There is something unsettling in many of the paintings of Alexis Rockman. His work typically depicts the natural world – wildlife of different sorts in locales as varied. The scenes are surreal as strange groupings of animals converge on a single canvas. However, some sort of order appears to be breaking down and a chaos not often found in nature seems to be gaining ground. Rockman’s paintings illustrate a wider ecological anxiety over our troubled world. In a way he uses his paintings as a form of protest. The work becomes a powerful expression of deep concern that is easy to feel.
Munich, Germany based Cory Stevens shoots architectural photography in a peculiar way. He abstracts the architecture by photographing a segment of a building and reflecting it in various ways. In some photos the reflection is duplicated, and in others its repeated many times as if in a kaleidoscope. All of the reflections merge seamlessly, though, as if it were one floating structure. The strange symmetry gives the buildings an almost organic quality as if it were about to divide and multiply on its own. In a way, they resemble viruses made of steel, cement, and glass.
The artist collective Quiet Ensemble are skilled at making the mundane feel monumental, or at least worth noting. Their installation/ performance art Quintetto is naturally composed of a quintet of goldfish. The little fish may not realize it, but their movements are of consequence. Placed in tall tanks, the vertical movements of the fish are monitored and converted into sound. Each fish is assigned a separate tank. The installation seems to give some sort of order to the random, and in a strange way lend gravity to something that is trivial. Check out the video to see the fish in action in full performance art glory!
Paper art has especially blossomed in the past few years. Few, perhaps none, are more meticulously detailed and worked the sculptures of Rogan Brown. His pieces seem organic, as if grown rather than cut. Their reflection of nature if further reflected in the medium, paper not far removed from trees. He says of his sculptures:
“My work is an exploration and re-presentation of natural organic forms both mineral and vegetal. I look for patterns and repeated motifs that run through natural phenomena at different scales, from the microscopic to the macroscopic, from individual cells to large scale geological formations.” (via)
The subject of Suren Manvelyan is so basic to photography it seems to hardly ever be captured individually. While typically considered as “windows to the soul” in art, Manvelyan’s series considers the beauty of the human eye simply as a biological structure. Eye colors are especially vivid in his images. However, it is the texture of the eye that is especially arresting. The iris seems like an alien terrain or some or some sort of cosmic object contrasting with the black void of the pupil.
Artists David Ellis and Blu blended two art forms that rarely meet: street art and animation. Throughout the video the mural takes over an entire building unfolding through a stop motion style. At times the art playfully utilizes aspects of the structure’s architecture – a style Blu has expertly developed in his work (for example, check out the first piece in this post.) The artists tirelessly paint and repaint images to further the animated sequence. Amazing images are quickly covered over to make way for the next image. The labor necessary was certainly staggering as is the self-control necessary to paint over pieces that were just complete.
During the summer of this year a small group of people struggled to preserve a public park. Quickly the scope widened, crowds grew, and the underlying anger became about something much larger than a park. The demonstrations were considered to be widely peaceful. At times, however, emotions and force erupted with violence. Photographer Barbaros Kayan was on the ground to capture the unfolding protests. There is a subtle difference about his series Occupy Taksim that distinguishes it from much of photojournalism covering the events, a certain frank grittiness. Its almost clear from the images, the photographer is familiar with the city, intimate with the battleground.
Artist Gemis Luciani takes the term ‘marginal’ literally in his art work. His abstract compositions use regular magazines as a medium and material. Luciani folds the pages of the magazines in a way to only expose the margins. The simple method erases all text, layout and images. He deconstructs the magazine making the marginal central. Interestingly, the pieces often resemble a mix of minimalism and glitch art. His work walks the line of painting and sculpture.