Thursday, March 27, 2014


Over and under sized things always provokes interest in people, seeing familiar objects in the wrong context. This fascinates me too. Claes Oldenburg, in collaboration with Coosje van Bruggen, is one artist who uses scale in his works, enlarging everyday objects to monumental size in his sculptures, which creates interest, awe and humour.

"The paradox is intensified by the use on a grand scale of small-scale subjects known from intimate situations--an approach which tends in turn to reduce the scale of the real landscape to imaginary dimensions."Claes Oldenburg

‘The Pop artists’ play with transformations of scale and interest in everyday objects and images isolated, typified and intensified their subject matter.” Robert Kaupelis 

I particularly like the ones caught in action. Not only are they taken out of context and enlarged, but they are also frozen in time, which adds an extra element of curiosity. Such as his Dropped bowl, Big Sweep and Flying Pins.

Free stamp
Buried Bicycle

Soft large apple core

Flying Pins
Big Sweep
Oldenburg also has a soft sculptures collection, which turns usually hard objects into soft material sculptures.

Soft Beetle
Soft food sculptures

Radford Wallis is another artist who has upscaled everyday stationary items as an architectural feature in an office building to cleverly divide up the huge space.
Radford Wallis
Similarly with Jun Kitagawa, who has installed giant zippers as installations to "unzip" a space.
Jun Kitagawa- unzipped
Nicola Freeman has made these fun sculptures of oversized lollies with a similar meaning and commenting on consumerism.

It also works the other way, such as bins, paperclips or shopping trolleys shrunk down for use as stationary items.
Uncapped pen and pencil holder

William Betts

William Betts pushes the boundaries of painting by using digital and industrial technology to create interesting paintings in a pointillist style using a computer robot to place coloured paint in dots on a canvas. This gives them a CCTV look, the inspiration for his surveillance series. His line series also uses digital technology innovatively to create abstract images using colour pixel samples from photographs and stretching them across the canvas. As Betts says "The resulting paintings capture and amplify the essence of the view by focusing on their organic rhythms and color relationships while removing other objective information."
 More information on how he creates them here.

The CNC machine applying paint
Untitled, Swimming Pool, 2012, acrylic on canvas
Ipanema Beach, 2011
In Plain Site
Interview with William Betts

Monday, March 24, 2014

Judith Braun

New York artist, Judith Braun creates huge wall murals drawn using just her fingers dipped in graphite and charcoal. She uses symmetry in a lot of her works and her out stretched arms to create the symmetry in the bigger symmetrical works. From afar her landscapes look detailed and whole yet on close inspection it is all completed with her fingerprints in a pointillist way. I love the rhythm and patterns in  her work and of course something made from an unlikely technique. It is similar to artists who use their bodies to create performance drawings, such as Heather Hansen and Tony Orrico.

Wild wall: The full extent of Braun's landscape at the Chrysler Museum of Art

Images via

Fingering #19
Fingering # 18
Fingering #16, 2012
Finished work
Performance Art previous post

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Performance Drawing

Heather Hansen uses her whole body and charcoal, combining dance with art, to create these performance drawings, in a live performance. The result is symmetrical, concentric pieces, resembling a Rorschach test, that have recorded her dance-like movements on large pieces of paper combining her love of dance and visual art. Check out her videos of the process including one on sand.

'Empty Gestures '- Studio Gallery
Ochi Gallery
'Empty Gestures'- Grand Isle
'Empty Gestures'
Ochi Gallery
In a similar style, Tony Orrico, also uses movement in his performance drawings to link choreography and visual art. Likened to Da Vinci's  Vitruvian Man, Orrico creates symmetrical drawings using his body and pencils. Check out his videos to fully appreciate his work.

Penwald Drawings- '8 Circles'

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Shaun Tan

I first came across Shaun Tan when the students at school were using The Rabbits in history. I thought his illustrations in the book where great. I love the use of space and large areas in his images along with the depiction of the strange animals etc. It's perfect as a school resource. He has done a lot of other great picture books all with a surreal look that is Shaun Tan's great technique. Some of the stuff he does has a Mambo look about it, the same uncanny style..

The Rabbits
The Red Tree“Without sense or reason” oils, acrylic and collage on paper.
Memorial‘The Unreturned’ graphite pencil on paper collage.
It floats gently above suburban rooftops... inspiring lonely dogs to bark in the middle of the night.' from Tales From Outer Suburbia
'Flock' pencil on paper from 'The Arrival'
Four Seasons- Pencil on paper from 'The Arrival'
Not only is he a great illustrator but he has some great paintings too.. Many influenced from his home town Perth. On his painting and illustrations he says:

"All of my work as an illustrator is based either directly or indirectly upon direct observation from life. I spend as much time as I can producing singular paintings, often semi-abstracted, but almost always drawn from things I know well; familiar landscapes, objects and people.
There is often a more direct relationship between observation and painting: typically I'm trying to find a visual equivalent to a subject in paint, rather than simply reproducing what I see. This often involves drawing and painting a series of forms, and then stripping them back to something essential.
I don’t think it would be possible to keep my illustrative work energised without the kind of visual and emotional training that can only be acquired through routine sketching from life. Of course, the boundaries between the illustration and painting frequently blur - and they are already vague, arbitrary categories. Perhaps the main difference is that a painting is more self-sufficient as a singular idea, outside of any other narrative. A good painting is it's own silent statement."

Mount Lawley rooftop-  (detail) 2001, acrylic & oil on canvas. A late summer afternoon view, painted from the roof of a house I was renting at the time.
Estuary1997, hession sacking, plaster, wood, canvas acrylic and oils on board (partially scorched), 110 x 130cm. An impression of a flat, estuarine landscape in Australind, Western Australia.
Norseman1996, found objects, old tins, oils, beeswax, rocks and red dust, 80 x 80cm. A 'landscape painting' made from material found in the actual landscape, near the remote town of Norseman in WA, where my brother worked as a geologist.

Fideli Sundqvist

Swedish image maker, prop designer & paper artist, Fideli Sundqvist creates these amazing paper sculptures!

Paint Splash- Love this one!!
Suitcase Town- This is inside a suitcase
She also does some great Illustration that has found its was onto cards, crockery etc..

Monday, March 17, 2014

Jose Romussi

Jose Romussi has used old black and white photographs of dancers and embroided colourful stitching over the images to create a new dimension and playfulness to the image. The colourful stitching seems to energise the image emphasising and bringing to life the dancers costume. He loves experimenting and finding new techniques always using his work to find new ideas. More images of other embroided photographs found here.

Hand embroided vintage print