Some people are just meant to go against the grain. And some are meant to transform it… into art.
From Heidi Hooper’s fine art portraits and animals made of dryer lint, to Salavat Fidai’s art measured in microns, modern-day artists seem continually compelled to challenge and redefine how we think about art and the world it captures.
Size doesn’t matter
Size has become an increasingly relative term in the world of fine art. Some artists, such as Hasan Kale from Istanbul, Turkey, create elaborate masterpieces on halved almonds or butterfly wings. Salavat Hidai, a Russian lawyer-turned minimal artist, carves graphite tips of pencils into stunningly detailed representations of people, buildings and everyday objects. Dutch artist Rosa de Jong creates mesmerizingly simple, petite sculptures inside glass test tubes. Willard Wigan stretches the notion even further, creating sculptures you’ll need a microscope to view.
On the opposite end of the scale story are massive installations by Richard Prince or Damien Hirst. James Nares creates his large-scale single-stroke abstract oils by floating mid-air above his canvasses, suspended off the ceiling in a harness! A 51-foot high, 560-feet wide spray and acrylic mural, commissioned by the Rio Olympics in 2016, depicts monumental faces of indigenous peoples.
Ever so fleeting
Some art pieces are more fleeting than others, their beauty not diminished by impermanence. From sand or ice sculptures to sculptor Linda Christensen’s busts carved in butter – the very idea of an art “medium” is up for change. Su Chang Tai creates his art from bubbles, the ever-impermanent creation of blowing air into bubble water.
One (wo)man’s trash
Vilma Silveira’s art is an exemplary take on one’s trash becoming an artist’s playground: she creates delicate stained-glass-like lampshades from dyed coffee filters. Vanessa Herman-Landau infused a sense of humanity into the Toronto General Hospital’s daily life by creating a mural out of colorful, unused medical supplies.
Anywhere is my canvas
Or take for example Ukrainian artists who have taken scuba diving and art to an entirely different level. Under the Black Sea, Alexander Belozor and colleagues create wondrous underwater landscapes, their creations limited only by the 40 minutes the oxygen in their diving tanks will last.
Anything is my tool
Some artists think little of traditional tools of the trade. Hong Yi paints by dribbling a basketball dipped in paint. She arranges rice, beets and sauces into works of art. Feathers, musical notes, coffee cup stains – her tools of the trade are curious, and many.