This is a sculpture by Wim Botha, a sculptor from South Africa who creates amazing, choppy-looking pieces out of books and wood. This particular piece is entitled Fuze and is made of charred fire-resistant pine, wood, and lacquer. Isn’t it beautiful?
Helle Jorgensen is an artist who lives in Australia and who produces absolutely amazing sculptures of sea creatures and other ocean-inspired images using collected driftwood, craftworking such as crochet and needlepoint, and many more methods and mediums. She also has a really cool Etsy shop where you can buy some of her wearable crochet pieces!
This is part of her plastic sea creatures collection. You can check out the rest here!
If you live in New York, starting June 7th you might be able to see a colorful stained glass structure on the skyline between Manhattan and Brooklyn. That’s DUMBO-based artist Tom Fruin’s new installation piece, “The Watertower,” and it was created from almost 1,000 pieces of salvaged and recycled plexiglass. It’ll be on display for a full year, and is best viewable from the Manhattan bridge bike path. We think this is gorgeous installation, and we love the effort to blend art and everyday life with one another!
For more information on the artist, go to his website here!
Dale Chihuly is a sculptor who specializes in glasswork and has created art in this medium for over forty years. His work has been featured in over 200 museums all over the world, including the Victoria and Albert museum in London and he has has created more than a dozen well-known series of works. His dedication to such a dangerous medium is inspiring, and that’s why we’re including him in our series of notable artists!
Andrew Carson is a sculptor from Boulder, Colorado, and he’s always been fascinated with the movement of weather. As a teen he experimented with creating windmills and whirligigs out of bicycle frames and old gears, and after he returned from the University of Washington with a B.A. in photography, he decided to devote his attention to these gorgeous wind sculptures. His work has been been installed in all 50 states, and he’s even available for private commissions!
This piece is featured on his homepage. It’s so unique that we can’t think of a charity to pair it with – what do you guys think?
Rusty Oliver is a Seattle-based sculptor who specializes in pieces that actually incorporate propane and flames, not just in their construction but in the actual sculptures themselves (which he tends to label as “performances”). At his studio, Hazard Factory, he also teaches welding classes (especially to local teenagers), sponsors construction workshops, and is organizing a flaming tetherball league. We think he’s be a great contribution to the Love and Water community because he uses his creative mind to make art out of unlikely sources, and seeks to share his engineering gifts with his local community!
This is a series of “Ruebens’ tubes” that pulsate along with a beat. It’s so unlike anything we’ve covered before that we’re not sure what charity would link up with this type of artwork! Any suggestions, readers?
By now you’ve probably heard about Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist and political activist who fights against the oppressive control of Communist China. His art, however, rarely gets the same attention in the mainstream media that his politics do, and that’s a shame because he has created some amazing work! He’s dabbled with sculpture, installation art, architecture, and photography, and he was even an artistic consultant for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His work has been exhibited all over the world, and he often deals with themes of social injustice. We think he perfectly represents the type of artist we want in our community because he’s not willing to compromise his beliefs and instead constantly expresses them in his art!
This piece, entitled “Fountain of Light,” would be great paired up with the LAMP, which seeks to reform and improve mass media.
David Hooker’s art is not only beautiful, thought-provoking, and unique, it is accessible! His pottery and sculpture have brought new meaning to the art of relevance, particularly by giving back to communities in need. This is art that anyone can see, buy, enjoy and just feel good about.
Love and Water- Can you talk about how you came to make the pottery and sculptures you make today?
David Hooker- My training was in ceramics originally. When I was in undergrad, I wanted to make really big things that people could walk through and experience. I didn’t want people to just look at my art. I discovered, mainly be accident, that my desire to make those things wasn’t about making big pieces as much as it was about making functional art. Pottery has that quality to it- you can touch and feel and hold it, and it can be part of your intimate space. So I dedicated myself to making pottery, and while in grad school I started working in sculpture as well. Since then I’ve been doing both, and more recently I’ve become interested in performance and video. Both are allowing me to explore different avenues, and are exciting and terrifying at the same time. The idea of performance is great in the ways it breaks down to structure of what people consider “high art” in the sense that the audience is part of the performance, and there is the spontaneity of theater involved. This is exciting, but can also leave the artist feeling very exposed at the same time. I’m starting to make things that I’m not necessarily in control of any more as a result. I’m exploring similar themes in all of my work having to do with structures in society, thinking about who we are and how we relate to each other by how structures can both connect us and keep us apart. This has been an exciting year for me because of how my work is changing, and I’ve had to keep up mentally with what has been happening visually. So that’s been pretty cool.
L&W- What lead you to share your work with charitable causes?
DH- I don’t exclusively make work with charity in mind, but I do definitely find myself drawn to various charitable projects. One thing I wanted early on was to break down the idea that art is an elitist activity, and that one has to be a cultural elitist to get what art work is. That was one of the things that attracted me to pottery in the first place, because it was a way to make art work for everybody. It’s not particularly expensive, and it’s very accessible. That kind of work has allowed me to work on bringing people together, including charities. A lot of people can get together, spend a little bit of money and raise money for another community. Recently I did the “Empty Bowl” project with my students at Wheaton College. We took our ceramic students and made functional bowls that we sold to our Wheaton College community very inexpensively- they sold for between $5.00 and $25.00- and they got lunch with whatever they bought. The concept of the “Empty Bowl” project is to raise awareness of the need for food around the world, and how many empty bowls there are out there. So we had sponsors who donated food and coffee, and anytime someone bought a bowl or mug it was filled with lunch or coffee. We took the money we raised from selling those bowls to a local food pantry. That was an extraordinary event because between six or seven students, we made around 200 pots and sold them all to Wheaton students within two hours. I set it up as a four hour event and thought we’d sell half of what we had. It was an incredible whirlwind of excitement, and we were really moved by it.
L&W- I understand you also have done work for a school in Rwanda?
DH- That was a really great project, and it started with our church. It was too large financially for the size of our church, so had to reach out into the community. We partnered The Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, since it is a Rwandan organization. I made mugs and we sold mugs and coffee to raise funds and awareness for the need in Rwanda for healing and reconciliation and education post-genocide. There was so much damage done to Rwanda that needed to be built back up. There were about 125 mugs that we sold out of in a couple of hours, which again made me feel we were able to connect communities together. I’ve done fundraisers where there are auctions for very expensive pieces of art, and it just seems like only a few people are able to participate in that and appreciate the art. This kind of fundraising is so different because of the level of accessibility.
L&W- What is the most moving moment you’ve had so far working with community and charity?
DH- I think the most recent “Empty Bowls” project because there was so much synergy of students, community and people in need. When the students realized they could make work that has a direct impact on the community, their excitement fed me in a way that was very gratifying to me. That has to be the most moving experience I’ve had.
L&W- Is there anything else you want people to know about your work?
DH- You can order my work from my Etsy store. A portion of the proceeds of those sales go to sponsor a child in Rwanda, so it’s for a good cause. Also, I want people to think about the fact that art isn’t necessarily about self-expression as it is about relevance. And that relevance can take on many different forms. Relevance in the art community is one kind, and then relevance to the ideas that are spinning around in society, both locally and globally, is another very thought-provoking way to think about art. There are so many different facets that come up when you can see how your work is expressing what is going on around us, and that can be a great perspective to take when we are viewing and making art.
Visit David’s Blog
Love and Water- Your cards are just beautiful, and each one is so touching in such a unique way. How did you come up with the idea for Rino Cards?
Jan Horvath- We started Rino Cards around seven years ago, when we decided we wanted to have our own business that we really loved and were passionate about. Rino has been a painter his whole life, and we had always made our own Christmas cards that our friends and family really enjoyed. I’m a concert singer, and I had some time in between concerts and thought this would make a good business for us to work on together. We started off slow, as each card is handmade, but have continued to grow, creating one card at a time. Slowly but surely it has grown to 148 images.
L&W- Where do you find the inspiration for the art on your cards, Rino?
Rino Li Causi- My art is just a part of me. It’s the way I see my life. It’s the way I feel. I make the cards but I also have paintings, poetry, sculptures and songs that are all my expression of who I am, and it’s what I will continue to do. The way I see it with my art, if the money comes, that is great. But this is what I love to do, so I continue from that perspective to create what is meaningful to me.
L&W- Where can people find Rino Cards?
JH- The cards are on our website, and they’re also in various bookstores in NYC. You can find them at the Barnes and Noble near Lincoln Center, the Barnes and Noble on Greenwich and 8th Ave, and Rizzoli Book Store on 57th St., between 5th and 6th Aves. We are starting to approach publishers because Rino now has a full body of work, and they’re selling well in the stores in New York City. The only problem we anticipate with a publisher is how to avoid growing too fast. Because each card is handmade, we don’t want to run into the problem of not being able to fill all of our orders. We want to keep the art our main focus and not get into mass-production. Right now we’re very happy with the fact that we have enough work to put in a few bookstores and to watch them sell. It’s amazing to get positive feedback from customers. I ran into a man who was buying a card for his daughter’s birthday and he said he just loved our cards. That’s a great feeling.
L&W- It’s so wonderful that each card is handmade. Will you custom design videos for people as well?
JH- Yes! We would love to do that. This is our first foray into making videos, and that is definitely a possibility. We’d love to find a way to market the video further, and right now we’re just giving it to the world to see the kind of response we get. So we’re definitely open to making others.
L&W- What is the most moving moment you’ve had working together?
RL- We can fight a lot when we work together, but we have made so many wonderful things happen at the same time. I think for me, this is the most important thing. Because we have so many good moments together and we discover new things about each other through our work.
JH- Rino is used to working by himself, and I’m from the theater world, where it’s all about collaborating. So it’s often foreign for him to allow someone else to collaborate with him on his work. When we decided to do the video, I took his work and the song he wrote, translated the song to English, made a recording of it and made a video collage of his work to go along with it. It was unnerving to him while I was working on it because he didn’t know what to expect. But once he saw his art come to life in the video, it was a really special moment. And the fact that he wrote the song for me was also very moving.
L&W- Did Rino write the music for the song as well?
JH- Well, since he doesn’t have musical training, he wrote the lyrics and starting humming in my ear the tune he was hearing for it. I took that and tranlated it to the best of my ability, and came up with this song.
L&W- It’s such a beautiful, touching song. I understand you wrote it in Italian first?
RL- Yes, and I sang it in Italian. You can see that on YouTube as well. I take inspiration from Jan. My age is 66, and my brain is so young and wants to do more and more, and I’m very excited about working further. You will see more from us.
L&W- I hope so! How does it make you feel to know that your cards are selling so well?
JH- Both Rino and I get a kick out of the fact that we can put our art out there and it helps other people express their emotions. It’s such a privelage. We’ve had such positive feedback from the cards, and I’m really touched that they can give people such joy.
RL- Sharing our dreams with others and seeing their interpretations of it is really amazing. It’s a satisfaction when someone loves my work and it keeps me going. It makes me want to share more.
JH- I think also as a painter one doesn’t have an audience standing there, applauding every brush stroke. So when people respond to our cards, it feeds Rino in a new way that is so gratifying for me to witness. It’s really wonderful.