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Christopher Michlig: The Image of the City

Christopher Michlig is a Los Angeles-based artist interested in constructed environments. His show at the Devening Projects + Editions in Chicago is up until December 8.  Check it out while you still can! This post is a mix of his current Chicago show and the show at Marine Contemporary that just ended. Great stuff!

“The term “urban fabric” often refers to everything that makes up the built environment, excluding environmental, economic, functional and sociocultural actualities. Using raw material culled from an archive of merchant posters Christopher Michlig collected from LA streets, Patternesque is a group of 16 collages, each a pattern study riffing on idiosyncratic typographic anatomy. While each collage is a distinct composition, common threads run throughout. Emphasizing the flexible, open-ended nature of the project, the work also suggests the morphology of urban space. Alongside the collages, Michlig presents a group of architecture-related relief sculptures. Based on a tradition of architectural model making in which massing models are used to dimensionally summarize the fundamental forms of buildings, Michlig’s “City Plan” relief sculptures interpret typographic space as proposed city plans. Reflective of the spaces from which the original posters were collected, while simultaneously nondescript, each city plan forces a consideration of the power dynamic of language itself as an imagined built environment.” – Christopher Michlig
photo credit: Josh White

 

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Michael Ward’s Hyperrealistic Paintings Depict Southern California Nostalgia

Michael Ward

Michael Ward

WardPainting6

Michael Ward’s hyperrealistic paintings remind me of the type of photographs I take when I travel to new cities. I am always drawn to graphic elements and the juxtapositions of buildings, signs, and their locations. And, indeed, most of Ward’s paintings are based off of photographs he’s taken over the years, primarily of Southern California. Though his work was not intended to address the nostalgia of these places, most of the images’ places he’s recreated have been altered or have entirely disappeared, his work becoming an archive of transitional places. Ward’s influences include Edward Hopper, Charles Scheeler, RIchard Estes, and Vermeer. A self-taught painter, Ward began his artistic career drawing pen and ink renditions of historical architecture, before experimenting first in gouache, then in acrylics. Of his work, Ward says,”I am most interested in depicting what Alan Watts called the mystery of the ordinary; the workaday world we live in without seeing until we are forced to focus upon it, as in a painting.”

Phyliss Lutjeans, a museum educator and curator observes,“Although Michael Ward may be called a neo-realist painter his work can ultimately be described as abstract realism. The picture image is photographically realistic, but within the context of the painting his compositions are complex and almost abstract. Deciphering the work section by section one sees how a multitiude of individual complete compositions are put together to form the entire work. For me the viewer is confronted by a realistic image that puzzles us and clearly tells the story simultaneously.” (via the paris review)

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Seung Hoon Parks Weaves Fractured Photographic Tapestries

Seung Hoon Parks Seung Hoon Parks Seung Hoon Parks Seung Hoon ParksSeung Hoon Park’s photographic work is created using strips of 8mm or 16mm film that’s woven together to form larger images. For the series Textus, he depicts well-known and iconic landmarks from all over the world. After the “tapestry” is assembled, Park photographs it using an 8×10 camera to creates a more texturally seamless surface. The result creates cognitive dissonance; We expect it to look tactile, while it only appears flat.

The discolored edges of the film provide a vintage feel to the overall work, as they tinge it in yellows, blues, and generally desaturate all of Park’s landscapes. The smaller images that make up Textus fracture the larger photograph in a way that it appears as a victim of some sort of disaster. They’ve been pieced so that’s almost put back together, but there’s still part of it that’s off and will always remain a little off because of it. (Via Feature Shoot)

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Click To Collect- AFFORDABLE ARTIST ORIGINALS PRESENTS: Justin B. Nelson

Begone/Bygone, 2010
8″ x 10″, ink and watercolor on paper

Welcome to our third offering of Click To Collect, Beautiful/Decay’s campaign to help art lovers start their collection of original artists works at affordable prices. Our featured artist this week is Justin B. Nelson whose delicately rendered watercolor , charcoal, and ink drawings have graced the pages of Beautiful/Decay as well as our website many times. For the first time ever we are offering Justin’s original drawings for sale as part of our Click To Collect initiative to bring original works of art to the masses at affordable prices. Read more about Justin’s fantastic work and see more pieces that are available for sale after the jump!

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Paintings Depict Environmental Low And High Brow Decadence

Jean Lowe - Painting

Jean Lowe - PaintingJean Lowe - Painting How does our plastic/synthetic “throw away” culture affect not only our values, but also our environment? Walmart retail may seem cost effective and conservative, but in a glutton abundance, it’s possibly just as decadent as the upper echelons of collecting from the Renaissance or Baroque times. By placing disposal items such as Coors beer, shelves or detergent, and bargain bin t-shirts under a canopy of classically rich “painted” ceilings in her work, Jean Lowe cleverly examines these ironies and more.

Regarding this fiscal clashing, David Pagel suggests, “This compromise between high art and low culture suggests that splitting the difference between extremes creates a mutation both queasy and questionable.”

This is what makes each piece striking– Lowe is not just easily questioning consumerism’s role in art, but instead asking us to consider where art lives and who it lives for. It’s not just about “what” but “how” such blending or bleeding confuses, masks, or tempers our own sense of place and thought.

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New Atlantis

Adam Shecter at Eleven Rivington, on view from September 2 – October 4th, opening September 9, 6-8 pm.  This is the artist’s New York gallery solo debut and will feature a new two-channel digital video animation entitled New Atlantis.

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Clare Grill

Clare Grill’s poetic and ghostly works are proof  that paintings don’t have to be overtly complicated and fussy to be good.

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Odeith’s Amazing Anamorphic 3D Graffiti Appears To Miraculously Float In Space

Odeith-Graffiti

Odeith-Graffiti

3d graffiti

3d Graffiti

Lisbon based graffiti artist Odeith has a very specific talent – one he has refined since picking up his first spray can in the mid 1980s. He has a unique way of using only paint on flat walls to create amazing eye-popping 3D effects that seem to float in between surfaces, or jump out from corners. He earned his chops in the 90’s mostly bombing on train tracks and street walls, until he started noticing large scale murals around the place, and wanted to follow suit – to paint something with a message. Slowly his murals began growing more ambitious in size, and more detailed.

Early on, [Odeith] showed a special interest in perspective and shading, in an obscure style, which he later called “sombre 3D”, where the compositions, landscapes or portraits, messages or homages, stood out for their realism and technique. (Source)

After deciding to shut his tattoo parlor in 2008, he dedicated all of his time to graffiti art and eventually gained international recognition, in particular for his optical illusions and anamorphic graffiti. But that’s not to say Odeith is a one trick pony, or only limited to spraying his name with different effects. He also paints large homages and portraits of musicians, actors, politicians, as well as film scenes, commercial billboards, banners for football clubs and murals for Portuguese city halls. He has created artwork for London Shell, Kingsmill, the Coca-Cola Company, Estradas de Portugal, and Samsung.

Odeith talks about his success and having to have confidence in ideas that seem unsuccessful at first:

If [you] want to put your name on top, you need to work, no matter what people say, you need to believe [in] yourself. After years thinking [about] what I could do different[ly] I start[ed] with that crazy anamorphic idea, and it worked well. (Source)

See more of his crazy talent here and here.

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