London photographer Paul Herbst’s description of his website, my-shit-is-gold.net, and his zine: “In an existential exclamation of withdrawal, Paul Herbst’s photographs at once portray a world of subtle intensities with momentous simplicity. His images hosts a constant dialogue between what we perceive and what we understand, leaving us aloof in the gaps of unanswerable questions. This all cleverly comes together in an inter-play of heavy textures and washed out tones.”
Korean Artist Lee Kwang-Ho portraits of cacti, succulents and other plants take a deeper look at the living objects around us that we take for granted. Lee’s work recalls that of Georgia O’Keefe’s in the way that their zoomed-in focus creates abstractions and make us look at these objects in a different way. Lee’s ability to capture light and movement while maintaining a soft focus on the subject gives the paintings an ethereal, dream-like quality.
B/D Intern Alumni and all around cool gal Alexis Kaneshiro has curated a great exhibition at Gallery Nucleus celebrating the almighty hand drawn typography. Long before we had computers, adobe software, and other mass printing services we used our own two hands to create beautiful typography for everything from signs to packaging for products. The show opens May 14th until June 6th so head on over to the gallery, give Alexis a high five and check out some killer experimental type.
Mark Manders‘ sculptures seem to be driven by a poetic narrative, and the fact the he used to practice the linguistic form of poetry should then come as no surprise. His meticulously constructed figures are assemblages of furniture, metal, human and animal shapes, and other ephemera. Engaged in an ongoing project since 1986 entitled “Self-Portrait as a Building” that has come to define his practice, the form of language mediates his work in that his pieces are structured in a manner that replicates sentences. In this way, he creates physical spaces that mirror his mental spaces. At once fragmented, balanced, poignant, and resonant with the ineffable, Manders’ work evokes a personal poetic sentiment that is meant to provoke the viewer.
Bjorn Veno is exhibiting new work at Nettie Horn in London from February 13-March 15th, opening tomorrow evening. I love the idyllic, pastoral scenes in the Romantic tradition, though recontextualized through Bjorn’s bizarre insertion of himself acting out fictive and autobiographical memories, or as he calls it, “automated performance.” He seems trapped in a kind of existential, physical awkward angst that disarms the seeming perfect setting for a sweeping and grand romantic gesture in the tradition of Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte.
Martin Hugo’s sketchbooks détourné the commercial imagery he encountered while designing corporate fashion in the “Empire State.” These books read as Hugo’s coping mechanism for trafficking in cultures he actively disdains. Using styles from esoteric hardcore music and quotidian visual culture, Hugo degrades and problematizes “high-brow” mainstays like the fashion industry, the contemporary art world, and our global plutocracy. But these minimal collages would be a bore if they were just well-designed, on-the-nose crits of capitalism’s look and effect; whether it’s through his deft rebranding of The Whitney (it rhymes), or by imploring us to “Support Our Predator Drones,” it’s Hugo’s gallows humor that makes them shine. He is able to look into the abyss of American culture and find the ha-has we need to get through the (last) day(s).
The work of Los Angeles based artist Nike Schroeder is full of a complex hybrid of mediums, as she integrates textiles, painting, and installation into her art. Her installations are creates from fiber where the colors of the threads have a very intentional meaning, as they draw their palette from the hues of the horizon at dawn. In one installation, the thread cascades to the floor, dripping off the canvas. Schroeder includes this same aesthetic in many of her other works, including her embroidery. The artist creates portraits out of needle and thread, with certain colors of thread hanging loose so to draw your eye to certain areas. Often, these bright colors and hanging thread come from the subject’s eyes or lips. Other times, this thread is not hanging loose, but cutting across to the other side of the canvas, dissecting the composition with multi-colored fibers. The harsh line Schroeder imposes onto her portraits guides your eye to specific elements.
As if Schroeder’s fiber-based installations and intricate embroideries were not impressive enough, many of her textile pieces are extremely large. Her nude portraits of women, which examine the beauty ideals of the female body, are actually life-size! These, again, contain long, hanging thread pouring down from certain elements, jolting our eyes to an “unlikely” part of the women; their pubic hair. This series among others in Schroeder’s expansive body of work include not only thread but paint as well. The artist often applies paint like she does fiber, with flowing drips. Schroeder’s work can be seen on view at Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles from May 30th through July 11th.