In Patty Chang’s video art piece, “In Love”, she makes out with her mom and dad… I am horrified. I literally squirmed through the entirety of the video. I don’t really know what to say about this… all I know is that I feel like crying and I don’t know why.
I love these playful photos that escalate the idea of hand puppets to new and surprising heights. If you’re not familiar, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vanoodh Matadin are a photography duo from the Netherlands known for their high fashion photography and artworks. This series is coquettish/seductive, masked/revealing all at the same time.
Victoria Wagner is an artist who is fascinated by unlikely pairings. Her set of gem-like sculptures called Woodrocks are comprised of wood and decorated with color, as she explains, “My eye generally and naturally tends toward tessellation and pattern, seeking a rhythm that mimics regular pulse. On the one hand, visual order provides a place for the senses to rest, while color relationships create problems for the brain to solve. I like this simultaneity.” The natural material and the unnatural oil pigments combine to create a precious object that’s small enough to be held comfortably.
Woodrocks serve as an iconic reference to the downed tree. They’re salvaged from local materials and painted to follow organic growth patterns and feature gradient spectrums.These sculptures were influenced by two books that Wagner read: The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer and The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. “Both pseudoscientific works that examine sentience among carbon-based life forms and human revelation, practical and metaphysical,” she explains. “Both books forced a recognition in my life-of my own personal reverence for the trees being downed in the forest surrounding my studio.” The result? Woodrocks.
Shaun Kardinal transforms found and scavenged postcards into geometric altered spaces that are hypnotic. His site is full of places, people and things that he’s created on found images and redistributed into the world.
A beautiful car crash. A lovely death. Chilean artist Fernando Gomez Balbontin paints haunted and haunting scenes in his series “Thoughts About Life and Death.” The subject matter is difficult, though not gory. Crumpled cars rest on roadsides, smashed and crushed beyond repair—these can’t be anything but fatal crashes. The figures next to the devastated vehicles are often otherworldly. A seeming specter of death wears a dark hood. Girls’ faces are obscured with blobs and blotches of color. Is it blood? It’s impossible to be sure. A priest stands next to one ruined car, the pope another. A man flees the scene.
Yet there’s beauty among the wreckage. The colors are often candy bright. A geometric structure floats, untethered, dripping in a way that’s reminiscent of tears, or blood. There are lots of these drippings in the works, adding an organic element to the mechanized disasters.
Balbontin paints the loveliest skies—peach and purple, cyan and gold. Nothing should go wrong underneath those skies, and yet…
“Denying death is denying life. So perhaps it is necessary to understand that tragedy is not the supposedly reality of death. Tragedy is about not accepting this possibility and consequently, not having enough time to live.”
The mystical, mesmerizing performance works of Atlanta-based artist Shana Robbins stretch the boundaries of the real. Her jarring, costumed and choreographed rituals of passage are strange and unreal, yet compelling. The photo-documentation of each performance points to carefully constructed sets, costumes and props that set the stage for her offbeat, painterly vision of theatre. Conceptually the works address conditions of the natural realm, feminine existence and ritual with a futuristic, pagan edge. Drawing on her own experiences as a student of Butoh movement, Robbins explores methods of movement and storytelling that pull from ancient narratives of birth, death, identity and transformation.
Jessy Lanza performing at the Hollywood Palladium, April 1, 2014. Photo by Barry Belkin
Jessy Lanza has been quite busy lately. Not only has she just finished up a tour with Cut Copy, she’s about to embark on an even longer headlining tour of the US and Canada along with some festival appearances in Europe.
Still riding high from the great reviews she received from her fantastic debut album, Pull My Hair Back released late last year on Hyperdub, I was lucky enough to catch the Canadian singer perform last week at the Hollywood Palladium. Playing most of her new record, she entranced the early arrivals with her unique electro-R&B tinged sound that had the crowd swaying during her hypnotic set. Her beautiful, breathy voice matched with her catchy beats really strikes a nice balance that once you let in, you can’t help but to let it move you as the growing Cut Copy audience displayed during her set.
Jessy will be heading back on the road at the end of the month playing some Canadian dates, as well as some US dates before she heads to Europe. Any fans of electro-pop or R&B should make it a point to see her incredible live performance. Check out her video for Kathy Lee and grab tickets here for one of her upcoming shows.
Danish artist Troels Carlsen warps classic anatomical illustrations of natural organisms to produce mixed media works on paper. I can’t tell if the drawings that Carlsen’s manipulating are originally produced by the artist or not (maybe a mixture of the two), but the images stand up well enough even without such information. On a purely visual level, the contrast between the illustrative anatomical drawings and Carlsen’s slightly humorous injections works really nicely. But these drawings hold conceptual tones as well. Thick commentary on the body and mind is laid out cleanly for all to see. (via)