You gotta hand it to Joy Kampia– her taste in food is impeccable. Most of her soft sculptures featured crocheted pizza, burgers, ice cream and pie. Talk about a party! Joy brings, eh, new “Joy” to playing with your food! (Wah wah.) The pièce de résistance might have to be the wearable burger, above. Knitted turkey, blueberry pies, sundae dresses and giant donut necklaces after the jump!
Can video games be art? If you ask me, I’d say “Yep,” and I’m sure you would be hard-pressed to find anyone under 30 who would say “Nope”. I just asked because you still have people like this, but he also thought this, so he’s not very credible now is he. Anyway, we’ve got a couple of games (BNPJ.exe and Mansion) created by the versatile Tabor Robak available for free download.
Mansion (2010) didn’t really do much for me, and it seems like a warm-up for Tabor. BNPJ.exe (2011), on the other hand, is certainly more developed, but still a bit too linear. He does insure that BNPJ.exe will be viewed as an attempt at art simply because he wraps most of these strange worlds in famous paintings. Frankly, I am not fond of this tendency in contemporary art to reference itself as a safety net, but I don’t believe it is a primary aspect of the game. I admit it is hard to judge, because the criteria for games is far different than the criteria for art, but sometimes you should just have a good time and resist assessing the shit out of something. BNPJ.exe is not without its moments of beauty though, and when I came upon this image directly below I was insured of a promising future (I did come upon this in a non-linear fashion, and it took me multiple tries to find it). I don’t know of any similar types of “art games”, and I think Tabor Robak could really create something powerful with his next game. I know I’ll being waiting in anticipation to see where he takes these “art games”, and I’m curious to hear what you dudes think about these interactive experiments.
Artist Dave McDermott’s minimalistic approach to collage is what drew me into his work. This Santa Cruz, CA native is now living in New York. McDermott has a very unique interpretation to collage, giving two dimensional black and white photography color and dimension.
Since the year 2000, artist Julie Green has immortalized the final meal requests of US death row inmates. It’s an on-going project aptly-titled The Last Supper, and she paints cobalt-blue pictures of the meals onto second-hand porcelain plates.
Green’s initial inspiration for the series came when she was working at the University of Oklahoma and noticed this menu printed in her morning paper: “three fried chicken thighs, 10 or 15 shrimp, tater tots with ketchup, two slices of pecan pie, strawberry ice cream, honey and biscuits, and a Coke.” It was included in the death notice of an inmate’s execution. This tradition of a final meal startled her, and she clipped the menu, as well as others that she saw.
Not long after seeing that clipping did she start The Last Supper. Along with painting the plates, she also details what the inmate ordered. Green writes:
In states with options, most selections are modest. This is not surprising, as many are limited to what is in the prison kitchen. Others provide meals from local venues. California allows restaurant take-out, up to fifty-dollars. Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, and Long John Silver’s are frequently selected in Oklahoma, where their fifteen-dollar allowance is down from twenty in the late 1990’s. Requests provide clues on region, race, and economic background. A family history becomes apparent when Indiana Department of Corrections adds “he told us he never had a birthday cake so we ordered a birthday cake for him.”
Over time, she’s completed 600 plates – 50 a year. Green spends six months of every year working on this project, and she plans to continue it until capital punishment is abolished.
The Last Supper will be on display this spring at the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio in an exhibition titled The Last Supper: 600 Plates Illustrating Final Meals of U.S. Death Row Inmates. (Via PBS Art Beat)
Graphite artist Frank Magnotta creates absurdist Americana-inspired images that are heavily saturated with symbolic elements and a farcical outlook on the modern world. Magnotta’s work is strongly influenced by pop culture and the attributes of branding; he has referenced magazines such as Time and Self in his work, and phrases such as Take Off Your Mask and Century 21 come from brand identities that he was intrigued by. Magnotta recognizes the significance of pop culture on his drawings:
“I think you can tell by my drawings that it is a big influence. I’d have to say it is an inevitable influence on our daily lives whether we like it or not. I think pop culture is a double edged sword, it gives and it takes too. I’m not interested in pure pop, but dirty pop, pop that has been consumed and processed by the individual. I think that is more intriguing.”
Some of his drawings involve structures made of their elements: the rough shape of the United States comprised of detailed words and media logos. Yet he has a lot of crude portraits that, from afar, are recognizable, and up close gain another layer of meaning:
“I had been working on the mega-structures for a bit and wanted to invert the process. What if the logos and graphics made individuals that would inhabit the structures? For each portrait in the series I collected logos from a different societal institutions. So, the “Bank Dick” is constructed from financial logos, and “The Diagnosis” is comprised of morphed medical logos. “The Bank Dick” is also the great title of a W.C. Fields movie. On a personal note, for some reason I think that drawing is the closest thing to a self portrait I’ve done. Maybe it is the bugged out look in his eyes. I’m keeping that one for my personal collection.”
Magnotta was previously featured in Beautiful/Decay’s Book 1: Supernaturalism.
(Excerpt from Source)
Working with only “earth, fire and emotions,” Kathy Ruttenberg’s fairytale-like ceramic sculptures create a world that is immediately captivating, but the viewer might be surprised by what’s down the rabbit hole. Her violent and devastating visions are disturbingly peaceful, idyllic and sustainable. Erasing the boundary of the metaphorical and the literal, Ruttenberg’s world is filled with lush foliage, woodland creatures and puzzling, slightly grim yet open-ended reveries of gender relations. Men are always portrayed as animals in gentlemen’s clothing, and women are always well-groomed and dressed in rounded skirts. On one hand, men are literally animal-like savages, but at the same time they are native creatures of the woodlands and the earth itself, whereas the female figures are the outsiders, if not intruders. It is hard to tell if they are men masquerading as animals, or vice versa. Death, in works such as “The Moment After”, is the stark aftermath of failed love, but also an opportunity to blossom imaginatively and become one with earth.
See Kathy’s work in person in NYC at STUX gallery on view now until May 5th.
Diana Al-Hadid is a Syrian-born artist who grew up in the US, and coming from such rich backgrounds, it is easy to see why her work deals with the disintegration of power and history. Melting statues and monuments, paintings that look like they were left out in the rain for centuries, the work in her show at the Marianne Boesky Gallery looks more like anthropological pompei-like discoveries than they do precious art objects, which is kind of the point. It encourages you to wonder what kinds of remnants our empires will leave behind for the future to dig up, or for others, maybe it is a call to arms to incite some cultural anarchy. Her show also closes on the 20th of this month, so stop by if you’re in the neighborhood!
Eric Helgas was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He currently attends the Maryland Institute College of Art and is majoring in Photography.