I always thought that robots would one day make all the art in the world but I never imagined that the day would be so near. Benjamin Grosser’sInteractive Robotic Painting Machine uses artificial intelligence to paint its own body of work and to make its own decisions. While doing so, it listens to its environment and considers what it hears as input into the painting process. In the absence of someone or something else making sound in its presence, the machine, like many artists, listens to itself. Watch a video of the robot in action after the jump!
For the surrealist painter Vincent Castiglia, his “work is literally a blood sacrifice on the altar of art;” using up to 30 vials of his own blood for his darkly sprawling paintings, he hopes to imbue his richly philosophical work with his own living tissue. The artist’s blood shares the same iron oxide pigment as many commercial paints, lending each image its dark rusty tone and heightening the drama of Castiglia’s macabre scenes.
For this blood artist, the unusual medium works in service of larger themes. In extracting blood from his own body, sometimes 15 vials at a time (less than a blood donation), he allows the literal life-giving substance to more deeply examine fertile powers of mankind. With the careful painting of milk-filled breasts and deliberate vaginal imagery, Castiglia celebrates the allegorical implications of motherhood and childbirth. A female figure rises from the earth, howling like the ancient Greek goddess Gaia, who birthed the entire world.
The idea of human creative potential becomes complicated with the dark suggestion of our mortality. A mother nurses from a wheelchair, her skeletal legs and decaying infant painted in dried blood, reminding viewers that with life comes inevitable ruin. Laid upon a cross, a woman bears the suffering of Jesus, her abdomen radiating light while her vulva appears to be ominously stitched shut.
The introduction of religious imagery helps resolve the tension between death and birth. Borrowing shapes and floral imagery from early Christian painting, Castiglia implies a connection between death and eternal life. In sacrificing his own blood, the artist fills not a Holy Grail but a canvas, elegantly preserving his own flesh for our consideration. (via HuffPost, ABC, Oddity Central, and Tumblr)
Good buddy and painter extraordinaire Alison Blickle turned me onto the work of Christoph Ruckhäberle the other day and my mind was immediately blown.These paintings are completely bizarre and incredibly beautiful. Everything from the choice of color, the abstraction of the human body, and the strange vintage imagery sets it aside from work that you see on most gallery walls!
Since 2009,Tony Orrico has performed his Penwald drawings. Combining elements found in dance, theater and performance art, it explores repetitive movement for long periods of time, bringing drawing’s motion into peril with human physicality. The idea originates in finding a point when an act becomes more than just motor skills and crosses over into the creative process. In Tony’s case, this leaves an aesthetic mark on physical existence in the form of an abstract drawing.
After graduating with an MFA in Choreography from the University of Iowa, Tony joined Shen Wei and Trisha Brown Dance companies. As a principle, he performed in major cities around the globe, including Sydney Opera House. Both troupes known for an avant garde approach ensured that he was never far away from a serious art practice. When he was ready, this enabled him to use the experience he learned as a dancer and combine it with his passion for drawing. One of his first Penwald performances at Postmasters Gallery, NY in 2009, would set the stage for everything that followed. From there, he received an opportunity to perform at The National Academy Of Sciences in Washington DC, and was soon taking his “Penwald” series to venues worldwide. He was one of the few selected to reappropriate performances from Marina Ambramovic’s retrospective, “The Artist is present” at New York’s Museum Of Modern Art, an experience he was honored to have.
His newest project, CARBON, further investigates the relationship between material, body and movement. Again, testing the limits of physical, mental and creative capacity, Tony sleeps in a box of graphite broken off throughout the course of a day, from Mexican pottery bowls. The material is used as a metaphor for life and death. A few recent highlights include performances at The Metz-Pompidou, New Museum, BAM, and solo Exhibits at PPOW Gallery NY, MUAC Mexico and Shoshanna Wayne Gallery Los Angeles.
Wolfgang Stiller‘s series Matchstickmen are a depiction of people that are literally burnt out. The sculptures resemble giant match sticks, the the charred match head like a human head, ignited and tossed about the gallery. A play on the phrase ‘burnt out’, the series comments on the unending demand of human labor. Interestingly the installation was created while the German artist was living in China. However, Stiller says of the work:
“I don’t want to see it only as a critique on the Chinese system. Any other system in the world has the same problem. Big companies exploit their employees to make larger profits, all over the world. As long as we have affordable T-shirts or sneakers, we don’t really want to know whether they are made by children in India or not.” [via]
Dylan Rabe is a fellow artist and friend and colleague of mine. His illustrative works contain all things one could hope to see in a painting. Executed with bold colors and painstaking attention to detail, they fuse together theatrical narratives with assemblages of eccentric subjects, symbolic props, aged furniture, and elaborate décor; he successfully fits all such things into a single painting, typically creating medium to large-scale works. Dylan derives influence from a variety of sources such as 1950’s pulp art, soap operas, science fiction and romance novels. His work is enigmatic and enchanting, and I hope to see Dylan’s work gain further recognition in the future.
Incorporating a vintage vibrant palette of collectibles, wood, paint, and hardware, Mac Premo, who is also an Emmy Award-winning animator, imaginatively concocts assemblage pieces that feel like personal homages or inventions.
Premo suggests, mash-ups evoke a certain surreal and instinctive attraction where– “Only through engaging in the almost absurd cycle of macro systems do you find things worth living for, like your wife, baseball, or a handsome piece of wood.”
Just in time for the election season Steve Lambert brings his iconic signage based sculptures to Los Angeles for It’s Time To Fight, And It’s Time To Stop Fighting, opening at Charlie James Gallery on September 15th.
The centerpiece of Lambert’s upcoming show is Capitalism Works For Me! True/False (pictured above), which is on a nationwide tour of museums, non-profits and public spaces in 2011 and 2012. The sign has been exhibited in Cleveland, Boston, San Diego, and Santa Fe, NM so far this year, and its travels will continue after the gallery show concludes in October. The Capitalism project is among Lambert’s most ambitious to date, in both its scale and its level of provocation. The sign itself blares a question seldom posed so clearly, while also serving to divine public opinion and understanding about capitalism. At every stop on the sign’s aforementioned tour, Lambert interviews viewers about their experience of the piece, posing whether capitalism does in fact ‘work for them’. These video-captured testimonials illustrate how people define and understand capitalism, and their relationship to it.
Lambert will also present five new sign sculptures that amplify the question(s) posed in Capitalism. If the Capitalism project asks its question to the ‘man on the street’, this group of five new sign sculptures speaks directly to the demographic of people equipped to acquire them. Reflecting a fresh awareness that a broad swath of corporate and individual 1%-ers have collected his work over three years of gallery and art fair exhibitions, Lambert has decided to create visual reminders, admonitions, and encouragements to those in positions to collect the work.