For award-winning photographer Oliver Grunewald, the medium of capturing images offers the ability to document, share, and investigate the natural forces which shape our world. Grunewald, along with his partner, journalist Bernadette Gilbertas, travel the globe, focusing on natural wonder, which for the French photographer offers, “…a pretext for immersing himself in the world as it was in the early days of its creation, and his patient quest for the magical, ephemeral light that best underscores the wild primitive side of nature pays off.”
As part of a massive body of work focused on volcanic activity around the world, Serfdom of Sulphur Night, offers some of the more intense photographs taken at the Kawah Ijen Volcano in Indonesia. Grunewald explains the genesis of the series, “For over 40 years, miners have been extracting sulfur from the crater of Kawah Ijen in Indonesia. To double their meager income, the hardiest of these men work nights, by the electric blue light of the sulfuric acid exhaled by the volcano before climbing up to the top of the volcano with their heavy charge.” (via myampgoesto11)
Central to Doug Aitken’s “100 YRS” exhibition at 303 Gallery is a new “Sonic Fountain,” in which water drips from 5 rods suspended from the ceiling, falling into a concrete crater dug out of the gallery floor. The flow of water itself is controlled so as to create specific rhythmic patterns that will morph, collapse and overlap in shifting combinations of speed and volume, lending the physical phenomenon the variable symphonic structure of song. The water itself appears milky white, as if imbued and chemically altered by its aural properties, a basic substance turned supernatural. The amplified sound of droplets conjures the arrhythmia of breathing, and along with the pool’s primordial glow, the fountain creates its own sonic system of tracking time.
Behind a cavernous opening carved into the gallery’s west wall is “Sunset (black),” a sculptural work that resembles cast lava rock in texture and spells out the word SUNSET as it glows from behind, its letters forming a relic of the entropy and displacement inherent in the literal idea of a sunset. Viewed from and obscured behind a hole in the wall, the sculpture appears as cosmic debris, as if pulled from a parallel world where a sunset is only an idea, obfuscated by detritus of the age of post-everything, a reductionist standpoint between the modes of pop and minimalism, its glow fading into the next realm. Also on view is the mirrored sculpture “MORE (shattered pour)”. Like a time-piece, the work creates a kaleidoscope of reflections of all that surrounds it. As if it were a fragmented film, “MORE (shattered pour)” creates a literal manifestation of the present and aspirational escapism, which cannot be viewed without glimpsing a piece of one’s self within the work’s reflections. Another refraction of time is glimpsed through “Fountain (Earth Fountain)”, created from plexiglas letters spelling the word “ART”, through which a slurry of moist dirt is pumped, physical earth perpetually redoubling and standing in for itself. The word ART itself subverts the entropy of time, creating a holding pattern that organic matter cannot escape from. The flickering lightbox “not enough time in the day” completes the communicative supercurrent of shimmering malaise, its letters overlapping as if seen inebriated, somehow both more profound and less understandable. The work creates a cycle that is both hypnotic and inescapable. (via)
Matt Leines currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He recently opened a solo exhibition entitled Hyperbolic at Beginnings NYC. From the quirky press release: “First there was Da Vinci, then Picasso and now there is Matt Leines and this show is called Hyperbolic. Ever the patient and earnest image-maker, surrealist sign-painter and erstwhile myth-shaper, Leines relocated to New York after a spell in Philadelphia during the year in which the world was scheduled to end. Settling into a fresh rhythm, he began a series of paintings that drew on those familiar rituals, traced the good ol’ sigils, but manipulated colors and shapes from the present with an attitude more formal, bright and tight. The young man in the studio considering a renaissance–small “r”. Real, live inscrutable people and chattering patterns. A happy creature drifting through the kitchen cosmos. Native American name-givers and the zig-zag of eternity. Leines’ recent output is a reminder that creative, figurative work has always been foundational to modern art.” The show is on view through May 5th 2013.
Jamie Vasta’s masterfully accomplished paintings may look like traditional chiaroscuro but they are in fact covered in shiny, shimmering glitter. Vasta has taken the painterly arts to new altitudes with her paintings in glitter. Her insouciant medium is fine-tuned to accentuate narrative.
Here series After Caravaggio, a contemporary reframing of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio‘s historic paintings in homage to the great master on the 400th anniversary of his death, (1573 – 1610). Vasta gathers friends and colleagues as muse for her ambitious recasting of Caravaggio’s famous paintings. In rethinking such paintings as Giuditte e Oloferne, 1599, and Deposizione, 1602, Vasta composed her coterie with the props of today, turning gender, dress, and environment on end. The intention of the original comes forward, no heraldry of aristocracy, but an emancipation of the peasantry, under hot theater lights of course.
James Quigley, aka Gunsho, is a new breed of occult warrior attempting to restore the grandeur of epic mythology back into the awesome realms of the unreal. Paying homage to legends and ideas whispered down through alchemical charts and ancient texts, Gunsho materializes his vision of the other side. Many of his works tap into supernatural themes, from demonology and the Goetia to the black arts. Gunsho—first seen as a sign in the waking world, and later materialized in a dream, epitomizes his unique aesthetic, that plants one foot on the ground and a third eye gazing firmly at the stratosphere beyond. Gunsho recently created the shirt design “Chomp” for Beautiful/Decay Apparel.
Peter Hoffman’s series about The Bryan House, a unique institution in Aurora, Illinois, where legally established refugees are allowed to reside for periods of a year or more at a time while saving up for a new home, or college tuition, etc. More images after the jump.
Yuko Takada Keller creates detailed and intricate sculptures out of paper. Since 1996, she has been using small triangular pieces to create her designs, which she says “symbolizes something like a molecule.” Her work is inspired by dreams she’s had, and her delicate, cascading designs resonate with ethereality. She claims her work has also evolved over time since she’s realized the connection between the thin delicacy of the paper and skin membranes. From her website,
“Tracing paper has a transparency and an untransparency.
I’m interested in how tracing paper is like a skin membrane.
The skin membrane lies between dream and reality.
The skin membrane lies between consciousness and behavior.
The skin membrane is there when life is born.
The skin membrane is part of a human being.
I want to represent the space that people are aware of
The skin membrane is unconsciousness.”