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Category Archives: Eye Candy

  1. 02.24.15
    Eye Candy
    Alex Ebstein, artist

    Balance balls, dumbbells, pool noodles — is the recent incorporation of exercise equipment into the visual arts part and parcel with normcore or is it something more? The latest adherent to the trend is Baltimore-based artist Alex Ebstein, who works with a variety of materials — most notably yoga mats — but in Ebstein’s hands, those basic materials become less trendy and more textural. Her brightly colored canvases resemble something Matisse may have constructed had his cut-out phase occurred during the Memphis movement. Bold and graphic from afar, the works are delightfully tactile upon closer inspection. Her use of slightly irregular grids and geometric constructions is contrasted with the addition of ambiguous organic shapes cut from yoga mats that are then inlayed or applied to her compositions. If you are in the Baltimore area, you can see her MFA show at Towson University’s Holtzman Art Gallery until May 9th.

  2. 02.16.15
    Eye Candy
    Valentin Dommanget, Artist

    Like most visually inclined folks his age, 25-year-old French artist Valentin Dommanget — who studied fashion as an undergrad before receiving his MFA at Central Saint Martins last spring — grew up with a steady diet of internet art. Having internalized a certain digital aesthetic that embraces all things geological and hypercolor, natural yet unnatural, he created a series of paintings that take those virtual influences and represent them through actual real-world handicraft, pairing paint-marbled canvases with torqued stretchers that mimic some kind of Photoshop rotation effect. Pictured above and below are selections from that series, plus other pieces that apply the same techniques to concrete tables, paper books, framed canvases, and crooked canvases that appear balanced atop geometric plywood cutouts.

  3. 02.06.15
    Eye Candy
    Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s Steel Curtains

    We first caught sight of one of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s colorful curtains at Esther Schipper gallery’s booth at Frieze New York last year, where we couldn’t stop taking pictures of how nicely it framed the crowds rushing by on the other side. But we’d forgotten all about the Spanish-born, Brazilian-based artist until more of those curtains popped up on Sight Unseen contributor Su Wu’s blog I’m Revolting last week. Steegmann appears to have a very philosophically rich practice, full of meshes and grids and insect forms that reference Brazilian oil laborers and the writings of Roger Caillois, but the curtains, from what we can tell, are pure formalism, and the best kind — they completely transform your experience of a space. They curtains themselves are made from steel mesh and produced by a Spanish interiors company called KriskaDecor, but with geometric cutouts lined in laser-cut and powder-coated steel frames.

  4. 01.29.15
    Eye Candy
    Elizabeth Atterbury, Artist

    While the Maine-based artist Elizabeth Atterbury has done amazing things with just simple shapes cut into paper and steel, lately she’s been getting a wee bit more ambitious — building a 3-by-4-foot sandbox in her studio and photographing compositions she’s raked into it, or using a bandsaw to carve grill bricks into arcs and zigzags then documenting the crumbly results. Aside from photography — which she studied in school — she also exhibits sculptures in clay and painted wood. You can see them in person now through May 10 at Colby College Art Museum in Waterville, Maine, or pick up a copy of Atterbury’s 2013 book with Bodega gallery, “In the Middle, an Oasis.”

  5. 01.27.15
    Eye Candy
    Louise Zhang, artist

    Sydney-based artist Louise Zhang’s work is concerned not with the familiar straight lines of geometry, but with the lack of any distinct form. More simply, she works with blobs. Her attraction to the formless began with a childhood fascination with slime and goo. Building off the allure of all-things-goopy, her paintings and sculptures — made from materials ranging from acrylic, oil, enamel, resin, expanding polyurethane, gap filler, and silicone — explore the infinite transformations a shapeless form can possess. Add to this an intense candy-coated color palette and you’ve got a body of work that’s both unquestionably attractive and charmingly grotesque.

  6. 01.20.15
    Eye Candy
    Peter D. Cole, Sculptor

    Let’s be honest for a second: The internet is wonderful. It’s a fantastic platform for research, and it enables creatives all over the globe to gather inspiration. It allows for artists and designers to see what exists, what’s missing, and to create accordingly. It’s hard to imagine a world without it. But what if you were a young artist trying to make it in 1960s Australia? Where did one find insight and inspiration? If you were artist Peter D. Cole, you probably looked to your art-history textbooks and the latest imported magazines from that hotbed of modernism, New York. Perusing his work, you begin to see patterns, and his influences become ever more apparent. There’s the very basic color palette of fire-engine reds, cool sky blues, and bright sun yellows, reminiscent of a Mondrian palette. There’s the tilted shapes, which could be a nod to the fathers of abstraction, the Russian Suprematists. Further still, you begin to see a pattern of grids and cubes, an obvious allusion to Sol LeWitt, one of the most famous artists practicing when Cole graduated in 1968. Mobiles similar to Calder’s, colorful forms attached by thin black lines reminiscent of Miró — we could go on but we’ll stop ourselves there. It’s through this weird, sometimes obvious amalgamation of influences that Cole is able to create original, inspired work that’s evocative yet far enough removed to be his own style.

  7. 01.12.15
    Eye Candy
    Alma Charry, illustrator

    The ____-a-day trope — wherein a designer sets quotidian goals for him or herself in order to achieve maximum work efficiency and output — has reached epic proportions lately, and you know what? We’re okay with that. The latest example we’ve come across is an advent calendar by Parisian illustrator Alma Charry, called 24RAPIDO, where the designer produced one drawing a day, each day leading up to Christmas (as well as some cute bonus GIFs). We like Charry’s work in general, which is a mix of Society 6–ready patterns, freeform ink-washed drawings, and figurative prints. See more after the jump and go to Charry’s website or Tumblr for even more.

  8. 01.08.15
    Eye Candy
    Esther Stewart, visual artist

    Even though we often talk about how globalization and the internet have vastly accelerated the velocity of cool, there sometimes seems to be a lag when it comes to scouting talents from Down Under. Case in point: Are we the last to know about Melbourne-based Esther Stewart’s incredible geometric paintings and angular sculptures? (And, aside, do Aussies pooh-pooh the use of Down Under the way San Franciscans abhor the term San Fran?) We found Stewart’s work on the Instagram of Aussie expat Maryanne Moodie, and it’s pretty much everything we’re interested in right now — intersecting planes, overlapping geometrics, and the use of color and texture to create an illusion of depth. Stewart has shown a handful of times with Australian galleries, but she also recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Cultural and Arts Management, which makes us hopeful she’ll figure out pretty fast how to get her work shown a little closer to our home turf.

  9. 12.19.14
    Eye Candy
    Marble Basics from Melbourne

    Sibling camaraderie is nothing new in the design world. We’ve been familiar with brother teams like the Campanas, the Bouroullecs, and the Peets for years, as well as sister power duos like the women behind Building Block, Block Shop Textiles, and Twin Within. Now you can add to that list Bonnie and Bliss Adams, the Melbourne, Australia–based sisters behind the new label Marble Basics. The sisters have created a new collection of tabletop accessories, rendering all of your most essential housewares in that eternally chic material (and some not-so-essentials as well, though who doesn’t love a decorative obelisk?). Each object somehow conveys the luxuriousness and durability that stone entails while maintaining an approachable price point. The products are so simple in form and function, it’s hard to imagine a better name for the company—Marble Basics.

  10. 12.04.14
    Eye Candy
    Elise Windsor, Photographer

    The photographs of Montreal artist Elise Windsor are studies in color, shape, and the definition of objecthood. Windsor’s work has been shown internationally, from New York to Russia, and she is currently a MFA Candidate at Concordia University’s Studio Arts Program. These selects, all from her series “IN TOP FORM,” consider the spatial dimensions of everyday objects and “the relationship between geometric form and optical illusions.” Experimenting with how three-dimensional objects might be represented two-dimensionally, the series both riffs on traditional product photography and explores the layered space where photography meets sculpture. It’s also interesting that the images are all formatted as squares — maybe we’re too wrapped up in the present, but we can’t help but think it’s a reference to social media’s influence on sharing, style, and delivery.

  11. 11.25.14
    Eye Candy
    Ann Veronica Janssens, Artist

    Lately it feels like whenever we’ve seen a piece at an art fair that we love, it’s turned out to be the work of one of a very small group of our favorite artists (Alicja Kwade, Thea Djordjaze, Jonas Wood, David Korty, etc) whose work seems to pops up again and again in such contexts. One of the most frequent is Ann Veronica Janssens, a British-born, Brussels-based artist whose practice is based around finding ways to visualize light and other ephemeral forces while balancing them against the more tangible qualities of architecture. Janssens has been around for awhile — she represented Britain at the 1999 Venice Biennale — but we’re particularly fond of her most recent body of work, which is more object-based than light-based. See a selection of it after the jump.

  12. 11.21.14
    Eye Candy
    Marcello Velho, illustrator

    We’ve become quite fond of these late-Friday hits of pure joy, and this one arrived in our inboxes just in the nick of time. Marcello Velho is a United Kingdom–based graphic artist. His abstract compositions have quite justly made the blog rounds in recent months, but we particularly love the new styled photos he sent of his work below, which mix Tumblr-inspired art with modern furniture icons. Velho works across different mediums including publications, posters, and textile design. His prints are currently for sale via the Australian shop Visions, alongside another favorite artist of ours: Kristina Krogh. Happy Friday!

  13. 11.17.14
    Eye Candy
    Meredith Turnbull, artist

    A few Saturdays ago, we featured Australian artist Meredith Turnbull’s incredible, powder-coated brass jewelry, but today we wanted to turn your attention to her equally terrific art practice. Navigating her website, we became intrigued by images of totemic metallic structures that were nevertheless labeled as photography. We asked Turnbull herself to clarify: “My practice as an artist has really been shaped by my training: first studying photography, then doing a degree in Art History, then later a degree in Fine Art specializing in gold and silversmithing. This affected the way I work and made me very interested in ideas in and around discipline, functionality, art and design history, and of course context! I’m preoccupied with theories and ideas about purposeful objects and their relationship to people as well as new contexts for those ideas. So I make objects across a variety of scales. Sometimes I photograph these but only exhibit the photograph; sometimes I show small objects alongside larger installation work. I’m always trying to work with scale and the context in which I’m exhibiting.”

  14. 11.13.14
    Eye Candy
    Intertidal Deployment Objects

    On a visit a few weeks ago to Design Week Portland, we spied these cute Intertidal Deployment Objects by Trygve Faste and Jessica Swanson, a married couple who are also both instructors in the University of Oregon’s Product Design program. Faste teaches design drawing and makes vibrant 3D paintings, while Swanson specializes in ceramics and sculpture, and for this work, the two combined their skills to create a series of ceramic pots and sculptures influenced by buoys. “The Intertidal Deployment Objects arose out of our interest in working with ceramic forms that would interact with and relate to the marine environment,” says Faste. “We developed our forms to reference maritime objects like navigation buoys, floats, knots, jugs, bottles and industrial nautical equipment.”

  15. 11.10.14
    Eye Candy
    #Nannyart by Brandon E. Cannon

    “#NannyArt is a series that has been ongoing for about 4 months now, consisting of 50+ 5×7-inch canvas boards incorporating collage, painting, patterns, and household supplies. The end of this series will consist of 100 of the 5×7-inch canvas boards as well as a few large-scale paintings done in the same manner. The term #NannyArt came from the culture and lifestyle that I became accustomed to after making the move to Panama back in May. In Panama, the term “Nanny” is thrown around a lot because everyone has one. To have someone who comes to your home or apartment once or twice a week, some are even live-in, is more than common in Panama. There’s even an extra bedroom and bathroom in every home and apartment for live-in nannies. Over time while painting at my studio I began to take notice of some of the cleaning supplies my “nanny,” Lucre, was using on a day-to-day basis. The colors, patterns, and textures of the supplies began to catch my eye and greatly intrigued me. With the sudden idea of buying art supplies not at the art store but in the cleaning aisles of grocery stores or mini-marts #NannyArt began to take form.”

  16. 10.20.14
    Eye Candy
    Michele Reginaldi, architect

    Michele Reginaldi is an established Italian architect and visual artist. Born in Teramo in 1958, he has been a partner at Gregotti Associati since 1998. He began working on a series of form studies — what he refers to as constructions — in the late 1980s that have grown to include more than 120 individual pieces. These constructions range in size and shape, but all are made from the same material — brass. Reginaldi classifies his constructions into four categories: studies around the circle, studies in verticality, light structures, and constructions for architecture. These pieces are crucial to his success as an architect; on their own the constructions are beautiful sculptural works, but when put into the context of architecture they become important explorations in scale and proportion. Knowing this, his constructions’ influence is clearly evident when browsing the architectural projects of his practice.

  17. 10.17.14
    Eye Candy
    Rana Begum, Artist

    With a studio based out of the UK, artist Rana Begum has exhibited around the globe, from New York to London to Dubai. And it seems fitting that a recent solo exhibition should take place at that latter city’s Third Line Gallery, an exhibition space catering to contemporary Islamic art. Begum’s Bangladeshi childhood informs much of her work, observing geometric repetition in traditional Islamic patterns and the way light activates the interiors of local mosques. This, combined with the conflicting forms and colors of urban society, can be seen in her most recent pieces, which mostly consist of creased sheet-metal panels, coated in bright mixtures of paint and resin, that seem to fold out from the wall. The three-dimensionality of her pieces causes light to bounce between the reflective panels and creates varying interpretations for viewers as they move about the piece. These subtle changes are what captivate viewers, ensuring each person has a completely different experience with every one of her pieces.

  18. 10.13.14
    Eye Candy
    Valentina Cameranesi Sgroi’s Associations Vases

    Italian product designer Valentina Cameranesi Sgroi worked as lead designer for Diesel Home — developing furniture and lighting for its collaborations with Moroso and Foscarini — for three years before becoming a freelance creative director in 2012. Since then, she’s also developed a personal body of work that includes video art, photography, and ceramics, exploring “the relationship between the natural and artificial.” Her latest project, Associations, is a series of vases that take inspiration from ’70s craftsmanship but with simple, expressive shapes that evoke Ettore Sottsass and the Italian artist Gino de Dominicis. All of the pieces in the collection are made by artisans in Veneto, Italy.

  19. 10.03.14
    Eye Candy
    Thomas Albdorf, photographer

    Still-life photography has been a staple form of expression for photographers since the invention of the camera. And with the rise in popularity of sites like Tumblr and Pinterest, there’s been a noticeable influx of images on the Internet that follow certain preconceived notions of what a contemporary still life ought to consist of: a clean image with a pale colored backdrop, some kind of sliced fruit, maybe some bubble wrap, etc. Enter Thomas Albdorf, the Austrian artist who crossed over into the world of photography after a career in graphic design and art direction. Albdorf shoots with a 35mm camera that results in a grittiness that is refreshing in this digital age, and his background as a designer is clearly evident in his calculated and well-balanced photographs. His still lifes — constructed from mundane objects or littered building materials — are full of texture, pattern, and intrigue.

  20. 09.29.14
    Eye Candy
    First Impressions of Greece, by Mary Manning

    Sam Cate-Gumpert, of the artist’s book publisher Peradam, had, like many of us, been following the photographic essay that is Mary Manning’s life through her blog Unchanging Window for several years before he approached her with the idea of publishing a collection of her images in a real-life book. Initially, Manning explains, she had a whole other idea of what the book would be, but then a succession of events — a spontaneously booked vacation to Greece with her girlfriend Monique and a gift from a friend of a very beautiful copy of Henry Miller’s First Impressions of Greece (accompanied by an elaborate list of tips and recommendations for the trip), led to a very different publication. Manning says that upon receiving the copy of Miller’s book she knew instantly that instead of what she had been planning, her book would be ‘Greece and Monique. Impressions’. The images, which were all captured on film, were curated into the gentle rhythm seen on these pages by Manning herself and show all the characteristic genius of her previous work.

  21. 09.22.14
    Eye Candy
    Hazel Stark’s New Textiles

    It was only just last year that we were wondering what brilliance Hazel Stark would produce if ever she turned her attention to designing and making full-time, and already we have the answer. Having left her job with Ally Capellino earlier in the summer, Stark initiated work on her new collection, Naturally Dyed #1, with a long period of research into materials.

  22. 09.18.14
    Eye Candy
    Amy Brener, artist

    Brooklyn-based artist Amy Brener is all about excavating the technological artifact in her large, translucent, crystal-like sculptures. Each standing the height of an average-sized human, the totems are like some colossal peer of Thaddeus Wolfe’s ongoing Assemblage Series. Into these cast resin and concrete monoliths, Brener fossilizes decade-old Nokia phones, Fresnel lenses, and gypsum; once the cast dries, she chisels away, cracking sheets of plastic and remnants of our recent technological past, revealing sculptures that resemble the natural and the geological. The structures stand bright and vertical, weighted in a mix of familiar earthy rock formations and distant ideas of the supernatural. As Brener notes, “My pieces are artifacts from an imagined future.” Enjoy a small selection of our favorites after the jump.

  23. 09.12.14
    Eye Candy
    Jenn Smith, Artist

    Props to Chicago artist Jenn Smith for making art that’s basically the grown-up version of our dream childhood bedroom. Working largely in a pastel-heavy palette, Smith mixes mediums and experiments with digital manipulation to create pieces influenced by “cross-section diagrams, ’80s arcade games, and vintage textile patterns.” It results in pieces that are totally compelling but not without a sense of humor and self-awareness. Currently an MFA student at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Smith also has a nice Tumblr filled with works-in-progress.

  24. 09.03.14
    Eye Candy
    Inka Järvinen, graphic designer and printmaker

    Finnish graphic artist and designer Inka Järvinen began her career with a degree in fashion from Helsinki University of Art and Design in 2005. But after graduating, she quickly discovered she preferred designing in two dimensions to three. So what do you do when you hold a diploma in something that doesn’t suit your true passion? You follow those dreams back to school and get yourself a second degree! Armed with a BA in graphic design, Järvinen went on to co-found Tsto, a design agency whose hotshot clients include Artek, Levi’s, and Nokia, and she continues to work on solo projects in her spare time. We especially love her graphic prints, controlled yet unpredictable. They’re clean, and perfectly executed by someone that clearly understands the principles of balance, line, and pattern. We’ve excerpted some of our favorites after the jump.

  25. 08.28.14
    Eye Candy
    CC-Tapis Rugs

    An offshoot of a 1940s-era French-Persian rug house, CC-Tapis is a contemporary design label founded in 2011 and based in Milan. Each rug is hand-crafted by Tibetan artisans in Nepal using natural fibers, dyes, and processes to create a high-quality work of art. The company occasionally collaborates with artists and includes more traditional degradé wool patterns in its archive but we fell hard for these perfectly styled, geometrically-inclined specimens from their most recent catalog. Shot by Lorenzo Gironi, the photos of the collection are a perfect blend of simple colors and minimal props that bring the rugs into the third dimension with style. Check out some of our favorites below.