PULSE Art Fair in Miami opened its doors on Dec.5th, 2013. The fifth edition of the fair brings forth an interesting mix of sophisticated, and classic works that offer a critical and progressive edge. Some of the most world-renowned artist are showcasing here, amongst them, William Eggleston, Zanele Muholi, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
Here, I have compiled a short guide of highlights that appeal to the Beautiful/Decay aesthetic:
Guatemalan artist Leandro Asoli creates these decorative, religious icons covered in colorful children’s stickers featuring some of our favorite cartoons and superheros: Superman, Dora the explorer, Spongebob, Lisa Frank, Spiderman, etc. The juxtaposition of these two things, religion and children’s television/book characters, creates interesting parallels between the concepts of idolization, religion, and popular culture.
Next, we have Moroccan artist Mounir Fatmi whom constructs lively collages out of used prayer rugs. This particular work, lends itself to heated controversy, as the usage of said rugs to make artworks is pretty much an atrocity within the Muslim faith. By using prayer rugs as his material of choice, the artist violates the religious object, leaving his audience to be exposed to a deconstruction of religious dogmas and ideologies.
Brooklyn based artist, Jenny Morgan paints beautifully charged works that exude emotion and candor. Although these are not particularly hyperealistic, there’s an indispensable quality to her work that reveals the sitters’ emotional states. Morgan’s ability to communicate emotional expression by implementing new and interesting techniques is the highlight of her repertoire.Jessica Drenk, a Montana native, crafts an impressive sculpture made of hundreds of pencils. Her works highlight the otherwise invisible beauty of mundane objects. Through Drenk’s precision and craftsmanship, the once mundane now exudes a sophistication that has never been seen before.
Israeli artist, Sigalit Landau presents shoes suspended in dead-sea water. The mysterious and almost mystical look of these shoes transforms our notions of the objects into something more than just ideas of dress and femininity. Dead sea water, a mysterious and almost miraculous substance elevates the shoes to a more profound status.
“ I’m [Un]consciously looking for new and vital materials to connect the past to the future, the west to the east, the private with the collective, the sub-existential to the Uber-profound, the found objects to the deepest epic narratives and mythologies… using scattered, broken words to define “the-bricker-brack” and transform it into a soft heap of new dream-buds, to act upon the uncertain horizon.”
Alan Rath, an engineer by trade, creates unsettling digital sculptures. The ‘robot’, as the artist calls it, features a cathode ray–tube that displays a close-up image of a brightly colors background and blinking eyes. It is composed of computers monitors and sustaining frame made out of metal.
Spanish artist Samuel Salcedo’s humorous, hyperrealistic sculptures capture what seems to be the artist’s multifaceted personality. All the statues look the same, however, they wear and express different outfits and emotions.
Erick den Breejen’s colorful and masterful paintings, which are large in scale, are meant to be seen both form far away and as close as possible. He conceptualizes his imagery by literally rendering it with words that describe or speak about his visual subject.
Brookyln based artist Federico Solmi, the 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, creates multifaceted works that include painting on wood, video animation, and LED TVs. Solmi, a social provocateur by nature, renders his work with admirable candor; the subjects he chooses to explore are quite tricky, but the artist presents the issues in a rather entertaining, subtle, yet powerful manner. He is interested in the effects of a postmodernist society, one that is constantly regenerating and renewing itself; he is heavy on the references to capitalism and consumerism, offering an obvious criticism about its ability to confuse, and completely dominate those whom live under it.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get neither the name nor the artist of this piece; all I know is that it belongs to the New Art Projects Gallery from London. I had to add this one on here because I think its makes a compelling point about today’s selfie phenomenon; not just this, but it also makes profound observations about what one, as a consequence of social networks and mainstream media’s fixation on perfection, might feel as they look in the mirror [or take a picture of themselves]. “ My insecurities become me” is a powerful statement that might in fact be reinforced as we take pictures of ourselves to validate who we are to others through the virtual world.
It was clever on part of the artist to place these saying on a mirror knowing that many, if not all the viewers would in fact be ‘forced’ to take a ‘selfie’ with the work in order to showcase its ‘wisdom’.