Escif is a Spanish street artist whose work has also been popping up in Italy, France, and Canada. Unlike most street artists who uses loud, often clashing colors, Escif tends to use simple lines and subdued colors. It is the humorous and often direct commentary on sensitive social issues such as politics, capitalism, and the economy that makes Escif’s work stand out. For Escif, the message is far more important than the style. Escif is quoted saying: “I’m not looking for decorative paintings, I try to wake up viewers minds.”
Feeling a bit peckish? Have a slice of Jupiter. Planetary cakes are fast becoming quite the rage ever since self-taught chef Rhiannon created the Earth cake. It all started when her sister asked her if she could bake a spherical layer cake. It was going to be used as an instructional tool for a geology class of primary school kids. Rhiannon first thought it was impossible, but after spending a whole afternoon thinking about it, she decided to give it a try – and was pleasantly surprised by the results. It was actually her Plan B that finally worked (baking a cake inside a cake inside a cake). The Earth cake was actually just half a planet (I gues you could call it a hemisphere) but her Jupiter cake is the real thing. Cakecrumbs is Rhiannon’s blog about food and cooking. You can check it out for cool recipes and a tutorial on making planetary cakes.
Nomad Patterns is a series by Livia Marin which features more than thirty ‘melted’ China cups, vases, and teapots. It was exhibited at the Eagle Gallery in London in 2012. Interestingly, each piece retains its pattern even though it’s melted. The patterns in the pieces is the Willow Pattern motif. A pastiche of Chinese landscape decoration created by the British in the late 1700s. According to Livia, “the objects appear as staged somehow indeterminately between something that is about to collapse or has just been restored; between things that have been invested with the attention of care but also have the appearance of a ruin.”
Anne-Catherine Becker-Echivard is a French photographer who let’s nothing go to waste. She carefully completes her sets before going out to buy fresh fish. The fish are then cleaned, gutted, and beheaded. The bodies go straight to the pan, while the heads take a detour around to her studio. Eventually, the heads do get to the garbage bin but not before they’re posed and dressed up as factory workers, gangsters, angry mobs, and prisoners. Asked about her work, Anne said: “We are victims of our own evolution or of our own revolution. We are the suffering conformists. In my photography, I do not try to present the good nor the bad. It’s never simply funny, laborious, happy, tender or hard. There is always much tragic, sadness or sorrow in the comedy. That is what touches me. That is what I try to translate.”
Artur Fast is a freelance illustrator who lives and works in Germany. His art is highly imaginative, most often featuring otherworldly creatures. Very few of his ‘creatures’ can ever be described as cute or cuddly. They may, however, be described as otherworldly. The fellow in the striped shirt with the glowing eyes is outright creepy, but a few, like the sea creatures below, strive to hide their true nature with an island-hat and a shoddily built ship. Artur describes himself as a conceptual artist.
Daniel Emma is an art studio specializing in industrial design. Founded by Daniel To and Emma Aiston in 2008, Daniel Emma has a very minimalistic approach to the design of a large variety of objects, ranging from desk items to installations. According to them: “Our studio works on a large variety of projects, ranging from desk objects to installations. We look to create the unexpected from simple objects using simple forms, drawing influence and insight from the diverse culture that Australia presents us with.” All photos courtesy of Rodrick Bond.
The humongous “Sky Whale” is actually a hot air balloon commissioned by Canberra for their centenary. Artist Patricia Piccinini was tasked to conceptualize the whole thing. She said: “’The skywhale may appear fantastic but think about the blue whale – an air breathing mammal that lives in the ocean – and it doesn’t seem so far-fetched”. Creating the gigantic Sky Whale started with some three-dimensional drawings. A prototype was then created and sent to Cameron Balloons in Bristol for the finer details like coloring and patinization. It took approximately 3.3 million stitches and around 3,535 meters of fabric to create the imaginary creature. Patricia also added: “I think that when we look up at the skywhale and wonder what it is ‘for’, it might remind us that nature is not necessarily ‘for us’. It just ‘is’ and we’re just lucky enough to be around to see it.”
Wes 21 belongs to an elite group of street artists called the Schwarzmaler. Wes 21’s real name is Remo Lienhard and his work basically leaps out at you. I’ts packed chock-full of details and brilliantly executed with a gritty sense of humor. Remo has also dabbled in sculpture and illustration. This Swiss multimedia artist is definitely someone to watch out for. His dynamic approach to street art is a refreshing change from the mainstream style.
Nick Veasey has managed to fuse science and art in his work. He’s a British photographer who works with images created from X-ray imaging. It all started when he was asked to take an x-ray of a cola can. Back then, he was working in advertising. As an experiment, he also X-rayed his shoes. He was encouraged by the positive reaction he garnered from the results when he showed the results to his art director. He hasn’t looked back since. His work has been featured in many international advertising campaigns.