Archive: 2014
Remarkable: Entire Boeing plane painted in colorful graffiti

Remarkable: Entire Boeing plane painted in colorful graffiti

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

In 2014, Brazilian artist duo and twins Os Gemeos painted the whole exterior of a Boeing 737, which then transported the Brazilian national football group from city to city for the 2014 FIFA world cup.

Os Gemeos used around 1200 spray cans to complete this project, and covered the entire air plane from beginning to end, top to bottom, with their well-known characters. The whole process took them one entire week, using an airplane hangar in Belo Horizonte, Brazil as their temporary studio. The plane was intended to become incorporated into the classic company fleet and remain in use for at least another two years after taking off.

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

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Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014

Os Gemeos - Boeing 737
Os Gemeos (Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo) on Boeing 737 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2014


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Life-sized human skull made out of cocaine

Life-sized human skull made out of cocaine


DiddoEcce Animal, 2004, compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin, 12x18x22cm

Ecce Animal by Dutch artist Diddo is an unusual artwork, crafted with cocaine mixed with gelatin, it was fashioned in form of a human skull. The gelatin was used to hold together the sculpture. The artwork, as strange as it is, calls for a lot of questioning as to what it stands for and what exactly it means.

Before making the sculpture, Diddo tested the purity of the cocaine in a laboratory where it was determined that it was about 20 percent pure. According to Diddo, he feels it isn’t his work to talk about the dangers of using drugs but with the artwork crafted in the form of a human skull, to some a symbol of death, it clearly shows the dangerous side of it. He says the work of art brings to the fore the dynamics of human behaviour. Human beings find it difficult to live together while at the same time cannot quite live without one another. Ecce Animal symbolizes bringing together man’s animal instincts and the modern world we are in today.

Ecce Animal was not made to emphasize on the dangers involved in drug abuse or addiction but rather is about man’s nature in the present world. Man’s nature specifically in the sense that he lives in a society which constantly throws at him situations he may be unable to control, hence the use of cocaine (a dangerous substance) to sculpt the human skull. In the poem that accompanied the work of art Diddo writes, “It is frightening to look at the face of our animal side laid bare by comfortable excess, the spoils of its aggression.”

Is this unorthodox way of passing across a message one that will create a lasting impression? The work of art is definitely a brilliant one and the way and manner it was crafted is ingenious. “Ecce Animal” is a commissioned piece so details about it are not available to the public but since pictures are available on the internet, we can simply view and deduce our own interpretations and just maybe, dwell extensively on it.

Diddo - Ecce animal
DiddoEcce Animal, 2004, compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin, 12x18x22cm

Diddo - Ecce animal
DiddoEcce Animal, 2004, compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin, 12x18x22cm

Diddo - Ecce animal
DiddoEcce Animal, 2004, compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin, 12x18x22cm

Diddo - Ecce animal
DiddoEcce Animal, 2004, compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin, 12x18x22cm

Diddo - Ecce animal
DiddoEcce Animal, 2004, compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin, 12x18x22cm

Diddo - Ecce animal
DiddoEcce Animal, 2004, compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin, 12x18x22cm

Diddo - Ecce animal
DiddoEcce Animal, 2004, compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin, 12x18x22cm


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“Hunger King” is artist’s fast food reply to social inequality and homelessness

“Hunger King” is artist’s fast food reply to social inequality and homelessness

Jani Leinonen - Hunger King, 2014, Hungary, Budapest 1
Jani LeinonenHunger King, 2014, Hungary, Budapest

Located behind a resplendent Opera House in Budapest on the same road as Louis Vuitton, sits Hunger King, a place that seems to be just like any other burger joint, however, it is anything but. Hunger King is a regular fast food outlet that is pushed onto the masses; Hunger King is a critical sociopolitical art installation serving to highlight Hungary’s significant crises of social inequality and homelessness.

The sign at Hunger King directs customers who identify as “rich” onto a red carpet, which leads them to the entrance, while the succession of “poor”, many of which are homeless takes them around the side of the building.

The sign that features a crown and burger logo is given a representational twist as it is given a new name, as it references the 3.7 million Hungarians living below the breadline. During the three-week long installation individuals who are in financial need have the ability to wait in the succession around the building for six hours and in turn will receive 3,400 forints (around £9 or $13.60 US) in a burger box for their trouble. This would be the same amount of money they would have made by working a minimum wage job in Hungary. All while, those who self-identify as rich can skip the line, walk up the red carpet cardboard burgers for 600,000 forints (£1,560 or $2357.39 US).

This three-week installation served as a critical response to a law that allows Hungarian councils to ban homeless people from sleeping in public areas, basically dispossessing the dispossessed. Those who are homeless and have little or nothing can be fined or even sent to jail for being out on the streets. Jani Leinonen’s work protests the “criminalization of homelessness” and somehow making the lives of those who have little stability even more precarious.

Jani Leinonen - Hunger King, 2014, Hungary, Budapest 2
Jani LeinonenHunger King, 2014, Hungary, Budapest

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Spray paint & Old Masters create an interesting mix

Spray paint & Old Masters create an interesting mix

Miaz Brothers - Young Man 6, 130x99cm

Miaz Brothers - Master 8, 2013, 190x140cm, Acrylic on canvas
Miaz BrothersMaster 8, 2013, 190x140cm

The Miaz Brothers present a drastic new interpretation of portraiture, as the siblings, create large-format canvases using spray paint in a unique new way. Their series with the Masters focuses on the historic and notable figures from the time of the English Restoration, while evoking a new take on the Masters.

They explain that the use of spray paint is representative that we, as humans, “are composed of infinite particles in continuous evolution”. The spray paint creates a blurred effect that expresses the duo’s work: “dematerializing the lines, we gain a substantial indetermination of the picture. This skips any immediate reaction and provokes the viewer to use mnemonic associations instead for their own personal visual information encoding.”

The Miaz Brothers have a very particular method to their art; their style elements are dichotomized and further enact the concepts of temporality and transcendence. The Miaz brother’s paintings are made up of large haunting portraits, of ghostly figures that are only just visible. These works are based on the Old Masters, and with little more than that information, the viewers are given all that is needed to complete the narrative.

Their otherworldly work is without a doubt evocative and highlights our transitory actuality, and the interchange that is existence. The Miaz brothers also bring into conversation the many ideas surrounding perception and how each person’s perception varies from person to person so drastically. Every viewer sees precisely what they want or need to when viewing the portraits, whether they see a historical figure, or someone they know, each person projects their own associations and perceptions on to the blurred canvas. This is what is so refreshing about the Miaz brothers, they don’t tell you what to see, think, or feel- it is up to you to interpret the artwork, and no matter how you do, you are right.

Miaz Brothers - Young Woman 2, 163x130cm
Miaz BrothersYoung Woman 2, 163x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Young Man 6, 130x99cm
Miaz BrothersYoung Man 6, 130x99cm

Miaz Brothers - Young Man 2, 163x130cm
Miaz BrothersYoung Man 2, 163x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Old Master 16, 2014, 130x100cm, Acrylic on canvas
Miaz BrothersOld Master 16, 130x100cm

Miaz Brothers - Old master #31, 2014, 162x130cm
Miaz BrothersOld Master 31, 162x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Old master #30, 2014, 162x130cm
Miaz BrothersOld Master 30, 162x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Old master #19, 2014, 162 x 130 cm
Miaz BrothersOld Master 19, 2013, 162x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Old Man 4, 162x130cm
Miaz BrothersOld Man 4, 162x130cm

Miaz Brothers - Lady F, 2014, 162x130cm
Miaz BrothersLady F, 2014, 162x130cm


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This gruesome-looking installation is much more harmless than you think

This gruesome-looking installation is much more harmless than you think

Imran Qureshi – And They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013 - Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE, 2014

Imran Qureshi – And They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013 - Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE, 2014
Imran QureshiAnd They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013, At Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE, 2014
Photo: Salsali Private Museum

Imran Qureshi’s “And they still seek the traces of blood” (2013) has become renowned for its ability to invoke emotional responses from viewers as this intrinsic work is printed on thousands of crumpled sheets of paper and gathered to form a precipitous heap. The title of his work, “nd they still seek the traces of blood quotes a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz with reference to individuals who have been killed and buried without their lives honoured nor the events surrounding their deaths investigated.

The Pakistani artist Qureshi’s work is in reference to current events in Pakistan and serves to highlight the types of violence and discrimination that is imposed upon innocent people around the world every day. Qureshi’s work is visually striking while it calls forth profound imagery of violence. The use of light and darkness in the surrounding hall makes his work emotionally charged and as described by some viewers almost brutal.

Qureshi’s exhibition uses the binary combination of light and darkness. Qureshi utilizes the color of the rooms of the nighttime landscapes of Venetian painting, often depicting landscapes and interior courtyards in which every stone and leaf is pedantically arranged; each delicate painting is tainted by the blood red stains that impinges on the picturesque scene, uncompromisingly annihilating the delicacy and balance. In doing this, Qureshi creates a space of binary elements, beauty and violence.

Throughout these somber rooms you have to carefully feel your way slowly and cautiously; as Qureshi’s method of presentation causes for the make references to the colonial architectures and domains in which servants were kept in small compartments. Through the surrounding darkness the paintings burn into the viewers provoking them to reflect upon the conditions as they attempt to discover a way out of the labyrinth of depicted violence or to create a split second in which viewers can escape the perpetual succession of creation and violence.

Qureshi’s work reflects upon his own lived experience, expressing the memories of his living through decades of precarity, martial law, uprisings and massacres, terrorism, political. His artwork is without a doubt metaphorical expressing both life and death, darkness and light. His work is so completely profound as the metaphorical and binary nature of his work is infinite, depicting a teetering balance of beauty and life versus the dark blood red spattered imagery associated with violence and death.

Imran Qureshi, And They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2014
Imran QureshiAnd They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013, At Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, 2014
Photo: Aaron Word. Courtesy the artist and Corvi-Mora, London

Imran Qureshi – And They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013
Imran QureshiAnd They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013, At Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK

Imran Qureshi, And They Still Seek The Traces Of Blood
Imran QureshiAnd They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013, At M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Belgium
Photo: M HKA

Imran Qureshi - And they still seek the traces of blood, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris 2014
Imran QureshiAnd They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013, At M HKA, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris, 2014

Imran Qureshi - And they still seek the traces of blood, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris 2014
Imran QureshiAnd They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013, At M HKA, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris, 2014

Imran Qureshi - And they still seek the traces of blood, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris 2014
Imran QureshiAnd They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013, At M HKA, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris, 2014

Imran Qureshi - And they still seek the traces of blood, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris 2014
Imran QureshiAnd They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013, At M HKA, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris, 2014

Imran Qureshi - And they still seek the traces of blood, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris 2014
Imran QureshiAnd They Still Seek the Traces of Blood, 2013, At M HKA, Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Nuit Blanche Paris, 2014


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Enormous & expensive $265k sculpture deliberately burned to ashes

Enormous & expensive $265k sculpture deliberately burned to ashes

The Pier Group - Embrace, 2014
The Pier GroupEmbrace, 2014

Embrace by The Pier Group, a collective of artists, engineers, and builders, came together and spent a budget of $265,000 in order to create the 72-foot (22 meter) sculpture of two figures embracing, whose fleeting life would end up in flames at the Burning Man festival.

The enormous sculpture had previously supported internal staircases that allowed visitors to climb up to the heads. In their chests each figure held massive chandeliers in the shape of human hearts. As people would climb up the spiral staircase, they would work their way up through the neck leading to the head. As the journey becomes increasingly tighter and claustrophobic there is a cathartic release into the mind. As groups of people would come together, gathering in each head of the sculpture where they would look through the eyes upon the other head they would be in a place of unique contemplation. Each head contained a mandala, one mandala was dedicated to the act of birth and creation, the other was dedicated to logic and reason.

Embrace serves as a testament to the moment, a representation of temporality, as the massive statue is the epitome of the beauty of immediacy. This massive sculpture was dedicated to and honors each and every relationship in all of our lives, and like the Burning Man itself, the sculpture is representing an internal pilgrimage.

Embrace also represents the moment that is the now, as individuals approach the sculpture, a couple towering high above the desert rises, as if it is a piece of the landscape that belongs there and always has. The embrace itself is a reminder to the audience of loved ones, those who are still there, those who have been lost; lovers, family, friends…

The temporality becomes apparent as the 70 foot sculpture was set to flames, disappearing in a cloud of smoke, and becoming part of the landscape as ash.

The Pier Group - Embrace, 2014
The Pier GroupEmbrace, 2014

The Pier Group - Embrace, 2014
The Pier GroupEmbrace, 2014

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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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