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e1Born in Paris in 1975, Eva Jospin has created a unique way of bringing the life cycle of cardboard around full circle by turning back into the forest from whence it came – or at least, a representation of it. Reinventing the very nature of what makes a forest, she deconstructs the man-made and re-assembles it back into its original form.

Ripping and cutting through piles and piles of cardboard, layering it expertly in arrangements to create bas relief and even 3-dimensional shapes, her pieces grow a renewed life of their own and become a metaphor for exploration of self and expression of the internal journey of human existence. The juxtaposition of working with sturdy raw materials against the fragility and impermanence of nature itself is what lends a profound meaning to her work. We are so connected to nature as humans living on this earth, and yet there is a major disparity and disconnect that we are constantly trying to overcome.

I’d love to see a giant installation of Jospin’s forest and get lost in it, wouldn’t you?

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When I was an early teen I discovered the amazing world of weird underground comic books such as Eightball, Zap, Lobo, and Tank Girl, as well as the music and art of off-kilter bands like White Zombie, Ween, Lords of Acid, and Primus, which led me to be enamoured of anything grotesque, strange and unusual. Had I known that Mike Shine had existed, I would have plastered him on the walls of my bedroom alongside my heroes of that era.

Shine’s world is populated with carnival themes and sinister characters, remixed with nostalgic elements and spattered with Norse mythology, all blended together and spat out in a strangely bright, lighthearted cartoon-like fashion. Using a variety of mixed media and house paint to morph and construct the world around him, Shine often turns to found objects such as cast-off carnival ephemera, bottles, buoys, spent skateboards and oddly shaped driftwood. Some of his characters are also mechanized like the old school carnival attractions from yesteryear, bringing them to life right before your eyes. His influences can be easily be perceived throughout – Kubrick, Nietzsche, and Wolfgang von Goethe are all represented in some form or another. His “art opera” installation entitled Flotsam’s Wonder World is a beautifully evil culmination of all of these things, centering upon the carnival ringleader, Flotsam – his own manifestation of Mephistopheles – and has been included in exhibitions with SFMOMA, Laguna Art Museum and The Museum of Craft and Folk Art.

To see more amazing art, check out Shine’s awesome interactive website.

Also take a look at these great shots of the making of the Surf Shack.


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