I recently met David O’Brien through a mutual friend while checking out various openings in the Culver City gallery district of Los Angeles. This type of event draws a specific demographic, and the likelihood that you will end up discussing various aspects of art/the art world is exactly one hundred percent. Often times these discussions involve an exchange of websites, and an eventual glance into the practice of your recently met acquaintance. I would be lying if I said that I am generally impressed by the endeavors of my newly made friends, but this time was a pleasant surprise. Not only is David O’Brien a genuinely funny and nice human being – his work is just as engaging to be around.
In his ongoing series Human Entropy O’Brien continues to build a collection of mass portraits using a series of hyper-collage diagrams that investigate personal relationships in a truly unique way. Much in the same way a painter (in the romantic sense of the word) may have many colors on their palette – O’Brien continues to photograph and amass an array of different people/poses as a personal visual vernacular for composing dynamic large-scale photographs. O’Brien begins establishing the structure of each piece by placing one figure down at a time, and then repeating this process until the work reaches a level of depth and space that serves his aesthetic and conceptual needs. Patterns begin to organically emerge from these localized interactions between individual forces to create some very compelling images.
Swiss/Danish art duo known simply as PUTPUT blurs the lines between photography, design, and conceptual art wonderfully. For their series of photographs titled Undress, PUTPUT isolates a daily dance. On the series, the duo comments:
“ The ‘Undress’ series highlights an everyday choreography undertaken by the majority of people on a daily basis. The garment becomes central and embodies the movement.”
The photographs transform a mundane task into a beautiful flash of time. Undress further presents an especially intimate and unguarded moment with the attention of an abstract artist.
Andrew Laumann utilizes multiple media and presents the viewer with tongue-in-cheek installations that are witty and often irreverent. He seems to revel in destruction and humor. In one piece we see The Wipers logo combined with that of The Wu-Tang Clan. I find it interesting that elements from both emblems appear on albums released in 1993 (Silver Sails and Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers).The resulting composite of 90′s punk and rap iconography speaks of his youthful energy and disregard for the conventional. It takes an astute artist to simultaneously mock and enlighten.
For most people, flowers and distortion pedals have little in common. But for contemporary floral artist Azuma Makato, the two work together in harmony. For his project Distortion x Flowers, the Tokyo-based artist worked with artistic partner Shiinoki Shunsuke to capture photos of these distortion pedals entwined with flowers.. He matches the colors of the pedals with flowers, but also matches them based on illustrating each pedal’s sound: brash, soft, full, or bright. He and his musicians then plugged guitars and performed electric music made of loops and feedback, ultimately destroying the beautiful serenity he had created. In his project statement, Makato describes the temporary nature of both sound and flowers:
“One might not see the similarity in flowers and music. However, rock or classic, or whatever the genre may be, music is the combining of momentary sounds. The process of creating music never stops to stay in one form, but is constantly appearing and disappearing, just as flowers blossom beautifully and yet wither away in time. So, flowers are like music, and music is like flowers.”
Stephanie Herr is a German artist whose topographic sculptures speak to humanity’s interaction with the natural world and dissociation thereof. Painstakingly cut by hand, her mapping of sausage and chicken breasts in styrofoam reference our pursuit of complete knowledge and control of the world at large, charmingly jabbing its warped products through her topographic style. This isn’t to say her works are merely didactic condemnations of mankind’s imperialism, her work is as critical of it as it is inspired by its imagination and absurdity. Political or not, Kerr’s work is a real pleasure to look at. (via)
In French photographer Fred Lebain‘s series “Spring in New York”, the artist visited various sites around New York City, photographed them, and then returned to these sites with a large-scale print of his photographs. By lining the landscape and the photo up perfectly, he creates a cheeky illusion which is often given away by a corner of the poster curling up, or the print shifting in the wind. Turning the 3-D world into a 2-D image brings light to the incredible amount of detail in each composition, and to the fact that recreating these scenes perfectly is impossible, especially in a landscape as dynamic as New York City. Lebain also reminds us that our surroundings are temporary and ever-changing, as minute details between his photographs and their surroundings indicate. By the time Lebain has printed his image, the landscape has already changed. Each moment in life is unique and will never happen exactly the same way again. His work is also reminiscent of another urban camoflague master – Liu Bolin, a Bejing artist who paints himself into his surroundings, rendering his body almost completely invisible.
Rebecca Steele’s photographs use a sort-of-handmade-but-still-slick type of light and color to make everything objects, like knickknack figurines and trees, feel new. It’s like you’ve just landed on Earth, and the spotlight on your spacecraft is pointing wildly into the night sky in Washington State hitting two red and green lifeforms, this is the first Earth tree you’ve seen. Punk meets philosophy, and the wiser punk echoes your grandparents: stop and smell the roses.
Ricardo Bojorquez is an artist and graphic designer in Los Angeles. His latest artwork, Feedback Occurrences, uses standard materials, common techniques and everyday electronics to create an inventory of interactions. As a graphic designer, Ricardo’s practice is messy and defiant of the typical grid-like structures and legibility we are all taught to praise in design school, while still feeling so deliberate and well communicated. Ricardo received his MFA in Media Design from the Grad Media Design program at the Art Center College of Design in 2012. In 2011, Ricardo was invited to the Werkplaats Typografie / ISIA workshop in Urbino, Italy, where he studied under the mentorship of Armand Mevis, Maureen Mooren, Leonardo Sonnoli and Karel Martens. Ricardo is a partner at The Rare Studio, a studio for design and research that works within graphic design, interaction, and architecture. All of this work payed off as just last week he was honored with the prestigious recognition of being named a “Young Gun” by the Art Directors Club.