The art of Christopher David White seems like it could be found decaying in the forest at the end of your street. However, the gnarled wood, patina copper, rusting metal is all meticulously worked ceramic. White’s work is at once quietly peaceful and playful dealing out a subtle surrealism. He offers curious find on objects that would normally be passed over. Regarding his ultra-realistic style and themes of deterioration, White explains:
“Through the use of trompe l’oeil, we look closer; we rediscover the amazement, joy, and tranquility that come from our environment…Neither good nor bad, decay is simply a natural process of our world that at times can produce deeply moving and beautiful effects.”
Born in Tehran, amidst the 1980s political suffering and strife, Nouar’s family fled to Germany and then the US, where she resides today. Her oil and acrylic paintings touch on vintage commercial Americana with a sinister twist– but without being too cynical. Instead, each dollop of cream or slice of pie provokes a more tempting side of advertising, where the taste of nostalgia and its childlike promises are the main indulgence.
On this theme, the artist elaborates, “I have always been completely fascinated by our massive consumer culture and often feel everything around us is a commercial, constantly manipulating us into desiring things we don’t really have a need for, or shouldn’t want in the first place.”
Cristina De Middel brings a striking beauty to space travel in her series The Afronauts. Her series is based on the aspirations of Edward Makuka Nkoloso – a 1960’s Zambian school teacher who wanted to land his countrymen on the moon before the United States or the Soviet Union. Nkoloso was openly mocked, even by journalists. Through his story, the series’ pleasant imagery gives way to more serious underpinnings. De Middel says:
“The images are beautiful and the story is pleasant at a first level, but it is built on the fact that nobody believes that Africa will ever reach the moon. It hides a very subtle critique to our position towards the whole continent and our prejudices.”
Fawad Khan’s explosive paintings combine the bourgeoning issue of war with several automotive motifs that represent different cultural experiences and influences throughout his life. His works question the use of the automobile, an invention used for the purpose of transportation but becoming more and more a tool of destruction. If you’re in the New York area make sure to check out his show at Lu Magnus from March 25th-May 1st.
Socialist-era monuments dot the countryside of the lands that once made up Yugoslavia, many of them World War II and concentration camp memorials. The majority of the the monuments were commissioned by then president Josip Broz Tito during the 1960’s and 70’s. Photographer Jan Kempenaers toured the countries that once made up Yugoslavia to document the monuments in this series of photographs. With the fall of socialism and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the monuments were largely abandoned. The monuments’ neglect is apparent and contrasts severely against their futuristic aesthetic.
The grouping of monuments have not only been abandoned by visitors but also their meaning and symbolism. They ask serious questions regarding the nature of monuments in the sculptural tradition. What is a memorial when it no longer memorializes anything?
Olaf Breuning commissioned a series of coffins to be created by Ghanaian casket makers. The design of eccentric coffins actually has a long history and tradition in Ghana, so to some this work is actually not that peculiar. Still, it’s not every day you see a coffin in the shape of a melting popsicle. More images of the coffins and the process of making them after the jump.