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.
David LaFerriere is a graphic designer and a Dad. For years now, he has been sending his kids off to school with a bit of lunch and a piece of art. He draws a fun, and sometimes food-related design on their sandwich bag everyday. To date, he has drawn well over a thousand designs in as many sandwich bags. At first he started with simple black ang white drawings of a slice of pie, a duck, or a fish. Since then, his illustrations have evolved into more colorful designs. According to him, he enjoys the challenge of coming up with a new design everyday. He said: “I’ve been doing it for my kids since they were little. They love it, and nothing makes me happier than hearing their reaction at the end of the day.”
Ladamenrouge is an up-and-coming street artist from Saint Etienne, France. His work can loosely be categorized into three styles: 1) subverted urban environment (which includes “improved” street signs), 2) pavement art, and 3) eye bombing (drawing eyes on distorted images to give them a face). Like most of his kind, Ladamenrouge wanders the streets looking for random inspiration. Armed with a few stencils, some spray paint, and a sense of humor; this daring artist isn’t afraid to work his magic – even in broad daylight!
Laura Collins utilizes nostalgic imagery and combines them with feminine themes to come up with provocative collages. It takes a moment for the playfully ironic message of her work to sink in, plus, the incongruity of her collages make viewers do a double-take. Laura was originally a painter but most of the accolades come from her collage work. She said: “I initially used the immediacy of collage as a relief between working on large paintings, and gradually began valuing the medium in its own right as part of my professional practice.” Laura lives and works in Chicago.