Brooklyn based artist Scott Albrecht has a new show opening this coming Friday July 3rd at Andenken Gallery in Amsterdam. Called Here And Now, it is an exploration of themes central to his work: time, inter-connectivity, perception, and consciousness. Albrecht has a holistic approach to his practice – working out different techniques and approaches to the same subjects. He uses a multitude of materials, but they are all definitely from the same collection, and have the same optimistic message: to appreciate life as it is and to live in the moment. He wants us perhaps, to sharpen our awareness of the moment.
The exhibition includes spiritual mottos inscribed on paper: “That brief moment when we forget where we are” “A moment in time”, “All things change”; psychedelic multi-textured star bursts assembled and collaged from paper, and carefully constructed wooden displays filled with philosophical musings.
Nostalgic and romantic, his work has titles that will pull at your heart strings: The Spark, The Visionary, Leaf Life Span, Adventurer, Easy Goer. They seem like personal tarot cards or affirmations for Albrecht. He explains the symbolism behind the leaves, hands and eyes in his work:
The hands are meant to be representative of personalities or character traits. I like using the hand as a canvas with the idea that you can be defined by your actions, and the hands are symbolic to helping facilitate those actions. The eyes are similar but represent observing individual situations. Here the focus is on the idea of those pivotal moments that we’ve all encountered. It’s also about being slightly more aware in your day to day. (Source)
Do you ever wonder what will happen to your body after you die? Thanks to Jae Rhim Lee, our bodies could go out of this world in a way that helps the environment. This ingenious artist has breeched the lines of art, design, science, and death to create something that could change the way we think about burials. Concerned with the alarming amount of harmful toxins and artificial chemicals that human bodies hold even after the point of living, Lee was determined to invent a sustainable way for our bodies to be disposed of during our burials. This led her to start the Infinity Burial Project, where she worked to create, through selective breeding, an infinity mushroom that decomposes bodies and clean toxins while still delivering nutrients to plants.
Through hard work, Jae Rhim Lee’s goals were realized with her creation of the Mushroom Death Suit. This suit, which she so confidently wears while giving her TED talk on the subject, offers an alternative burial method. If wearing the suit while buried, the mushrooms spores that are infused in the lines on the suit decompose and clean your body, forming a whole new green way of death. Lee hopes that this will be a symbol of a new way of thinking about death. She explains that this project is
“A step towards accepting the fact that someday I will die and decay.”
This unique and strange invention may not be appealing to everyone, but shines light on a subject that many may not want to confront. An important lesson about the realities of our bodies decomposing underground can be learned by watching her captivating TED talk.
Israeli-Dutch artist Itamar Gilboa has taken every morsel of food he consumed over a one year period and made an art piece out of it. Tagged “The Food Chain Project” Gilboa documented his intake over 365 days. Most of what he consumed consisted of normal diet items such as apples, burgers, cheese, coffee and soda. In the end he consumed 8,000 products.
After three years, he turned the lengthy documentation into an art piece. Each food item was replicated in white plaster. These became inventory in Gilboa’s traveling supermarket and eventually materialized into exhibits and commentary about hunger around the world. The objects look generic and could stand for any product which could end hunger for one person for a day in a starving country. Using white gives the items an anonymous nature but also prompts you to think about who can be the next to help by buying and filling in the blank so to speak.
Gilboa’s impetus for the project was to bring awareness to hunger and show the amount of food westerners consume and waste. He called it the food chain because of the cycle which occurred by his consumption, art making, selling then donating the money to charity.
‘You can’t be a feminist and like pink’. Society has a harsh way of making us feel completely out of line and out of context. Based on which criteria? Drumrolls… No one knows. That’s how the anonymous writer of the Ambivalently Yours blog started out. Tired of having to be labeled feminist or fashion girl when she actually wanted to be both, she decided to embrace her contradictions first by leaving notes anonymously in public places (supermarket, airport shuttle, bank machine), then by blogging and finally by drawing. She actually sends illustrations when she replies back to her readers. She uses pastel colors and a humorous tone that speak of the serious subject of finding oneself and accepting to being caught in the middle of two extreme identities.
She is basically saying outloud what a lot of girls and women are thinking and feeling. But who is she? She is a she, that’s all we know. No name, age, eye or hair color. She can be anyone, and that’s the beauty of it. She says the readers ask her questions with no interest in knowing more about details. It’s all about exchanging ideas, celebrating contradictions, confessing emotions, hi-lighting imperfections and being there for each other when no one else understands.
Recently, because being a “boldly undecided girl” is not enough, she decided to set herself a two dimensional challenge. During a 91 day residency at the CCA residency in Glasgow, UK she will answer over 300 emails by drawing back illustrations. The underlying challenge being to deal with uncut isolation and everything that goes with it: solitude, mistakes and meltdowns. The results are predicted to be brilliant as some of them can already be seen on her instagram account. (via Dazed Digital)
When two great artists come together with completely different styles, amazing things can happen. Artists Grady Gordon and Derek Albeck have come together to create a collaborative series in which Gordon starts one of their artworks, and Albeck will finish it. Both artists working in graphite, their work fits together naturally. However, there solo work provides a stark contrast to each other’s styles. Gordon often works in monotype, creating his pigment from ground up cow bones. His organic, abstract techniques could not be more different than his collaborator. Albeck’s work is exceptionally detailed, rendering photorealistic drawings with graphite. When you mix these two opposite methods of creating art together, the results are incredibly unique.
When Gordan and Albeck join forces, their work becomes a hybrid series of morphing, deformed faces that are not of this world. These highly expressive faces are missing many parts such as eyes, a nose, or a mouth at some times. Even the hand that is included in this series appears to have contorting fingers and twisted bones. The winding line work confuses our perception until we cannot tell which end is which, or even, which part is the inside or the outside of the head. You can see this captivating series at the exhibition Sometimes I See You Look At Me Like That at The Smoking Nun Gallery in San Francisco, Califonrnia. You don’t want to miss it, as it ends next month on July 17th.
Hasn’t everyone wanted to be a superhero at one point or another? If you have, then be jealous of Sandra Chevrier’s skillful paintings of stunning women covered in superhero. These women she depicts may not be superheroes themselves, but they are covered in iconic imagery of our favorite heroic superhero characters. The French artist creates these incredibly realistic women with paint and vintage comic book pages collaged over sections of their bodies and faces. Some of the women sport clothing made out of these comic book scraps, others display superhero stories across their faces, covering their eyes or mouth. Familiar icons can be seen sprawling all over Chevrier’s work, with images of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman morphing into one mega narrative. The images seem to multiply, creating an almost overwhelming mash of pop-culture, swallowing up each woman’s body.
Chevrier often uses specific story lines and series associated with specific characters to convey a message of social perception. She explains that the imagery is a comment on the high expectations society gives us to surpass even that of a superhero. One comic series included is The Death of Superman, which reveals the weakness of the world’s ultimate hero. This revelation of failed expectations explores the imperfect nature all humans have. Even the artist’s immaculate and beautiful women are often missing facial features due to the comic book pages transforming their features. Although Chevrier’s women exhibit astonishing beauty, they communicate an important message of living up to your own expectations.
The creative geniuses at Architectural Elements (AE) have created a torturous-looking metal cage that will give its “prisoners” a taste of near-death. Known as a Faraday cage, the device is used in conjunction with Tesla coils to channel 4 million volts of electricity. Locked in the trap, participants are forced to stand still while the glowing current strikes the barrier inches away from their face. The stamped steel mesh allows the electricity to flow harmlessly around the cage. Even though the device is engineered to be safe, such a close encounter with a lethal force is sure to spike the adrenaline.
Several celebrity magicians — such as David Blaine, Chris Angel, and Penn & Teller — have used Faraday cages in their suspense-filled performances. AE, however, has put their own creative spin on the apparatus, invoking the gothic, “mad scientist” aesthetic of Frankenstein: complete with gears, leather, and aged-looking metal, the cage looks cold and sinister. Below is a further description of the imagination that went into this creepy creation:
“Solid head rivets, accurate involute gear tooth geometry, 3D printed bronze logo and specifically designed brass details, manually distressed reclaimed fir, sculpted hexagonal mesh, expert patination, hand crafted leather work and a thousand other details went into the creation of this masterpiece. These details taken individually are insignificant but as a package turn heads and demand distinction in any setting.
‘It was great to have a project where our staff was able to flex their design and fabrication muscles and make it exactly the way we wanted it,’ said AE owner Joe Clark.” (Source)
The video above shows the construction of the cage, concluding with a brief visual of the electric bolt. It is scheduled for installation at the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention located in Bellingham, Washington, so be sure to check it out. Read more about AE’s Faraday cage here.
Brooklyn based painter Alexandra Rubinstein‘s paintings of women in orgasmic moments are beautiful, sensuous and a little bit kitsch. Reminiscent of some over-the-top romance novel illustrations, her paintings are full of women with blue eyeshadow, novel earrings and big hair – kissing, moaning, or caught in the moment of climax. Even though they are a little bit 80s, her paintings focus on an important, modern day feminist issue – the women’s perspective during the act of sex. The series Looking for Mr Goodsex is a series of small sexy vignettes inspired by vintage porn films, in particular the well known ‘Deep Throat’ movie.
The artist explains more about her work:
Inspired by the title of the 1985 movie, they highlight the shots taken of women’s faces – which are less emphasized in contemporary videos. This disparity questions progression in sexuality and value placed on female pleasure as pornography became more accessible and mainstream. The portraits also explore the emotional states of the women in these films. (Source)
While they seem at first to be quite superficial, cheesy and perverse, Rubinstein’s paintings are a celebration of coitus. She has managed to capture moments of tenderness and enjoyment, even though the source from which they come from is something that usually isn’t so sentimental.
While the styling and acting portray a romanticized version of reality, the faces suggest more honest emotions like vulnerability and withdrawal – left up for interpretation of the viewer. The series evolved into stills of male faces, as well as kissing stills. (Source)