Lionel Bawden is an Australian artist working in sculpture, performance, installation and painting. Bawden’s core practice exploits hexagonal colored pencils as a sculptural material, reconfigured and carved into amorphous shapes, mining the material’s rich qualities of color, geometry and metaphor. Bawden explores themes of flux, transformation and repetition as preconditions to our experience of the physical world, essential to the construction of identity. Bawden’s sculptural works harness landscape as a stand-in for the body, personal themes of desire, longing and interconnection become abstracted in a generative process to create form. Bawden’s recent paintings explore darker psychological states, grounded in an exploration of an ambivalent relationship between figure and landscape. These paintings mark a return to the figure after a sustained fascination with more oblique approaches to articulating aspects of the human condition.
Japanese designer Miharu Matsunaga has followed in the footsteps of polka dot queen Yayoi Kusama and covered everything with dots! for her college graduation project Miharu created an elaborate body of work using pattern that engulfs every surface from the human body to entire rooms . The result is a vibrating decorative surface that references everything from topographical maps to an ultra zoom of skin pores.(via)
Street artist EPOS 257 built himself a giant paint cannon and decided to liberate some billboards. This thing looks like it could cause a lot of damage and be a lot of fun. EPOS 257 says about this project “this is not an attack on a particular advert but billboard as a medium in general, which in this context represents a painter`s canvas in the urban landscape.” More paint cannon fun after the jump! (via)
Rebecca Morgan creates a collection of characters and types, a cross between Brueghel’s stylized peasants, R. Crumb’s winking harlots, “Deliverance”, and the inbred mutants of many a horror flick. Morgan takes her background in rural Appalachia as the point of origin for her personae – as they become uncultured tourists, or especially in her self-portraits, expatriate interlopers ambivalently negotiating their depiction. Morgan’s more exotic rednecks inhabit a rural America where people exist intimately and potently with the wilderness, a relationship which urbanites can only smirk at and envy. Nature is either wistfully idyllic – the idyl found in a margarine ad – or the scene of demonically perverse debauchery.
Morgan’s style fluctuates between hyper-detailed naturalism, reminiscent of Dutch painters such as Memling and Van Eyck, and cartoonish caricature, which pushes the imagery to a ridiculous, repulsive, even absurd dimension. Jagged teeth, furry brows, corpulent bodies symbolic of sloth and over-indulgence, and a general air of dirty unkeptness all exploit the demonization of the Appalachian. Internal traits come to the surface, and while Morgan exorcizes her country folk’s demons, ridicule mixes with pride and defiant celebration. In her alternately tender and aggressive depictions of herself, she bares all – a metaphoric exposure of her former rural character, or to prod the viewer to question their own position.
Amsterdam based Jasper de Beijer constructs detailed scale models and staged sets, which then create a specific and entirely made-up image. De Beijer’s work stems from a fascination with the pictorial and photographic information of foreign cultures and former historical periods. Each series is specifically inspired, but ends with photographs that are dreamlike and not quite real. De Beijer focuses on real cultures and events that are removed from his own personal experience, dealing with the character of information that is created by photography. The distance created between artist, viewer and subject matter is further built upon by De Beijers staging process to build a bridge from “there” to “here”.
The beautifully rendered photo realist paintings of Turin based Vesna Bursich depict paper dolls and cut out figures that are crumpled, bent, collaged, and crumpled almost to the point of abstraction. Arranged as props in the artists fictional narrative, these paintings depict a psychological storyline that has no beginning nor end.
Through a series of provocative self-portraits rendered as paintings, photographs, and film, Andrea Mary Marshall examines the intersection of identity, female sexuality, and consumer culture in the context of the “ideal woman.”
“A Woman is a beast. She is as lovely as she is repulsive. She is one part demon and one part goddess…one part slave, one part muse…one part child and one part mother…these contradictions are what make a woman so intoxicating.” – Andrea Mary Marshall
Toxic Women is a narrative collection of work that looks at the implications of trying to live up to the cultural figment of the “ideal woman”. Through identity play that borders on performance, Marshall reinvents herself as highly developed characters meticulously crafted through the art of fashion, makeup, wigs, and props. For her series of “Vague Covers”, Marshall depicts the “toxic woman” as a dichotomy, born out of a pursuit of the ideal, simultaneously adored and rejected by society. There is the addict, the temptress, the woman with no boundaries, the self-saboteur, the perfectionist and the fame whore—archetypical toxic women Marshall has both encountered and embodied. Beginning with the “Vague Covers”, and carried out through the entire collection, the work explores the space where feelings for this toxic woman turn from infatuation to disgust, from attraction to repulsion.
“We all have our demons. We can’t move into the light unless we’re willing to look at our darkness.” – Andrea Mary Marshall
Ben Venom’s current solo show at Guerrero gallery in San Francisco looks amazing. If you’re in the Bay Area make sure check the only art show that both headbanging heshers as well as your 80 year old grandma will enjoy.
“Guerrero Gallery is pleased to present, I Call The Shots, an exhibition of new works by Ben Venom. Presenting a reinterpretation of two seemingly opposing forces, the extremes of Heavy Metal culture and the tradition of handmade craft, Venomʼs juxtaposition of the two forces results in a collision that is vibrant and intricate. His ability to associate each component of his primary medium, old band t-shirts which he personally connects with in some way or another, with the grand scheme of his pieces, is evidence of the thoughtful and enduring process behind his craft. Venomʼs work lends to his ability to masterfully develop relevant concepts, sketch the designs in consideration of the large-scale puzzle piece patterns they will evolve into, and then patiently execute with needle and thread. In Venomʼs words, his work “is serious, yet attempts to take on a B movie Horror film style, where even the beasts of Metal need a warm blanket to sleep with.”
The exhibit runs through July 7th, 2012.