These amazing sculptures are unbelievably crafted entirely out of wood, then painted. Tom Eckert uses traditional processes to create these works, mostly out of basswood, linden, and limewood, then applies waterborne lacquer using paint brushes and spray guns. Concealment and mystery form a large part of his work, indicated by his portrayal of shrouded items. Eckert: “Since childhood, I have been curious about and amused by mistaken impressions of reality presented as part of my visual experiences. One of my earliest recollections, on a car trip, was my perception of the wet, slick highway ahead that turned out to be an illusion, a mirage. The revelation that I was fooled, visually and intellectually tricked, stuck with me. This visual deception is now the basis for my creative direction.”
Trixie Whitley who’s husky, but soft spoken voice turns into quite a powerful instrument when she starts to sing played to an intimate audience the other night at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, CA. Playing songs from her debut LP Fourth Corner (released independently earlier this year on Strong Blood Records), Trixie showed us why musicians like Daniel Lanois, Marianne Faithfull, and Robert Plant have collaborated with her. Backed by a keyboardist and drummer, she played both electric and acoustic guitar and even sat at the Wurlitzer for a few songs ending the show with a stirring version of her single, “Breath You In My Dreams”. She came back onstage to play one of the first songs she ever wrote, “Strong Blood” which I’ve heard her in the past dedicate to her father, the late blues singer/guitarist, Chris Whitley.
Trixie’s currently on a West Coast tour which will find her at the Troubadour in West Hollywood tomorrow night, Friday May 31st and at San Francisco’s The Chapel on Saturday, June 1st. She’ll also be performing at this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN on June 14th. Check out her new video for, “Breathe You In My Dreams” that premiered the other day on Vogue.com and definitely try to catch her perform live to hear her incredible voice.
NYC-based artist Jon Widman really pays attention to surface quality in his seemingly mundane, photo-realistic paintings of papery things. Record sleeves, paperback novels and cardboard boxes are rendered in careful detail, but with the faintest trace of the painter’s hand in the tiny, graphic details. In some pieces, small, industrious rodents make an appearance, hinting at Widman’s sense of humor as they climb and hide among stacks of antiquated media. The subject matter would usually leave the viewer with a trace of nostalgia, but his color palettes and intriguing compilations keep the work feeling fresh and vibrant.
Inspired by his southern memories American artist Wayne White intervenes directly on vintage landscape reproductions, penetrating and filling the vintage scenes with three-dimensional words and phrases. Provocative, ironic and sometimes humorous, his work explores cultural and social themes such as vanity, ego or pride.
These intriguing images have a gentle and surreal nature, with a clear affection for the natural world. More than just the scenes’ tiny subjects is surprising about these photographs. Their creator, a photographer who goes by the name of Fiddle Oak, is only fourteen years old. With assistance from his older sister, Fiddle Oak conjures these playfully dreamy landscapes. While his sister Nellie, also a photographer, helps Fiddle Oak with various tasks, the shooting and editing is exclusively done by this young photographer. [via]
Maximilian Toth’s beautifully composed chalkboard style paintings depict teenage antics as being not so much about rebellion from authority, but more so, as a series of actions radiating acute aliveness. While favoring the color black, Toth’s strong pops of brightness light up the narrative, mid-action, exposing a new playground of discovery. For instance, there is a certain innate enigmatic pleasure in joyriding a shopping cart around town, simply because, for the first time, without parental supervision, it’s possible. Toth’s work happily meditates on this and other pockets of teenage euphoria without an imposed stringent sense of morality.
The sculptures of artist Takahiro Komuro feel conspicuously out of place in the real world. They nearly seemed to have been plucked from the video games, cartoons, and comics of a twenty-somthing’s childhood. Mutant superheros and villains, video game bosses, the often dramatic story lines of each perhaps reflected the anxieties of our parents at the time. Komuro’s sculptures capture this strange balance of youth and play on the one hand and deeper fears on the other.
Roger Hiorns‘ sculptures and installations are concerned with chemical processes and how these processes affect his materials and forms. I first encountered Hiorns’ work a few years ago when his installation, Seizure, was nominated for a Turner prize in 2009. For this installation, Hiorns filled an entire vacant & demolition-ready ex-London council estate flat with a copper sulphate solution. This created an abundance of bright blue crystals that filled every inch of the space. Visitors to the space had no choice but to crush some of the crystals as they walked through the transformed flat, further altering the construction of the space and his work. Hiorns uses the same copper sulphate solution to transform other objects, but also combines other seemingly disparate materials like ceramic pots with moving foam, metal with fire, steel with perfume, and even glass fiber with brain matter. A crucial component of Hiorns’ work stems from his compulsion to initiate the reaction, but then step back and become an objective viewer of his work as it transforms. Hiorns: “The works are successful if they are self-contained and need nothing else. They exist by their own language.”