FEATURES EDITOR @ COOL HUNTING, KAREN DAY'S TOP 10 PICKS MTV RE:DEFINE 2014

1. Daniel Arsham, Steel Eroded Hasselblad Camera (Click here to view)

I like the idea of this fancy Hasselblad camera becoming what looks like a relic dug up from the past. I think it’s symbolic that something typically used to capture museum-quality images will one day itself be an object on display in a museum. Plus he’s from Ohio.

2. Joshua Abelow, Untitled (Click here to view) 

I’m constantly thinking about words and images, and how the two relate. I’m intrigued by his interest in visual communication. I feel like this is what Mickey Mouse looks like under an X-ray machine.  

3. Stanley Donwood, Genteel Frisk (Click here to view)

Like most people, I’m a fan of his work for Radiohead. But separately, particularly in this piece, the way he integrates the text is really interesting. Despite the chaos you can clearly read each word, and some seem to work off of each other while some stand alone. There’s just a lot to ponder both in the words he’s chosen and the composition.

4. Joe Black, Pussy Riot (Click here to view)

Meticulous craft meets fine art. This piece is comprised of 2,500 handmade buttons! That’s a lot of buttons, and a lot of porn. I like the fact that it’s timely, it’s clever and there’s a harmonious color story going on.  

5. Michael Genovese, Schlesner (Click here to view)

I have no idea what this is about but it’s stated that he aims to connect with collective experiences. I bet any New Yorker would look at this and think about the clinging and clanging of pipes when their building finally turns on the heat each winter. 

6. Margaret Lee, This is a telephone (Click here to view) 

Educating the youth?  

7. Richard Phillips, Lindsay III (Click here to view)

A woman of constant wonder. There’s a reason why Lindsay, after all the years, still ceases to intrigue people. She has a seemingly enduring, magical allure, and Phillips really captures her siren spirit here.

8. Penelope Umbrico, Double Weston with 35mm Medium Format Vintage Instant and Lightleak, from “Mountains, Moving” (Click here to view)

The colors! And you can’t really tell if it’s accidentally this beautiful or how it came about. The whole thing is just mystical. You just want to live in the aura of this image.

9. Angel Otero, Untitled (“SK-LT”) (Click here to view) 

I had the pleasure of going to Otero’s Bushwick studio a few years ago, and was really amazed by his labor-intensive process. He builds up layers upon layers of oil paint on plexi-glass which he then scrapes off and covers it in a black pigment. Then drying, epoxy, folding, possibly more paint, etc. He definitely has a lot of patience (and vision)! 

10. Jim Drain, Untitled (Click here to view)  

I would like to live in Jim Drain’s head for a little while. His work always makes me think, “now what is going on there?!” But in the best way. It’s trippy and colorful but with a strong sense of aesthetic. His use of materials is always sort of surprising and the way he uses it to contrast colors and patterns is really intuitive. Plus he’s from Ohio.