Toronto-based creator Alex Fischer seems to prefer images laden with layers. Each image screams with a smashing of cultures and a tearing of borders. Fischer questions ownership in a similar manner to Richard Prince. Each image shows patience with a strident attention to detail, as each pressing of images goes further and further into a world all its own.
Nearly 10 years ago, photographer Rachel Sussman began researching with biologists and traveling world to document forms of natural life that are at least 2,000 years old for her project titled “The Oldest Living Things in the World.” Part art, part science, Sussman’s project engages with the natural world in order to capture a brief moment in the organisms’ millenia-old lives; her photographs ask viewers to consider their own lives alongside these natural ones, some on the verge of extinction. Each of her photographs includes text below the image describing the subject, its location, and its age. In the preface to her project’s book, Sussman writes,
“What does it mean when the organic goes head-to-head with the geologic? We start talking about deep time and the quotidian in the same breath, along with all the strata in between. All of these organisms are living palimpsests: they contain myriad layers of their own histories within themselves, along with records of natural and human events; new chapters written over the old, year after year, millennium after millennium. When we look at them in the frame of deep time, a bigger picture emerges, and we start to see how all of the individuals have stories, and that all of those stories are in turn interconnected — and in turn, inextricably connected to us all.
The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future.”
It’s hard to pull off an interesting silhouette in any medium but the sheer size of Sam3’s massive murals painted around the world demand your attention and respect. Mostly painted in the humble palette of black and white Sam3’s graphic silhouettes quietly shout out universal narratives and surreal messages.
When I dropped by his sunlit Brooklyn studio Aaron Johnson was busy preparing for his show at Stux Gallery in Chelsea, which opens Thursday September 15th. In this new body of work Johnson invites us to chow down on a writhing smorgasbord of Americana: severed heads, demonic Uncle Sams, sausage crucifixes, fried eagles, mashed guts, f-burgers, camel roast, and mutant sea creatures sucking down oil oozing fresh from the rig. His new work is opulent and glitters like jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs despite picturing disturbingly grotesque and violent imagery – totally Beautiful/Decay!
The design studio/street art crew known as Truly Design is truly an expert at creating anamorphic art. The group is playful with both literal and figurative perspective. The Medusa anamorph, for example, does precisely this. According to the myth if a person looked directly at the serpant haired Gorgon they would instantly turn to stone. Perseus was only able to slay the monster by looking at her reflection. Similarly, this Medusa can only be seen from singular perspective.
A native of Hungary, Rita Ackermann moved to New York City in the mid-1990s, arriving to find a culture— and art world—in transition. Rave and zine culture was in full swing; collaborations between artists, musicians, and magazine and book publishers were pervasive; and the age of the Internet was upon us. Within a few short months, Ackermann received widespread attention for her work, particularly a group of canvases populated with figures inspired by the cult German film We Children from Bahnhof Zoo about the heroin subculture of the 1970s. Her work forged a new visual language: paintings, drawings, and collages which telescoped between a virtuoso—and sometimes brutalistic—expressionism and taut, precise figurative drawing. Ackermann’s work explores the paradoxical relationship between fragility and violence, as she derives inspiration from literature, film, philosophy, and popular culture.
Marc Sinaj has such an eye for detail and dedication to quality, that his sculptures have observers constantly mistaking them for actual people. Strangers often try to interact with the figures, talk with them and even complain when they don’t receive any response. Born and based in Milwaukee, Sinaj often spends anywhere from 6 months to a year on a single sculpture (although usually working on multiple ones at the same time), and the hours he invests definitely show in the finished piece. He chooses to replicate figures with stories; people and characters with many wrinkles, pimples, blemishes, pores, stretchmarks, ingrown toenails and grey hairs.
…the vast majority [of the sculptures] are of all shapes and forms, some scrawny, other obese, some old, some young, some weak, some burly, the gamut of humanity. Sijan is like a superb writer in that regard who writes not only about the rich and famous, but instead about all facets of life on earth. (Source)
Working for over 40 years, Sinaj has perfected his skill of realistically reproducing the human form. Carrying on from the traditions of Roman and Grecian marble sculptors, Sinaj is a true modern master of bodies. Painstakingly building up layers of paint, and placing every individual hair, goose bump and freckle exactly where they should be, he shows of the extent of his talent. He never replicates someone without their permission, and always asks before taking their photo, as he is, in a way, cloning them.
Sinaj not only creates unbelievably realistic sculptures, he is effectively turning a mirror back onto ourselves – showing us in such a blinding light, we can’t ignore that humanity (with all of our flaws) is a strange and wonderful thing. He is celebrating the ugliness of reality. (Via Ignant)