Lotus

Lotus

The fusion of religious imagery is tricky because one always runs the risk of incurring the crystal/ hemp/ patchouli oil stigma of new age naiveté with the introduction of one to many symbols. This design seems to pull it off while coming dangerously close to falling apart aesthetically and thematically.

A lot of bands will play with religious imagery, few have the depth to pull it off sonically. One good example that was the band Godspeed You Black Emperor who’s post-rock and ambient sound produced a certain tone that this work seems to be trying to hit i.e dark and expansive. Their long time artist collaborator Okkervil River did a cover for their album “Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven” that somehow feels very similar to this work. This image isn’t necessarily trying to say anything, it’s more of a mood piece. The black is heavy and contains grit, whereas the white outer circle is more incorporeal if not kinetic. There’s the natural form of the flower agains the geometry of the dome, or its beauty against the threat posed by the snake. It seems like a small miracle that the whole thing doesn’t come across as a sperm when one looks at the silhouette, but somehow it pulls it off.

The image is balanced and off balance; it’s like you looked at a picture of an explosion, you could be forgiven for thinking it had an exact shape. The religious imagery here is also ambiguous, or possibly illusory. The Lotus could be Buddhism, Hinduism, or neither. The crescent could be Pagan/ Wiccan, Islamic, or mundane; the fact that it is waxing (curve to the left) instead of waning (to the right) points to it being secular. It seems as though every religion has something with snakes, but maybe not. This image narrowly misses any number of things, and emerging from a contextual minefield of religious and cultural associations its all the more impressive for having thread the needle.

Design by: Hector Mansilla
Price:  $19.90 @ Redbubble
Colors: Blue, Light Blue, Red, Green, Maroon, Yellow, Purple, Orange

Modern Lotus

Modern Lotus

Perhaps pcb boards are a little outmoded at this point; yes we still use and rely upon them, but in the era of computer chips and nano technology that allow electronics to be infinitesimally compact they feel less and less relevant. ‘Modern Lotus’ points to that connection between pcb and art deco. A connection that was never truly made within the artistic community. They both relied upon geometry, simplicity, and both interacted with negative space in similar ways.

This design seems to join a bygone aesthetic of the the 1920’s with a modern, technical, and perhaps spiritual inclination of minimalism of ‘less is more’ within contemporary society. The design isn’t minimalist in itself, rather the design, however complex and through gilded and technological reference, points to complexity beneath the surface. It is both western decadence in form and (through the eastern symbolism surrounding the lotus) simplicity in aspiration.

One can read into what they want as far as Globalization, or eastern manufacturing for western consumption. The image is strong enough to stand independent of all that. It would be surprising in fact if the artist thought that far, as more often than not it is the critic not the artist that thinks in terms of meaning when approaching a work of art; still, there’s plenty to think and feel about this design if one can find the thread.

Design by: ecologyink
Price:  $22.38 @ Designbyhumans
Colors: Black, White, Army Green, Red, Navy