A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe. Kathy Klein is an Arizona-based artist who loves creating flower mandalas in the great outdoors. She calls the pieces ‘danmalas’ which means ‘the giver of garlands’ in Sanskrit. Her ephemeral installations are photographed and then left to be discovered by others. Her creative process involves getting into a meditative state and then gathering flowers and other natural objects while waiting for inspiration to strike. Her danmalas are reflections which points towards life’s abundance and reminds us all to listen to the unheard voice of nature.
William Fisk is a Canadian painter who specializes in creating photo-realistic paintings. As is the aim of every painter who subscribes to realism, William’s paintings are so realistic it will make you want to reach into the painting to use the objects themselves.When asked about his Portrait series, he said: “The objects depicted in the Portrait Series were purchased second hand, without any tangible reference to the previous owner. They are specific utilitarian objects — 35mm cameras, light bulbs, shoes, pay phones, trophies, furniture, and clothing — that have experienced undeterminable yet indisputable human contact…My intent is to provide viewers with the means to make a distinction between the private and public meaning of the specific objects depicted….This intention is confirmed by the fact that each portrait represents a coherent conceptual format that invites viewers to examine the substance of its form and content.”
James Doran-Webb is the artist behind these amazingly life-like horse sculptures. Each horse is made up of roughly four hundred separate pieces of painstakingly collected driftwood, weighs around five hundred kilos, and has a stainless steel frame which enables it to support up to five persons on its back. They also have a moveable neck and limbs which allows the artist to position them in life-like poses. The sculptures were commissioned to herald the coming of the Year of the Wooden Horse in Singapore. Originally from Birmingham, James is currently based in Cebu City, Philippines where he has set up a company which makes and designs export-quality wooden objects. James is also an environmentalist and for each kilo of driftwood that he buys from the locals, he plants a seedling in the denuded hills of Cebu.
Teodosio Sectio Aurea is a Greek artist whose sculptures are nothing much to look at in the light of day. His genius becomes evident only when the his pieces are strategically placed behind a correctly angled light source. His art isn’t the sculpture he assembled, it’s the shadow they cast. His subjects include: elegantly posed women, the Vitruvian man, and masterpieces of Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso, and Leonardo da Vinci.
Mr. Finch is an autodidact whose specialty is creating woodland flora and fauna out of bits and pieces of ‘found objects’. He painstakingly crafts his work in a studio full of glass jars, books, and naughty cats. Mr. Finch lives and works in Yorkshire in close proximity to rolling hills and mossy woods where he gathers inspiration for his creations. He said: “It’s a joy to hunt for things for my work…the lost, found and forgotten all have places in what I make. Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm. Velvet curtains from an old hotel, a threadbare wedding dress and a vintage apron become birds and beasts, looking for new owners and adventures to have. Storytelling creatures for people who are also a little lost, found and forgotten…”
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.
SpY ha been making street art long before street art became cool. He has been ‘improving’ blank walls, sculptures, and street signs all over the world for over twenty years. His installations are equal parts funny and ironic. According to his website: “His ludic spirit, careful attention to the context of each piece, and a not invasive, constructive attitude, unmistakably characterize his interventions. His work involves the appropriation of urban elements through transformation or replication, commentary on urban reality, and the interference in its communicative codes.” As befitting his name, SpY’s real identity is still unknown.
A true artist sees creative potential in everything. Mark Khaisman, a promising artist from Ukraine spotted the potential behind one of the most mundane everyday objects – packing tape. He strategically sticks pieces of packing tape on a plexiglass base. Clever lighting behind the glass highlights the resulting image beautifully. His subjects range from 20th century cultural icons to scenes from old Hollywood movies. The final images are often sepia-toned which lends it a bit of nostalgic charm.
Ernest Zacharevic is a street artist whose photo-based murals have been cropping up all over Europe, Malaysia, and Singapore. Most, if not all, of his work is site-specific. The first thing he does when making a new piece is to take lots of photographs of the place before choosing the angles with which to paint his subject. He said: “Working with children allows more anonymity, I don’t consider my artworks to be portraits of a specific person, rather a universal experience.” His subjects can be seen interacting with real objects like bikes, motorcycles, chairs, shopping carts, and even roofs.
“Evolution” is an extraordinary series of photographs by Patrick Gries. It was created in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History. It’s a collection of over three hundred black and white photos of fully articulated skeletons. The stark images are made more striking by their life-like poses. The animals are posed as if they were poised to pounce, run, jump, swim, walk, and gallop. Born in Luxembourg, Patrick studied at the École Normale and moved to New York where he developed an interest in contemporary American photography. According to one website: “(Patrick’s) technical ability to capture complex environments and convey a subject’s context has made his work muck sought-after by cultural institutions.”