马嬿泠 Ma Yanling’s ghostly paintings of China’s glamorous old movie stars, smiling and looking flawlessly beautiful, were partly inspired by Andy Warhols’ images of Hollywood actresses (Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe). Over each portrait, she paints a grey shroud, hinting at the tragedy and suffering in the offscreen lives of the divas: Ruan Lingyu, whose private life and love affairs was published by the tabloids, committed suicide in 1935 at the age of 24; Wang Renmei was relentlessly persecuted during the Cultural Revolution; Hu Die was the unwilling mistress of Guomindang secret-police chief Dai Li, and also suffered from rumours spread by the press; Jiang Qing, the second wife of Mao Zedong, persecuted fellow actors and artists during the Cultural Revolution, served time in prison, and finally hanged herself; and Meng Xiaodong had a love affair with Peking Opera master, Mei Lanfang which ended sadly due to social and family pressure.
German artist Cornelia Konrads creates mind-bending site-specific installations in public spaces, sculpture parks and private gardens around the world. Her work is frequently punctuated by the illusion of weightlessness, where stacked objects like logs, fences, and doorways appear to be suspended in mid-air, reinforcing their temporary nature as if the installation is beginning to dissolve before your very eyes. One of her more recent sculptures,Schleudersitz is an enormous slingshot made from a common park bench, and you can get a great idea of what it might be like to sit inside it with this interactive 360 degree view.
What you see here only begins to sratch the surface of Konrad’s work. You can see much more on her website. All imagery courtesy the artist.