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Studio Visit: Christopher Miller and his auto-drawing machine

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Rebecca Manson, one of the current sculptors in residence at Cal State University Long Bech [CSULB], told me I had to drive out to the campus to see what Christopher Miller was working on in his studio. So, with my full trust in her hands, I took the hour long and then some drive from Los Angeles to Long Beach to scope it out. And when I got to Miller’s studio I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. It was a painting machine, but one made out of organic materials like bamboo instead of steel, with markers hanging from strings stretched 5 ft high. The whole thing was powered by several fans that would cause the pens to sway back and forth across a massive sheet of paper, which was taped to the ground. Christopher then had various obstacles placed around his painting surface that the pen could work around. For instance, there was one sculpture composed of about 50 triangles that restricted the motion of the pen as well as one of Rebecca’s ceramic pieces that blocked out certain areas of the paper to create an ever -evolving, uniquely beautiful, and chaotic masterpiece.  I especially love how you can really feel the heart of Christopher’s piece when you see it in person, since every single element is either hand painted or constructed. Even the strings that are holding the pens have little paper accessories attached to them, which remind me of tie-died Mondrian mobiles. Christopher is still working on this particular sculpture and can always use donations of various painting supplies like inks and markers to help progress the work. If you’re interested in helping him out, you can send him a direct email at Chrismmiller[at]hotmail[dot]com. Watch a video of the piece in action after the jump.

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Jordi Ferreiro’s Workshops For Kids

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Yayoi Kusama homage

Jordi Ferreiro

Andy Warhol homage

Spanish designer Jordi Ferreiro takes on a role often overlooked in the creative industry when he organizes these art workshop for kids. Though I’m definitely not qualified to make any astute comments on arts education in the American school system, it’d be nice if there was umm… more of it. It’s interesting though, to see the sort of primitive forms and ideas presented in the children’s artworks and think “Wow, the stuff made by (enter currently hip artist’s name who makes drawings that look like kids made them) totally looks like this!”. Maybe the form is completely mastered but not the thoughts behind it because the output of a child’s imagination is fresh. We’re just all jaded and hungry for irony.

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Daniel Heidkamp’s Contemporary Impressionism

 

Daniel Heidkamp uses combines the styles of old timers like David Hockney and Claude Monet to paint the people and places around him in the 21st century. The results are fresh, energetic, and 100% joyful to look at. If you’re not careful you could end up staring at these all day. Not that that’s a bad thing. 

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Constance And Eric Redefine Sexy In Their Intimate Photographs Of Couples

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Constance & Eric are a married couple from Brooklyn who have carved a niche and figured out how to make a living taking pictures of people having sex.  Blurring the lines between high art and commercial photography, the duo have photographed over 140 couples.  Beginning the project out of disappointment in the way commercial photography generally treats bodies and sex, the couple came up with their own parameters for “sexy.”  Disenchanted, as many of us are, by the narrow definition advertising and media give to the term, Constance and Eric decided to pursue a visual journey through the erotic and corporeal.

Subtle in their abstraction, the duo’s photographs transcend pornography or explicit imagery and become mere suggestions of the actual act.  But there is a sensual nature to the images that feels incredibly personal, even if a viewer can’t actually discern what precisely he is looking at.   In an interview with Nerve, Constance said, “The abstract images help create more of a feeling of the moment.  It enables the viewer to put themselves in the image without the distraction of recognizable features.”

In an interview with Huffington Post Constance and Eric said that the part of their job they enjoy the most is “Showing people how beautiful they are together.”  Check out their website, and if you’re brave enough, grab your significant other and contact them for a session.  (via HuffPost & Nerve)

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Malika Gaudin-Delrieu’s Touching Photographs Of “A Happy Hermaphrodite Prostitute”

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“Hermaphrodite [sex … is] the sex of the angels,” explains Claudette, an intersex sex worker, to the photographer Malika Gaudin-Delrieu. The pair began their collaboration after meeting in Claudette’s native Switzerland, where Gaudin-Delrieu was documenting the country’s legalized prostitution. With her recent series of photographs, the artist elegantly dispels stigma around complex gender identities; as seen through her lens, Claudette is a woman, a husband, and a father.

Ideas on prostitution, a field often associated with the abuse and exploitation of women, is also complicated by the work. Here, sex work is seen as a means of self-actualization and joy; “Claudette is the opposite of a victim. She controls her life, makes her choices clearly and knowingly. She does more than just live her life, she loves it,” says Gaudin-Deirieu of her subject. A courageous activist for sex workers’ rights, our protagonist stands before a dark auditorium, bathed in spotlight, silently inhaling, poised to speak.

Laced throughout the work are subtle moments of love and intimacy. The series, romantically titled La vie en rose (presumably after the love song by Edith Piaf, a prolific French singer who was cared for by sex workers), focuses in part on Claudette’s 52 year marriage to her wife Andrée. Claudette’s quiet warmth and affections, seen in her and Andrée’s sleepy embrace, permeates throughout the entire visual narrative; with the same profound care, she counts her earnings, dresses in lingerie, rubs her neck.

Claudette describes her work as “[assuming the role of] ultimate femininity […] with happiness and a sense of relief,” and her nuanced relationship with her sensual yearning shines through in the images. We follow her as stops in the street, seduced by a lingerie shop window, as she dresses herself, fingering the textured fabrics as they cling to her body. Claudette’s life, as seen through streaming sunlight and soft darkness, is magnetic, alluring, and unexpectedly soothing, and viewers are left to ponder an indescribably complex global sexual and political landscape. What do you think? (via Feature Shoot and HuffPost)

Writer’s note: Gaudin-Deirieu’s work and this post are in no way meant to be taken as a generalization of the lives of sex workers; instead, they are meant to highlight the life an individual. As the artist explains, there are as many views on prostitution as there are people practicing it. For many, it’s a form of abuse; for Claudette, it is not.

The word “hermaphrodite” is usually considered to be offensive, and in no way is this post meant to condone or encourage the use of the word under most circumstances. Here, it is used only because Claudette herself identifies with the word. 

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Mou Hoo’s Abandoned Space

Decaying structures house the oddest assortment of memories.  Without an explanation for why it’s there, a newspaper on the wall of an empty room can get pretty Murakami-esque.   Mou Hoo, a young photographer working out of Beijing, explores the mysterious clutter of abandoned buildings.

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Real Fish Heads Used In Photographs To Satirize Everyday Human Life



Anne-Catherine Becker-Echivard places real fish from her fish monger on doll parts to recreate, amuse, and in a way, criticize/satirize aspects of human society.

Of her work, Dr. Didier Rouzeyrol poeticizes:

The fish of acbe do not look at the ground.
They play there. They play. They play with us.
They place us into these pieces.
Parts in an act, in a photograph.

European bred and born, Becker-Echivard could easily be a character in a Julie Delpy film– charmingly dedicated to absurd yet accessible content with an undeniably curious or obsessive edge. For instance, after the setting and shooting is done, this Parisian artist tops off each project by eating it for dinner, stating, “It is the perfect recycling of art. Nothing is left over – and I can live from it.”

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