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Evan Gruzis

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Headed over to Brooklyn this morning to Evan Gruzis’s studio, and got to take some photos of his new work – which looks great.  Gruzis is on the Deitch Projects roster, and I asked him if he knows anything about Jeffrey Deitch’s plans for his New York operation and he gave me a flat “No,” but said that the people involved are having a meeting sometime next week.  Gruzis is known for his hyper-skillful use of ink, and his sardonic re-purposing of advertising’s seductive imagery.  In a recent interview he wrote about the work as being “… not product vehicles, but hollow gestures that create a feedback-loop between a familiar aesthetic and a desire for meaning.”  Gruzis has a show in Athens in April at Andreas Melas Presents.

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Jess de Wahls Uses Recycled Fabric In Colorful Portraits Of Inspirational Women

Chimamanda Ngozy Adichi

Chimamanda Ngozy Adichi

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo (detail)

Dr. Ronx

Dr. Ronx

Jess de Wahls is a London-based artist whose colorful multilayered and multifaceted textile works incorporate feminism, gender equality as well as recycling. Using a variety of fabrics, beads, and other materials, she creates 3D portraits that depict strong, inspirational women of all ages, shapes, and ethnicities. She sees her pieces as a way to raise awareness of gender inequality, explaining to TextileArtist.org, “…all the while celebrating great minds and artists of the past and present.

In her artist statement, de Wahls also goes on to say:

Their influence on myself as a modern woman, Feminist and Artist, on Feminism as a whole and on their position as Role models to young girls growing up in a society that has, no doubt, come a long way in liberating its women but has yet a great length ahead of it. Not to mention the work that needs to be done in other parts of our planet, where women are to date still oppressed, belittled and generally treated as second class humans.

So, by creating these pieces, she ensures that their legacy isn’t forgotten.

De Wahls unique style is the product of a self-made called Retex which is short for recycled textile sculpture. She explains:

For the medium of Retex Sculpting, old garments serve as fabric for the works and cushion filler  helps me to create a relief that raises the silhouette off the canvas creating greater depth.
The box-frame, in which the work is mounted, is integral to the piece and can be seen as a modern day relic box. (Via TextileArtist.org)

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Laura Crosta’s Thought Balloons

Laura Crosta has a plethora of work in her portfolio but her balloon series is one of my favorites. Also make sure to check out the “I Date A Hooker”  series which documents Jeff Fischer’s dating highlights with hookers.

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Philippa Beveridge Reconstructs Memories In Glass Change Purses

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British artist Philippa Beveridge fosters mystery through her series of glass change purses. In an on-going project titled Lost and Found, she reconstructs the dainty-looking accessories with trace amounts of what was left inside. The thick glass resembles an ice sculpture that also gives her work a fleeting, ethereal feel. She describes the sculptures in her writing:

[These] on-going series of works deal with the concept of collective and individual identity through the everyday form of a purse: a belonging which is often lost, stolen or mislaid, full of sentimental value and charged with personal memories. I began to make this work during a three-month long artist’s residency in Northern France. I invited local residents to visit me at the studio and show me the contents of their purses.  Building on the theme of traces, I highlighted the objects and details found in the purses to forge histories and construct identities. The resulting imagery, trapped in the material, expresses notions of time, memories and sentiments which lean towards metaphorical interpretations in relation to one’s own past. (Via The Jealous Curator)

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Haunting Photographs Of Places Marked By Tragic Suicides

donna_j_wan_14Dumbarton Bridge, CA (#4)donna_j_wan_11Dumbarton Bridge, CA (#2)donna_j_wan_04Golden Gate Bridge, CA (#3)donna_j_wan_16Golden Gate Bridge, CA (#11)

This series from the landscape photographer Donna J. Wan might at first seem exhilarating, with its sweeping views of turquoise blue, frothy water; however, overlaid each magnificent seascape is the knowledge that tragic suicides have occurred in these exact spots. The artist, inspired by her own postpartum depression, names her body of work Death Wooed Us after a line from the poet Louise Gluck: “Death wooed us, by water, wooed us.”

Wan’s stunning images look startlingly like the work of of Caspar Davd Friedrich, whose dark romantic landscape paintings capture the spiritual bonds between human and nature. Friedrich, who is widely assumed to have suffered from depression, also used the shifting tides, colored with mist and fog, to express the lonesomeness of the human condition. Where the 19th century painter employed a human figure, his back facing the viewer, Wan leaves her bridges and overlooks painfully empty; any (wo)man who has sat and contemplated his (or her) life and death here has since departed.

Wan’s tragic photographs stretch endlessly to the edges of the frame, as if her somber landscapes could barely fit within a single shot. They alternate between vitality and utter silence; where some capture the bubbling surf and faraway beach-goers, others present the water fixed and frozen, still as a glass mirror. The materiality of the bodies of water is powerful; we can imagine their impact, cold and wet. Standing at the precipice, viewers feel the danger of the majestic waters; ultimately, we are compelled to turn away, the unforgettable image pressed into our mind’s eye. (via Feature Shoot)

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E. V. Day

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When I walk down the aisle someday, I don’t think I would mind my constricting, and stuffy wedding dress to blow up like a grenade… just like the installation of artist E.V. Day has put together. E.V. enjoys using delicate, fragile materials and transforming them into visions of war, sex, and violence. An act towards the exploding of sexual stereotypes.

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Clayton Brothers

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The incredibly improvisational Los Angeles-based duo, The Clayton Brothers (aka: Rob and Christian Clayton,) create autobiographical and narrative pieces of work through an intuitive process. One brother will start a painting, pass it on to the other to work on, and go back and forth until the painting comes to a finish. What I genuinely enjoy about their work is that though they work in sync through a shared childhood, they don’t try to recreate it. They look into their world as the adults they are now, which is what I feel makes their work so dynamic.

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RIP Nujabes

Musician Jun Seba, also known as Nujabes passed away late last month after a fatal car crash at age 36. Why it took almost a month later for everyone to catch wind of it, I’m not sure but, pest in peace. You were so young and so amazingly talented. This video above was circulating the web for a bit- “Luv (sic) pt. 2″ Nujabes featuring Shing02 and directed by Sou Ootsuki. Doesn’t watching it makes you feel alive? In a really breathtakingly normal way?

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