Joe Mangrum has spent the last eight years scattering sand around the streets of New York. No, he’s not a litterbug, he’s a sand artist. He draws intricate geometric shapes by hand using brightly colored sand. Sand being sand, his works last a day at most, less if it’s windy or if it rains. His installations strongly resemble Buddhist mandalas but the unexpected mix of geometry and biological elements give it a unique look. Joe said that his ‘paintings are influenced by an abundant world of undersea creatures, carnivorous plants emanating electrical impulses, and cross-cultural metaphors from many years of travels around the world’.
Evelyn Bracklow is the artist responsible for the army of ants crawling all over this delicate porcelain tea set. She hand-painted them herself. She calls it “Chitins Gloss”. Evelyn summed it up pretty well when she said: “Fear, disgust, fascination and admiration: this very interplay of feelings constitutes the charm of the work. Furthermore, to me, the ants symbolize all the stories that any formerly discarded piece of porcelain carries with it. Where one once dined and drank, today ants bustle in ever new formations, every single one applied with a great love for detail.”
Style, comfort, function is the trademark of every pair of shoes designed by Kobi Levi. His shoes mimic animals, birds, and objects with humorous results. At around $800 a pair, his work is certainly pricey but definitely worth it. They come in limited editions so you can be reasonably sure that you won’t be meeting someone wearing the exact same pair. Although there are but a few people of have the rare kind of courage needed to strut around in an inflatable-doll-themed pair of heels. Lady Gaga herself wore one of Levi’s creations in her music video for “Born This Way”. Levi is currently based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Alexander Khokhlov is a Moscow based photographer who collaborated with make-up artist extraordinaire Valeriya Kutsan to create the series “2D Or Not 2D”. The series features powerful black-and-white designs painted right into the model’s face, as well as colorful designs that pop out and fool the viewer into thinking they’re looking at a two-dimensional object. Some of the designs reinforce the lines on the model’s face while others soften or break them down, others create unnaturally perfect patterns. In an interview, Khokhlov said: “Valeriya used different techniques of face painting so you can see a lot of variations – from sketch and graphic arts to water-colour and oil-paintings. This is a combination of interesting make-ups, studio photography experiments and careful retouching.”
Ramon Todo is a Tokyo-born artist whose recent creation is a study of contrast. He incorporated a thick layer of glass in between rocks, books, and something that appears to be cheese. The glass fragments are expertly cut and looks like a natural part of the stones. Ramon’s creations gives his viewers a surprise when they encounter something so fragile and breakable perfectly juxtaposed into something hard and enduring. This budding Japanese artist is currently based in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Dinner just doesn’t taste the same when it isn’t a piece of art too. Samantha Lee’s kids knows this to be true. Samantha began making pop culture-inspired meals for her eldest daughter to encourage her to eat independently. The experiment was a smashing success, and not just on the dinner table. The devoted mother of two now has more than 300,000 followers on Instagram. She has never taken any formal classes in cooking or art, instead she relies on cooking shows and her own imagination. This is what she said of her creative proces during an interview: “I sketch my designs before I make them into food to stay organized and prevent food wastage. Scissors, knives and toothpicks are my tools. I like to make something practical, something for everyone to be able to follow.”
While some artists might use paint, or ink, or pencils, Marta Grossi breaks the mold by making her breakfast banana her medium. Marta currently lives and works as an art director and illustrator in Hong kong. She describes herself as an Italian with a dimple in her right cheek who is allergic to dust. She also does a fair bit of blogging and storytelling on the side. When asked about her creative process, Marta responded: “I customize my banana during the night. I have my banana for breakfast the day after. this is a temporary space and love to prove that inspiration is everywhere.”
Tang Chiew Ling is a graphic designer and illustrator from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her series “Fashion in Leaf” has captured the interest of fashion aficionados the world over with its minimalistic approach and ecological theme. Tang intentionally used inconspicuous and unattractive leaves to create something fun and fashionable. Most of the leaves she used were from her mom’s garden. Strategically placed, the leaves served as classy evening gowns to the models she drew on paper. Tang is one of those rare artists who can turn common, everyday objects into artistic creations.
Liza Lou is really into glass beads. She spent five years sticking them into every conceivable surface of a life-sized kitchen. Liza painstakingly placed each one of those glass beads with a pair of tweezers, making sure that the color of the glass bead matched the surface of the object. Everything in the kitchen – curtains, sink, stove, floor, cereal – is smothered in beads. Her work is inspired by traditional African bead crafts, which is still very much alive today. Liza is currently based in South Africa.
Takashi Amano was born in Niigata, Japan in 1954. He is an internationally known landscape photographer who visited pristine forests in Japan as well as the untouched tropical rainforests of Borneo, Amazon, and West Africa. He introduced the Japanese nature style into aquascaping in the 1980s and the hobby hasn’t been the same since. Amano incorporated the Japanese gardening concept Wabi Sabi into his planted tanks, creating a harmonious blend of plants, driftwood and rocks. Such is his influence over the aquascaping world that he even has a species of freshwater shrimps named after him! He also founded Aqua Design Amano (ADA) – which features a line of products geared towards aquascaping.