John William Keedy’s Anxiety-Themed Photo Series

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“It’s Hardly Noticeable explores the world of a character who navigates living with an unspecified anxiety-based mental illness. He negotiates situations constructed to highlight the impacts and implications of his differences on his thoughts and behaviors, and by doing so raises question of normalcy. Through constructed tableaus and metaphorical still lifes, the series reveals the relationship between reality and perception, and highlights issues of pathology while questioning stereotypes of normalcy.

In 2009 economist Bill Gross used the term New Normal to define the American economic landscape of the very recent past. In ensuing years, the term resonated with culture at large and became an umbrella term for changes in cultural and societal practices, identifying a shift in held notions of what is commonly viewed as acceptable.

These images question the legitimacy of applying the term normal in a societal context by prompting a reconsideration of what, if anything, is normal, or at least what is perceived and labeled as such. Is it possible for a society to have a commonly held idea of what is normal, when few individuals in that society actually meet the criteria for normalcy?” – John William Keedy‘s artist statement for this series.

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Giant Forests Made Out Of Paper

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Wade Kavanaugh Stephen B Nguyen installation9

Brooklyn based artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen have been collaborating since 2005.  Together they create expansive installations that fill gallery spaces.  The installations’ size forces visitors to interact with it.  Made from natural materials such as wood and paper, their work carries an organic atmosphere.    The installations often resemble trees or entire forests, mangled, twisting and growing.  The paper seems to be giving a nod to its origin as an almost ironic choice of material.

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Video Watch: You & I by Crystal Fighters From Their New Album Cave Rave

Photo by Neil Krug.

The British/Spanish band, Crystal Fighters have been making infectious dance music with a slight twist since 2007. Their new album, “Cave Rave” was released last month and has been garnering strong reviews as well as pulling in great crowds for their exuberant shows.

I caught them earlier this month at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles where their new album was recorded and was totally blown away by their energy from the second they took the stage. Playing songs from their new album as well as many of their classics like, “Plage” and “Champion Sound“, the place was a non-stop dance party.

The band is currently on tour in Europe so if you happen to be out there, check out their tour dates here and be ready to dance your ass off. On August 29th, the band will also be doing a very special “Cave Rave” in a cave outside Pamplona, Navarre, Spain where the band was formed. Check out their latest video for the single, “You & I” and be sure to grab their new album, “Cave Rave“.

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Typography Made From Empty Space And Everday Objects

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The words ‘serif’ and ‘sans serif’ can get a designers heart beating a bit faster – new and interesting fonts can be a inspirational jumping off point.  These photograph based letters from New York based photographer Bela Borsodi definitely have a wide appeal.  Borsodi uses household objects and empty space so as to nearly make it appear he happened on the letters by chance.  He clearly has a knack for making the meticulously planned appear casual.  Borsodi’s skill has won him clients such as the Esquire, Details, and the Wall Street Journal.  Also, see his work previously here. [via]

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William Powhida Uses The Medium Itself To Evaluate Art’s Criticism And Commercial Culture

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Former art critic William Powhida unpacks his feelings about the art world and community by craftily using the medium itself to exemplify, deconstruct, and evaluate. Whether it’s an installation piece, abstract painting, or neon structure, the essence of art criticism and commercial machine surrounding an artist’s success or failure is heavily examined in his work.

However, Powhida’s recent emerging sentiment is not completely sardonic nor too serious or precious. Of his recent show, “Bill by Bill,” the LA Times suggests, “What saves the work from grating sarcasm or smart aleck cleverness — toward which the artist has erred in the past — is a curious undertone of sincerity. Powhida is not mean-spirited or bitter but seems genuinely driven to understand his subject: the internal mechanisms of this peculiar social and economic ecosystem. How does the art world work and how should we feel about that? How much of ourselves should we reconcile to it?”

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Incredibly Realistic Paintings Investigate Visual Intoxication In The City

ALEXANDRA PACULA painting

ALEXANDRA PACULA painting

ALEXANDRA PACULA painting

Alexandra Pacula’s  work may look like blurry photographs taken after a wild night out in the city but they are in fact hyperrealistic paintings. These paintings investigate a world of visual intoxication; it captures moments of enchantment, which are associated with urban nightlife.  She is fascinated by the ambiance of the city at night and its seductive qualities.  The breathtaking turbulence of speeding vehicles and hasty pedestrians evoke feelings of wonder and disorientation. The vibrant lights become a magical landscape with enticing opportunities and promises of fulfillment.

In our seemingly content society there is a struggle to achieve greater levels of enjoyment. We explore various environments and activities in search of pleasure.  Extravagant lights of night environments seduce us to participate in curious events, enticing us to experience new forms of satisfaction.

Discussing her work she states: “I recreate the feeling of dizziness and confusion by letting the paint blur and allowing shapes to dissolve.  I suggest motion in order to slow down the scene and capture the fleeting moments, which tend to be forgotten.  The sense of motion is intensified with the use of quick vigorous lines and sharp perspectives.  By interpreting lights in graphic or painterly ways, I create a sense of space, alluding to a hallucinogenic experience.  I want the viewer’s eye to travel within my composition and experience a familiar, exhilarating event of an actual nightly excursion.” (via)

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Carsten Höller’s Interactive Installations

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Carsten Höller’s work intends “to trigger the organic responses that underpin the structure of learned behavior, to unbalance the rational mind…Using his training as a scientist in his work as an artist, Höller’s primary concerns relate to the nature of human perception and self-exploration. He has undertaken many projects that invite viewer participation and interaction while questioning human behavior, perception, and logic. His “laboratory of doubt,” embodied in objects ranging from carousels and slippery slides to upside-down goggles, often contains playful, hallucinatory or darkly humorous overtones in order to provoke experience and reflection.” – from Gagosian Gallery. Read more about Höller’s work and his 2011 exhibition at the New Museum here.

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