The Columbia-born, France-based contemporary artist Ivan Argote works in a range of media that includes painting, photography, sculpture, and video. Little wonder I’d be partial to this recent poetic installation, “Excerpt: Tell me Lies”—which may look like a serendipitously fractured urban wall, but is, in fact, a carefully composed hybrid of architecture and text, realized in concrete, paint, polyurethane, and steel.
“When English is not your first language, words can often sound conspicuous. I thought the word “exit” was the same as “exile.” Both words signify…a threshold you are crossing, not only physically, but symbolically as well.” Columbian artist Nicolas Consuegra, who spent formative creative years in New York City, knows something about feeling displaced—and finding expression in a modified Exit sign installation, created in 2006.
Even accomplished furniture and product designers need to express themselves more informally. French designer Pierre Charpin, whose portfolio includes furniture for Ligne Roset and tableware for Alessi, finds expression in repetitive lines. His Loop drawings, originally executed in felt tip pens, have been converted to a suite of four digital prints, each now available for purchase in a limited edition of 50. “I attach great importance to this practice,” says Charpin of the act of drawing, “because it is the link to my visual arts background.” An awfully pretty link, I’d say.
Allen Grubesic’s mixed-media light box puts a more, well, exciting, spin on a standard exit sign.
Must hand it to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Diffusing the gravitas and reverence of the great Vincent’s public image is no easy feat. But they’ve cleverly managed it with the subtle humor of this ad campaign for the museum cafe–which features a still life image that’s, well, almost perfect.
Any artistic practice that calls itself Snarkitecture can’t be expected to have a wholesome worldview, and the Brooklyn-based team behind the name is particularly drawn to imperfections. Broken Ornament, made from gypsum cement, may raise a few eyebrows around the Christmas tree, but there’s no denying its wabi-sabi allure.