Erik Ravelo‘s photo series Los Intocables, or The Untouchables, captures children pinned up crucifixion style against the backs of adult authority figures. “The Right to Childhood Should Be Protected” subheads the title of this provocative series that addresses the responsibility of adult figures with regard to the harming of children in various contexts. Ravelo places the children at the forefront of issues such as military occupation, tourism, healthcare, religion, and school violence, asking viewers to consider the potential for abuse within these issues and institutions. More photos and a short video after the jump.
Since 2003 Judith Ann Braun has been experimenting with a new artistic medium and a set of rules: Symmetry, abstraction, and a carbon medium (usually charcoal or graphite). Braun’s work, Fingerings, entails the use of her fingers in lieu of more traditional tools in order to create intricate and bilaterally symmetrical designs, sometimes covering an entire wall. The details of her sweeping landscapes are also all perfectly symmetrical. For some of these works, Braun will use both hands simultaneously to help create the symmetrical effect she wishes to execute. Braun lives in New York City and was a contestant on Bravo TV’s “Work of Art” in 2010.
Victor Rodriguez‘s acrylic paintings defy the simplistic categorization of the hyperrealistic or photorealistic. His work includes surrealistic, abstract, and cinematic elements, giving a fresh feel to the realist aesthetic. Portraiture is often his style, though he alternates between representations of still-life objects and human figures. Using realistic imagery within a dream-like context, Rodriguez’s work offers viewers a peek into a finely-detailed, deeply personal narrative.
Sarah Rosado, a self-taught illustrator and photographer, has recently implemented the medium of dirt scavenged from New York City’s parks to create quirky and playful images for her most recent project, Dirty Little Secrets. Oftentimes, she will accessorize the dirty images to give them a 3D effect and render them more realistic. She sets her dirty images against a stark white background, playing with the contrast of dirty/clean. A simple concept with a graceful execution.
The artist known only as strng on Flickr creates technically impressive and visually compelling collages. He combines imagery from human, animal, natural, and mechanical worlds into one image. Elements that don’t seem to have much in common become a part of each other, and strng illustrates these startling images in such a way as for them to appear natural or ordinary. Part of this involves strng’s aesthetic, which is resonant with the pages of anatomy and biology textbooks.
Penny Byrne transforms vintage porcelain figures and other found objects into work that makes a humorous or political statement. Though the themes of her work are dark and heavy, the lightness and treatment of the porcelain contrasts this, formulating a new perception of these themes. As a respected ceramic conservator and restorer, she claims that what she is doing with these “sacrosanct” found figures is quite inappropriate with respect to her field of work. Byrne lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.
In 2005, Heather Benning acquired then began restoring a 60s-era abandoned and decaying farmhouse near Sinclair Manitoba, Canada. After finishing her restoration and furnishing the home with 60s-era furniture, she then removed the north-facing wall and replaced it with plexi-glass. In June 2007, the house was opened to the public where it remained “tomb-like” as a life-size dollhouse until this March 2013. Eventually, the house began to deteriorate and the safety of the structure was compromised, leading Benning to end the project with fire. The Dollhouse images are currently represented by “Telephone Booth Gallery” in Toronto.
Kazuki Guzmán‘s unique heritage (he has a Chilean father and a Japanese mother) informs the playful and fluid approach to his work. Guzmán’s creations range from toothpaste (!), nutshell, pencil, and gum sculptures to embroidered bananas and meat. For Guzmán, the essence of play is fundamental to the outcome of his work. “I equally enjoy allowing my materials to define the context of my artwork, and conversely, the challenge of letting the context of my work dictate the material execution. Most of my inspirations arise from mundane events… Most importantly, I strive for intricacy and exquisite craftsmanship in my work, while focusing on not losing my very whimsical sense of humor and play.” Guzmán lives in Chicago.