Monday, 29 July 2013

Daily objects: making the unusual from very usual

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The inspiration of this post comes from Moscow's Grinberg Gallery and its show Krasnodar: Transforming Reality (Feb-April 2013).


I am fascinated by the creativity of some artists making very "dull" objects look quite unordinary. 
Untitled, Elena Saenko, From the Rustling series, C-print, 2008
Source: Grinberg Gallery

This is how daily utilitarian objects turn into incredible pieces of art in hands of Elena Saenko who spotted beauty in cellophane bags and garbage.

Elena is not the only one converting plastic bags into eloquent art objects. In the same exposition works of another Krasnodar artist Sergey Lutsenko bags look like alien shiny jelly fishes that came to invade the planet:

Untitled, Sergey Lutsenko, New kind series, Duratrans print, light box2009

Floating pink plastic bag, but by Beatrice Jansen:

Naomi White and her Rustling series:

Edi Go's Elastic:

To Dutch artist Heldrik Kerstens bags remind medieval head wear as is shown on the photo below.

Ordinary becoming unordinary

Elena Saenko's works also remind those of Alberto Sevesso or Luka Klikovac - the photographs of ink dropped into water, which in turns remind Sonic Sculptures by Dusseldorf-based artist Martin Klimas. 

Alberto Sevesso, A Due Colori, Digital photo
Luka Klikovac, AlterActio 13

Luka Klikovac, AlterActio 15

Martin Klimas experiments with sound and motion forcing static objects to change their nature: be it some paint raised up by sound or fragmented porcelains that become dynamic objects for a millisecond.

Martin Klimas, Sonic Sculptures, Digital photo, 2012 

Martin Klimas, Sonic Sculptures, Digital photo, 2012 

High-speed photography technology enabled Martin Klimas to make his Porcelain Figurines series by capturing dropped from a three-meter height porcelain figures

Seoul-based ceramist Yee Sookyung patches shattered pieces together filling the empty space with epoxy and gold leaf. These uniquely shaped objects could be of different dimensions and despite the apocalyptic look to me still have a positive connotation

Kei Takemura, a Japanese artist based in Berlin, also has a passion to broken objects. Each broken object has a story behind. You can discover them all here

Kei Takemura, For mother of L.S.&N.S. Source: artist's website
Kei Takemura, Renovated Cake Plate, 2004. Source: artist's website

Brazilian artist Sandra Shashou abstract sculptures Broken made out of vintage porcelain adhere to two-color palette are probably inspired by Mike Kelley's John Glenn Memorial Detroit River Reclamation Project - a glass pieces were found at Detroit's riverside -the reminiscent of a waste dump of the 1920s and 1930s.

 Sandra Shashou, Broken - White and Gold, 15,7x15,7x7,9 in. Image source: Saatchi Online
 Sandra Shashou, Broken - White and Gold, 25,6x25,6x9,8 in. Image source: Saatchi Online

Living in China Stefano Ogliari Badessi gets inspired from this country's ancient traditions and porcelain making technique. While mentioned earlier Yee Sookyung rebuilds destroyed pieces, he merges the undamaged pieces together.  

Stefano Ogliari Badessi, Spherical postcards from Shanghai, porcelain sculpture. Image source: Saatchi Online

A Vietnamese-American artist Diem Chau uses cups instead of hoops to make her small embroideries. Seeing one of her works at Galleria Patricia Armicida in Milan recently reminded me of another artist's, Kirill Khrustalev, show Neighbours at Pechersky galley in Winzavod I have seen in July 2013.

 Diem Chau, Shadow, 2012, Porcelain cup, organza and thread
Diem Chau, Shadow, 2012, Porcelain cup, organza and thread
 Kirill Khrustalev, Cup with Banded Ear, 2011
Kirill Khrustalev, Caterpillar, 2011

Ai Weiwei's 2010 porcelain sunflower seed installation at Tate Modern is not only a shocking experience of walking in enormous space filled by millions of seeds but also   an elaborate and community work that united and gave work to hundreds of people back in China. The first video is a short video clip about the show while the second is a 15-minute documentary about the process. 

Continuing the topic of multiplication, I want to get back to Elena Saenko and her use of a kaleidoscope "to transform the foulest wastes and garbage surrounding every person into ingenious ornaments." Overall, she has not discovered anything new as kaleidoscopes have been recently widely used in advertisement, arts and even fashion events (e.g., during Roberto Cavalli MFW Spring-Summer 2013 cocktail presentation guests had a chance to take a photo through kaleidoscope) yet the idea of "glamorizing" the waste is something new. 

Elena Saenko, From the series "Crystallization. Patterns of life". 2012, Pigment print on FineArt Pearl

Elena Saenko, From the series "Crystallization. Patterns of life". 2012, Pigment print on FineArt Pearl

Site-specific installations that remind big mosaics from New-York based artist Lisa Hoke usually involve plastic cups and packaging materials. Fantastic! If curious, this is how she made her installation  “We’re lost, but we’re making good time” (a quotation from a baseball player Yogi Berra; to learn more about the background story, click herefor North Carolina Museum of Art.

Source: My Modern Net

"Смотришь в книгу, видишь..." * 

How many of us were highlighting a text body, filing sides of a book's pages with some notes when studying or even drawing something on a book's margins like Russian poet Pushkin used to do all the times? Some artists went further by creating some magnificent pieces expanding the boundaries of how a book can be perceived... 

Brian Dettmer, Smith’s Scientific Series, 2011, Hardcover books with pedestal, 28” x 10-1/2” x 10-1/2” - Image Courtesy of the Artist and Kinz + Tillou Fine Art

Brian Dettmer, The Facts on File, 2011, Hardcover book, acrylic medium, 9-1/2" x 8-1/8" x 2-1/2" - Image Courtesy of the Artist and Packer Schopf


Guy Lapamee, Grand Larousse (2010)


Guy Lapamee, THE WEB (The Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of English Language). Carved dictionary, tints, paint (covers), copper holder. 2012. 11,5 x 9 x 23 inches


 Isaac G. Salazar, Dream

  Isaac G. Salazar, Create

  Isaac G. Salazar, aaaah!

*here, I have used a difficult to translate famous Russian saying that involve a word "book" that link with the post on books, an English equivalent would be "Light are one, but nobody's home". 

In The Shadows

Everything and everyone, apart Count Dracula and Invisible Man, have shadows and some artists see much more than grey obscurity touching topics of recycling (Rashad Alakbarov), consumerism (Fred Eerdeken), provocation, humor and self-irony (the duet of Noble & Webster) and romanticism and eloquence (Kumi Yamashita). 

Kumi Yamashita, From A to Z, Carved wood, single light source, shadow, 2011

Rashad Alakbarov, 2012

Fred Eerdekens, Holy Spirit Come Home, Table, groceries, 2 light projectors, 1997

Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Metal Fucking Rats, welded scrap metal, light projector, 2006


Artists like Fred Eerdekens from Belgium and Seung Mo Park from S. Korea are found of wire and I am found of their works!

Fred Eerdekens, ooohaaah, Bronze, candle, candle stick, 2004

Seung Mo Park


Benjamin Shine creates his sculptures using light tulle fabric and an iron. 


Wim Delvoye's Tire-Art

Tara Donovan and her Untitled sculptures and Installations

artist talks about her art and why she does not give titles to her works

2009 relief prints made with nails

Anette Messager works by intuition and uses objects she collects on the streets of Paris to make her art pieces. 

New York-based artist Michael Mapes creates magic: a collection of meticulously pinned random objects such as glass, cut paper, dried botanical matter, insect pins from afar turn into portraits, some might be even familiar to you... 


Making art from candies, toys, sauces or pieces of junk is what Brazilian artist and photographer Vik Muniz is famous for.

 Narcissus after Caravaggio. Wasteland project
Medusa after Caravaggio
Don Quixote in his Study, after William Lake Price c. 1890 (from Rebus), 2004
Click here to zoom and see all the details of this work

Satoshi Hirosi uses unremarkable small pieces to make his art “defined as an art that invents […] a unique aesthetic code or behavior by rearranging small fragments.”

Source: Artsy

The quest for the daily objects: making the unusual from very usual continues...


  1. Incredible similarity btw Naomi White's photos I've found on Saatchi Online ( and Elena Saenko from Krasnodar I saw at Winzavod's Grinberg Gallery

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