Costa Magarakis, a Tel Aviv-based artist also known as The Duck Pirate, specializes in sculpture that uses shoes as the base objects for some of his work. Footwear in his hands can become an animals body, a sailing vessel, or an imagined creature. As a child he spent time looking through his grandfather’s antique encyclopedia and old books. His results often feel stolen from drawings in children’s books from days gone by, often imitating Jules Verne or in modern day, Tim Burton.
Costa produces each sculpture thru a long process in which each shoe must be made suitable for reforming. Once he softens the old shoe, he adds fiberglass resin and a wide variety of materials that might include, glass, wood, metals and paint. Finished sculptures can sell for up to $1200.00.
Alexander Jansson was born in Uppsala, Sweden. His first drawing was a ghost when he was only two years old. By the time he discovered Star Wars, his world view changed forever. Because of a loss at a young age, abandonment has always been a part of his work.
Alexander runs his own design studio, called Sleeping House. While he specializes in cover art and illustration, he also created his own style called “Greenpunk”. His mixed media technique is a collage of elements from his photos, models, drawings, and paintings that he blends into the same picture. In order to give these digital pictures a natural touch, he spends much of his time adding scratches, dust and brush strokes.
Mr. Jansson influences include a dark and mysterious touch like that of Tim Burton. The artist creates a mystical world full of miniature houses and characters that are into music.
This artist has done work for Disney, Radio Sweden, and the NYC Ballet among others. Alexander Jansson is well worth following, if only for the inspiration from his work .
Usually when someone works in porcelain, they are trying to follow traditional methods. Artist Maria Rubinke adds a twisted turn to her work pushing what is acceptable in the world of art.
Currently based out of Copenhagen, Denmark, Maria Rubinke blends innocence with grotesque in her work, creating porcelain sculptures with shocking streams of red glaze originating from rips and tears in their bodies. She uses a mixture of cute and surreal to pull people between these extreme opposites.
Most vintage or Victorian porcelain dolls are delicate and beautiful. She doesn’t do that. The children have innocent faces, but are completely twisted. The portrayals in Maria’s sculptures bring to mind the work of Edward Gorey, the American artist and writer known for illustrated books depicting unsettling scenes in Edwardian settings.
She doesn’t yet have her own website, (although it is in progress), but you can check out more of her work on her Facebook page.
Originally held in 1986 at San Francisco’s Baker Beach, the week-long Burning Man Festival now takes place in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The festival is a week-long event that starts on the last Monday in August, and ends on the first Monday in September. Up to 68,000 people from around the world gather at the festival and spend a week in the remote desert isolated from the outside world.
The festival gets its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy, which is set ablaze on Saturday evening. The event is considered an experiment in self-expression, art, and self-reliance. It’s become a gathering for hippies, artists, musicians and dancers who can for a week explore artistic expression. Money is never exchanged at the event, instead the participants gift each other to get what they need. The main attractions of Burning Man include massive art installations, all-night dance parties, marathon kite-flying sessions, unconventional fashion shows, and classes where festival goers can learn things like Hula Hooping.
They head off one week later, having left no mark whatsoever and wait for the next Burning Man.
Ventriloquism was originally a religious practice that got its start in ancient times, somewhere around the sixth century. The name “ventriloquist” means “belly speaker” in Latin. It supposedly was used to communicate with the dead. The noises made by the stomach were thought to be the voices of the dead, who took up residence in the stomach of the ventriloquist. For a long time, it was viewed negatively by the Christian church.
The change from being a sign of spiritual forces to being considered entertainment happened in the eighteenth century at travelling fairs. It came of age as entertainment with the help of vaudeville in the United States.
Ventriloquism is the illusion of creating life, but the fear of ventriloquist’s dummies is called automatonophobia.
If the items were really as its name, Tombées du Camion, (items fallen from the back of a truck) suggests, this little shop in Montmartre would never have lasted as long as it has. Tucked away in a forgotten passageway, between chic fashion and the questionable Pigalle area, is found one of the most interesting assortments of salvaged and found items in Paris.
A temporary resting place for unwanted and unclaimed curiosities, Tombées du Camion is like a museum of the odd, all squeezed into under 200 square feet. Everything in excess, from doll parts to police whistles and pill containers on display in wooden crates will hold you in it’s spell. There are French porno banners from the 1970s, rusted mortuary plaques (probably pried from old burial sites), and unused flasks of an opium cure for diarrhea. Most of these items are made in France, and every object has a story.
Much of the stock has been salvaged from attics and corners of old factories in random locations around France, often left after their usefulness seemed to have passed.
Trina Merry has the ability to turn human beings into living canvases with her finely detailed paint works. If you ever get to San Francisco, stop and examine the street art and graffiti murals. There is a chance there might be an almost naked person hiding there.
Merry got started when she was asked to get on stage at a concert and get body painted in her underwear. She then apprenticed under the well known body painter Craig Tracy in New Orleans. She uses non-toxic hypoallergenic paint applied with a brush or airbrush. The painting is temporary, and begins to change texture as soon as she stops painting. For this reason photography is necessary to document the work.
Merry chose the structure of a temple in order to bring awareness to the social business venture “Beyond the Four Walls” in order to empower women in Nepal.
From old books that people no longer want, Daniel Lai creates art with several mediums in varied styles and subject matter, bringing new life to old paper. The artist, also known as Kenjio was born in Malaysia, moved to the United States in 2000, and is now living in Tennessee.
Each book sculpture is made by folding the paper to create a fan effect and adding a clay figure of a man. Each of the folded paper sculptures look like a large flower. The figure is then added to suggest a moment of thought. His series of “Thinker” sculptures echoes Rodin’s “The Thinker”
These literary sculptures show the need for knowledge and the limits time gives us to gain that knowledge.
A road winding to the top of a North Carolina mountain is the entrance to Oz, a 1970s theme park that closed less than 10 years after it opened. Back when it started, the Land of Oz would attract up to 20,000 visitors a day, but now the Yellow Brick Road is missing some bricks, and the Wicked Witch’s castle is empty.
Grover Robbins developed the Beech Mountain theme park as a way of attracting families to the resort town. Robbins never lived to see his masterpiece, dying at the age of 50 of bone cancer only six months before the park was complete. The park opened on June 15, 1970 with Debbie Reynolds making an appearance, along with her daughter, Carrie Fisher. In its first summer 400,000 visitors came to the Land of Oz.
The Yellow Brick Road wound its way through the park, leading tourists to a replica Emerald City (destroyed in a fire), Dorothy’s house, the castle of the Wicked Witch and the Munchkin village all accurately recreated on over 450 acres.
After a decline in amusement park visitors in the 1970s and a lack of modernization and updates in the park itself, the Land of Oz closed in 1980. The park was left to vandals and decay, but there was enough interest in its restoration that it was eventually restored as a private garden in the Eagle Mountain community built at that property near the top of Beech Mountain.
The park does open to the public one week-end a year in the beginning of October.
This surreal-looking ice cave is located on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. With very little snow, and a hot summer huge snow melts occured. As a result, a passage was formed in the snow was leading to the cave formed underneath.
At the entrance, the ceiling is thin enough for light to break through giving unique effects. The colored lights aren’t a computer trick, but are the result of sunlight streaming through the ice into the hidden world below. When you get further away from the entrance, the arch of the cave becomes thicker, and less sunlight comes through it, but you can still see unreal spans of form and color.
The snow caves of were formed by hot springs flowing from a volcano. The Kamchatka Peninsula, in the far east of Russia, is a region of extraordinary natural beauty with large symmetrical volcanoes, lakes, raging rivers and breathtaking coastline.
(photos by Denis Budko, Marc Szeglat, Michael Zelensky and xflo:w)