Lotta Mattila is a Helsinki-based Finnish sculptor who is currently the artist-in-residence at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Mattila finds meaning in the contradictions between her sculptures’ form and their content (a literal battering ram made of glass), and uses those material contradictions to comment on human nature, often by punning off of Finnish sayings.
Mattila’s Skylab exhibition Gravitation opens Friday (11/30) and runs until December 10th. Gravitation takes the “weight of the world” – its physicality and heaviness when one is depressed – as its central metaphor. More of Mattila’s work can be found after the jump.
Da’Niro Elle Brown‘s new collection of wearable sculpture, Lumina, premierestonight (9/29/12) at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Brown is currently a sophomore at the Columbus College of Art and Design where she studies fine art, dance, and fashion design. After the jump are images of two earlier bodies of work Brown has put out – her Industrial and Natural collections.
San Francisco-based artist David Berezin creates still lifes by manipulating low-res stock photos, often found on Google Images, and Photoshopping the disparate parts into coherent collages that mimic commercial photography. Berezin’s use of “new media” methods of making produces an ironic contrast between contemporary, post-internet life and all that cultural baggage left by the Twentieth century’s top-down, capitalist media. These digital assemblages make the ha-has by reconstructing the out-moded logic of genre narratives through the use of culturally-loaded objects that rely on vocabularies of cliché developed in pop forms like B-movies and boilerplate novels.
Jack Ramunni is a graduating senior at the Columbus College of Art and Design, a school with a sclerotic curriculum geared toward producing graphic designers for local corporations, a place where “fine art” tends to begin and end at object-based art-making for commercial galleries. Ramunni, using this restrictive background as a catalyst, instigated an array of projects aimed at redefining what contemporary art is and what we should expect it to do.
Ramunni and Nikki Skrinak have coined the term “Social Heat” to describe the intent of his artwork. Social Heat is:
“…the spontaneous transfer of energy from one body, group of individuals, or larger social system to another due to a multiplicity of connections and modes of communication.”
Ramunni uses a variety of methods to achieve this goal. In Sweater Shoppe, he reworked the logic of the market system by co-founding a trade-based pop-up “store” replete with its own currency; with Late Lunch Live, a weekly USTREAM cooking show, Ramunni turned the banal activity of making lunch into free community entertainment; in EX-PDF Library, he exchanged lithographed bookmarks for PDF files from the public, which he printed out and made available in a public library; in Benches Gallery, Ramunni created a portable gallery for showcasing artwork in public spaces, excising commercial concerns from the gallery experience.
FASTWÜRMS is a Canadian artist collective started in 1979 by Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse, who are associate professors of studio art at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Their artwork seemingly encompass all disciplines – installation, video, manifesto, performance, drawing, etc – and concerns witch positivity, working class aesthetics, queer politics, and public collaborations. Many of the images after the jump are taken from the FASTWÜRMS: DONKEY@NINJA@WITCHcatalogue that accompanied a 2007 retrospective at the Art Gallery of York University.
In Jessica Langley‘s artwork, the staid landscape genre is revivified through jokes, ha-has, and a reworking of the conceptual apparatus attached to depicting the environment. Langley, a adjunct associate professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, creates new avenues at the margins of “landscape,” by interrogating its space in the human imagination rather than in its physical fact. For instance, in the series Outfitters, Langley explores the troubling conflation of killing nature with loving nature by using the brand names of hunting apparel companies like “Real Tree,” “Open Country,” and “Forever Wild” as edifying doses of black humor. In The Awwand Make CATopia Real (with Ben Kingsley) series, Langley uses kit-kats as a method to defuse all that modernist baggage that accompanies human quests for utopia. But what is CATopia? Extensive networks of imposing cat towers to play on? Free nip for all? It’s unclear, but Langley compels us to consider it worth purrsuing.
Langley is the first artist participating in Skylab Gallery‘s new artist-in-residence program in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Her exhibition at Skylab opens at the end of May 2012. Until then, view more of her work after the jump.
Aidan Koch, a comics writer and illustrator who’s previously been featured on Beautiful/Decay, has started a new blog entitled Field Studies to help fund an extended period of traveling. Koch, who hails from Portland, Oregon, is drawing intriguing sights she encounters during her travels – often depicting local flora, or a recurring pup named Edie – and selling each original piece for $20 through PayPal. The payments go back into Koch’s travels, thus generating even more field studies.
The studies themselves manage to come off as both timeless observations and, with the focus on plants, for instance, articulations of the zeitgeist. They are austere without being restrained and composed without being constrained. Most usefully, they serve as visual inlets to her larger body of artwork. For those not already familiar with Koch’s comics and styles of drawing, a good place to start is her comic book The Whale published by Gaze Books.
As part of her season of traveling, Koch will be the artist-in-residence at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, during the month of June. As there is a lot of America in-between Portland and Columbus, I suggest checking out Koch’s drawings that are after the jump, then finding one that suits your daily décor needs on her site.