Scottish-born, London-based visual artist Robert Montgomery loves to write in fire. Montgomery’s epic statement pieces are constructed from gigantic letters attached to a wooden platform, ready to be torched. The words aflame, his ideas come alive, sparked by their prophetic tone. The poems appear like floating fortunes, hovering in bold typeface, spelling out tales of ghosts and temporality, horses and palaces, situations seeped in apprehensive futures. The destructions of comfort, foreshadowing the obliteration of power structures and the rise of beauty. The act of setting them on fire is also, whether intentional or not, a nod to the finite nature of art and installation work. It echoes the premise of destruction as the highest form of creation.
Montgomery has also shown many of the same pieces in “recycled sunlight,” or through batteries charged via solar panels, illuminating at night. This electric voice speaking softly within the crowded streets adds a beautiful dimension to the art. Some of his pieces, put up as billboards around London’s east end, look like advertising at first glance. It is this interplay that is exactly what draws Montgomery to anonymous installation as his primary method of display:
“I’m definitely interested in hijacking advertising space for a different kind of conversation. I think it’s really interesting to use that space for a sort of interior voice. A voice in the private sphere. When I started putting my art on billboards, people told me, “You can’t put a hundred words on a billboard. No one will read that.” (Source)
Jake Winiski creates blurry deconstructed alien worlds using 3d sets that are photographed and then drawn on top of with ink. His multimedia process opens the door for a free-associative exploration, which is directly drawn from contemporary folklore laden with blurry photographs in which the human myth-building impulse has found Sasquatches, Chupacabras, aliens, and devils.By painting directly into the photographic print with an airbrush and India ink (aping the photographic surface) Jake explores the image as a shared space between the fabrication of the model, it’s expansion and metamorphosis behind the window of the photograph, and the free-associative manner in which internal fantasy can project itself into the world.
Steve Turner Contemporary will be exhibiting Mark Dutcher’s works February 14th- March 21st in a show entitled, “Havilah.” Havilah is taken from the mountain community in Northern Kern County that has a rich mining history- once a city of abundance and big dreams, Halivah is now a sleepy ghost town off the beaten path. I like this concept. The works themselves don’t necessarily reflect the title directly, but I like them for their vibrant colors and controlled messyness- plus they use feathers!
Peter Saul’s perfectly grotesque; strangely cartoonish paintings are filled with political and anti-political content. Having been born in the 1930’s, he has lived through an immeasurable amount of political turmoil. His highly illustrative paintings come bursting with endless social commentary, with more than just a bit of humor. Associated with the Chicago Imagists and the west coast Funk Artists, Saul’s style contains heavy influences from pop culture and surrealism. His distinctive style is harshly cartoonish due to the brilliant colors and flattened space. The characters in his paintings have bizarre, exaggerated features such as big, bulging eyes that pop out of the person’s skull, and tentacle-like appendages that bend and stretch clear across the composition. Although this may remind you at first of the cartoons you watched as a kid, examine the paintings longer and you will see enormous nude body parts and plenty of oozing bodily fluids. These hilarious and misshapen characteristics further express his thoughts on these characters; some real, some fiction.
Although Saul’s style is derived from sources many may see as lowbrow, his skills as a painter and an artist cannot be denied after seeing his complex, multifaceted compositions. Saul is a master at taking silly, iconic imagery from pop culture and mixing it with the grim, violence of reality. Experiencing his paintings is a journey through time, as they include imagery of the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ronald Reagan. However, the messages and situations depicted in these scenes still ring true today. Peter Saul’s long art career is memorable to say the least. You can see his powerful work in person at Venus Over Manhattan gallery in NYC where his exhibition From Pop to Punk will be on display until April 18th.
It seems talent is coming at a younger age these days. At only 22 years old South Afcrian Paul Ward is a photographer to watch and follow with more work in his portfolio than most seasoned vets. His series of people simply looking at the camera and screaming is simple yet breathtaking group of images. Scream with Paul Ward and friends after the jump.
So the other day I met this super cool french girl who turned me on to Jean-Philippe Delhomme. Mixing equal parts flattery and satire, his unique vision of the contemporary social scene is bitting and beautiful all at once. Turns out Delhomme worked as an illustrator at Glamour for years creating his signature brand of ‘fictional portraits,’ depicting the outlandish attitudes and behavior of high society. He also runs an awesome blog called The Unknown Hipster, and with a name like that, how could you not fall in love?
Entering the studio of Joseph Walsh is like embarking on a vessel of imagination. His “Magnus Celestii” piece begins as a desk and then spirals upwards from the floor to the ceiling to end as a slender shelf. The great heaven; as the title of the piece translates in latin; is taking up the entire space, making the viewer the center of the sculpture wherever he is located in the room. Not only is the piece a beauty, but it’s also made out of ashes of wood. A detail that transports us to the premice of the creation, in the midst of nature, in a magical forest somewhere in Ireland, where the artist is from.
Regarding Joseph Walsh, the barrier between him being acknowledge as an artist or a designer is slim, almost inexistant. The fact that he is challenging the technical boundaries of wood carving demonstrates his talent and love for his passion.
He is a visionary redefining design as art. A piece of furniture created by his hands is a sculpture. He wishes to honor the collaboration man has had for decennies with the material of wood.
Once again through this sculpture he has our head swirling in a dream of wooden ribbons. Over the years, Joseph Walsh has created a language of curves, sensuatity and voluptuousness. There is not one way to appreciate his work. How the lines float and the silhouettes undulate leaves us in an eternal spin. No matter how many times we look at a piece, there will always be a new angle to discover it.The simplicity of the material and the complexicity of the lines are what makes his work so captivating.
Joseph Walsh has new work currently showing at Chatsworth House in Bakewell, Derbyshire, UK until October 2015.