Mike Perry is of the artist/illustrator/designer/art director/teacher/typographer/zine-maker breed who have put all their energy into making a living off of creativity. Taking inspiration from Steven Harrington (an LA contemporary), cartoons, and mid century ad copy, Perry’s work is all about enjoying life and encouraging others to live more creatively à la Sister Corita. He has a show up right now until November 20 in Brooklyn called Wandering Around Wondering. I use the term “show” loosely, Because keeping in the spirit of 100% outward-directed positivity, it’s equal parts original work, workshops, and open community events, all of which are free. His press release describes it pretty well:
“Wandering Around Wondering is a free three-month community exhibition and series of events that will coincide with the launch of my monograph, published by Rizzoli. The event space will host workshops, screenings, gatherings, open discussions, and much more — conducted by me and a select group of design and illustration professionals. The space will become a dynamic environment for continuous creation, where visitors will be able to explore freely and create their own unique experiences.”
Natalie Frank‘s paintings are worlds in which both form and formality have been melted away. Faces have been disintegrated into their constituent parts, held together by goopy swathes of color; subjects are diving into free love, violent and vulnerable states. One thing you might notice when looking at her work is that however distended every other part of a body may be, at least one eye is always in sharp focus. This may or may not have to do with the fact that until this last summer, Natalie could only receive optical sensation from her left eye, causing her to see a two dimensional world. How you theorize about that information in relation her work is up to you, but if you want to do it in person, she has a show up at Fredericks & Freiser until November 3. Check it out!
Beth Cavener Stichter uses animals in her sculptures as metaphors for the irrational world humans have trouble tapping into. As sculptures of animals, we’re encouraged to feel more directly what we see the animals going through, more so than we would with a human being whom we would try to supply with a narrative context. This is part of the problem Beth is trying to deal with,to get us to embrace the unconscious and irrational parts of our existence instead of repressing them in order to assert our Humanity. The artist explains:
“There are primitive animal instincts lurking in our own depths, waiting for the chance to slide past a conscious moment. The sculptures I create focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms. On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface they embody the impacts of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality. ”
Japanese artist Mr. built an installation in the Lehmann MaupinGallery that is a gorgeous messy heap of cultural garbage/treasure. Using old anime posters, tarps, wood veneer cabinets, bouncy balls and the like, Mr’s installation overwhelms us with the incredible amounts of Stuff we as a society create; a physical version of contemporary internet culture’s constant sensory overload. His show is up for another three days, so if you’re in the NY area, catch it while you can! Press release:
“Mr. has envisioned a complex, chaotic installation that serves as immersive sculpture by forcing viewers to interact with the work and places them in a scenario that is psychologically unsettling. His new body of work aspires to blur the distinction between the interior and exterior through the construction of structures and atmospheres inhabited by familiar objects that are conversely used to communicate the unfamiliar: in this instance, an experience most people have not lived. Viewers are given insight to the psychological state of Japan all the while remaining alien to the experience. Composed of garbage and everyday objects from Japanese life, this installation stands as a reminder of the debris that blanketed Tohoku in the aftermath of March 11.”
Diana Al-Hadid is a Syrian-born artist who grew up in the US, and coming from such rich backgrounds, it is easy to see why her work deals with the disintegration of power and history. Melting statues and monuments, paintings that look like they were left out in the rain for centuries, the work in her show at the Marianne Boesky Gallery looks more like anthropological pompei-like discoveries than they do precious art objects, which is kind of the point. It encourages you to wonder what kinds of remnants our empires will leave behind for the future to dig up, or for others, maybe it is a call to arms to incite some cultural anarchy. Her show also closes on the 20th of this month, so stop by if you’re in the neighborhood!
Julie Heffernan‘s paintings take all the tropes of Northern Renaissance painting, combines them, and makes them into absurd works that feel like art history collages rendered by one of the masters themselves. She has a show coming up at the Mark Moore Gallery on November 3, so if you like what you see, make sure to check out her opening, it sounds great!
At age 72, Mernet Larson is having her first solo show in new york right now. Her show Three Chapters is slated to be shown in three consecutive bodies of work– Heads and Bodies, Places, and Narratives. The first two have already come and gone, but if you’re in the NY area you should check out her Narratives chapter at the Johannes Vogt gallery before it gets taken down on the 27th . “These works navigate the divide between abstraction and representation with a form of geometric figuration that owes less to Cubo-Futurism than to de Chirico, architectural rendering and early Renaissance painting of the Sienese kind. They relish human connection and odd, stretched out, sometimes contradictory perspectival effects, often perpetuated by radical shifts in scale.” - New York Times (via)
Bina Baitel is a French product designer whose takes previously distinct pieces of furniture–futons, stools, lamps– and combines them to make some wild looking objects. Like most great product design, they look more like sculptures than they do products. We could all probably use some more melting lamps in our lives. (via)