Israeli artist Ronit Bigal transforms the body into a text. For her “Body Scripture II” series, Bigal uses digital photography overlaid with Biblical text (in Hebrew) and floral ornamentation drawn with black Indian ink to create these stunning images of body calligraphy. The body is exposed and abstracted, the text contouring bodily landscapes and capturing hidden textures and unspoken eroticism. Upon close inspection, the text on the bodies is hard to read. It’s small and intricate, but the overall effect creates a visually hypnotic pattern. Bigal places the text so thoughtfully around the curves of the body that it is hard to believe the text was not drawn directly onto the subjects. Her work also leaves me curious about which passages she placed on particular body parts, and if she was deliberate in the placement.
Her Saatchi profile explains that these images “…are almost abstract and enigmatic, arousing the viewer’s curiosity to discover what are the photographed objects, what meanings lies behind the texts; and whether there is a thematic affinity between them or, perhaps are the associations purely aesthetical?” (via my modern met)
These impressive digital sculptures were created by Melbourne-based graphic design student Casey Richardson. Richardson uses 3D software to illustrate installation scenes that could be mistaken for real-life sculptures. Richardson implements simple and oft-used sculptural subjects, but places them in new contexts. His images are bright and cheerfully colored, though the subject matter itself usually conveys the opposite.This creates an interesting juxtaposition of form and content within each scene’s composition. Most intriguing to me is the way Richardson has implemented wall color in each imagined installation. This has me wondering when I’ll start seeing more gallery walls painted as part of a sculptural installation, and how installation design and implementation will continue to be affected by advances in technology. (via art ruby)
Portland-based artist Matt Hall creates mixed media assemblages and large-scale ink on paper drawings. He explores the connections between historic perceptions and our sense of wonder with the natural world. As a child, Hall was fascinated with the ability of birds to fly, fish to breathe underwater and other amazing animal abilities. Hall’s work incorporates animal parts with other found objects, sketches and notes in an attempt to re-create, analyze, and pay homage to the seemingly magical powers of animals.
There is also a keen interest in death in Hall’s work. A piece with a snake and a mouse is most obviously about predator and pretty. The title, however, Mithraicism, refers to the practice of inoculating a person against poison by administering non-lethal amounts. The piece becomes a metaphor, or sorts, whereby you can’t be immune to death.
As written in Ampersand Gallery’s press release about their last exhibition with Hall, “[his] finely detailed assemblages bring to mind the dioramas & curiosity cabinets of natural history museums, yet on a deeper level they allude to the ritualistic strangeness of reliquaries, thereby serving as an intersection where notions of religion, science, folklore & quackery collide with the artist’s imagination.” Exquisitely detailed, the animal parts in Hall’s assemblages have been broken and put back together. Hall uses found road kill as the basis for his works. Evoking the spiritual practices of animalistic religious whereby interaction with animal parts was thought to transfer magical and totemic powers, Hall is creating both object and mythology.
The geometric paintings of Francesco Lo Castro are made from a time-consuming layering process that combines acrylic, spraypaint, occasional silkscreen and layered epoxy resin to create dynamic explorations of shape and form. This process is so intuitive that the artist says, “Geometry is just a word; it’s an aesthetic. There’s no math involved in it.”
The Italian-born, South Florida artist begins his work layering angular, taped-off shapes painted with aerosol and coated with a layer of epoxy resin. This layer is then sanded down, as is every successive layer, until the piece is finished. This process can take up to a month of 12-hour days to complete, according to an interview with New Times. Explaining his work, Lo Castro says “To me, these paintings represent our entire universe. These shapes are atoms. They are galaxies. They are representational of all that combined. They all represent evolving structures that are constantly in flux and ideas that are constantly clashing with each other. And with these clashes, new ideas arise, and we evolve through them. We have billions of people finally waking up and networking with each other; even if we don’t speak the same language, we are getting to know ourselves in the process for the first time. This kind of communication hasn’t happened before.”
Lo Castro expands this point in the interview, explaining that the former lowbrow arts movement star turned to his current geometric style as an evolution – one which mirrors humanities’ own path towards singularity. The artist o notes that his own work has found an international community thanks to technology and internet exposure, and also because of the geometric aesthetic that we can all share. Lo Castro continues, “I think geometry found me, because all you have are these colors and shapes. No matter what your age, your culture, or language you speak, everyone can jump in.” (via coolhunter and broward-palm beach new times)
Artist Max Gärtner‘s solo exhibit Animal Watching is a bit of a play on words. Much of the exhibits is filled with intricate animal portraits. The portraits of these animal gallery goers are created using carefully cut paper in impressive detail, that are then mounted and framed. It offers gallery visitors a different sort of Animal Watching. Accompanying the wall mounted artwork, are what appear to three figures, each with a different animal head, carefully inspecting pieces. The sculptures are each an animal watching the gallery events. Check out the video to see the way the piece interact within the gallery and some of the art work being created.
Some time ago, The Postnational Monitor, a personal blog focused on “a wide variety of topics to include, but not limited to history, population genetics, and sociology” posted dozens of composite photos of varying geological and ethnic populations, creating an average face for each category. While most categories are a simple comparison, some are surprising social findings, such as the average Indian Female and Indian Male, compared to the average Bollywood Stars, pictured above.
While obviously interesting from a ‘population genetics’ (no sarcasm meant – simply clarifying the author’s, and not this writer’s, term) and anthropology standpoints, the pictures are certainly more novelty than profound statement. However, the composites do resemble more serious artworks by other artists, which begs the question: At what point does machine or computer-created photographic manipulation become art?
The house is a shape everyone has some form of relationship with. Whether it symbolizes comfort, global financial crises in housing market, cookie cutter mediocrity or family, the house as a mundane symbol or object has been elevated to captivating experimental art and high art on several occasions. This weekend we share with you a selection of significant works that adapt houses into art objects.
Urs Fischer‘s Untitled (Bread House), constructed of bread, bread crumbs, wood, polyurethane foam, silicone, acrylic paint, screws, tape and rugs leaves every ingredient exposed. Stepping inside this large sculptural work recently at MOCA had the effect of walking inside a decaying fairytale, as the work is naturally allowed to crumble and decompose in exhibition. Stepping over piles of crusts of cinnamon raisin bread amidst dirty rugs and peering up at the bubbled polyeurythane foam that seeps between boards and rows of old bread, the viewer may feel any combination of wonder, amusement and fear- much like Grimms Brothers Fairytales.
An Te Liu‘s Title Deed evolved from the Leona Drive Project in Toronto where a number of vacant tract houses were offered to artists to be reinvented as artistic installations. As this project took place in 2009 in the height of the housing market crash, the artist observed that the simple shape of the existing house represented the 20th century iconic Monopoly board game house pieces. The simple, yet flawless execution of Title Deed situated within a functioning suburban neighborhood carries comical yet heavy implications.
Seattle based artist Casey Weldon’s newest series of work is a bit unsettling. He’s painted a series of cats, each with four eyes. While the premise sounds simple enough, the product is more jarring than one might expect. Upon first viewing the paintings the animals don’t appear as mutated creatures or monstrous as you might expect. Rather, the paintings seem to be making it difficult to focus. As humans we have a sensitive awareness of faces, eyes being a primary reference point. Perhaps because of this the two sets of eyes don’t seem as much like a defect in the cat as a defect in our ability to focus on the painting. Also, Weldon’s choice of exclusively depicting cats clearly references the internet. The animal’s unexpected rise to the top of internet meme-dom, nearly makes cat’s a symbol of internet culture itself. The gallery statement for his current exhibit at Spoke Art further expounds on this by saying:
“Ranging from internal commentary on the state of contemporary culture to a satirical analysis of the internet in general, Weldon has deftly created a body of new acrylic paintings that humor and appall. Through his thematic commonality of quadruple eyed animals, Weldon intentionally disorients the viewing experience by juxtaposing a subject that is impulsively attractive yet eerily disturbing. With this subtle manipulation the viewer finds themselves drawn towards these subjects, yet can’t quite focus on them, akin in many ways to the eye fatigue experienced by countless hours on the internet, often fueled by the mindless addictive nature of social media. The choice of cats specifically as his subject matter continue on Weldon’s commentary of the internet/social media. The immense popularity of cat culture and viral cat memes is unavoidable in this day and age, a point made all too apparent by the pairing of Weldon’s exhibition with a Lil Bub art show just two doors down this month at Spoke Art.” (via supersonic electronic)