Oil Paintings That Confront Playful Vapidness In The Wake Of Communism

Teodora Axente - Painting Teodora Axente - Painting Teodora Axente - Painting

Teodora Axente is associated with the Cluj School, a group of Romanian artists making work after the 1989 Revolution, which ended Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime.

There is a dark sense of carousing in her work which examines the question of boredom in a secular world. Left to his or her own devices, Axente’s adult figures conjure up spirits or flights of whimsy in seemingly childlike ways, often seeking solace in shiny and tactile objects such as tinfoil, plastic wrap, or furs. However, translated to a non-secular world, each stroke Axente makes seem satirical or political, consciously examining religion or capitalism.

According to the artist, this dichotomy is the exact intention: “One of my concepts is to transform a real fact into a game . . . It is all about play from my perspective, the playfulness is more than a world of novelty in which everything happens and is reconstituted because of the freedom to act, to think.”

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Portraits And Abstract Paintings Inspired By Glitter Bombed Lindsay Lohan

Jason Willome - Painting Jason Willome - PaintingJason Willome - Painting

Jason Willome uses a diverse array of materials: acrylic, glitter, rayon flocking, archival pigment transfers, and cement, to expose ephemeral palpitations we, as humans, emote from personal experience, art history, or popular culture.

His portraits, for instance, take inspiration from a tabloid shot of glitter bombed Lindsay Lohan. Willome explains, “It was really beautiful because there was this atmosphere of glitter all around the space of the image, and there were these great cast shadows being projected through the glitter onto Lindsay Lohan, by paparazzi flash bulbs. I thought this would be a wonderful way to create a connection between an image and the surface, to kind of soften the painted illusion, but play into it at the same time.”

Likewise, on a similar note, his “Technology Series” (second, above) further investigates “the atmosphere of the glitter bomb and interpreting atmosphere as paint material.”

For both, what emerges is an airy quote lifted from mainstream media, translated with imagery that avoids the weight of celebrity by embracing another more elusive aura: how everyday abstraction beautifully haunts these spaces we build or share together.

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Shadow Puppet Installations Made Out Of Doll Parts

Bohyun Yoon - Installation

Bohyun Yoon - Installation Bohyun Yoon - InstallationBohyun Yoon has lived in Japan, Korea, and The States. He uses these “diverse social experiences” as a point of reference for his work, which circles around societal restraints and progressive concepts of the body: possible extensions and perils with the advancement of technology/war/culture on a personal and holistic level.

His installation work “Unity” (2009), “Structure of Shadow” (2007), and “Shadow” (2004) casts light on miniature wax body parts which physically dangle aimlessly; however, when illuminated by a light source, these fragmentations create shadows or illusions which illustrate figurative wholeness.

Tethered to our bodies and systems of government, our parts and puppetry, is in essence, our humanness or machinery, or as Yoon explains, what makes us “weak and fragile, spiritless animals under certain rule, certain harsh conditions.” His work also resonates with a sense of devastation felt by veterans returning wounded from battle, physically and spiritually.

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Archaic Technology As Painting Platform

Nick Gentry - Mixed MediaNick Gentry - Mixed Media

Nick Gentry - Mixed Media

According to Ray Kurzweil, scientist & Singularity theorist, “We [as human beings] can ‘go beyond’ the ‘ordinary’ powers of the material world through the power of patterns . . . It’s through the emergent powers of the pattern that we transcend.”

Similarly, these concepts of materiality, patterns, technology, and transcendence haunt the mixed media paintings of Nick Gentry, who hails from the London street art scene and beyond.

As far as process goes, Gentry engages in what he calls a “social art project”, whereas people mail archaic technology (film negatives, floppy disks) to his studio/gallery to help build the base of his work. Instead of just relying on a pictorial image, Gentry allows the “history” and “variety of unique memories contained in used objects” to also serve as the subject of each piece. The result is reminiscent of 1990s Electronica and aches of a strange collective sense of contemporary loss.

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Collage Art With Contemporary Vintage Appeal

Hollie Chastain - Collage

Hollie Chastain - Collage

Hollie Chastain - Collage

Hollie Chastain is a collage artist from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her eye for puzzling together found paper scraps with cut images, shapes, or silhouettes, matched with a rainbow pop of arresting color, gives her collection a vintage yet contemporary appeal. So, it’s no surprise to see her work grace the covers of not only the literary Oxford American but also musical albums from The Figgs and Lightyear.

Most recently, Chastain had brunch with The Jealous Curator to discuss her love of antiquing for found imagery and her pretty heavenly book cover series (above), noting her process: “I never plan them ahead of time. When I find one I like, I sit down with my scraps and move things around until something feels perfect. Most of the time, I will first decide what I can’t bear to cover up on the original cover and that is the beginning of the shape of the composition.”

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Performative Sculpture And Photography Mash-Ups

Trisha Holt - Photography

Charlie White + Katy Grannan

Trisha Holt - Photography

Man Ray + Francesca Woodman

Detroit artist Trisha Holt builds performative sculpture from blown-up photographs twisted, masked, or hugged onto live models in everyday settings, then reshoots for a surrealistic effect. This series, titled Love Child, creatively cross-breeds two iconic & artistic souls with one another. The top image, for example, is the offspring of “Charlie White Katy Grannan“. The second one is of “Man Ray + Francesca Woodman”. Both are titled so accordingly. Can you see the resemblance?

Holt’s work is a stunning collection of mash-ups which humorously and humbly troubles over its own worth in the world, playfully echoing this song by The Supremes: “Love child, love child / Never quite as good / Afraid, ashamed, misunderstood / But I’ll always love you.”

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