For some artists, attempting to express creativity through traditional mediums such as paints, ceramics, metal or glass, imposes too many limitations on what they can achieve. From the large formaldehyde tanks employed by Damien Hirst to the striking trash-based works of Tom Deininger, a fascinating range of mediums and techniques are in use by modern artists, allowing them to create ingenious works that also say something profound about the world in which we live. Do try this at home.
Guy Laramée – Books
Known as topographical literary sculptures, Laramee’s breathtaking range of landscapes carved from books depict mountains, canyons, underground caverns and icy glaciers. All the work is done by hand using everything from sand blasters and chainsaws to rotary tools and surgical scalpels. Paints, pastels and beeswax are then used to add color, bringing the landscapes to life.
By using old dictionaries and encyclopedias as the basis for his carvings, Laramee’s work poses questions about the degradation of human culture as the knowledge such tomes contained can now be found online. It also provides a possible use for any old books you have lying around your own home.
Titus Edwards – Smoke
Party tricks with smoke have been around since the invention of the cigarette but the unique qualities of the dense, toxin-free white clouds produced while vaping has led to the rise of artists like Titus Edwards. Able to create multiple rings, jellyfish and a range of other creations that defy both gravity and the laws of aerodynamics, videos of Edwards and other leading vape artists are now attracting millions of views on YouTube and Instagram.
It’s an art form that is not only new but also readily accessible: simply load up on suitable supplies from a reputable outlet like this vape store and then practice in front of a mirror until you can create dazzling designs of your own.
Motoi Yamamoto – Salt
Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto’s choice of medium reflects the symbolic importance of salt in his native culture where its uses go far beyond the culinary. In Japan, salt is believed to be both sacred and cleansing. Sumo wrestlers scatter it into the ring before each match, expectant mothers will bathe in salt water to purify themselves before childbirth and it is scattered at funerals to drive away evil spirits.
Yamamoto uses thin lines of salt to create vast, stunning geometric patterns and labyrinths that demand attention but also engender a sense of meditation. Despite the vast amount of work involved producing his creations, Yamamoto insists the salt is always returned to the sea when the exhibition ends.
Chakaia Booker – Tires
Booker first began creating sculptures from discarded industrial tires in the early 1990s, twisting, cutting and weaving them into radical and complex new forms. Her work explores themes of growing ecological concerns and globalization but also gender, race and the growth of the throwaway consumer culture. Some of her works are vast and imposing while others are small and wearable. Whenever she appears in public she will invariably be wearing one of her own creations, as well as the distinctive headdress she generally favors.