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.”
Inflatables have had an important place in Max Streicher’s work since 1989. In most of his sculptures and installations he has used industrial fans and simple valve mechanisms to animate sewn forms with lifelike gestures. His use of light and papery materials, like Tyvek (and more recently nylon spinnaker), have been significant to the character of their development, specifically to his focus on movement. The weightlessness of this material allows it to respond with surprising subtlety to the action of air within it. Streicher uses air to animate his work because it provides an effortless naturalism. It not only looks right, it feels right, recollecting our sensation of breath.
Inflatables are the medium of enchantment, fantasy and optimism, but things do go wrong. Take the Hindenburg, for example. Macy’s Parade balloon characters occasionally crash into the crowd. In Streicher’s work the distress behind the whimsy takes different forms. Scale is one factor. The giants, for example, are intended to overwhelm. In contrast to similar commercial counterparts, they are out of control. They appear to struggle, but why and to what end? However that sense of disruption is read also depends on what the individual viewer brings to the work. For some, gasping for breath, endlessly straining to rise, portray an image of playfulness, and even resurrection, while for others it is distinctly an image of torture. Both cases however involve physical empathy, a bodily recognition of the elemental—powerful and tenuous—forces that animate us all. (via)
Germany based Kuin Heuff paints portraits on paper which she then cuts up from the layers of paint into ornate lace-like structures. These intricate cuttings create a complex web of patterns that reference everything from anatomical drawings to woodcut prints. (via)
Celebrity photography is usually quite dull focusing on the popularity and power of the star. So it’s a breath of fresh air to pull up the portfolio of London based photographer Levon Biss and discover images of celebrities that are full of humor, quirky narrative, and unique sets.
Aorta is the name of a collaborative project between photographers kristian kraen and marco grizelj. since 1998 the two swedes have been working as a creative team in the most diverse photographic areas. the range of aorta includes people, fashion and still life photography for advertising, editorial and artistic purposes. kraen and grizelj are characterized by a playful use of film elements and a mode of expression that includes pathos and mysticism, as well as a fair allowance of profound humor which gives their photographic scenarios an unmistakable emotional concentration.