Mandy Smith is an artist whose favorite medium is paper. Any and all kinds of paper. Even sandpaper. In one of her more recent series, she used just that. Mandy fashioned a pair of bikinis, a bicycle, a double bed, a slide, a pair of shoes, and toilet paper out of a material no one would want anywhere near their sensitive parts. Bruno Drummond thentook photographs of them after carefully arranging them in such a manner that makes them even more realistic. She also has a series of paper houses where she faithfully recreates the traditional architecture of canal houses in Amsterdam. Mandy also had a hand in making some of the models in Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie”.
It’s no Seastone Chair but it will do. Jeffro Uitto, is the artist responsible for that elegant driftwood throne you see up there. He makes all kinds of driftwood furniture. Jeffro has been sculpting with wood since he was in high school. The wood he uses is authentic driftwood he has ‘rescued’ from the shores of creeks, rivers, and oceans. He takes them back to his shop near Willapa Bay for cleaning and curing before putting them together into artistic pieces of furniture. Jeffro has also made some beds, a burl-topped bar, and a rose bud made from cedar shavings. He has been commissioned to create driftwood installations in places as far as Hawaii and Alaska.
Xavier Thomas is a Canadian artist whose impressive portfolio includes games such as Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell Conviction, Prince of Presia, and Driver. He was the Communication Art Director at Ubisoft and most of the images he was involved with were used as box art, game art, and featured in magazines. Xavier also co-founded the animation studio Two Dots. Two Dots is a creative studio which specializes in video games and the entertainment industry. They offer character design, concept art, high-resolution illustrations, and iconic image exploration.
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.
Ron Arad is an Israeli designer who took the concept behind pressed flowers and applied it to Fiat 500s. According to Ron, he didn’t wreck the cars, he ‘immortalized’ them. Each vehicle was compressed to a uniform thickness of twelve centimeters at a shipyard in the Netherlands. This feat was made possible by taking out the engines, seats, and tires. Since it’s not everyday that you get to see cars being absolutely flattened, shipyard workers at brought their families to watch which gave the metal-crunching affair a festive air. Before hanging them up for display, Ron tweaked with his sculptures a bit by putting the flattened tires back in their original positions. The immortalized cars then went on display at the Design Museum Holon in Tel Aviv, Israel. Unsurprisingly, the title he gave the exhibit is “Pressed Flowers”.
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.”
According to Wikipedia (and who doesn’t trust Wikipedia?), Bansky is “a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.” The fact that he merits a Wikipedia article is an indication of how famous Bansky has become. His worked has inspired many an artist to take their work to the streets. Nick Stern, a photographer, has even made a series of photographs mimicking his work. Fame hasn’t made him any easier to track down as his real identity remains a mystery. Bansky’s work is plastered all across Great Britain, many of them since painted over. In a recent interview, he was asked if he would like to donate a picture to charity to which he replied: “What are you? Blind? In which case maybe. I mostly support projects working to restore sight and prevent eye disease. Or ‘expanding the market’ as you might call it.”
Alex Seton is a Sydney-based sculptor who creates life-like sculptures of clothing out of marble. To add to the realism, Seton’s sculptures are often “hung” on display. A couple are even left as puddles of clothes on the floor. My personal favorite is a jogging outfit sitting upright by itself, with no one wearing it. Alex prefers using Carrara marble for his sculptures and it’s just amazing how he can turn a cold and hard medium into a comfy-looking outfit. According to his biography, Alex uses the framework of marble carving to interrogate and displace our expectations by challenging our optical perception and subverting the tradition of the material.
Gavin Worth was born in Zimbabwe, Africa but grew up in Cruces, New Mexico. He is a self-taught artist who discovered his lifelong passion when he saw Michelangelo’s “Head of Leda” in a library book. His sculptures, made of metal wires, look like line paintings. Gavin worked as a musician and actor for various theaters in California. To date, he has built a life-sized skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex for the American Southwest Theater Company, worked as a set designer and painter for the Santa Fe Opera. He was also an illustrator for George Ronald Publishing. Gavin currently lives and works in Cairo, Egypt, where he teaches at the American International School.