Fed up with the shame surrounding their periods, the Spanish performance collective Sangre Menstrual took over the public streets in sets of white pants stained with menstrual blood. This performance artwork was politically motivated; as the group writes in their “Manifesto for the Visibility of the Period,” the taboo surrounding menstruation serves to oppress women and reinforce patriarchal systems.
By making a public display of their shedding uterine linings, the group hopes to reclaim the female body and free normal bodily functions from shame and judgement. Since the earliest books of the bible and before, menstruation has been viewed as unclean, and often women have even been kept separate from men during their periods. Sangre Menstrual, whose name literally translates to “menstrual blood,” intends to change all that. In their manifesto, the group of women write, “I stain [my pants], and it doesn’t make me sick. I stain [my pants] and I don’t find it disgusting.”
The implications of Sangre Menstrual’s street performance extend beyond menstruation and into larger debates surrounding reproduction and the female body. Like the feminist artist Barbara Kruger and her legendary print “Your Body Is A Battlefield,” the blood-stained performance aims to present the body as a political act of defiance. The manifesto states, “the visibility of the period [is meant] to increase the visibility of the body, as political space.” Do patriarchal, sexist institutions persist in part because of the repulsion with which we treat menstruation? Is this work of art a groundbreaking innovation or a silly shock tactic? (via BUST)
Kevin Earl Taylor’s paintings have a symbiotic theme showing organisms, animals, and humans all coexisting. Whether parasitic or beneficial, the common thread behind his oil paintings is that these strange creatures all exist together – similar to our own reality. His fascination with animals, environment, and human relations has led him to turn animals into humans in an anthropomorphic figure. The collective consciousness that makes us aware of other beings on the planet is incorporated in his paintings to tell a story of life, and this thing we call death. Taylorʼ s abstract narratives are dream oriented in a playful, sometimes renaissance oriented painting style. With humor, harmony, morphology, genealogy, symbiosis, and just not taking himself too seriously, Kevin Earl Taylor attempts to expose the animal within.
Kevin walks you through some of the work in Deviant Instinct, his show at Circleculture Gallery in the video above and discusses the various concepts and themes within his work.
Gelitin is comprised of four Austrian artists who met in 1978 at a summer camp and started exhibiting internationally as a group. Their cleverness in dealing with topics such as childhood, the functionality of objects, scale and absurdity are obvious in projects and corresponding titles such as “Klunk Garden” and “The Dig Cunt.” I like that their work seems to take on a variety of tones- ironic one moment and nostalgic the next. But all appropriate.
Frightening monsters, gentle monsters and funny monsters. The kids and artists working on the monster themed project ‘Go Monster Project’ welcome any kind of creatures. This project raises awareness for children’s imagination as a mean to shape their adult personality and future.
Elementary students are asked to draw a monster, that’s the starting point of the project. No rules or conditions have been set. They are asked to let their imagination wander and to draw literally anything that comes through their minds. Once they are done, the drawings are transformed into paintings, 3D illustrations, animations; digitally or manually by mini-sculptures. The kids are able to see their creatures come to life, and most importantly they are getting the validation that their creativity, taste and talent is significant.
There’s no right or wrong. The fact that they won’t be graded or judged from their creations help the children recognize the power of their imagination. This project aims to encourage kids to grow their potential within an environment ruled by ‘like’ buttons and a permanent search for social approval. The excitement shared is twofold. The kids are having a great time drawing and the artists are exploring their imagination by taking over the simple yet creative drawings into visually elaborated and detailed designs.
New York based artist Mindo Cikanavicius photographs portraits of men with foam “facial hair.” Within this series, titled Bubbleissimo, (perhaps making a play on the word “machismo”), the artist distorts the notion of masculinity through a comedic display of the growing obsession with groomed facial hair. His work aims to speak about the fragility and absurdity of what “manliness” means, depicting it as being just as allusive and indefinite as the bubbles meant to represent it. These works portray the sitters in a sort of kitschy, glamor portrait style, engulfed in one side of sky blue and one side of bubble gum pink, the colors used to denote gendered objects. His series mocks the need to define and portray what it means to be masculine, and, through what seems at first glance to be an overtly serious series, successfully, upon further inspection, invites in a air of making fun of itself. Once it becomes clear that this facial hair is in fact made of bubbles, the work switches from being a strange cataloging of men, to a witty depiction of gender norms. His artist statement notes that “Mindo is focused creating story based unexpected moments with touch of cinematic drama, humor and mystery. His work is a blend of ideas, imagination, observations, experiences and emotions into making intriguing constructed reality photographs.”
I wanted to issue an apology for committing the ultimate blogging sin: mixing up two artists’ works (!!). So here is my attempt to correct my error.. the HARMLAND/CHARMGLAND post I made was actually composed of two Flickr accounts’ works: Hardland/Heartland and Portrait Painters. This post is about HL/HL, and the next will be Portrait Painters. Damn, the internet is a tricky business.
This description is taken straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Hardland/Heartland is an amorphous cluster of artists working to create an ongoing visual investigation of our own personal histories, cultural interactions and possible futures. Using intuition and collaboration, we have embraced multiple mediums and methods that allow us to present our findings, not as definite statements, but instead as a more pragmatic communication of ideas that can be built upon and developed over time. These results are pieced together to form a lexicon of personal symbolism that serves as an authentic record of our creative endeavors and interaction.”
What if you could stick your hand into a little box and all of a sudden find yourself in a virtual, parallel, world? Well, thanks to designer and maker, Jayne Vidheecharoen, you might be able to quite soon! The project is still undergoing development, but the prototype already shows a lot of promise, and Jayne is currently running a kickstarter campaign to help develop it further. Check it out in action after the jump…
Japanese designer, illustrator, painter Aquirax Uno’s work is characterized by fantastic visuals, capricious and sensuous line flow, flamboyant (and occasionally grotesque) eroticism, and frequent use of collage and bright colors. He was prominently involved with the Japanese underground art of 1960’s-1970’s, dabbling in theater, fashion, film and animation. His work reminds me of Aubrey Beardsley’s– morosely sensual women oozing and dripping with the promise of delightful death…I also found a really interesting interview designer Tara Sinn did with the artist himself on her blog.