“On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.
For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.
Yuri Suzuki is an English artist/designer/inventor who has been making some really remarkable objects. They’re not really “art” in a traditional sense, but they’re not products or inventions that would ever be used by The People, nor are they simple design ideas. What they are, is amazing–phonograph globes, flame organs, theremin radios. Yuri is also a big supporter of the DIY community, so if you’re wondering how to make any of his objects, he has instructions for most of them on his website. Suzuki’s is a very special brain. Check out videos of his objects in action after the jump! ( via )
Ralph Pugay‘ is a Portland artist who makes awesome, lighthearted paintings. His colors and content is all comic, but his style reminds me of a combination of Waldo and Pieter Bruegel–a million things going on with lots of different characters all in one big flattened space. One of the thing i love about this, Waldo, and Pieter, is that you can spend a whole afternoon staring at and finding new, funny things in them. Confused hunters, dancing office workers, spiritual gymnasts; I can’t get enough. Check out the rest after the jump, then go look at the other 42 on his website!
Irena Zablotska is a Ukrainian artistborrows inspiration from Eastern European folk art and super saturated cartoons to make drawings that are mythic, cute, and psychedelic. Like Stacey Rozich, she makes creatures that are combinations of animals, people, plants, and patterns. Her world is one where life hasn’t splintered into different forms but exists in one animistic force, or maybe it’s a world where we’ve evolved to such a degree that we can collage lifeforms onto one another to make new inter-special selves. As graphic as they are colorful, they’re a real visual treat.
In honor of Felix Baumgartner’s recent space jump, we present you with Kevin Margo’s Grounded. After falling from a presumed spaceship crash, we experience the adjustments of an astronaut’s consciousness on his new planet. The artist explains:
“One astronaut’s journey through space and life ends on a hostile exosolar planet. Grounded is a metaphorical account of the experience, inviting unique interpretation and reflection by the viewer. Themes of aging, inheritance, paternal approval, cyclic trajectories, and behaviors passed on through generations are explored against an ethereal backdrop.”
The production quality is top notch, especially for a short film– visual effects, costumes, soundscape; the lighting alone is worth eight minutes of your time. Check it out after the jump!
If you’re in Toronto, or going to be before november 3, you should check out Permanent Demandat Cooper Cole Gallery right now. CC put together some smart, funny, and energetic pieces loosely about art and consumerism by Jesse Harris, William Buzzell, and Andrew Jeffrey Wright to make what looks to be a great show.
“This exhibition, Permanent Demand, explores the impact consumer culture has on society and the idea of art as commodity. Subjects tackled include wealth and social structures, luxury goods and real estate, politics and products. While each artist works in a very different style, a dialogue between the three exists through shared cultural influences of a generation. This exhibition will feature an accompanying catalogue available in a limited edition.” – Cooper Cole Gallery
Georgia Dickie makes sculptures by assembling found objects, most of them large, heavy, and industrial. They seem to be as much about object culture as they are about form and clutter. Unlike some of her contemporaries like Daniel Eatock who focus on common and found objects by turning them into funny absurdities, Dickie’s abstractions of objects are more serious explorations of the objects shapes and uses. But with object culture inevitably comes clutter culture, which Dickie acknowledges in her installation which resembles the back of an old man’s garage. Already in the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art at the age of 23, she has a big future waiting for her. Keep your eyes peeled! More sculptures after the jump.
Hold on to your eyeballs, Matthew Zefeldt‘s paintings just might wipe them out. Matthew’s enormous paintings seem to use every possible color and it’s obvious that he doesn’t just “like color”– he loves it, and is really good at it. Using color to give control thick, abstract figures form and depth, and flattening his pedestals, Zefeldt’s paintings are a new and wonderful take on impasto abstraction, so thick that some of them look more like a gum wall than a painting. His work is also great because he uses his goopy application to show what portrait paintings really are–paint! But instead of taking a cynical approach to the problem–“oh no, how could we be attaching so much significance and power to these things that are really just a bunch of paint”–his view seems more enthusiastic, as if to say, “yes, this is a bunch of paint–that’s why they’re the best!” I can’t wait to see more. If you want to see some in person, he has a piece hanging until the 10th in a FFDG Gallery group show The Diamond Seaalong with curiot and lots of other young up and comers. If you’re not in the bay area, you can see more of his work after the jump.