Stacy Kranitz focuses on the multidimensional character of Leni Riefenstahl, whose focused vision and murky set of morals greatly inspired Kranitz. These grey areas spoke to her desire to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs. evil.
During Pennsylvania’s yearly reenactments of the Battle of the Bulge, Kranitz portrays Leni Riefenstahl and behaves with soldiers as she would. Kranitz examines how the photograph documents and shapes history, since much of our conception of history is based on images. The 500 reenactors base the authenticity of their looks on images and, in particular, on Riefenstahl’s film Triumph of the Will. Kranitz focuses on how these historical images have been filtered through both the media and propaganda, becoming history as generations pass and memories fade. Photographs and film become the dominant forces that shape the public imagination.
In reviewing Hilary Brace’s drawings, the New York Times said, “once in a while you come across an art of such refined technique that it seems the product of sorcery more than human craft…” Starting with the smooth surface of polyester film darkened with charcoal, Brace works in a reductive manner by removing charcoal with erasers and other hand made tools. Despite the photographic veracity of her technique, Brace composes her images without premeditation, through an explorative process that allows them to unfold in unanticipated directions. Her subjects are based upon clouds, water, mist and mountains, but she takes these forms to sublime and unimaginable new heights. As Christopher Knight remarked in the Los Angeles Times, her work is “like a Vija Celmins drawing made Baroque, [it] conjures ephemeral poetics of light and space.” For all their vastness and grandeur, Brace’s drawings are relatively small and intimate. As Leah Ollman observed in Art in America, these drawings “put those two realms – the private and the cosmic – within reach of each other.” (via)
You might remember Kumi Yamashita from one of our October posts featuring her extraordinary collection of works with light and shadow. If you recall, Yamashita subtly manipulated materials such as paper, fabric and wood to strategically use lighting on them in order to create shadow art installations. Her imagination and impressive craft skills lead her to create this new ongoing series entitled Constellation (a title that references the Greek tradition of tracing mythical figures in the sky).
This body of work consists of three materials: a wooden panel painted a solid white, thousands of small galvanized nails, and a single, unbroken, common sewing thread. She creates these stunning portraits by using the single,unbroken thread wrapped around thousands of nails. The task at hand is laborious, but the result is well worth the work.
Detective Jason Harvey, a forensic sketch artist who has worked for the NYPD for over 10 years, draws fun and flamboyant portraits using the same techniques as he employs in his police work. His drawings might be recognizable to some New Yorkers, as it they are featured on “wanted” posters hung all around the city. However, Harvey has been given the opportunity for his work to be seen in a new light. Adam Shopkorn, owner of Fort Gansevoort Gallery, noticed Harvey’s work on the NYCAlerts Twitter and wanted to put it on display, allowing Harvey to jump from detective to artist. The NYPD wouldn’t consent to showing the actual sketches (as they are criminal evidence), so instead, Harvey has created a series he calls Fantasy Composites. Within this body of work, Harvey uses the same renderings and facial feature creation process as he would sketching up potential criminals, yet this time he is depicting imagined faces. Harvey explains the difference between this body of work compared to his detective sketches; he states, “when I’m interviewing an eyewitness and drawing from their memory, I have to strictly adhere to what they’re telling me about the person’s face.” He notes that the forensic work is “not creative at all.” Nonetheless, his imagined series is full of creativity and exuberance. Each work truly has it’s own character — there is a real sense that Harvey has seen it all. Nothing is too obscure or obscene, every portrait seems absolutely genuine, if not almost recognizable. The caricature quality adds a playful element to his work, allowing them to exist between the realms of cartoon and reality, between satire and actuality. (via booooooom)
Oh Seung Yul’s noodles may look delicious and edible, but in reality they are complex, hyper-realistic resin sculptures. The Korean noodles dangle 12-feet tall with an actual chopstick fixed to the top. Everything is articulated, from the individual noodles to the carrots and clams. Yul has considered even the gesture of slurping this food. He has colored the noodle mass in such a way that you feel a rush of broth dripping from the chopsticks.
You can marvel at the sculptures for their craft as well as attach a narrative to them. Who is tall enough to hold that chopstick? What kind of person owns that decorative floral platter? The work exaggerated size lends itself well to a whimsical interpretation. It’s still without feeling stiff and impeccably realistic. Yul’s work tricks the viewer, but ultimately reward them with something that’s extremely considered and tediously constructed. (Via My Modern Met)
Pool, The Alchemy of Blue by Australian artist Lizzie Buckmaster Dove poetically celebrates the relationship between the moon and the ocean. The stone-like pieces found in these images are the remnants of swimming pool found near the ocean in Dove’s hometown of Coledale. The nearby ocean was slowly destroying the pool with each tide. The two installations pictured here are a kind of homage to the powerful force of the moon on the ocean below. She constructed the circles below with her friends to coincide with the lunar cycle. One arrangement featured the concrete fragment’s blue hued side facing up for the corresponding blue moon. Dove and her friends organized an empty circle with the concrete at its perimeter for another arrangement to coincide with the new moon. [via]