Curtis Santiago (Talwst) has created a series of wall-mounted relief masks out of altered Bossons heads. He has conspicuously attached shutter shades, Ray Bans, and gold fronts to the familiar, idiosyncratic mass-produced sculptures. A modern take on 15th century Italian Death Masks, the works are Santiago’s farewell to certain aspects of “Swag Rap Culture” and other possibly misguided, recent advents of Popular Culture. Industrialization and watered down culture with Renaissance undertones? Pretty interesting. Talwst will be exhibiting his Swagged Out Bossons Heads at Fuse Gallery in NYC from August 15th through September 12th.
Yunwoo Choi, who holds two M.F.A.’s (one in Sculpture, one in Fine Art), creates large scale sculpture out of rolled up magazines. But that sounds so much more boring than what the artist’s work actually brings to the table. The magazines lend a chunky, geometric punch to the already weighted works that is hard to anticipate only from a textual description. So many magazines are used in each piece that the works almost buzz with a busy violence, which is weird when you consider that they only consist of a a bunch of newsprint. This contradiction calls into question conventional concepts of strength, weight, and coherence. (via)
As part of a summer workshop at Duke University’s Center For Documentary Studies, Frith Gowan and Ayanna Seals created a short film about printmaker Bill Fick. The video cuts back and forth between an interview with Fick and footage of the artist’s lino cut process. It’s always great to get a glimpse into a talented artist’s process, but the interview is really insightful as well. Fick, who features monsters and skulls pretty heavily within his work, speaks about what his subject matter might indicate about his personality, his interests, and his response to the world. He never takes himself too seriously though, which is nice to see. Watch the video after the jump. (via)
French artist Olivier Garraud has created Second Life, an installation that encapsulates the life cycle of flies in real time. The piece consists of two parts: an apparatus that allows flies access to food, and a tube filled with maggots and flies connected to an amplifier. Second Life allows us to examine the relatively short life-span of an insect on concise, bare bones terms, generating a context which can be applied to personal events. More images after the jump, and you can also check out a video of the installation in action here.
The Festival Des Architectures Vives, of Montpellier in Southern France, is an annual exhibition showcasing new talent in architectural installation. The Festival is currently in its 7th year. Here are a few images of some of the stuff that’s gone down. Repetition seems to be a popular theme this year, as many of the installations involved in the event feature identical or similar elements multiplied a few times over. The small alcove spaces that contain each piece work really well. They restrict the work just enough to create a slight amount of tension, but don’t distract from or impede any of the installations. See more from the show after the jump. (via)
SVA grad Mu Pan brings East Asian woodblock aesthetics to his colorful, animated paintings. Not much of a “Zen” vibe is to be found here, though. Full of life, the Brooklyn artist’s work explodes off the canvas in a rush of sex and violence. Base, animalistic sensibilities are collected and processed en masse within each piece, and hardly any opportunity for impact is passed over. Really engrossing stuff, whether the focus is placed on a few central figures, or all-encompassing atmosphere.
Spanish Photographer Andres Medina has a knack for creating beauty with very little. There’s really not too much action in a lot of his photographs. Somehow, though, he frames such emptiness with beautiful lighting and technique in a way that amplifies the emptiness of the world in a really appealing way. Some of Medina’s best stuff is taken at night. You can almost feel the moist, cold air in his night photos, and your ears prick up as you are drawn into their silent world. The pictures celebrate our passive surroundings, as the lack of animated subject matter minimizes distraction. Some things are centered around such an internalized power source that you have to black out the rest of the world just to notice them.
The texture on these mixed media paintings from Canadian artist James Kirkpatrick is insane. Packed with color, the artist’s nebulous, jumbled works, which contain just the slightest hint of concrete elements here and there (is that a car? –wait– is that a face, now?), exist very close to complete abstraction. This deft “one foot in, one foot out” dance is indicative of great skill on Kirkpatrick’s part. The subtlety of these paintings is really where their greatest value is. In a culture where everything is increasingly spelled out for us ahead of time, it’s nice to preserve a little bit of mystery.
Kirkpatrick is taking part in Zaga Zow, a group show at Cooper Cole in Toronto, until August 18.