimalist design and monochromatic surroundings, but we also admire artists and designers who can handle color well.
Francesco Lo Castro from Florida is currently drawing our attention with his multicolor paintings.
He uses oils and acrylics, spray paint and silkscreen as well as layered epoxy resin and gold leaf, usually on a wood base.
We love the combination of explosiveness and strict order, vibrancy and dreaminess, power and release in his work.
Lo Castro was born in Italy, grew up in Germany, and has been active in the Miami art scene for more than a decade.
He is currently working on producing 3D animations based on his paintings, set to premiere at UR1 Festival during Art Basel week - Bill Tikos
In Christchurch, New Zealand, 10 massive optical illusion-inducing mixed-media art pieces by Mike Hewson pay homage to the former Christchurch Normal School which opened in 1876.
The building, completely renovated for apartment and retail use in 1981 and renamed Cranmer Courts, was damaged badly in the February 2012 magnitude 6.3 earthquake and it is now destined for demolition.
Before it is gone forever, Hewson wanted to pay homage to the building that used to house a vibrant community. He covered the total of 130 square meters of plywood with mixed-media images depicting artists and others who lived and worked in the building.
Private donations and Hewson's own money covered the $15,000 installation costs. New Zealand-born (in 1985) Mike Hewson is a civil engineer, graduate of Canterbury University (2007). He has worked as a civil engineer in Port Hedland in Western Australia, but has travelled regularly to New Zealand to complete works of art there. He will move permanently back to New Zealand next month and focus on his art full time. - Tuija Seipell
Pencils, pegboards, pins, pixels — we’ve been fascinated for a long time by the notion of creating big things from tiny parts. Hiding the image in plain site. Creating pointillist art with physical objects.
So whenever we see yet another iteration of this idea, we pay attention.
Apparently, Stockholm-based photographer Philip Karlberg has also been twirling his pencils for some time, and now all that toying has resulted in a photo shoot for Plaza Magazine.
Karlberg’s six famous sunglass wearers were created using 1,200 sticks and photographed over six days.
From top: Karl Lagerfeld - Jackie O - Lady Gaga - Johnny Depp - John Belushi
We envision using something like this for an eyeglass or sunglass brand, a movie theatre, an optometrist office. The fertile pointillist idea continues to fascinate us every time we witness the power of tiny components exploding into huge impact. - Tuija Seipell
With its black-and-white richness and its familiar graphic themes integrated into a smooth flow, this short contemplation of the Circle of Life is stunningly beautiful. It is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s quote "The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
The film was created by Saskia Kretzschmann as part of her fifth-semester studies at the famous Anhalt University of Applied Science, in central Germany. The music is by Thomas Mayer. - Tuija Seipell
If Paul Gauguin hadn't died four years before Frida Kahlo was born, one might suspect that Gavin Brown is their lovechild. Certainly his art carries the organic lushness and slight madness of Kahlo's many self-portraits and Gauguin's Polynesian-period art.
You cannot blame the Melbourne-born, 47-year-old Brown for subtlety or minimalism. His world is populated by richly colored graffiti-like images of people and situations where fleshy faces and tattooed skin compete for attention with birds, fruit and flowers. The vivid richness and underlying drama contradict each other.
The color palette is happy and lovely, but these people are not happy. There is something sinister, tormented, going on. Which of course brings us back to impressionists and the most tormented of them all, Vincent van Gogh, whose self-portraits, if combined with his sunflowers would look completely comfortable with Brown's gallery of people.
Brown has had an illustrious and multi-faceted career in fashion, film and many other forms of art and design, but his focus is on painting.
He has participated in more than 25 solo and group exhibitions. Several of his large commissions adorn the luxurious Marina Bay Sands Singapore hotel and casino. - Tuija Seipell
Japanese artist Makoto Tojikil is fascinated by light. He uses it in ways that create amazing illusions and out-of-this-world experiences in a subtle, inquisitive way.
But what we love most is the way his No Shadow pieces – large animal and human sculptures made of strands of light - evoke a sense of playfulness, awe, possibility and wonder. We find ourselves unable to stop staring, unwilling to leave the area of influence of the magical, somehow celestial beings and creatures.
Tojiki was born in 1975 in Miyzaki, Japan, and graduated from Kinki University in 1998 as an industrial design engineer. After a stint designing home appliances, he launched his artistic career full-time in 2003. Of the No Shadow pieces, he says “An object is seen when our eyes capture light that is reflected from the object. If we extract just the light that is reflected from ‘something,’ are we still in the presence of that ‘something?’ Using contours of light, I try to express this ‘something.’” We envision all sorts of opportunities for brands to use this type of sculpture at events, launches, stores, showrooms… - Tuija Seipell.
Is it visual art, audio art, a sculpture, a product, a machine? Byoungho Kim's works could be described as all of these. They are visually stunning, make sounds, have a sculptural quality and they are manufactured just like any other highly-engineered industrial products.
Born in Seoul, Korea, in 1974 Kim has explored the edges of art and product, sounds and visuals throughout his career. As his sound sculptures have no “practical use,” they are defined as art but their intrigue lies in the technology behind them.
The two lighting fixture-like pieces we are featuring are made of aluminum and they use both piezo and arduino technology. A piezo is an electronic device that be used to both play and detect tones. arduino is a popular open-source single-board microcontroller. None of this means much to most of us, but the result — sounds being emitted and changed by the sculptures — is fascinating.
The rounded Soft Crash (330 x 330 x 165 centimeters, or 130 x 130 x 65 inches) was one of the pieces on display at Kim’s solo exhibition at the end of 2011 at the Arario Gallery in Seoul. The second piece, from 2010, is called Horizontal Intervention (96 x 280 x 25 cm, 38 x 110 x 10 in.)
Byoungho Kim describes his pieces as “constructed fantasy” that expresses mankind’s continuous pursuit of new desires. - Tuija Seipell