Headed over to Wes Lang’s Brooklyn studio on Friday. Daylight filtered in from the street over walls resplendent with tattoo flash, hand-painted jackets, flags, and pics of beautiful women. Amazing paintings are everywhere you look. The first thing I said was “there’s a lot of nice tits on the wall.” Wes relaxed visibly and replied, “everybody likes tits, they’re calming.” That broke the ice. His new work emerged after losing several friends in the last year, and goes in a different direction from his well-known and controversial Americana work. It’s being shipped off this week to Galleri Brandstrup in Olso Norway.
Artist Akihiko Miyoshi creates amazing abstract work using simple photographic technique. He uses little more than a camera, colored tape, and a mirror to explore ideas of composition and color. While photography is arguably thought of as the epitome of representational art, Akihiko’s images are decidedly abstract. While minimally manipulating his images, they stand distinct from painting counterparts. In a way Akihiko abstracts not only form, but light.
Deniz Ozuygur’s pieces appear to be completely unconnected explorations. However, the common thread uniting Ozuygur’s varied and imaginative work is that each piece embodies a different character. These characters have their own stories and musings, often derived from the artist’s own past. From Funyuns to balloons, Ozuygur is certainly not afraid of experimentation.
In a startling critique of the ways in which images of women’s bodies are consumed, the artist Jessica Ledwich presents “The Fanciful, Monstrous Feminine,” a collection of surreal photographs documenting the psychological consequences of contemporary beauty standards and practices. For Ledwich, female sexuality is viewed as “threatening” and is therefore oppressed; here, she exaggerates the femme fatale image, showing her red-lipped, square-nailed protagonist engaging in violence with her own body.
The female form, shiny and lacquered, appears like a hybrid, part human and part domestic cyborg; her youthful flesh is overtaken by the mechanics of beauty. In one image, severed and still-wriggling fingers are replaced with tweezers, and in another, she uses a vacuum cleaner to suction fat from her thighs, injecting it into her lips.
Improvements to the home and domestic realm take a literal toll on the female body and self; after awkwardly sculpting a just-budding lemon tree, a matriarch forces her own natural body into an hourglass with restrictive garments. The monotony of the daily grooming routine turns brutal and dehumanizing, and with each ritual, our subject sacrifices a bit of her identity until, like slabs of lifeless meat, her limbs, brains, and heart are sold off at a butcher shop cleverly referred to as “Limbsons.”
Tied to this endless pursuit of female perfection is the idea of motherhood, presented without an ounce of warmth or sentimentality. A C-section yields only an endless stream of identical plastic dolls, each removed with the same sterile, unfeeling determination that we see with the surgical implantation of breasts. The mother, robbed of her sexuality, is shown inserting biohazards material into a cooked egg, an uncomfortable action we might presume to represent her own impregnation. This bleak, unromantic portrayal of female beauty and fertility serves to remind us of the physically and psychologically painful demands placed on modern women’s bodies, leaving viewers yearning for a more humane world. (via Lost at E Minor and Design Taxi)
I’m loving these images sent over to us by Edward Cushenberry. I’m not sure if they are just scans from his journal or if the writing is part of the work but I love the intimacy that the text brings to the photographs. I feel like I’m right there with Edward having these conversations and living out all the awkward moments.
Carol Inez Charney is a photographer based in San Francisco. Her newest body of work is a series of images that resemble colorful abstractions. In reality the photographs are close-ups of water on windows as well as the colors that surround them. In her own words: “My current photographic series, Interior Landscape, uses natural distortions present in our everyday world—namely, moisture on windows—to evoke a painterly image that recontextualizes our everyday architectural landscape. While focusing on the minute details of these natural distortions, we enter a space of quiet contemplation, which simultaneously inspires a new kind of internal and external vision. After several years of combining painting and photography with mixed results, one very cold day in Minnesota I looked through a window completely covered in condensation out to the frosty distant landscape. I realized I could use the camera to reinterpret the world around me into a form akin to that of painting.” (via)