Art of War: 20 Awesome Gun and Bullet Artworks

30 Giu

There are artists who work with paint and clay, and then there are artists who create bizarre and thought-provoking art from slightly less conventional materials to prove a point. This collection features sculptures made from guns and bullets, high-speed bullet photography, illustrations of what happens when bullets pierce flesh and even drawings made by shooting at metal and paper with a sub-machine gun.

Reliquaries Made of Guns and Ammunition


(images via: Al Farrow)

Artist Al Farrow combined religious imagery with guns and bullets to startling effect in his 2001 series, ‘Reliquaries’. The sculptures are an ironic play on the medieval cult of the relic as well as a statement about continued ties between war and religion. Farrow says that in the making of these pieces, he was absolutely astonished at the ease with which one can procure huge amounts of gun related paraphernalia.

High-Speed Bullet Photography

(images via: David Neff)

Photographer David Neff keeps his techniques top secret, declining to divulge any details as to how he captures such amazing images. In this series of high-speed bullet photography, he fires .22 bullets at various objects like pears, crayons and cigarettes and takes the photo just as the bullet is grazing or passing through them. The result is a visually stunning reminder of just how destructive bullets can be.

Furniture and Sculpture Made from Discarded Cambodian Weapons

(images via: fresh home)

Sculptor Sasha Constable saw opportunity in the 125,000 weapons that were discarded by the Cambodian government after 30 years of war. Constable, along with a small arms specialist with the European Union, used the guns to create furniture and sculptures in The Peace Art Project Cambodia (PAPC) in November 2003. Among the items created were a coffee table, dining chair, settee, rocking chair and elephant sculpture.

Life Size Wax Figures with Cannon Wounds

(image via: aeroplastics.net)

Two life size male and female wax statues give us an idea of just how damaging a 20mm cannon wound really is in “A Memory of Matter” by Petroc Dragon Sesti. In these works, Sesti sought to explore “the stillness of terminal violence”. The figures were made in collaboration with the British Army, created from hard wax heated to human body temperature to reveal a moment of mutilation frozen in time.

Art Made with Submachine Guns, Rocket Fuel and Pyrotechnics

(image via: Connect Savannah)

Matt Stromberg is not your typical art professor. The Savannah College of Art and Design professor of sculpture uses anything but typical materials and methods in his work. Stromberg began wondering if he could carve with a submachine gun after watching a colleague work with a pneumatic chisel, which makes similar sounds while in use. That led to his current projects, in which he ‘sculpts’ metal panels with rocket fuel, explosives, pyrotechnics, propellants and, yes, bullets.  Stromberg had to go through special training and get licensed to use these materials.

“I think it’s really a fancy way of doing what every artist does,” Stromberg says. “The result is the same as if I grabbed a chunk of charcoal and drew on paper I was going to detonate.”

Bullet Hole as Abstract Montage

(image via: Saatchi Gallery)

If you didn’t know what you were looking at, this piece by Mat Collishaw might look like some kind of abstract painting. Then you realize it’s hair, skin and the gore left behind by a speeding bullet. It’s one large photo made up of 15 frames, mounted on light boxes for extra in-your-face effect.  Of the image, taken from a pathology textbook, Collishaw says, “There’s a religious beauty and animal sexuality in something so abhorrent.” Not all would agree, but it’s a powerful image nonetheless.

“Bullet Proof Vest” Created from Bullets

(images via: Art from the Soul)

Artist Ross Rodriquez made this ‘bulletproof vest’ with 30 caliber rifle shells. The artist, who usually works in printmaking and film, often explores the theme of gun violence in urban America.

Bullet Elephant

(image via: Derek Farr)

Spotted by Derek Farr at the Detroit Zoo, this elephant is a little… different than the ones roaming around outside. It’s a sculpture created by Mary Engel, who says of her creation, ” Elephants have become endangered due to the “gold” of the elephant, its ivory tusks. The bullets which make this sculpture are beautiful but menacing, as they remind us of humans’ destruction of exotic creatures”.

Annunci

Knitty Gritty: 15 Works of Knit Art and Graffiti

30 Giu

knit_main

If you thought knitting was a hobby only suited for the bored, the boring and the borderline senile, think again. It takes plenty of smarts to be a knit-wit and these 15 crafty creations prove those who wield the needles are anything but woolly-minded.

Dave Cole’s Big Idea

knit_2a(image via: Daily Serving)

Dave Cole thinks knitting is going to be big someday, but he’s not waiting for that day to come. Instead, Cole uses unusual materials and inflated scales – as in the Construction Knitting piece shown above. Cole employed a pair of John Deere excavators and custom-made, 2-foot long knitting needles to create the jumbo-sized American flag in time for 4th of July celebrations in 2005.

knit_2b(image via: The Knitting Machine)

Cole continues to tour the art exhibition circuit, showcasing what he calls “Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting” and adding to his extensive portfolio. Consider the baby’s snowsuit made from a recycled, hand-knitted Gulf War kevlar bulletproof vest and you’ll get an idea of what Cole’s getting at.

Knit Rhymes with…

knit_1(images via: Craftbits and Naida’s Crochet)

Tell Naida you don’t like her knitted crap and you might just get a needle where the sun don’t shine. Ordering one of her poop plushies is another story, however. As for WHY you’d order one (or more), one source suggests it “makes a nice potty training helper.” Those not into traumatizing their kids might use it as a toilet paper cozy.

C’thulhu Waits, Knitting

knit_3(images via: SickSickCityWell isn’t it nice? and Dark Roasted Blend)

It may be that some knitters wish to weave weirdly – call it Anti-Knitting for want of a better term. Some go for horror, and what could be more horrible than Great C’thulhu, dreaded leader of the Great Old Ones from writer H.P. Lovecraft’s famous yarns (sorry)? The above selection of knitted C’thulhus (C’thulhi?) look to have leaped directly from the needles of Morticia Adams – though they’re really kinda c’ute.

Hair of the (Sheep)Dog

knit_4(image via: If it’s hip, it’s here)

“Better a sweater from a dog you know and love than from a sheep you’ll never meet.” So true! And, eminently practical – why vacuum up shed dog hair when it can be knitted into an arf-arf scarf? Sure it seems wrong on several different levels but there’s no law against it – besides, people wear human-hair wigs.

Class Acts

knit_5a(image via: CraftyHedgehog)

Etsy is a great source of the weird and the wild, and memberCraftyHedgehog has got both of those categories pinned down like high school biology dissection projects with these, er, knitted high school biology dissection projects.

knit_5b(image via: CraftyHedgehog)

Both the lab rat and frog (above) gain an extra shot of realism through their being mounted on actual aluminum dissection trays lined with black wax. The trays are new of course, anything else would be gross.

Stupid Cupid

knit_6(image via: InventorSpot)

Cupid’s arrow missed the bullseye – again? Got a hate on for the heart man? Get revenge on the bowman of romance with theHangman Purse. This cool anti-Valentine’s Day gift comes with a 43-inch noose to hang him high – literally, as it’s made of hemp.

Knit Safe for Work

knit_7(image via: Patricia Waller)

Forgive the play on words, these knit-marish creations by Patricia Waller are safe to see though they depict a number of “accidents” one wouldn’t expect to see portrayed in acrylic & wool. Waller also delves into other somewhat disturbing scenes such as a pair of knitted dentures forever floating in a gelatin-filled bottle.

Knit One, Pearl Two, Exhale

knit_8(image via: Jackrabbit)

Other woven works that go way, way beyond samplers and quilts include these cozy lungs, obviously from a non-smoker. The artist has taken special care to render the many individual alveoli with great detail, almost as if they had real lungs to observe.

Woolly Minded?

knit_9(image via: The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art)

Karen Norberg is not a knit-wit and she’s crafted the above anatomically correct human brain to prove it. Mind you, there are about a billion other ways to assert one’s intelligence but Norberg just wanted to be different. As long as she keeps her fiendishly sharp crocheting hooks out of my cortex, she’s welcome to “operate” any way she likes. Marjorie Taylor is another Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Artist (SAFBA, for short) who knits quilts based on PET scans. No actual pets were harmed in the knitting of this art.

Gut Feelings

knit_10(image via: Strange But Trewe)

Not getting enough fiber in your diet? Then the Knitted Digestive System is just what you need! Detailed instructions and a pattern are listed… assuming, of course, you can stomach the results.

Animal Mag-knit-ism

knit_11(images via: Softie Making and F.Pea)

Moving slightly away from the organic, we find this cute knitted Star-Nosed Mole. It’s one of my favorite creatures, just slightly behind the Platypus, and thanks to this charming pattern by Fawn Pea it’s destined to be yours as well.

Fuzzi Ferrari

knit_12(image via: Richard Hindes)

The above prefabricated Ferrari – emphasis on the fabric – will have everyone but the police shouting “pullover!” Seriously, this takes weaving through traffic to a new level but if worse comes to worsted one could hit the corduroy roads in four wool drive. Art studentLauren Porter (who’s probably heard all these puns and more) used 12 miles of red yarn in knitting the life-size faux Ferrari and the project took her over 10 months to complete.

EXTERMIKNIT!

knit_13(images via: Entropy House and Sherlock.42)

Those wacky Brits are at it again, knitting up an invading force of soft, cuddly Daleks. The cybernetic villains of the long-running BBC series Doctor Who seem to be a favorite subject of UK knitters for some reason. The pattern is downloadable in a range of formats for those who feel moved to knit up their own fluffy invasion force.

Yarn Wars

knit_14a(image via: Official Star Wars Blog)

These Star Wars Amigurumi dolls depict Star wars cast members (from left) Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia, Yoda, Chewbacca and Han Solo. Is it a trip to knit Star Wars dolls? No… it’s a trap!

knit_14b(images via: Nolens Volens Knittingjlrose70 and Fandomania)

Star Wars makes a great subject for knitters as it’s become a pop culture phenomenon. The above selection of Star Wars themed knit hats & sweaters ensure the force will always be with you. or at least, ON you.

Harvey, Is That You?

knit_15(images via: Trendhunter and Gelitin)

The best way to end is with a big finish, and when it comes to knitting there’s not much bigger than this 200-ft long pink bunny rabbit. The sculpture was knitted by a team of women under the direction of Gelitin, an Italian art collective and placed on the slope of a mountain in northern Italy. It’ll be there until the year 2025, barring some giant alien kid noticing it and throwing a tantrum. The sides of the rabbit are 20-ft. tall… you can see a person sleeping on its belly where the navel would be. The rabbit has its internal organs spilling out, as if it fell out of the sky to its death. Nice, Gelitin.

Amazing and Creative Book Cover Art and Design

30 Giu

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it can be unavoidable. The cover of a book can often make a strong first impression that is hard to ignore. Those who have had a lifelong love affair with books know the thrill of running their fingertips down a spine cloaked in rich mahogany leather. However, there are some books so cleverly designed that they captivate even the casual bookstore browser.

Travel and History

book2

book5

book4

(images via aesopJohn Prattwmsh_kiwi)

A good book often has the ability to pull us into a different place and time. This unique Thames Tunnel book was used to promote the tunnel when it opened in 1843. It now calls Bristol reference library home. The holes in the cover of John Harrison and His Chronometer were meant to show off the artwork inside, but in the right lighting, cause the images to glow seductively. Other books can literally help you find your way with a map that doubles as a cover.

A Celebration of Art

book1

book12

(images via Unhindered by TalentnormanackKaDeWeGirl)

Artistic book covers tend to intrigue us and make us want to know more. Not only are they interesting to look at, we also are drawn in to the deeper meaning of the art. These book covers speak to us through mysterious subtleties.

DIY Crafty Covers

book6

book7

book8

(images via ejhogbinandymangolddakiniWildGuruLarry)

People who love arts and crafts often create their own stunning cover designs. A cute book cover can be knitted or crocheted, painted, distressed or weathered. Some books aren’t for reading at all, but contain pressed botanical treasures.

The Bold and Bizarre

book10

book11

(images via christophercarfiBeigeAlertdebaird)

Artists often use humor and oddities in book cover designs to attract interest and capture an audience. The shock value is striking and may cause readers to have a look, but these books must deliver on the promises their covers imply to keep readers engaged.

Sensational Books That Pop and Prickle

book13

book14

book9

(images via unhinderedunforthIrisDragon)

Who didn’t love pop-up books as a kid? Books that pop when you open the cover offer a surprise that others don’t. Some books don’t save the 3-D thrill for the inside and outwardly present it for everyone to see. These books are interesting to look at and touch, but may not offer much literary value. Those of us who love to curl up with a good read might enjoy the superficial sensory experiences these books offer, but will have to keep looking for substance.

Subversive Works of Urban Guerrilla Street Art

30 Giu

It’s all too easy to get stuck in a routine, walking through the city on autopilot without even noticing what’s around you. Urban guerrilla street artists seek to shake things up, force you to take a second look, change your preconceptions about your everyday surroundings. These ten artists use the streets as an untapped setting for personal artwork, call attention to social issues and question what kind of behavior is ‘appropriate’ in elevators, subways and retail stores.

Street Art That Makes You Look Twice by Mark Jenkins

mark-jenkins-3

mark-jenkins-2

mark-jenkins-1

mark-jenkins-4

mark-jenkins-5
(images via: xmarkjenkinsx)

Ducks made of packing tape, floating in a puddle. A man seemingly putting his head through a concrete wall. The startling contrast of cheerful balloons tied to what looks like a dead body. These are all among the creative urban art installations that come from the mind of street artist Mark Jenkins, who treats public space like one big blank canvas.

Jenkins told art critic Brian Sherwin, “There is opposition, and risk, but I think that just shows that street art is the sort of frontier where the leading edge really does have to chew through the ice. And it’s good for people to remember public space is a battleground, with the government, advertisers and artists all mixing and mashing, and even now the strange cross-pollination taking place as street artists sometimes become brands, and brands camouflaging as street art creating complex hybrids or impersonators.”

Curbside Cabinet Trojan Horse

curbside-cabinet

(image via: Lucas Murgida)

It seemed like an especially lucky curbside find: a nice, modern, brand-new cabinet left on the sidewalk for somebody to claim and take home. But, it wasn’t any ordinary cabinet. Artist Lucas Murgida hid inside and waited until he was taken to a private space to emerge.

Of the project, Murgida said, “Often the city seems to be ours alone to experience and we assume that it is in turn ours for the taking. This sensibility is made evident in the U.S. by the often-quoted phrase, ‘Possession is 9/10 of the law.’ This means that the person who is not in possession of an item must prove that it is rightfully theirs… A person is not sure how to look at the object at first, but will usually fall back on the golden rule of U.S. culture (finders keepers, losers weepers) and claim it to be theirs. I am hoping to subvert the ‘finder’s’ personal space by claiming it to be my own public space.”

Subtle Yet Subersive Art Interventions by SpY

spy-1

spy-2

spy-3

(images via: dornob)

Spanish artist SpY subtly alters ordinary objects in urban environments, sometimes to make a statement and sometimes just for the fun of it. He describes his work as a “playful reappropriation of urban elements”, replicating them or transforming them in his studio and then installing them in the streets. He seeks to break through the automated monotony of everyday urban life and get people to notice things as if for the first time.

An Army of Fake Best Buy Employees

best-buy-stunt

(images via: Improv Everywhere)

Best Buy from ImprovEverywhere on Vimeo.

It was a fairly simple experiment: inserting dozens of people dressed like employees into a Manhattan Best Buy to see what would happen. The group Improv Everywhere gathered volunteers together, asked them to wear khakis and a very specific shade of blue polo shirt, and smuggled cameras inside the store to film the reaction. The ‘agents’ simply spread out in the store and stood around. If customers asked them a question, they answered as best they could. If employees asked what they were doing, they replied, “I’m waiting on a friend.”

As expected, the real Best Buy employees were confused at first… but then they became frightened. Convinced that the prank was some kind of elaborate heist, one frantic employee began shrieking “Thomas Crown Affair! Thomas Crown Affair!” Their hidden camera rig was discovered and the security guard called 911. All because a group of people were wearing blue polo shirts and khakis.

Subway Swing Disguised as a Bag

swing-disguised-as-bag

(images via: Conflux Festival)

Paranoia reigns on New York City subways, but one artist wanted to bring back fun, innocence and laughter. So, flouting the “if you see something, say something” dictate of the Transportation Authority, she created a swing disguised as a bag that can be hooked around the handrail.

“I hope that the innocent amusement of swinging on the subway eclipses the atmosphere of suspicion and insulation that random searches (and the motto “if you see something say something”) produces. May playful engagement in public space provide a plausible alternative to the monotony of routine!”

Trash: Any Color You Like

trash

(images via: anycoloryoulike)

Neon pink with white polka dots certainly help trash bags stand out from their surroundings, highlighting just how many of them there really are in an urban environment. It also provides a pop of bright, fun color in what can otherwise be a dreary cityscape. New York-based artist Adrian Kondratowicz has distributed these biodegradable bags around New York City and in several countries around the world, hoping to raise environmental awareness and beautify urban spaces at the same time.

The Random Lift Button

random-lift-button

(image via: arch-os)

Do you always need to know exactly where you’re going? Sometimes, it’s therapeutic to give into chaos and randomness. Chris Speed of Arch-OS created the ‘random lift button’ so you can remove yourself from the system that has placed a premium on time and space, aimlessly wandering so as to enjoy a more complete experience.

Arch-OS explains, “Lifts become a temporal slippage in the experience of a building as a whole, we skip space and avoid people, places and the opportunity to see the ‘whole’. Indeed corridors and stairwells are recognized as the most important social spaces within businesses and many more negotiations and affairs occur between office spaces than within them.”

Trees Transformed into Giant Carrots

carrots-trees

(image via: Ads of the World)

With the simple addition of ridged orange containers, six tall and thin trees in Portland were transformed instantly into carrots, luring passers-by to read the stickers – advertising a local farmer’s market – and salivate over the thought of crisp, fresh produce. This installation was a subtle advertisement, but also added a sense of whimsy to an otherwise unremarkable urban street.

Literal ‘Street Art’ by Roadsworth

roadster-1

roadster-2-3

roadster-4

roadster-5

(images via: Jalopnik)

The street itself is a blank canvas offering virtually unlimited opportunities for artistic expression, whether to communicate, beautify or engage. Street artist Roadsworth takes full advantage of this space, and his work has evolved over the years from anti-car sentiments in his hometown of Montreal to fun, ironic and sometimes thought-provoking imagery.

FILEangels Deliver Kits for Traffic Jam Fun

filekit

(images via: Guerilla Innovation)

When you’re stuck in a traffic jam, you tend to sit around, bored and impatient, waiting for the chance to get out. A Dutch group of architects called Artgineering doesn’t see why we shouldn’t relax and have some fun while we’re waiting. The group had motorcycle-riding ‘FILEangels’ distribute ‘FILEkits’ (file is Dutch for traffic jam) containing items like a water pistol, a bible and a condom to bored motorists free of charge. The idea was to turn a negative situation into a positive one, giving motorists a reason to step out of their cars and interact with each other.

Awesome Messiness: Incredible Sloppy Artwork

30 Giu

It takes a special kind of person to actively pursue a messy career, be they a port-o-potty cleaner or a technician on an oil rig. Messy artists, you know, ones who cherish a sloppy line here and a paint splotch there, their canvases falling apart at the weight of their paint, belong in those ranks. And while the simple beauty of a clean line is certainly something to be cherished, so are the messy splotches of these dirty artists.

Angels With Dirty Faces

pic_2

pic_3

pic_4

(images via Mike Booker)

pic_5

pic_6

(image via Mark Welsh)

pic_8

(image via Paul Leli)

“The eyes are the window to the soul,” goes the famous Proverb. So when a messy artist takes to messing up those eyes, and the rest of a person’s face, what we find staring back at us is scary. Grotesque faces can really be terrifying. They can evoke pity, anger, sadness and confusion. Whatever feeling provoked in the viewer, however, one thing can be sure — as long as the viewer is feeling SOMETHING, the artist succeeds. And be sure that a messily painted face is near impossible to leave a viewer cold and unemotional.

Smudgy Stars

pic_7

(image via Paul Leli)

pic_9

(images via Paul Leli and Lichiban)

pic_10

(images via Paul Leli)

And when that messy face is someone familiar, like a celebrity? Those emotions get all mixed up with conflicting feelings of familiarity and adoration and disgust and interest and whatever else that particular celebrity makes you feel. Depicting famous people in a demented manner is a great way for artists to grab hold of the neck of our pop ‘n celebrity-obsessed culture and shake it and squeeze it while yelling “Hey! Look at me! I can paint pretty well!”

Abstract Mess

pic_11

pic_12

pic_13

pic_14

(images via Listen04)

And when you remove the faces and the celebrity and you’re left with gooey primitive sludge… what feelings are evoked then? Without the complicated emotions that are borne out of a demented, terrifying face, you’re left with the same feeling both children and cave painters share — JOY.

“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.” –  Chuck Palahniuk

Pugnacious Propaganda: 15 Images Of The Art Of War

30 Giu

propaganda2_main

Propaganda has many purposes but paramount is its use to promote war and bolster a united home front. While most people have some acquaintance with their own country’s graphic propaganda – often absorbed into pop culture – that of the “enemy” is far less familiar and thus, somewhat jarring. This selection ofwartime propaganda from friends and foes alike takes no sides; instead it seeks to expose the bombastic, jingoistic and prejudicial properties all propaganda has in common.

American Propaganda’s Mild Side

propaganda2_1(images via: Looking Through The Lens and HubPages)

So-called soft propaganda is mainly concerned with exhorting citizens to join the armed forces and reminding workers of their important duties in munitions production. Iconic anthropomorphic symbols ofAmerican propaganda include Rosie The Riveter and good ol’ Uncle Sam.

Now It’s Personal

propaganda2_2(images via: Looking Through The Lens and The Advertising Archives)

Wartime propagandists turn up the heat when the situation on the battlefield becomes desperate. The above propaganda images are stark and severe, reflecting the tone of the times. Less words and plainer imagery help drive home the all-important message: win at all costs!

Antichrist Of The Axis

propaganda2_12(image via: Art’s Not Dead)

Beautiful yet bizarre, the image above depicts Germany, Italy and Japan killing Jesus Christ! American artist Thomas Hart Benton painted this stunning tableau, titled “Again”, in 1941 immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The painting was one of Benton’s 8-part “The Year In Peril” series whose stated purpose was to awaken Americans to the dangers of fascism.

Spanish Flew

propaganda2_14a(images via: The Visual Front)

The Spanish Civil War that raged from 1936 through 1939 was one of the first modern wars to receive widespread international media coverage. Both sides; Franco’s right-wing Nationalists and the left-wing Socialist government put visual propaganda to good use in extolling their respective causes. Thousands of posters, many of them exquisite works of art, were produced by both sides during the course of the war.

Guernica: A Shout Against The Darkness

propaganda2_14b(images via: Essex Ac)

On occasion the line between graphic propaganda and genuine art is blurred, even broken – such is the case with Pablo Picasso’s modern masterpiece, Guernica. Painted in 1937 following the aerial bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by the German-manned Condor Legion, the immense (11.5 ft. by 25 ft.) painting shouts out against the horrors and injustice of war. The painting was commissioned by Spain’s socialist government following the bombing and was shown around the world, bringing attention to the Republican cause.

Stamps Of Disapproval

propaganda2_3(images via: PsyWarrior)

The wartime OSS (which later became the CIA) was involved in the creation of forged postage stamps which were delivered into Nazi Germany via leaflet bombs. As one part of Operation Cornflakes over one million stamps were printed showing Hitler’s face as a human skull. To fuhrer, er, further get the point across the lettering beneath these stamps was changed from Deutsches Reich to Futsches Reich, or “Collapsed Empire”.

Putting The Kibosh On The Kaiser

propaganda2_4a(images via: MySpace: Kaiser_Wilhelm2Christianna’s BlogVicMart and AllPosters)

Second World War anti-Germany propagandists weren’t starting from scratch. A generation earlier, some surprisingly graphic posters made the rounds as allied governments sought to stoke war fever by demonizing Germany, especially Kaiser Wilhelm II. The French poster of the Kaiser trying to eat the world – and finding it too hard – is typical of the era.

Before Spike TV: Spike Propaganda

propaganda2_4b(images via: King’s College)

Depicting German soldiers for propaganda purposes was easy: simply combine some dastardly deed with a soldier wearing a spike-toppedpickelhaube helmet. Though the pickelhaube was phased out in early 1916, it continued to be used as an identifying feature of Germany and/or Germans for propaganda purposes. This practice can also be questioned as the pickelhaube was used at times by soldiers in the service of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Russia and Sweden.

A Game Two Can Play

propaganda2_5(images via: German Propaganda Archive)

Germany was by no means silent when it came to propaganda – Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels did much more than just write Hitler’s speeches. The above images aimed at Churchill’s Britain come from Lustige Blätter, a popular German humor magazine.

FDR FTW!

propaganda2_6(images via: German Propaganda Archive)

America joined the UK at war in 1941 and almost immediately joined her as a target of Nazi propaganda. Above are a small sampling, once again taken from the pages of Lustige Blätter.

Nuts!!

propaganda2_7(images via: Mark Bando)

Another type of graphic propaganda was aimed directly at troops in the field. The German propaganda leaflet above was fired via rifle grenade into the American positions at Bastogne, Belgium, in December 1944 during the crucial Battle of the Bulge. Bastogne was where the commanding American officer, when presented with a German demand for surrender, famously replied “Nuts!!”

KULTUR-TERROR

propaganda2_8(image via: Art’s Not Dead)

This disturbingly sardonic image was widely reproduced in Germany and occupied countries. There are several variations titled eitherKULTUR-TERROR or LIBERATOR. The color poster above is the most disturbing, portraying the decadent American prodigal son who has crossed the ocean to bring lies, hate and death to Mother Europe. The caption of the poster translates to “USA wants to save Europe’s culture FROM DESTRUCTION?”

Red Star Rising

propaganda2_9(images via: Suggestive)

The USSR boasted a long tradition of vivid graphic propaganda that was employed to support their war effort in World War II. The war in the east began with betrayal and was bitterly fought – Soviet propaganda posters pull no punches: the translated captions on the above posters read, clockwise from upper left, “Kill German Beasts!”, “Warrior of Red Army, save us!”, “That will happen to German beast” and “Death To Fascist Vile Creature!”

Rising Sun Setting

propaganda2_11(images via: King’s CollegeABCChinese Posters and WW2 Shots)

Here is a selection of unusual anti-Japanese propaganda imagery from the World War II. The curious British-made poster at top left warns of Japanese influence in… South America?

propaganda2_10b(image via: Digger History)

Above is an example of Japanese propaganda directed at Australiandiggers fighting in New Guinea and the Pacific islands. Japan’s aim was to create a rift between Australia and the USA by sowing seeds of mistrust.

Propagating Propaganda

propaganda2_13(image via: Art’s Not Dead)

Wartime propaganda is an equal opportunity endeavor – so is war itself – and the above selection of posters is proof. The striking air defense poster at above top left is from Finland; to its right is an anti-American poster issued by the French Communist Party and at top right, a Republican poster from the 1936 Spanish Civil War. Below those, from left to right are posters from Great Britain, Italy and Japan.

War often brings out the worst in humanity yet it can also bring out our best when people unite to defend their country, their families and their way of life from an opposing force who seeks their destruction. The same can be said about wartime propaganda – at worst it’s blatantly offensive, at best it can rally hearts and minds to a common cause.

15 Cool Urban Art Projects and Dreamy Product Designs

30 Giu

Chilean artist and designerSebastian Errazuriz never fails to amaze viewers with his offbeat and sometimes bizarre designs and art installations. Hisurban art has been seen all over Santiago, while his innovativeproduct designs have long been a favorite of design blogs. His projects have won numerous awards, and Errazuriz himself has received a Fulbright grant, a Chilean Presidential scholarship, a New York University scholarship and a Deigo Portales University scholarship.

The Crane Santiago Chile

The Crane

“The Crane” was a large-scale art project erected in Santiago. The twenty-story crane was decorated with 1200 light bulbs as a kind of massive night light, in the tradition of espanta cucos (children’s lamps that frighten away monsters).

The Tree Santiago Chile

The Tree

“The Tree” was a rather beautiful public art project in the middle of Chile’s National Stadium. A 30-foot high living magnolia tree was planted on the spot where, some 30 years ago, dictator Pinochet tortured political prisoners. A week-long exhibit saw the stadium opened as a public park; at the end of the week, a friendly soccer game was played in front of 15,000 spectators with the tree still in the middle of the field.

The Cow Santiago Chile

The Cow

Errazuriz’ “The Cow” was a public spectacle that caused many people to leave their places of work just to see it. A cow was saved from the slaughterhouse, then given a home on a recreated farm on top of a ten-story building. The building was within view of the city’s financial and political headquarters.

Out

But Errazuriz’ talents don’t lie only in urban guerrilla art. He is also a designer who has made some of the most fascinating designs in fashion, furniture, household items and zany novelty items. Above are two pieces from his “Out” series: a birdcage made from a shopping trolley and a fishtank made from a water cooler. In everything that Errazuriz does, he challenges people to see everyday objects from a different angle. These two sculptures are excellent examples of how items that we see everyday can take on an entirely new life under the right circumstances.

Zipper Dress

This dress made entirely of zippers is a fascinating project from Sebastian Errazuriz. The 120 zippers that make up the dress are able to be opened and closed in many configurations, allowing the wearer to customize the dress in seemingly endless styles. It can go from respectable knee-length halter dress to daring two-piece tube-top-and-miniskirt effortlessly. If only all fashion was this adaptable.

Teddy Bear Coat

Teddy Bear Coat design

Until now, if you wanted to wear a faux fur coat you were stuck with a coat that looked like real fur or was made of ugly plastic fibers. But the teddy bear coat dreamed up by Sebastian Errazuriz would ensure that you are kept warm, stylish and exceptionally cuddly. (Don’t worry, though – the bears in the coat all died of natural causes.)

Duck Lamp

Lamps

The household items dreamed up by Errazuriz probably wouldn’t have any place in a home filled with children, but for those of us with a slightly offbeat sense of humor they are perfect. These are just a few of the creative designs that won Errazuriz the honor of being named as a top emerging designer by I.D. Magazine.

Bicycle Seat Bench

Chairs

These innovative seating options probably mean that the designer’s house is a very interesting place to have afternoon tea. The bicycle seat bench, the stool with suction cup feet, and the chairs with injured legs all seem like seats straight out of an Alice in Wonderland-like world.

Mind-Bending Digital Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

30 Giu

erik-johansson-main

In the Age of Photoshop, few images are surprising anymore – but every now and then, you come across one that makes you do a double take and spend a few moments thinking, “how’d they do that?” Swedish photographer Erik Johansson has a portfolio packed full of such images, blending reality and artificiality together so seamlessly, one wonders whether he’s an artist or a magician.

erik-johansson-2

Johansson seems to live in a surreal world where roads unfurl like fabric, giant mirrored objects dangle from the sky, humans spring forth from the soil like potted plants and disturbingly elastic faces pop out of joint to swallow oranges whole.

erik-johansson-4

The Swedish artist takes all of his photos himself and manipulates them digitally in Photoshop CS4, spending 10-20 hours on each photo. “I got my first digital camera when I turned 15, I did some changes to the photos and thought it was fun. But I really started in 2007 when I bought my first SLR camera. That is when I started to do some serious photo manipulations,” Johansson told Abduzeedo.

erik-johansson-3

In an interview with Don’t Panic, Johansson said, “My goal is to make pictures as realistic as possible, but at the same time impossible. Many photographers try to look weird, so I try to make my shots as plausible as possible. I would say I try to use humour a lot and I rarely have a didactic message. Sometimes I want to tell something, but mostly I want people to interpret.”

erik-johansson-5

“A lot of young people think they’re fascinating but the older generation don’t really believe in Photoshop. They think photos should be a pure image. Myself, I’m never satisfied with them but I think that’s a healthy instinct.”

Record Silhouettes: Laser Cut Vinyl Art by Carlos Aires

30 Giu

They may not play music any longer, but these records definitely have something to say. Artist Carlos Aires created this series, entitled “Love is in the Air”, by using a digital process to laser-cut shapes drawn from images of pornography and disaster and juxtaposing them with innocent scenes of animals and children.

It may not be obvious at first, but this laser-cut vinyl art is more than just simple shapes. What is suggested but not shown is just as much a part of each work as the silhouette itself, and even the text on each record imbues subtle meaning – such as the “Touch Me” title on the body of a muscled man.

Mostly known for his photography, Aires is certainly known for deviating from the conventional in his art, which consists of uncommon subjects like dwarfs and parks known for gay sex cruising in a hazy, fairytale-esque style that imitates romantic painting.

Raised in Spain and currently dividing his time between his birth city of Málaga and Antwerp, Belgium, Aires earned an MA in Photography at Ohio State University. His entire portfolio can be viewed on his website, CarlosAires.com.

Pimped Pump Jacks Give The Nod To Urban Oil Art

30 Giu

Mechanical “nodding donkeys” have been grazing the surface of uninhabited oil fields for many decades but in urban settings they can look, well, crude. Making these horsehead pumps look certifiably “citified” often involves local folk art projects that produce unique and even surprising results. Pimp my pump jack? You know the drill.

Pump Jacks of All Trades

(images via: WikimediaRiver Earth and Stormeffects)

Most pump jacks show a family resemblance no matter where they’re located or who manufactures them. This is due to the “walking beam” mechanism that takes a form-follows-function design ethos. Call them nodding donkeys, horsehead pumps or thirsty birds, pump jacks are designed to do one thing and do it repetitively: extract oil from wells where pressure alone isn’t enough to bring oil to the surface. The pump jack above appears to have sprouted a pair of insectile antennae. You’ll find it on display at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, NM.

Season’s Greasings from Lufkin

(image via: Dave Shafer)

Setting up a bright & colorful holiday display? Why not work the local pump jacks into it – makes celebrating the season a much more “moving” experience. Just ask the nice people of Lufkin, Texas. Lufkin’s an oil town… just ask the Mark II 640D pump jack dressed up as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the following video, it’s made by Lufkin Industries. You can find it in the parking lot of the Lufkin Mall in downtown Lufkin.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Pumping Unit, via Derekdz

Six Jacks Over Texas

(images via: C. Gillingham)

Drop in to the Texas panhandle town of Borger and you’ll find a classic combination of friendly people and hard-working pump jacks – or is it friendly pump jacks and hard-working people? I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Borger a number of times in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and I recall being awed by the the red, white & blue, All-American pump jack just outside the Borger Chamber of Commerce. Since then it seems there are others scattered about the town; the ones shown above each proudly bear the colors of a nation whose flag once flew above what is now Texas.

The Luling Class

(images via: WikimediaRoadside America and Otter & Moose)

Not to be outdone is the town of Luling, Texas. This small town of 5,000 is blessed with nature’s bounty both below ground and above – oil and watermelons, to be exact. To show the world what Luling’s all about, town authorities had a 154 ft high water tower painted up like a watermelon and affixed colorful painted plywood cutouts to many pump jacks nodding away within city limits.

Everything’s Big in Texas…

(image via: Carly Whelan)

Even the bugs! A swarm of locusts, each this large, would certainly be a plague of biblical proportions. Luckily the smiling beastie above is firmly attached to a Luling pump jack AND he’s the only one of his kind. Amen to that.

Old School Nodding Donkey

(images via: ESC and Wikipedia)

Nodding donkeys can be found wherever oil lurks underground. Take the patriotic Petrobras pump jack above, located at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte Campus in Natal, Brazil. It isn’t easy to keep pump jacks looking as nice as the day they were assembled – blistering sun and pouring rain take their toll on paint and metal. This particular pump jack shows signs of TLC, right down to the color-coordinated fence that surrounds it.

Powering the City

(image via: Hubpages)

How many pump jacks are there in South America? At least a Brazilian! This nattily striped pump jack in Salvador, Bahia, nods slowly to and fro while traffic speeds back and forth along the city’s wide avenues – original source and end users, side by side. One wonderswhat would happen should an out-of-control car or truck take out the pump jack… maybe that’s why it looks a lot like a road construction sign.

The Kowtow Pump

(images via: View On Canadian Art and Public Art in Chicago)

How much oil could a pump jack pump if a pump jack could pump oil? None… if it’s one of the decommissioned oil pumping units used by Shen Shaomin for his 2007 “Kowtow Pump” outdoor art exhibit at North Boeing Gallery, Millennium Park in Chicago. According to Shaomin, the camouflage-painted industrial sculpture was meant to be “a commentary of our dependence on oil and it’s impact on environment.”

Watch the Birdies

(images via: Statemasters and TX Roadrunners)

The pump jack above top, painted up to look like a smiling toucan, resembles those glass novelty items partially filled with colored alcohol that bob up and down… but you knew that. Is it any wonder one of the nicknames for pump jacks is “thirsty bird”? Just below it is another pumpjack from Luling, TX, sporting the distinctive plumage of the American Eagle.

A Savage Beauty

(images via: Corbis Images and LIFE)

Sometimes the temptation to soften, even anthropomorphize, our rough-edged mechanical servants is resisted and when that happens the results can be surprisingly pleasing. Though we may live cheek-by-jowl with the tools of our technological success, the jarring concurrence of urban & industry can take on an alm