Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work takes viewers on a year long ride with Joan Rivers, the comic legend who broke barrier after barrier for female comedians and paved the way for the likes of Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, and Tina Fey. As the story unravels, Mrs. Rivers talks frankly about how she got into show biz, the ups and downs of the industry, being banned by NBC late night for life, and how she will even do adult diaper & penis enlargement commercials for cold, hard cash. At the young age of 75 it seems that Joan Rivers has the energy and drive of a 25 year old, rarely stopping to catch her breath in between interviews, writing and acting in a play about her life, doing midwest comedy tours, and starring in (and winning) Celebrity Apprentice.
Next time you feel too old, uninspired, or just plain lazy, go watch this documentary for a swift kick in the ass. Joan River’s drive to keep doing what she loves until she drops dead is nothing but awe inspiring. I work harder than the average joe but walking out of the theater I felt like I had to run straight to my studio and go on a painting rampage for the next 6 months. In short Joan Rivers is a rude, crude, ass-kicking comic genius and my new personal hero.
Carlos Donjuan’s paintings combine his years of painting graffiti with the knowledge that he has gained in academia. By interweaving art history references with graffiti art’s history, Carlos creates a hybrid way of thinking made from art jargon and slang from the streets. His paintings work as narratives that are greatly influenced by everyone from Michelangelo to Alice Neel to Twist to Revok. There are elements in these works that deal with personal influences such as Catholicism, Mexico, Oak Cliff, illegal immigration, politics and family. The portraits not only tell stories, but also document several cultures and movements that these individuals are a part of. Movements and cultures such as skateboarding, fixies, turntablelism, street wear, sneaker heads, graffiti and Hip Hop.
A Reason to Live Lowbrow Art Exhibition opens this Friday, June 4th, at Coalition in little old San Luis Obispo, CA. The DIY-style event, intended to inspire future collaboration & support for this small but thriving local art scene, will exhibit the most “interesting and provocative” artists from the area. The Lowbrow show is part of the city’s Art After Dark gallery walk – held the first friday of every month – and will certainly be a stroll off the beaten coastal-landscape painting path. Featured artists include Lisa Harrison, Steve Taggard, Gary Ellsworth (a.k.a. Sawdust), Joshua Jesse, Brittany App & more. Local art, live music, great company and some good old fashioned lowbrow fun!
The visual world of Daniel Gordon is complex, colorful, wondrous, and invigorating. He creates rich modern interpretations of still life and portrait oil paintings. Inspired by Matisse and Fauvism, and using modern day technology, he takes compelling photographs of 2D and 3D objects. His practice involves multiple steps to reach these bizarre final images. First he sources different images from the internet, prints them out, rebuilds the object from 2D sheets of paper, crumpling and shaping them to resemble the original object, then finally photographs them using a 8×10-inch view camera. After the scene has been documented, Gordon dismantles the different images and patterned pieces, to use at a later date. His latest show Shadows, Patterns, Pears shows his familiarity with appropriation, reusing and contextualizing images with ease.
He builds compositions from fragmented patterns, colors, perspectives, histories and narratives, resulting in some strange surreal reality. He layers up repeating shapes and silhouettes, creating some sort of modern take on Cubism. Described as a kind of analog Photoshop, Gordon’s work is as equally confusing as it is delightful. Reworking something familiar such as nectarines, oranges, lemons, he turns them into an optical illusion of light where dark should be, shadows on the wrong side of the object, the fruit half blue and half red. He transforms a mundane apple into one from a Dr Seuss land – crumpled, purple, with two stalks.
Calling his work “Screen Selections”, Gordon is alluding to a time of visual over-stimulation in the age of the Internet. Reveling in working with materials so palpable and tactile, Gordon says:
“I’m interested in showing my hand and letting people see the imperfection. “(Source)
You can’t help but feel like you’re the last person on the face of the Earth when you look at the blurry, skewed and foreboding work by American photographer Todd Hido. Well known for his photographs of houses at night, Hido’s landscapes are categorically different from his best hits; instead of a voyeur, you’re the lost soul. Take the leap to see more. Hido captures that inner mood of the sometimes depressing and surreal landscape contained in the northern states. I can always feel nostalgic about cold weather and the pleasant variety of loneliness the winter brings. If you see that moment, forget the tripod mounted cam- shoot through the windshield and give photographic impressionism a try.
With razor-like precision sculptor Willy Verginer creates figures from a single tree trunk. He carves delicately made pieces which speak and brings to light important issues affecting living things. His latest delves deep into the environmental concerns of crude oil. Instead of overly stating the obvious Verginer makes subtle references to its affect. He places his latest figures including animals and people atop barrels of crude oil. Since oil is liquid the artist purposefully depicts the figures beginning to become stained or contaminated by the substance. This is graphically shown around their feet, hooves or paws and also in their faces. In some he will paint the base on which the figure stands in silver or gold signifying the value placed on the highly valued commodity which is gotten through sacrifice of both creature and environment. When a human figure is used he shows the gold or silver seeping into their shoes or clothes which signifies man’s greed.
The one lingering fact about crude oil responsible for almost every aspect of modern day living is that it is highly toxic and carcinogenic in every form. When it is burned the smoke it produces causes black soot in the air which gets captured in our lungs. If oil is accidentally spilled into the ocean it will kill fish and other sea life almost instantly. As we learn more about its ill effects scientists are looking to provide more alternative ways to produce power which include solar and wind energy. (via hifructose)
Ilan Lieberman creates sculptures and artwork based on visions he sees in his dreams. I’m fascinated by the other realm that lays just beyond our own eyelids, and how Ilan transports objects and ideas from this dimension into ours…it’s like peeking into someone else’s mind. Ilan recently opened his exhibition this last weekend at Steve Turner Contemporary, so if you are in the area be sure to check it out.
Instead of using mixed media or found objects Eckart Hahn paints them. With a painful realism he creates opposing materials to find his pictures. A gorilla’s hairy body paired with crumpled garbage bags produces a strange dynamic which is visually captivating. In another, a group under multi-colored plastic bags disguised as a nativity scene is even more unique. It’s hard to find striking subject matter to paint because nine out of ten times it’s been done before. But somehow Eckart Hahn manages to reinvent. People have called his work “new age surrealism” which is true but there are also fantasy and advertising motifs at play. Hahn’s use of fast drying acrylic paint allows him to finish pictures quickly lending a spontaneity that goes well with his oddball subject matter.
Creatures appear consistently in many of Hahn’s paintings. He repeatedly identifies with different species of bird. The winged animal can represent freedom, wisdom and renewal. In Hahn’s paintings these characteristics manifest into a biopic figure, one that seems to echo Hahn himself. All art is biographical in some way or another and provides a chance for the artist to explore unresolved or untouched emotions or feelings. The bird in Hahn’s work has alluded to death, friendship, love, humor and awkwardness. Perhaps these were the same ideas he was feeling at the time of creation. The German born artist is self-taught and has exhibited his work worldwide. (via juxtapoz)