Archive: 2011
This city has never appeared on any official maps

This city has never appeared on any official maps

Nadav Kander - The Polygon Nuclear Test Site I (after the event), Kazakhstan, 2011
Nadav KanderThe Polygon Nuclear Test Site I (after the event), Kazakhstan, 2011

If it were possible to take a picture of the entire earth’s surface, the mosaic of human co-existence would be a sight to behold. Some areas are military grounds, mining cities or tourist destinations while others are education hubs just to mention a few. It is hard to appreciate that in the midst of all that are secrets as deep as the mystery of death. In the Dust series, as created by Nadav Kander’s, images of crows illuminated against the light of the moon in the darkness symbolizes how difficult it is to hide the truth. These images appear in the first three spreads, perhaps to prepare one’s mind to the secrets about to be uncovered.

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Properties torched in the name of art

Properties torched in the name of art


Ian Strange – Film still from Suburban

Suburban is a complex film and photography installation that was created by New York-based Australian artist Ian Strange. Suburban was created by Strange as a result of a collaboration with a film crew and volunteers from different parts of America including Alabama, Detroit, New Hampshire, Ohio and New York. Over the course of three months Strange and the film crew photographed and filmed 8 different sites that featured singular suburban homes from different states.

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The power of laughter

The power of laughter

Yue Minjun - One of 14 A-maze-ing Laughter bronze sculptures in Morton Park, Vancouver, BC

Yue Minjun - Untitled, stainless steel sculpture, 95x197x143cm
Yue MinjunUntitled, stainless steel sculpture, 95x197x143cm

Yue Minjun was born in Daqing in Heilongjiang, China in 1962. For most of his life, Yue moved from place to place, because his family had to move from oilfield to oilfield to find work. Before starting to work as an electrician, he graduated from Hebei Normal University in 1989, where he studied oil painting. 1989 was the same year in which China was left shocked by the infamous student-led demonstrations and the suppression of such on Tiananmen Square. These movements played a large part in the inspiration and mood of Yue’s work. In order to fight the dark mood of the hour, the dark reality of the time, he created vibrant self-images embodying an almost mania; The laughing image.

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Ai Weiwei flips off whole world

Ai Weiwei flips off whole world

Ai Weiwei - Study of Perspective – Tiananmen“, 1995-2010, C-Print, 32,5 x 43,5 cm
Ai WeiweiStudy of Perspective, Tiananmen, 1995-2010, C-Print, 32,5×43,5cm

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist and activist whose activism comes out in his artwork. He has been vocal and openly critical of the Chinese government’s stance on democracy and human rights. His work has captured global attention and served to bring attention to social injustices, human rights violations, and systemic violence.

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How do 37,000 inflated balloons look like when put in a museum?

How do 37,000 inflated balloons look like when put in a museum?

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011 - 2.jpg

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011 - 2.jpg
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed’s Work Half the Air in a Given Space, is brilliantly fun way to experience interactive art. As an audience member you find yourself pushing your way through a space, whether it be a room or a hallway or a lobby, filled (only halfway) with up to 37,000 balloons. You as an audience member are completely surrounded by marshmallows, and although the image is joyfully preposterous, however, as you get into the space you find you feel a mixture of emotions including exhilaration, disorientation, but don’t be surprised if you feel a little bit claustrophobic.

Half the Air in a Given Space can be described as an interactive installation (which is easily an understatement if anything). This is every child’s dream or every globophobic’s worst nightmare (globophobia is the fear of balloons), basically a space that’s filled with of hundreds or thousands of balloons of the same color. Half a room’s entire volume is filled with balloons, and visitors become a part of the art by walking through the balloon filled room.

For those who are not globophobic or clausterphobic, this piece is supposed to evoke the feeling of deep celebration and remanence of childhood memories. If you have no problem with balloons or small spaces, you can be pretty much guaranteed that you will leave the installation with a smile on your face from the touch of nostalgia you have emerged from.
In 2012, Creed installed four versions of this work in neighborhoods throughout the city, each site featured a different colored balloon. Thus not only are audience members who brave the balloons submerged in a room half filled with air, but they are submerged in the color, in a supernatural world in which their senses cannot fully be relied on, a world in which beauty and playfulness is combined.

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, 1998 Courtesy the artist and Hauser © Martin Creed
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, 1998
Courtesy the artist and Hauser © Martin Creed

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Photo by Rosa Park

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011, Photo by Rosa Park
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Photo by Rosa Park

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 204. Half the air in a given space, 1999, dimensions variable, City Gallery, Historic Water Tower, Chicago, 2012, Photo- Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Martin CreedWork No. 204. Half the air in a given space, 1999, dimensions variable, City Gallery, Historic Water Tower, Chicago, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011, Photo by Moby
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Photo: Moby

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 329. Half the air in a given space, 2004. Rennie Collection
Martin CreedWork No. 329. Half the air in a given space, 2004, Rennie Collection

Martin Creed - Work No. 329. Half the Air in a Given Space
Martin CreedWork No. 329. Half the air in a given space

Martin Creed - Work No. 360. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2015, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Photo by Evan Chakroff
Martin CreedWork No. 360. Half the air in a given space, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, 2015
Photo by Evan Chakroff

Martin Creed - Work No. 360. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2015, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle
Martin CreedWork No. 360. Half the air in a given space, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 965. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art
Martin CreedWork No. 965. Half the air in a given space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art

Martin Creed - Work No. 965. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art
Martin CreedWork No. 965. Half the air in a given space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art

Martin Creed - Work No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, 2015, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada
Martin CreedWork No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, 2015, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada
Martin CreedWork No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, 2015, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada
Martin CreedWork No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, 2015, Park Avenue Armory
Martin CreedWork No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, Park Avenue Armory, NYC, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, 2015. dimensions variable. Phoenix Art Museum. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Martin CreedWork No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, dimensions variable. Phoenix Art Museum
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth


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You won’t find these tapestries in any church (NSFW)

You won’t find these tapestries in any church (NSFW)

Erin M Riley - Self Portrait 2, 72 x 48 inch, 2015

Erin M. RileySelf Portrait 2, 2015, Hand woven tapestry, hand dyed wool on a cotton warp, 182.9 x 121.9 cm

Is there a better reflection of a culture than the creatives living in it? From painters to photographers to poets, the voice of our moment is often told most aptly and timelessly through what they create. The same goes for Erin M. Riley. She has taken a look at both her own and the collective conscious of the individuals of today and laid what she sees for all to witness. 

She creates tapestries depicting occasionally controversial subject matter involving porn, guns and drugs. Her work has been featured in magazines and shown at numerous galleries both in her home country of the US as well as internationally.

Having just recently come across Erin’s work, I was full of questions- hard, silly and serious. I reached out to her in the end of 2015. This is the conversation that followed.

Phil America

Let’s start from the beginning. How did you first learn to start weaving?

I found weaving in college. I was interested in sewing and painting, and the fibers major was something that sat perfectly between those two. I could learn construction alongside fine art sensibilities. Weaving was a process I had no knowledge of and I connected instantly with it.

From there how did you progress into having a specific style?

I learned “tapestry” early on and was weaving abstract pieces while also making lots of paper collage work out of found and family photographs that used the silhouette a lot. These eventually led me to combining the two, making simple drawings that I translated into tapestry using a very limited color palette. This progressed and eventually I was using found and photographs I was taking for the work.

Marshall McLuhan famously said, “the medium is the message.” How does the medium you choose to work with inform the subtext of the image?

Weaving is just another way to arrange color on a 2 dimensional surface. I am an image maker. Think of me as a painter who uses yarn.

Erin M Riley - Alone Alone, 48 x 37 inch, 2014

Erin M. RileyAlone Alone, 2014, Hand woven tapestry, hand dyed wool on a cotton warp, 121.9 x 94 cm

Erin M Riley - Loot 5, 42 x 26 inch, 2012

Erin M. RileyLoot 5, 2012, Hand woven tapestry, hand dyed wool on a cotton warp, 106.7 x 66 cm

I know you told me before but how long does each piece take you, roughly, and do you ever get halfway done with a piece and scrap it?

I have only stopped two pieces, one because I had to move my loom and another because it was to small to get the detail I wanted. My work takes from a week to a month to weave, I work 12-14 hour days, every day and I also mix and dye my colors, plus all other prep.

I am really fascinated by how much work goes into each one. A lot of other artists do similar work to yours by designing it digitally. Can you explain
the process of creating one of your works?

There is either digitally woven work or work that is hired out. I work from images so I collect or take photos for an upcoming piece, blow it up to scale and start a line drawing that will be pinned behind the warp on the loom. I collect and prepare colors for the pieces and get everything ready to start weaving, after that its just a slow and steady process of weaving the image from the bottom up. Historically tapestry is woven side to side but I weave bottom to top.

Why do you choose using images of guns and porn rather than flowers or other imagery traditionally seen in tapestry?

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Why are hundreds of shirts flying in the air?

Why are hundreds of shirts flying in the air?

Kaarina-Kaikkonen-Hanging-Clothes-Helsinki
Kaarina Kaikkonen – Helsinki, Finland

Kaarina Kaikkonen is an artist best known for creating sculptural works using recycled materials, notably second-hand clothing seen in her memorable jacket installations. The environment is incorporated into these installations in some way, resulting in a beautiful, colorful cloth landscape. Each garment individually tells a story as an extension of its past wearer, and as a group they come together to create a history and visual retelling of their space.

About Kaarina Kaikkonen

Kaarina Kaikkonen (b. 1952) began as a painter, but has become known as a sculptor who shapes the urban landscape and makes installations emphasizing the sense of community. Kaikkonen studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts School in 1978-1983. Kaikkonen’s first installation was on display in Helsinki in 1988. In Finland, one of her most famous works is the Way -installation, which she built on the steps of Helsinki Cathedral in 2000.

Kaarina Kaikkonen - Networking, 2009 - Piazza Calderini, Bologna, Italy
Kaarina KaikkonenNetworking, 2009 – Piazza Calderini, Bologna, Italy

Kaarina Kaikkone - Prato contemporanea - Crossing Borders - 1
Kaarina Kaikkonen – Prato contemporanea – Crossing Borders, 2014, Firenze, Italy

Kaarina Kaikkone - Prato contemporanea - Crossing Borders - 2
Kaarina Kaikkonen – Prato contemporanea – Crossing Borders, 2014, Firenze, Italy

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