In Jessica Langley‘s artwork, the staid landscape genre is revivified through jokes, ha-has, and a reworking of the conceptual apparatus attached to depicting the environment. Langley, a adjunct associate professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, creates new avenues at the margins of “landscape,” by interrogating its space in the human imagination rather than in its physical fact. For instance, in the series Outfitters, Langley explores the troubling conflation of killing nature with loving nature by using the brand names of hunting apparel companies like “Real Tree,” “Open Country,” and “Forever Wild” as edifying doses of black humor. In The Awwand Make CATopia Real (with Ben Kingsley) series, Langley uses kit-kats as a method to defuse all that modernist baggage that accompanies human quests for utopia. But what is CATopia? Extensive networks of imposing cat towers to play on? Free nip for all? It’s unclear, but Langley compels us to consider it worth purrsuing.
Langley is the first artist participating in Skylab Gallery‘s new artist-in-residence program in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Her exhibition at Skylab opens at the end of May 2012. Until then, view more of her work after the jump.
It’s obvious that Victoria Reynolds is a skilled artist, but I personally don’t really see why anyone would want one of her paintings in their home or collection. They are scary and seem to promote a kind of negative energy that only a butcher or serial killer could be attracted to. But then again maybe that’s what she’s going for – that niche market of rich collectors who also have rooms full of dead bodies and future victims. (via)
Photographer Jean Francois Lepage has been recycling. Lepage is a well known fashion photographer who in recent years has been concentrating on fine art projects. One called “Recycle” uses his fashion photography as background to his painting, drawing and cutting. This presents a kind of superimposed painting onto a photograph which has both modernist and classical references. The works hint at Picasso, Calder and Klee, but also finds new ground in the photo image combined with other mediums. Whereas fashion photography mostly projects a self-absorbed glance, Lepage reinvents these same photographs to look within its subject instead of just on the surface.
In some of the pictures, he draws over the faces to hide the features. This turns the picture into a more abstract form and allows the shapes of his subjects to be seen as free flowing objects instead of just perfect physical specimens selling a product. In others, Lepage renders marks which could be interpreted as word bubbles or strange appendages, sometimes outlining and extending beyond the figure. The colors are bold and primary in some while in others he opts to color over in softer pastel shades. The more intriguing works are those with less coloring and just black outlining which lend a sculptural element.
Lepage finds an agreeable shortcut to the painted image. He finds inspiration in the balance of what is real and imagined.
Digital artist and graphic designer Kode Logic (aka Boss Logic) is used to taking existing imagery and adapting, changing and repurposing it. With his newest series, Playing With History, the Melbourne, Australia artist samples some of the most recognizable photos in the history of the medium, and either subtly or blatantly alters them by including superheroes and villains.
Ranging from the construction workers who built New York’s skyscrapers palling around with Spiderman, or an alternate history where Mortal Kombat’s four-armed boss Goro menacingly watches over Ellis Island on the Statue of Liberty’s plinth, Kode Logic plays with both humor and irreverence (exemplified by two separate Kennedy edits – one with Marty McFly skitching on his hover-board, the other featuring The Watchmen’s The Comedian preparing to assassinate the president). Explaining the project (and a premise shared by many from the digital and web-based design and art communities), Kode Logic says, “…as a digital artist we are the new breed of artists and we are all trying to innovate our own style to be remembered and past on as a foundation you laid down…” (via albotas)
Rosanna Webster’s Tribalism series is a response to primitive beliefs in a fluidity between human and animal forms, and therianthropes. In many early hunter gatherer societies animals were seen as messengers between worlds with costumes and ritual used to aid spiritual practice. The images here were inspired by the idea that through animal costume and imitation spiritual transgression could occur.
Benny Diar is a true inspiration. Even though Benny became paralyzed a few years back from a bad car accident he is keeping things positive and pushing forward. Recently he’s been getting back into the swing of things with art. Using his mouth to hold a brush Benny has been creating paintings on any and every surface he can find, including the human body. Check out the video of him doing some body painting on tattoo model Malice McMunn after the jump. Keep up the good work Benny and thanks for reminding us to live each day to the fullest and to not let anything get in our way.
Dutch photographer Maurice Mikkers’ latest project “Imaginarium of Tears” shows that tears, much like snowflakes are all different. His series explores the magnificence of tears on both an aesthetic and molecular level. By placing tears under a microscope, he provides us with a close examination of crystallized tears in such a way that allows you to observe the different sections and patterns present within each tear. Mikkers’ series is based in his interest in tears from a scientific perspective and the way they are each composed of different elements and each have their own chemical structure.
His fascination for the individuality of tears I all the more interesting given the way in which he has chosen the tears to use for his project. Mikkers selected a group of his friends and asked them “what they would like to cry from”. He then gave them a selection of tear inducing activities such as cutting onions, looking into a fan, or eating hot peppers. He says he was highly interested in examining the ways in which each individual tear looks different when examined closely.
The process itself includes capturing the tears with a micropipette, placing them on a microscopic slide, and then letting them settle. The result of his project is a series of tears that are so meticulously different in all their details and, on a larger scale, a merging of science and art.