Artist Christina Córdova sculpts beautiful and enchanting ceramic figures. The artist, now living in Penland, North Carolina, grew up in Puerto Rico where she was raised heavily embedded in Catholic imagery. The classic posses and the notion of reference and body positioning as story telling has deeply made an impact on her work — the figures within her art hold poses that can be found in both theological and mythological images. Each piece has an almost magical realist feel: while her pieces can be traditional in execution, they always feature an element of surprise and surrealism. Through blending moments of texture with perfectly sculpted human forms and strange depictions of wild animals, her works somehow achieves the ability to be screaming a secret — to be demand attention yet offering no specific answers, only curiosity and inquisition. Each work has a story. Each figure has a history. Her use of a classic material, ceramic, truly allows her work to exist within a plane of antique elegance. However, through her use of pattern and color, Córdova’s work is contemporary and fun, yet undoubtedly sophisticated. She tends to use found materials such as metals and wood from her homeland, Puerto Rico. Because of these materials, her ceramic finishes mimic a sort of rawness that truly gives her sculptures their “relic” like quality. Córdova’s sculptures are absolutely stunning and genuinely radiate a aura of mysticism and truth. (via juxtapoz)
Last week, we shared the work of Lauren Everett and her Rocky Horror portraiture project. This week, we’re proud to feature Devotion, a series of photographs exploring the inner worlds of Los Angeles’ alternative religion communities—specifically, those surrounding Santa Muerte. With a keen eye for detail, Everett provides a unique glimpse into private ceremonies, such as cleansing rituals and spiritual masses such as Misa Blanca. Also shown are candle-lit altars, where Santa Meurte herself can be seen, represented as a hooded skeletal figure brandishing a scythe in one hand, the world in the other.
Translating as “Holy Death,” the origins of Santa Muerte are unknown, but (as Everett states) she is believed to be a “syncretism of The Virgin Mary and the Mesoamerican goddess Mictecacihuatl” (Source). To her believers, she represents healing, peaceful death, and a safe transition into eternity. Worship mainly occurs privately in homes, where people construct shrines and host ceremonies. As Everett’s photos reveal, devotees also gather at temples to receive group blessings and share stories of healing.
Everett expertly and compassionately explores a community that is not clearly represented (or perhaps even understood) by a more general audience. The imagery absorbs the imagination, but even more compelling are the portraits of the individual devotees engaging in private practices; take Sysiphus, for example, who stands with his wife in blue robes in their temple on Melrose Avenue. Also featured is Orisaneke, a woman who can be seen preparing carnation bouquets for Misa Blanca. These intimate shots invoke the immersive history and tradition of Santa Meurte, as well as the value and beautiful diversity of alternative spiritual practices.
Detective Jason Harvey, a forensic sketch artist who has worked for the NYPD for over 10 years, draws fun and flamboyant portraits using the same techniques as he employs in his police work. His drawings might be recognizable to some New Yorkers, as it they are featured on “wanted” posters hung all around the city. However, Harvey has been given the opportunity for his work to be seen in a new light. Adam Shopkorn, owner of Fort Gansevoort Gallery, noticed Harvey’s work on the NYCAlerts Twitter and wanted to put it on display, allowing Harvey to jump from detective to artist. The NYPD wouldn’t consent to showing the actual sketches (as they are criminal evidence), so instead, Harvey has created a series he calls Fantasy Composites. Within this body of work, Harvey uses the same renderings and facial feature creation process as he would sketching up potential criminals, yet this time he is depicting imagined faces. Harvey explains the difference between this body of work compared to his detective sketches; he states, “when I’m interviewing an eyewitness and drawing from their memory, I have to strictly adhere to what they’re telling me about the person’s face.” He notes that the forensic work is “not creative at all.” Nonetheless, his imagined series is full of creativity and exuberance. Each work truly has it’s own character — there is a real sense that Harvey has seen it all. Nothing is too obscure or obscene, every portrait seems absolutely genuine, if not almost recognizable. The caricature quality adds a playful element to his work, allowing them to exist between the realms of cartoon and reality, between satire and actuality. (via booooooom)
Cuba’s 3,570 mile coastline, nestled in the Caribbean Ocean has seen everything from glamorous vacation resorts to the horrors of revolution. But as Cuban artist, Yoan Capote shows us in his Isla (Island) series, the heart of Cuba is her relationship to the water.
Capote’s collection of canvases illustrate the beauty and turbulence of the sea. He says,
“the sea is an obsession for any island country .. it represents the seductiveness of dreams but at the same time danger and isolation.”
In the Isla series, Capote captures that feeling by utilizing fishhooks to create texture and density on his large canvases. At first glance, the works seem to be made of heavy oil but upon closer inspection you see that each wave in his ocean scape is an individual fishhook that has been painstakingly painted and nailed into place by Capote and his team. Layer after layer of fishhooks creates a physically dangerous work. If you aren’t careful, it could stab you. Capote says, “I wanted to use thousands of fishhooks to create a surface that would be almost tangible to the viewer upon their approach.” Accomplished.
The result of this intense work is not only the undulating motion of the sea, but it is a comment on Cuba’s situation, more generally. The fishhooks are a symbol of Cuba’s fishing trade and they illustrate its perilous borders but through this work Capote is also able to point to economic issues, emigration, and political isolation thus evoking a shared sense of uncertainty about the future of the country.
This collection can be seen at Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, until 29 January 2016.
Juana Gomez is a Chilean artist who embroiders the central nervous system over faded photographs of the human body. The images arrive from Gomez’s dreams, as well as her lifelong fascination for archaeology and artifacts. After printing her photos on fabric, she goes in with a needle and thread and stitches veins, musculature, and neural pathways that flow together in a harmonious network. Her work is somewhat reminiscent of anatomy studies from the Italian Renaissance, exploring an ages-old fascination for the human body.
Gomez’s works are scientific in form and ritualistic in creation, melding together the organic and inorganic world with accuracy and a flowing reverence. By translating images of the body into thread and ghostly outlines, she reveals the complexity and beauty of our anatomy; the interconnected lines and patterns she sews can be seen in river tributaries, tree branches, streets, and even Internet traffic. She calls these similar systems a “common language” that connects the biological, social, and cultural realms, as well as the internal world with the external (Source). The result is a spiritual exploration of the body that connects our corporeal selves with the systems that exist within and beyond its boundaries.
South African artist Porky Hefer creates quirky sea creatures that walk the line between furniture and sculpture. Crafted from leather, the giant animals are suspended on rope and hang from the ceiling with their mouths open wide. These fun creatures create a sort of inquisitive space for one to insert themselves, and perhaps relax and read a book. Within he series, titled Deliciosa Volume I, Hefer has developed a series of six designs, each of which has it’s very own personality. For example, Fiona Blackfish, an Orca whale who was born in Cape Town, has a furry tongue, loves animals of all kinds, and hates Sea World. Other characters include Crocodylus Eugenie (a crocodile), M. Heloise (a manta ray), and Dora Esca (an angler fish), Pelicanus Iris (a pelican), and a puffer fish. The artist, who has 16 years worth of experience in the advertising industry and has worked with big wigs such as BMW and American Express, wanted to use this project to step away from foreign manufacturing and product concepts, and instead, display and utilize the traditional processes coming out of his homeland, South Africa. He states, “we have such skilled human beings in this country using techniques not found anywhere else in the world.” This series of aqua inspired seats solely employs the traditional methods of weaving, stitching and splicing of leather and cane. Porky Hefer’s series, both a wink to the environment and his local economy, can be found on display at Southern Guild Gallery in Cape Town until February 5th. (via My Modern Met)
Artist Peter Combe transforms household paint swatches to create stunning 3D portraits. Using the full color spectrum of 1,100 colors, the artist prepares his palette material by manipulating the swatches either into tiny discs by punching or miniature strips by shredding. He often works in series of repetitions, allowing him to recreate the same image with the aim of experimentation. The potential of each renderings is endless as he uses color based on tonality and not on hue and can transform each work quite drastically depending on his choices. Combe is interested in “how the implementation of a single colour, when applied to a small incremental tonal range, can transform a work either subtly or substantially.” His work, formulated through an intense and meticulous layering process, can be compared to a pointillistic method of translating color, tone, and space. His work is also reminiscent of early printers, xerox and copy machines, in which images are built through a separation of color, resolving the picture one hue at a time. Another aspect of the work, Combe explains, “is the constant change and flux that is mostly produced by the viewers changing vantage points, an effect that is difficult to imagine whilst not being present before the work. These artworks do not photographer well. It is Impossible to capture the kinetic element – an element whereby the viewer’s motion or movement dictates the artworks transformative component.” There is a notion of fleeting reality when experiencing the work— just as each portrait is in of itself physically fragile — each image, as it becomes manipulated through movement, light, and space, becomes precious, as the viewers’ experience of the work is consistently shifting, making every interaction with the work unique.
Premier website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up again to bring you exclusive artist features. We show you exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create a clean and modern website. But it doesn’t just help artists create a minimal, mobile-responsive website; Made With Color also allows them to do it in only a few minutes without have to know any coding. Today we’re presenting the work of Los Angeles artist Sherin Guirguis.
An explosion of colors and an intriguing set-up. The work of Sherin Guirguis blends geometric patterns, beams of vibrant shades and see-trough lattice patterns that are carved directly into the surface. Her work is inspired by her hybrid background as a non-Muslim woman born in Egypt and living in the U.S since the age of fourteen. Guirguis’ unique worldview brings together eastern and western references and harmonizes contradictory elements, both formal and social. Guirguis produces work that investigates the frictions between the contemporary and the traditional, the reductive and the ornamental. Her work engages both formal and social concerns by juxtaposing the reductive Western language of minimalist aesthetics with that of Eastern Arabic ornamentation.