The work of Johan Björkegren feels like a fairy tale, with twists and turns. It’s what I pictured when I was 5 and holding the covers hearing stories. It is decrepid and pronounced, and can, at times, feel like a house that won’t stop squeaking. It feels loved and nurtured, but it doesn’t believe in purity or the idea of white.
Milano Chow‘s drawings are subtle and contemplative. One of the most striking elements in the work is the indelible sadness of human figures and the seemingly neglected objects that surround them. Plants and flowers reoccur but they are often wilted. The people inhabiting these snap shots mirror their belongings. They remain cluttered, isolated and damaged.
The dark paintings of Martin Wittfooth depict a frightening dystopia that could be our reality if we are not careful. The world he shows us is a grim and desolate one, void of humans, but full of casualties that our species could easily cause. We see a world of animals suffering from our actions and learning to adapt to their new environment for survival. His paintings are a stark reminder of what could happen if we aren’t aware of, and don’t cease the damage we are causing.
Wolves creep around in a burning wasteland, probably looking for food to eat, or some substance somewhere. Bears tip over old water jugs, or some sort of relic from a time past. Tigers are sprawled out over the hood of a rusty car, surrounded by flowers sprouting out of the trunk. The beak of an albatross is stuffed full of trash, the bird unaware that his chosen items are harmful, and not healthy. The sight of these animals that we (should) cherish trying to survive in an undesirable place should bring out the emotions in us that Wittfooth wants.
Everywhere and at all times, we’ve been busy making things in our present for the simple purpose of communicating something, and thus sending messages into our future. What a peculiar habit. We’re the only species inhabiting this planet that routinely behaves this way, and there’s something really beautiful and profound about that. (Source)
His paintings full of the consequences of climate change, over use, excess pollution and unnecessary producing and consumption may seem dramatic, but are actually just a glimpse into a future that could happen, sooner than we think. Wittfooth paints with a sense of urgency; with a need to tell people things could be getting quite bad, quite quickly. He goes on:
I often think about what the psychedelic thinker Terence McKenna called “The Archaic Revival”: a yearning to look into the past to see meaning, connection, the sacred, looking back at us. I need those reminders sometimes, when the current state of human affairs seems dire and in need of a new perspective. (Source)
Elisa Johns has a new selection of oil paintings up at Mike Weiss Gallery. Within the exhibition, entitled “Huntress,” Johns draws from mythology, in particular the female goddess/heroine, for her subject matter. Her fragile, waifish women reference today’s “revered” paradigm of female beauty, the high fashion model, while her delicately dripping washes set within soft, sparse canvases call to mind the minimal compositions of Japanese scroll art. The exhibition will be on view until May 9th.
However diverse Jouko Lehtola’s themes may be, collected together they resemble many arms all connected to the same body moving in the same direction just in different ways. Lehtola´s photographs defined the Finnish urban youth culture of the 1990´s. He also raised the issues of domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse and our social taboo´s towards sexual devations that exist on the fringes of our society. His images walk the talk in the same way as Larry Clark´s works did in the 1970´s. He is not pushing an agenda but riding with the tide of his times each moment is its own universe. –Timothy Persons
…My attention has been drawn to the cheap distractions we choose to place in our immediate vicinity, with which to screen us from the overwhelming facts: that we are nothing; that our only certainty as individuals is a life, of unspecified duration, and then a death.
Seeing some crazy output from London-based artist Claire Morgon. Using a lot of unusual materials, she’s put together some really huge (both in scale and technique) installations. Dandelion seeds? Taxidermy? Yes please.
But to get the full Morgan effect, you have to click to her website. She’s got some awesome works on paper too. And if you’re anywhere near Cologne, Germany, head over to Galerie Karsten Greve, where the artist is currently showing a new batch of work. (via)
Designer Raphaël Pluvinage has designed an innovative way for you to play two things you were taught not to: food and electricity. His prototype “game” is appropriately named Noisy Jelly. “Players” first mold jelly using various provided molds and colors. The jelly is then placed on a board that is connected to a computer. Touching the jelly produces a fun array of sounds. Different tones are produced depending on the size and shape of the jelly, the salt content of each mold (determined by the color), as well as where and how the jelly is touched. Check out the video to hear the noisy jelly.