Jack Fischer Gallery
Jack Fischer Gallery

Life-Size Graphite Skeleton Draws Itself Into Oblivion

Jack Fischer Gallery
Jack Fischer Gallery

If the news cycle has got you down, we’ve got some good news: Someday, we’ll all be dead and gone and none of this will matter. If that sentence was actually comforting for you, you’re going to love artist Agelio Batle’s “Ash Dancer,” a full-size graphite skeleton that gradually vanishes like the point of a person-shaped pencil.

The San Francisco-based artist works in all kinds of media, from sculpture and painting to installation and performance art. He describes “Ash Dancer” as a form of “material investigative work,” partially inspired by his love of science and nature.

Batle’s choice of graphite as a medium is doubly significant. Graphite is best known as the stuff of pencil “lead,” and indeed many of the drawings accompanying “Ash Dancer” on display at the Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco were done in graphite. But the mineral is also a part of the planet, naturally occurring in igneous and metamorphic rocks. In an ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust path, Batle’s graphite was removed from the earth only to take the shape of disintegrating human remains.

And the skeleton will disintegrate; Batle’s made sure of it. “Ash Dancer” will be hung just above a moving, paper-covered table. As the graphite bones bump against the table, the soft mineral will transfer to the paper, dissolving the body even as it creates a visual record of its own demise.

The skeleton is not Batle’s first work in graphite. Previous projects have included ephemeral feathers, hands, leaves, and animals, some of which are available in his online shop.

“Ash Dancer” will be on display at the Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco from November 5 to December 29, 2016.

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YouTube/Great Big Story
See the Secret Paintings Hidden in Gilded Books
YouTube/Great Big Story
YouTube/Great Big Story

The art of vanishing fore-edge painting—hiding delicate images on the front edges of gilded books—dates back to about 1660. Today, British artist Martin Frost is the last remaining commercial fore-edge painter in the world. He works primarily on antique books, crafting scenes from nature, domestic life, mythology, and Harry Potter. Great Big Story recently caught up with him in his studio to learn more about his disappearing art. Learn more in the video below.

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Mathew Tucciarone
Candytopia, the Interactive Art Installation Made of Sweet Treats, Is Coming to New York City
Mathew Tucciarone
Mathew Tucciarone

A colorful exhibition is sharing some eye candy—and actual candy—with visitors. The sweet art pop-up, called Candytopia, is heading to New York City this summer following successful stints in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Gothamist reports.

Candytopia feels a little like Willy Wonka’s chocolate room. More than a dozen rooms with psychedelic backdrops will be on view, as well as candy-inspired interpretations of famous artworks such as Mona Lisa and The Thinker. The installation is the brainchild of Jackie Sorkin, the star of TLC’s Candy Queen.

Many of the art installations are made from actual candy, but unlike Wonka’s lickable wallpaper, visitors will have to keep their hands and tongues to themselves. Instead, guests will be given samples of various sweet treats like gummies, chocolates, and “nostalgic favorites.”

Forbes named Candytopia one of the best pop-up museums to visit in 2018. New York City seems the perfect place for the exhibit, having formerly hosted other food-inspired pop-ups like the Museum of Pizza and the Museum of Ice Cream.

Candytopia will debut in New York City on August 15 at Penn Plaza at 145 West 32nd Street. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and they can be ordered on Candytopia’s website. Private events and birthday parties can also be arranged.

Keep scrolling to see some more installations from Candytopia.

A wing of the Candytopia exhibit
Mathew Tucciarone

An Egyptian-inspired statue made of candy
Mathew Tucciarone

A candy version of the Mona Lisa
Mathew Tucciarone

A shark statue
Mathew Tucciarone

[h/t Gothamist]

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