Chicago-based SAIC faculty and grad, Amy Honchell works with textiles to craft whirling installations of otherworldly landscapes. Honchell bends cloth, which protects us and keeps us warm, through a warped process that challenges the medium’s association with benevolence. Hochell’s mountainous compositions remove memories of blanket-swathed crib slumber, and stitch the trappings of journey and struggle in their place.
Anders Oinonen, of Ontario, Canada, just opened “People people”, a solo show at Cooper Cole in Toronto. For a while now, Oinonen has been pushing the features of the face to new bounds in his paintings. The artist has removed familiar eyes, noses, and mouths from their intended plane, and inserted them along the lines of an Expressionist landscape. Such a presentation of the face -associated with communication of our inner life more than any other part of the body- in tumultuous states of despair and incredulity as stimulating blocks of color masterfully applied to canvas arranges a statement which is hard to miss and extensive in depth.
You can also read a copy of Beautiful/Decay Issue: Z to read an in-depth interview with Anders.
Edrem, (merde backwards), is a collaborative sketchblog from three French/Belgian designer-illustrators: Sébastien Paquereau, David Zazurca, and Steven Burke. The concept of the project, as is instantly evident to the viewer, is based in achieving volume. Paquereau, Zazurca, and Burke just want to get as many whimsical, stream-of-consciousness graphics out into the world as possible. In Burke’s words:
“We like not to say who we are when we talk about Edrem, because this is not the point of the blog. We try to get…massive numbers of experimentations and funny things [onto the blog], but we don’t care if the drawing is well done or not, it just has to be understandable…”
We all have a tendency to get heavily involved in our various projects, exerting microscopic levels of control on our output. Edrem reminds us that pulling off the reigns a little bit can yield many fruitful results. The Edrem crew staged an exhibition in Spring of 2010 at Michard Ardillier in Bordeaux entitled, “La Palissade”.
Portlander/Swede, Edward Jeffrey Kriksciun staged a wonderful show featuring paper cutouts at Portland’s tremendous space, Nationale, in 2009. In November of last year, he came back to Nationale to exhibit drawings and collage that give us an idea of what Saul Steinberg’s work might look like if he were still around.
When Bonnie Brenda Scott is not busy heading up Philadelphia’s Wham City –RIP– analog, Big Rock Candy Mountain, she produces feverish images of life and death, blood and guts, and the wild and free. With a penchant for rendering juicy bulbs of organic tissue and staging spectacular installations, she could be called a more mystical Mark Dean Veca. But such a label would pin her down too much toward something she’s not. Scott’s work engages the natural world on a level far above Veca’s laminated scale. She speaks for the elements of the world that are dirty; hard to contain. There are neon wolves out there, constantly on the hunt, and we best be on watch.
Marci Washington is an artist, based in Northern California. Her lightly rendered gouache and watercolor paintings depict the interiors and exteriors of creepy houses, reed-bordered pitch swamps, forbidden correspondence, and nocturnal, aristocratic cannibals who always seem to maintain a certain measure of grace amidst unsavory conditions and elements. To me, it’s always appeared as if such figures are pausing for her to paint their portrait while the world crumbles around them. A macabre fashion shoot staged amidst the apocalyptic environs of a world without sunrises, Washington’s delicate, detailed work is a rich stroke of contrast between dark and light; brutality and delicacy. I caught up with Marci in-between her various travels and projects and, in keeping with her reputation for graciousness, she answered some questions and brought us up to speed with her career. (Images courtesy of Rena Bransten Gallery.)
Steven Kenny’s portraiture and figure paintings form a vibrant commentary on the nature of balance, sexuality, and that fickle concept: transcendence. Controlling a unique penchant for lighting and surrealism, Kenny has filled a rich portfolio with figures and dynamic echoes that pervade every sense with which we associate being alive.
Melvin Galapon’s digital aesthetic has been adapted and applied to an extremely diverse range of projects. yet his strong ability within his medium and highly creative compositions remain a constant. His thought-provoking, visually pleasing take on the search for warmth in a cold, modern existence is equally impacting in his high-profile illustration and design work as it is in a more intimate format, like a small-scale installation piece.