Jeff Zimmerman was raised by artist parents in Anderson Ranch Arts Center of Colorado. His original dream was to become an anthropologist but found his passion in glass blowing. He studied classical Venetian glassblowing and mastered centuries-old Italian techniques while being apprenticed to master glass blowers. These days, Jeff himself is a master glassblower who loves to move glass into realm of contemporary, relevant art. His pieces are all bent and melted out of shape but still retain their usefulness and aesthetics.
Paweł Bajew is an awesome self-taught photographer from Poland whose work relies on ideas and not on the number of megapixels or fancy digital enhancement. Most of the time, he poses for his own shots with home made costumes and paraphernalia. His abstract images entice errant thoughts to flit through the viewer’s mind. Oddly enough, the longer you look at his work makes you want to look at more of his work, just to find out what other wacky ideas he came up with.
Caddisfly larvae are anything but cute. They wriggle around in river bottoms making cozy cocoons twigs, pebbles, and sediment. Artist Hubert Duprat had a brain wave immediately after learning of the caddisfly larvae habit. What if the critters were surrounded by nothing but gold and precious stones? He hen proceeded to do just that. He took a bunch of caddisfly larvae and raised them in aquariums with nothing but gold flakes, pearls, and other precious stones. The resulting cocoons are tiny and fragile gold sculptures held together with silk. If you didn’t know the real creatures of these bejeweled masterpieces, you’d have thought they were made by a master jeweler.
Mladen Penev is an extremely talented graphic designer who is a 31-year-old graphic designer from Bulgaria. His work is an impressive mix of photography, CGI, and digital image manipulation. One of my favorite series of his is his ‘Power of Books” series where the reader is literally enveloped by the open book he reads. The series was published way back in 2005 in Vienna, Austria but Mladen’s message is just as relevant today as it was nine years ago. Books, really good ones, have the power to grab the reader’s attention and immerse him in a make-believe world. Mladen currently lives and works in Australia.
Sorry to disappoint you but Nadeem Haidary’s Paper Razors are fictional products that playfully challenge the notion that paper cuts are evil. Also, disposable razors are not really disposable. Nadeem turned the concept of an ordinary paper cut into something useful. His imaginary product comes in four different colors: red, gray, black, and white. It even has its own clever packaging and logo. He said: “I think of design as applied experimentation. To prototype ideas, build things, visit a foreign land, to be curious about everything is to set yourself up for the possibility of discovering new solutions.”
Why Arthur Tress would ever want to revisit childhood nightmares is anyone’s guess but that is exactly what he did in the late 1960s and 70s. He called his series Dream Collector and since CGI wasn’t a thing back then, all the effects in his photos were created the old-fashioned way. Thatfact that theseimages were gathered by interviewing children in playgrounds what make them a little more creepy than pictures out to be. He said: “Dreams or nightmares were collected by conversations with children in schools, streets, or neighborhood playgrounds. The children would be asked means of acting out their visions or to suggest ways of making them into visual actualities… These inventions often reflect the child’s inner life, his hopes and fears, as well as his symbolic transmutation of the external environment, his home or school, into manageable forms.”
“Landline” is one of Aakash Nihalani’s latest series featuring people skewered by colorful geometric shapes. No actual skewering went on in the course of the series. The neon tape was cleverly positioned to make it look like they’re going through the models. Aakash is pretty well-known for his observational street art and Landline is another exemplary addition to his ever-growing list of awesome street art.
Paul Joseph Stankard is the brilliant artist behind these floral glass paperweights. He is a pioneer of the studio-glass movement and considered by many as the father of modern glass paperweights. He started out as a glassblower, creating specialized glass instruments for chemical laboratories. He made glass paperweights on the side to support his growing family. His expertise as a artist was first recognized by Reese Palley (an internationally respected art dealer) who saw his work at a craft display in Atlantic City. The rest, as they say, is history. His work is currently on display at more than sixty museums all over the world. He said: “I am interested in integrating mysticism with botanical realism, giving the glass organic credibility. Through the work, I reference the continuum of nature, by portraying and exploring the mysteries of seeds, fertility and decay. The work celebrates the primal beauty of nature on an intimate level.”
Gregory Raymond Halili was born and raised in the lush and tropical country of the Philippines. His family moved to the USA in the late 80s when he was in his teens. Gregory earned his B.F.A. from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. One of his most recent series feature skulls delicately carved into gold and black-lipped mother of pearl shells. Mother of pearl is also known as nacre. It is the inner shell layer of most molluscs and it’s what the outer layer of pearls are made of. Gregory hand bases his carvings on an anatomically correct moel and changed the proportion according to the size of the shell he’s carving. He is currently based in New Jersey.
Evelyn Bencicova is a Berlin-based artist famous for her somber-hued photographs. She uses the human figure as a sculptural tool instead of an individual. Most of her images present flat, grey-tinged lighting that enhances the subject instead of retracting from it. According to one website: “The way Bencicova hides the faces of her models from the camera’s eye can be seen as a reference to the indiscriminate nature of death, as the increasing destruction of the private self found in modern culture, and the dehumanization of women within the political struggle over the control of their bodies.”