Street art has become especially exciting and unpredictable over the last several years. However, the last place many would expect to find it is on the water. The New York based street artist SWOON designed three sea vessels built from salvaged material. The “flotilla” sailed from the coast of Slovenia to Venice, Italy. Though, definitely not the street SWOON effectively brings an urban aesthetic to sea. Photographer Tod Seelie was along for the ride to document the trip. The photographs and wild journey are as amazing as the vessels themselves. The raucous mash up of materials perfectly match the crew and set the atmosphere for what was certainly a wild ride.
The photography of Amanda Charchian is like a vaguely familiar dream. Her series featured here make a strange sort of sense in much the way a dreams do. Titled When There is Nothing Left to Burn, You Have to Set Yourself on Fire, Charchian makes use of an all female cast of subjects, primary coloring, peculiar lighting, and hazily 1970’s fashion photography aesthetic for an understated surreal atmosphere. However, she especially makes skillful use of the scenery blending all of the components into one sun-induced hallucination. Interestingly, she says of her process:
“I really enjoy what I do, so I am constantly working. I am very fast paced and I like working in a trance state, so it doesn’t suit me to adhere to a particular plan. The process always starts with that sort of light bulb flash (usually when I am doing something really mundane), and then I refine the concept. With that concept lurking, the physical making of the work always becomes very intuitive.” (via)
Artist Gina Ruggeri skillfully plays with perspective and spatial illusion. Her work often takes the form of painted Mylar cutouts employing trope-l’oeil techniques. Natural objects such as logs, stones, and smoke seem to float off the wall and into the gallery space. In other work the white walls give way to rot, decay, and caverns. Though Ruggeri’s work is eye-catching a definite and clear painting tradition stands out in her work. She frequently forgoes the traditional canvas for plastic film but her composition and techniques is reminiscent of past styles. The background landscapes of Renaissance portraits appear to have outgrown their frames (and conventional physics for that matter) and now unfold directly on the gallery walls.
Artist Li Lihong expertly juxtaposes two familiar but disparate sets of imagery. He renders familiar corporate logos as three dimensional sculptures. However, these are more than just sculptures. Li uses traditional ceramicist techniques coupled with Chinese iconography. The pairing of traditional and contemporary, East and West, corporate and fine art isn’t such a violent clash one may expect. Rather, the over arching familiarity, through from contrasting sources, is nearly complimentary.
I know it wasn’t easy for you. That is, those inevitable years, often landing around middle school, when we all seem to exude an uncontrollable weirdness. While doing our best making our way through that awkward phase, it often seems like it’ll never pass. However, designer Merilee Allred offers proof that it does indeed pass. Her Awkward Years Project captures not-so-award looking people showing off their awkward years photos. While the project does illustrate that us nerds, geeks, freaks, fashion illiterate, and all around weirdos do pull out of it, it points out something more important: when it seems like no one will go easy on you, perhaps especially when things seem this way, own it.
The installations of Katharina Grosse are disorienting in scale, color, and material. Her use of color is wild bordering on violent. Brightly colored paint is sprayed over any surface the artist pleases, from the floor to walls and windows. Huge heaps of painted dirt fill the gallery space transforming the space from an architectural to a geological one. The dirt, paint, and various objects seem to intentionally undermine the white box that houses the installation. Her installations raucously question the very space they inhabit by allowing visitors experience it in a transformative way.
We often think of bodies as opposed to landscapes. The figure belongs to the portrait and natural scenery to the landscape – bodies inhabit the landscape. For Carl Warner‘s series of photographs, though, the bodies make the landscape. Twisting torsos, bent limbs, crevices, and folds are given finer than the typical attention. Layering of bodies and parts with such focus on detail create landscape like images. Mountains, caverns, and valleys seem to rise out of the figures and become a land of skin. [via]
Thierry Dreyfus doesn’t hang his art on the gallery wall, but instead splits it. His Rupture installations use the white box gallery space as a starting point. The pristine walls seem to have cracked and slightly seperate as if it were a tectonic fault line. Inside is the craggy masses of wall bathed by a warm golden glow or a cold silver light. The fissure encourages the imagination to speculate on what lies beyond the walls. It is interesting to notice how the color of the light colors the imagination in connection with the ruptures. While the golden crack nearly conveys a fairy-tale like curiosity, the silver rupture has a menacing sort of undertone.