Ren Ri is a Beijing-based beekeeper and artist. An odd combination to be sure, but Ren’s crossover from beekeeper to artist works. His creations are bee-based as well as bee-built. Ren is the one responsible for the concept, while the bees are responsible for the structure. His first bee-inspired series was entitled Yuansu I: The Origin of Geometry which was a collection of maps rendered in beeswax. With its success, Ren decided to create a sequel. Yuansu II is a collection of five three-dimensional glass beehives where the bees have created an otherworldly structure inside.
These smokey bottles are the creations of artist Jim Dingilian. Coating the insides of the bottles with soot is the easy part, brushing it away with tools set on dowels is the hand-cramping part, recognizing smoke/soot as a medium is simply a stroke of genius. His art has been described as “dripping with a sense of suburban decay” but I rather like it. The scene inside the bottles changes with every twist. Using ‘found’ objects like old bottles is a deliberate move by the artist. He said: “When found by the sides of roads or in the weeds near the edges of parking lots, empty liquor bottles are artifacts of consumption, delight, or dread. As art objects, they become hourglasses of sorts, their drained interiors now inhabited by dim memories.”
Dietmar Voorwold’s is an outstanding German artist behind these intricately placed rock circles. All of his work are done with materials he finds on site, mainly different colored rocks and leaves. None of his work are made to last for more than a few days and all that are eventually left of them are pictures and memories. Looking at his work is actually kinda soothing, which is probably what he had in mind when he created them. He said: “It is just for the moment. This is a very therapeutic aspect of my way of creating art.” Dietmar is currently based in Scotland.
Benjamin Affagard is not another graffiti artist. His work is strictly small scale and couldn’t even be classified as street art. A first glance at his work might leave the viewer unimpressed, but a closer look will reveal that the graffiti is actually part of a small, realistic, handmade diorama. The scenes, inspired by real life locations, are meticulously recreated with all sorts of things like wood,cardboard, acrylic paint, potato bags,and plastic straws. Benjamin sends the miniature walls/storefronts to various graffiti artists for them to paint giving the finished product an authentic feel.
Takahiro Iwasaki is the artist behind these industrial landscapes made with bits of fluff, grit and bristles. The sculpture up there is part of his “Out of Disorder” series – sculptures featuring miniature industrial landscapes made out of human hair, toothbrush bristles, used cloth fibers, lint, and actual dust. The sculptures resemble urban land leveled by an air raid, form the base of the Kawasaki series. Takahiro, based in Hiroshima, Japan currently has his work displayed at the Kawasaki City Museum as part of the Open Museum Project.
Ana Teresa Barboza is an artist who thinks out of the box and decided to elevate the art of embroidery. Her creations are not limited to the embroidery circle. They flow right out and practically begs the onlooker to touch them. Ana uses threads of various colors, sizes, lengths to achieve this effect. She said: “Both embroidery and crocheting are techniques that require time. I use these techniques in order to make a connection between manual work and the processes of nature; creating thread structures similar to the structures that make a plant for example.”
Yusuke Asai is the artist behind this extraordinary mural painted right into the walls of a classroom in India. Yusuke is part of the team of artists sent by The Wall Art Project to Niranjana, a school located in Bahir (East India). The Wall Art Project is a Tokyo-based non-profit organization whose goal is to bring art into schools in far flung areas like Tibet and India. Yusuke is best known for making absurdly beautiful works of art with pretty much anything he can get his hands on. A trait which came in handy in East India. The extraordinary wall painting you see up there was made with seven different types of local soil, cow dung (don’t ask why), straw, and water. The wall art disintegrated after several months but I bet it’s beauty lasted in the minds of those children long after it completely washed away.
Loren Stump is a California-based artist who decided to master the ancient art of creating murrine sculptures. Murrine is created by layering different colored glass around a core. By heating, stretching, and twisting the glass, a design is created on the inside. The design is revealed when the glass is cut crosswise. The process originated in the Middle East and was later adapted by Venetian glassmakers in the 16th century. Loren has been perfecting his technique for over 35 years and his most complicated piece to date is an interpretation of Da Vinci’s “Virgin on the Rocks”. The slices are worth more than $5,000 each.
Hirotoshi Ito takes the cake for crafting these awesome, weir, and downright bizarre rock sculptures. He takes ordinary river rocks and turns them into zippered, sliced, and grinning versions of themselves. Hirohito juxtaposes the natural cracks and seams in a rock into whatever shape he happens to fancy, topping it all off with shiny (sometimes fluffy) modifications that bring them to life. It’s not uusual for his rock sculptures to grin right back at you, or reveal treasure hidden within. He said: “Although I work with various kinds of stones, most of my work consists of optimizing a stone’s original shape.”
Benedict Radcliffe is a designer and sculptor who has gained world-wide popularity with his frame cars. The cars are startlingly realistic for something completely made out of wire. They look like something an invisible man might ride to work. The hollow, see-through,make-believe automobiles are innocuously parked on curbs, daring passersby to “drive” them Flintstones style. Benedict is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow. He has been involved in various architectural commissions and signature sculptural pieces for international clients. When not traveling, he is currently based in London where he has his own studio.