Spanish designer Jordi Ferreiro takes on a role often overlooked in the creative industry when he organizes these art workshop for kids. Though I’m definitely not qualified to make any astute comments on arts education in the American school system, it’d be nice if there was umm… more of it. It’s interesting though, to see the sort of primitive forms and ideas presented in the children’s artworks and think “Wow, the stuff made by (enter currently hip artist’s name who makes drawings that look like kids made them) totally looks like this!”. Maybe the form is completely mastered but not the thoughts behind it because the output of a child’s imagination is fresh. We’re just all jaded and hungry for irony.
Texas based photographer William Hundley is really proof that 1) repetition is not a bad idea and 2) practice makes perfect. His project Entopic Phenomenon (“visual effects whose source is within the eye itself”) has gotten a bit of buzz but I also liked his other domestic art experiments with cheeseburgers’ stacking potential and the neatest most efficient ways to store a nude body in the house.
Francine Spiegl is kind of like the painterly female counterpart to Paul McCarthy’s chocolatey, syrupy, Santa, violent, chopping, dripping, slopping performances. In fact, for her upcoming exhibition “Mud and Milk” at Deitch projects, Spiegel created a massive performance that called for “10 pounds of grits, 5 jugs of pancake syrup, 10 squirt bottles of grape jelly, 5 bottles of Pepto-Bismol, 20 buckets of tempura paint, 20 cans of whipped cream; plus silly string, shaving cream, Fruit Loops, flour, Kool-Aid, glitter, pie, marshmallow Fluff, fake arms, fake blood and chocolate syrup.” These ingredients were researched and taken from Fangoria Magazine’s behind the scene horror movie ingredients.
Justin Scrappers aka Scrapperstown is an art director and artist based in Portland, Oregon who creates on the motto of “crazy ideas, low budget, fast pace, bare-bones crew and all the other magical things it takes to make sure nothing gets in the way of the work.” And as the main creative thrust of the Portland Mercury (the city’s one and only weekly newspaper), he really seems to have become the mayor of Scrapperstown. Shows you really CAN get the job done without having any less fun.
Barry X Ball’s personally selected subjects all start their floating-head lives as plaster casts that eventually becoming impaled on some sort of suspended device. They’re scanned by 3D laser scanners then meticulously carved into portraitures that bear high resemblance to their subjects. One of such was Matthew Barney, whose head was installed on a 69 inch spike of plated gold. Hey guys…what do you say? Barneys instead of Jacks?
Michael Mallis, former candidate for Pittsburgh mayoratorial race, is now a devout scientologist. He makes sloppy drawings, comics, videos and animations that rely on toilet humor. His work has been screened on every continent except Australia. You’ll weep, you’ll laugh, and you’ll knit your eyebrows in ecstatic confusion. His video Natural Selection, in particular, sort of reminds me of Fantastic Planet…and that story I read as a child about some big man lost in in the sea who woke up being strapped down by midgets.
Brendan Lott is a painter, sculptor, and exporter of services. These works (which you can see at San Francisco’s Baer Ridgway Gallery starting Oct. 17) began as an attempt to bring his practice in line with his life as a person living in 21st century America – he has no direct input into the development or manufacture of any product he consumes, other than to consume it. He finally abandoned his studio practice and began to spend his art making time collecting digital snapshots anonymously from peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Out of tens of thousands of snapshots he looks at, he selects just a few and email them to professional painters living in China. They reproduce the image in oils and send the painting back to him. (The above text was adapted from his website’s about page.) I wonder what these Chinese painters think as they’re working on these snapshots in varying degrees of gluttonous “American” fun aside from the fact that they are the extreme opposite of misty mountain ranges and philosophical poets?