NYC-based artist Jon Widman really pays attention to surface quality in his seemingly mundane, photo-realistic paintings of papery things. Record sleeves, paperback novels and cardboard boxes are rendered in careful detail, but with the faintest trace of the painter’s hand in the tiny, graphic details. In some pieces, small, industrious rodents make an appearance, hinting at Widman’s sense of humor as they climb and hide among stacks of antiquated media. The subject matter would usually leave the viewer with a trace of nostalgia, but his color palettes and intriguing compilations keep the work feeling fresh and vibrant.
A stunning collision of tactile, CMYK color, the work of London’s Evelin Kasikov lies squarely between object and image—a seamless combination of craft and design. After spending a decade working in advertising, Kasikov decided to expand her scope as a graphic designer by incorporating embroidery techniques into her work. Her approach to the craft is analytical, using her well-developed typographic skill set, grid systems, design techniques to challenge the preconceptions of embroidery as a system of making. Kasikov’s basic process is to map out the composition for each project, then she hand-stitches each image with a cyan-magenta-yellow-kohl breakdown, similar to offset printing processes. The resulting work is graphically rich, and brings an element of handwork back into the graphic design process—something that adds a layer of complexity and humanity to work that would otherwise be purely computer-generated.
Simple, small and intriguing, U.K.-based artist Anthony Zinonos‘ most recent collage works are a visual delight. Working together simple materials like magazine clippings, construction paper and glue, Zinonos presents his audience with a vintage-hued investigation into space and composition. The result of an obsession with collecting second-hand trade catalogs, magazines and old books, his works elegantly mesh together bits of commercial imagery, magazine editorial and simple geometry to produce works that are striking in their spareness, and charged with curiosity.
A member of the WAFA collective, and also represented for his illustration work by WICCA Agency, Zinonos has parlayed his aesthetic sensibilities into projects for brands like Kate Spade, Alfa Romeo and Chanel.
Belgian artist Wim Delvoye is rolling out a new installation at the Sperone Westwater this month, composed of his iconic site-specific laser-cut metal towers. Intricate, decorative architectural spirals are made even more fascinating with Delvoye’s sly, humorous metal manipulations. Aided by the seemingly limitless possibilities of computer-aided design tools, he is able to execute mind-blowingly detailed sculptural works. Some pieces are pristine, acting as models for larger sculptural installations made of heavy, untreated steel. Once the actual pieces are created and placed in Delvoye’s chosen site, the sculptures quickly take on a rusted patina—and an instant “aged” look that makes each piece seem like it has existed there for centuries, even though it’s work that could only be made in present day.
His work is on view at the Sperone Westwater In NYC from May 10th – June 28th, 2013.
With a toxic mix of oil-based paint, the surfaces of artist Claire Falkenberg‘s large-scale photos are transformed into mysterious and eerie clouds. The ominous, milky clouds obscure the space directly in front of the photographer, delaying the viewer’s ability to understand what lies just under the surface of each picture plane. This inclusion is generous, because it offers another layer of surface detail to the viewer who is willing to inspect the ghostly swirls of oil paint. The slick, snapshot-style images of trash slowly begin to reveal themselves—vanishing almost entirely at the center, and bringing into question just exactly what Falkenberg has chosen to cover up in her series.
Working in her studio in Sausalito, CA, sculptor Sophia Collier uses a combination of acrylic block and algebraic function (with a little help from a CNC router), to carve sculptures of wind. The clear, floating relief works look like freeze-frame slices of the water’s surface. She spends a great deal of time replicating the effects that both wind and light create on a large body of water using custom rendering software and sound recordings of the wind. Collier carefully mimics its movements and reactions with a series of digital “brushes” she has created, working to develop unique strings of information to carve out each piece. The sound waves move and fluctuate in the digital space just as they do in the physical realm—and the result is a crystallized portrait of the wind, giving the visual effect of sunlit water. She outlines her entire process here.
Artist and designer Haley Ann Robinson has a passion for exploring shape, color, line and simple forms—something that translates well into her hand-shaped wooden objects. She treats some of the smooth, angular sides of each object with a vibrant selection of colors, designed to highlight specific visual planes and grain patterns in each piece. Robinson pulls a great deal of inspiration from geometry and nature, resulting in objects that display a playful engagement with shape, medium and surface.
Reveling in the small, quiet corners of everyday life, Bay Area photographer Amanda Boe explores themes of isolation, curiosity and mise-en-scene in her strange, stunning work. When looking through images from her series Here and There, it’s easy to let your mind wander into each frame, gently prompted to think about time, place, and what it feels like to be “passing through.” The crisp simplicity of her work is charged with her natural sensibilities as a curious, highly-engaged observer—collecting visual treats as she moves through the world. Boe investigates the places in-between the larger moments of life, and reports back with work that is meditative, personal and poetic.