Jennifer Ziliotto is a Los Angeles based photographer (and happens to be a good friend and bandmate of mine!) One of my favorite shots is the David Lynch-ian inspired portrait, above, of Zachary James. I love its flickering, dramatic spot- lighting, its textural qualities; the soft focus, played against the cool, hard steel of the sword, the interplay of velvet on velvet, and its stunning jewel-tone palette – a beauty! Could almost be an out take of a surreal performance from Mulholland Drive or an unexpected hallway in Twin Peak’s black lodge. If her stunning, surreal photography that fuses psychedelia with glamour isn’t enough, she’s also an amazing make-up artist, having worked with the likes of Kat von D and Full Metal Jackie of Indie 103.1 fame.
For women everywhere who grew up with Disney princesses, at one time or another have been disappointed to find out that “happily ever after” is a very rare occurrence, and even then life cannot be consistently easy or good without a few hardships. I feel that a small part of me is avenged through Dina Goldstein’s harshly realistic series “Fallen Princesses.” In this series, Disney’s version of princesses find themselves introduced to the real world, and battling a world their previous audience live in. Everything from a stressful married life, obesity, depression, illness, etc. Just like everyone else they must address their conflict, and confront whatever the outcome may be.
Loris Cecchini explores the nature of structure. His amorphous forms resemble the most basic element of life which is a cell, and with that basic shape the artist comments on human experience. His interdisciplinary installations have appeared worldwide garnering him praise and interest. They have been called visual poetics because his work prefers to be seen and experienced opposed to talked about.
Some of Cecchini’s grander projects have included a series called Intro. Environments. In this work the artist created large, site specific installations with forms that look similar to broken tree branches, natural sponges and cell structures. He placed these organic items randomly throughout a space and attached them to electric power lines, on trees or connected to flying wires. The impression here is that life is all around us. Even if we cannot see it we should always be conscious that something is growing and living nearby.
Another piece called Extruding Bodies created wall relief structures studying sound waves. These visual vibrations appeared to be moving and in some cases ear forms could be seen within the structure. Putting the pieces directly in the wall allowed for an optical illusion to occur which turned cinematic. Since sound waves are invisible the attempt to give the viewer an idea what they might look like is the type of question Cecchini answers and why his work is significant.
The artist was recently commissioned to design a class one watch for Chaumet. Only 300 of the special edition were made and the exclusive jewelry company used one of his wall wave structures on its face covered partially in diamonds. (via fubiz.net)
Lorenzo Nanni uses silk and embroidery to create incredibly detailed sculptures of underwater creatures and various forms of botany. Lorenzo also creates prosthetic jewelry that also takes on the natural and organic forms of his sculptures.
These marble and bronze sculptures of Kevin Francis Gray‘s are beautifully mysterious. They are classical in technique, but completely contemporary in subject matter. Gray chooses figures and characters – “the freaks and oft-romanticized street tribes of the East End” he see on the streets around his studio in London and then turns them into striking statues. Covering them in beaded veils or shrouding their faces with draped cloth, he manages to surround them in mystery.
His piece called ‘Ghost Girl’ superficially looks like a classical Greek or Roman sculpture, but is actually an earnest, tender view of a modern city girl, with a urban-ghetto-gothic twist. Poking out from underneath her veil is a skull tilted down toward her feet. She has her arms casually wrapped behind her back, but bear the markings of self harm. Gray renders many of his subjects from live sittings and recalls sketching the different faces:
One of the subjects has intense agoraphobia. Another was the first subject whom I really, truly didn’t like. He was so dark, a complicated psychopath. But I was determined to capture that. Some of the subjects could only sit still for an hour, because they had to go get high or whatever. (Source)
All of Gray’s pieces have a dark history to them, but he sculpts them so impressively they transform into something majestic, almost mythical.
What I’m trying to do is create a juxtaposition. The surface is glossy and consumable, but look deeper beneath that and you’ll see a darker underworld. (Source)
Simple, small and intriguing, U.K.-based artist Anthony Zinonos‘ most recent collage works are a visual delight. Working together simple materials like magazine clippings, construction paper and glue, Zinonos presents his audience with a vintage-hued investigation into space and composition. The result of an obsession with collecting second-hand trade catalogs, magazines and old books, his works elegantly mesh together bits of commercial imagery, magazine editorial and simple geometry to produce works that are striking in their spareness, and charged with curiosity.
A member of the WAFA collective, and also represented for his illustration work by WICCA Agency, Zinonos has parlayed his aesthetic sensibilities into projects for brands like Kate Spade, Alfa Romeo and Chanel.
Wookjae Maeng is a Korean artist who works with ceramics, focusing on the relationships between man and animal. The ghostly pieces often resemble commemorative busts or mounted heads reminiscent of big game trophies (the kind you’d seen in a hunter’s den). Sometimes, works are painted to blend in with wall treatments or trendy decor.
“I concentrate on art as a vehicle to communicate contemporary social and environmental problems to the viewer by stimulating, not just emotion, but sensibilities and memories,” Maeng writes. Stimulus is an important idea, and it’s used to evoke the viewer’s curiosity and to inspire them to figure the greater meaning of the work.
Maeng also explains why he chose to feature animals in his sculptures:
In our environment, numerous creatures live in harmony. Yet there are other creatures that merely exist without enjoying their natural right due to human classification and negligence. I would like to express the nature of the relationship between human and other creatures-a relationship that, in other to thrive, demands careful coexistence and balance between the urban and the natural, for example, and an awareness and empathy for less visible creatures. In my work I hope to provide an opportunity-however brief-for modern man to consider the realities of the environment in which he exists, even as he continues his daily existence indifferent to it. (Via Optically Addicted)
Los Angeles based artist/sculptor J. Frede‘s recent body of work, “Heirloom” was shown last month at Pirate Contemporary Art in Denver, CO alongside painter Amanda Gordon Dunn‘s latest paintings. J’s Heirloom collection consists of 13 new sculptures that investigate the objects he uses and the artists personal memories attached with those objects and the objects he uses where he has no previous history with. An excerpt from Frede’s artist statement explains it best:
“I am interested in the idea of objects holding the past while hiding their past. The memories we associate with our grandfather’s watch or the blanket our mother made us, we can have strong reactions at the mere sight or smell of items whose history we can recall and these same objects are static to anyone else who sees them with no personal association.”
A reoccurring object J used in several sculptures is rope taking the place of a broken or missing piece in an item in a way that seems to embody or hint at a personified ghost. J possibly adding narrative to what the object signifies to him from his past, or adding his own imagined explanation to what the objects might of meant to someone who once cared for those treasured heirlooms.