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Artist Interview: Ben Jones Jams About Painting, Sculpture And Stone Quackers

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It is hard to summarize what Ben Jones does. One, overly broad, way to describe his work is that Jones creates genre defying art in a wide range of media, and within his oeuvre there are a lot of nooks and crannies, each of which has its own special ideas and charm. His creative work has been enthusiastically followed by artists since the late 1990s through zines, underground animations, painting and sculpture. I remember seeing something called Paper Rad on the internet around 2003 or 4, and being mesmerized by the bold drawing and color, and, not to be cheesy, but there was also a contagious sense of joy. The imagery remixed pop culture with high cultural stuff like abstract painting. A few years later, towards 2007, the broader popular culture became aware of Jones through his animated television series Problem Solverz, and more recently his new series entitled Stone Quackers. All of the work seems to hover half in the subconscious, placing seemingly real and present iconological formations alongside impossible or wonderful subconscious riffs. In Jones’s work it feels like half the colors are colors, the other half are memories.

Jones has a new exhibition opening Saturday July 11th at Ace Gallery in L.A from 7 to 9pm, and you can see the show until September.  This is a major show that is going to transform the gallery. You will be immersed in both high-tech painting and the ladder sculptures we discuss in the interview.  His televison show, Stone Quackers, has recently aired new episodes on FXX in the Animation Domination block, and you can see his animations all over the internet and on Hulu.

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Ben Butler’s Dizzing Maze Playground Created With Thousands Of Sticks

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Hard to believe that a gigantic in situ installation made out of thousands of poplar sticks was built from scratch. Yet, that is the work process of Ben Butler. He started to play with the sticks and came up, as he kept going, with the abstract shape of his piece. Exploration is what guided the artist to assemble the rigid squared voids among the organic impulsive sculpture.

He compares it to hiking in the forest and to realize that nature doesn’t adapt to the human scale. There is no limitation. Through this process we, humans, discover forms and need to engage in order to interact and build meaning. The voids created within the sculpture needs to be filled to complete the work. That is the dialogue Ben Butler wants to encourage between the piece and the viewer, let him make his own discoveries and introspections.

“The art shouldn’t be about art, you bring your owns ideas to it”. Ben Butler is not concerned by fhe final result. It doesn’t matter if it has nothing to do with his starting vision, his process of creation never follows the initial impulse. However, he is comforted by repetitive patterns and rigid parameters. He plays with methodology, in one direction and once the threshold has been reached it’s where a new characteristic emerges and enters an abstract zone that has nothing to do with the original components.

Ben Butler’s “Unbounded” installation is now showing at the Rice University Gallery in Houston, Texas until August 2015. When the exhibition is over, the 10,000 sticks will be disassembled and the sculpture will no longer exist as it was set up in the gallery. (via Design Boom)

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Here And Now: Scott’s Albrecht’s New Show About Inter-Connectivity And Shared Consciousness

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Brooklyn based artist Scott Albrecht has a new show opening this coming Friday July 3rd at Andenken Gallery in Amsterdam. Called Here And Now, it is an exploration of themes central to his work: time, inter-connectivity, perception, and consciousness. Albrecht has a holistic approach to his practice – working out different techniques and approaches to the same subjects. He uses a multitude of materials, but they are all definitely from the same collection, and have the same optimistic message: to appreciate life as it is and to live in the moment. He wants us perhaps, to sharpen our awareness of the moment.

The exhibition includes spiritual mottos inscribed on paper: “That brief moment when we forget where we are” “A moment in time”, “All things change”; psychedelic multi-textured star bursts assembled and collaged from paper, and carefully constructed wooden displays filled with philosophical musings.

Nostalgic and romantic, his work has titles that will pull at your heart strings: The Spark, The Visionary, Leaf Life Span, Adventurer, Easy Goer. They seem like personal tarot cards or affirmations for Albrecht. He explains the symbolism behind the leaves, hands and eyes in his work:

The hands are meant to be representative of personalities or character traits. I like using the hand as a canvas with the idea that you can be defined by your actions, and the hands are symbolic to helping facilitate those actions. The eyes are similar but represent observing individual situations. Here the focus is on the idea of those pivotal moments that we’ve all encountered. It’s also about being slightly more aware in your day to day. (Source)

 

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Jae Rhim Lee Invents The Mushroom Death Suit To Allow Our Bodies To Decompose Through Mushrooms Feeding Off Of Them

Jae Rhim Lee - Mushroom Death Suit

Jae Rhim Lee - Mushroom Death Suit

Jae Rhim Lee - Mushroom Death Suit

Do you ever wonder what will happen to your body after you die? Thanks to Jae Rhim Lee, our bodies could go out of this world in a way that helps the environment. This ingenious artist has breeched the lines of art, design, science, and death to create something that could change the way we think about burials. Concerned with the alarming amount of harmful toxins and artificial chemicals that human bodies hold even after the point of living, Lee was determined to invent a sustainable way for our bodies to be disposed of during our burials. This led her to start the Infinity Burial Project, where she worked to create, through selective breeding, an infinity mushroom that decomposes bodies and clean toxins while still delivering nutrients to plants.

Through hard work, Jae Rhim Lee’s goals were realized with her creation of the Mushroom Death Suit. This suit, which she so confidently wears while giving her TED talk on the subject, offers an alternative burial method. If wearing the suit while buried, the mushrooms spores that are infused in the lines on the suit decompose and clean your body, forming a whole new green way of death. Lee hopes that this will be a symbol of a new way of thinking about death. She explains that this project is

“A step towards accepting the fact that someday I will die and decay.”

This unique and strange invention may not be appealing to everyone, but shines light on a subject that many may not want to confront. An important lesson about the realities of our bodies decomposing underground can be learned by watching her captivating TED talk.

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The Food Chain Project Wants To End Hunger By Selling Art

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Israeli-Dutch artist Itamar Gilboa has taken every morsel of food he consumed over a one year period and made an art piece out of it. Tagged “The Food Chain Project” Gilboa documented his intake over 365 days. Most of what he consumed consisted of normal diet items such as apples, burgers, cheese, coffee and soda. In the end he consumed 8,000 products.
After three years, he turned the lengthy documentation into an art piece. Each food item was replicated in white plaster. These became inventory in Gilboa’s traveling supermarket and eventually materialized into exhibits and commentary about hunger around the world. The objects look generic and could stand for any product which could end hunger for one person for a day in a starving country. Using white gives the items an anonymous nature but also prompts you to think about who can be the next to help by buying and filling in the blank so to speak.
Gilboa’s impetus for the project was to bring awareness to hunger and show the amount of food westerners consume and waste. He called it the food chain because of the cycle which occurred by his consumption, art making, selling then donating the money to charity.

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Frustrated Anonymous Artist Leaves Illustrations In Public That Bring Together Her Love Of Fashion And Feminism

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‘You can’t be a feminist and like pink’. Society has a harsh way of making us feel completely out of line and out of context. Based on which criteria? Drumrolls… No one knows. That’s how the anonymous writer of the Ambivalently Yours blog started out. Tired of having to be labeled feminist or fashion girl when she actually wanted to be both, she decided to embrace her contradictions first by leaving notes anonymously in public places (supermarket, airport shuttle, bank machine), then by blogging and finally by drawing. She actually sends illustrations when she replies back to her readers. She uses pastel colors and a humorous tone that speak of the serious subject of finding oneself and accepting to being caught in the middle of two extreme identities.

She is basically saying outloud what a lot of girls and women are thinking and feeling. But who is she? She is a she, that’s all we know. No name, age, eye or hair color. She can be anyone, and that’s the beauty of it. She says the readers ask her questions with no interest in knowing more about details. It’s all about exchanging ideas, celebrating contradictions, confessing emotions, hi-lighting imperfections and being there for each other when no one else understands.

Recently, because being a “boldly undecided girl” is not enough, she decided to set herself a two dimensional challenge. During a 91 day residency at the CCA residency in Glasgow, UK she will answer over 300 emails by drawing back illustrations. The underlying challenge being to deal with uncut isolation and everything that goes with it: solitude, mistakes and meltdowns. The results are predicted to be brilliant as some of them can already be seen on her instagram account. (via Dazed Digital)

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Dynamic Artists Join Forces To Create A Hybrid Series Of Disfigured Faces

Derek Albeck and Grady Gordon - Graphite and Monotype Derek Albeck and Grady Gordon - Graphite and Monotype

When two great artists come together with completely different styles, amazing things can happen. Artists Grady Gordon and Derek Albeck have come together to create a collaborative series in which Gordon starts one of their artworks, and Albeck will finish it. Both artists working in graphite, their work fits together naturally. However, there solo work provides a stark contrast to each other’s styles. Gordon often works in monotype, creating his pigment from ground up cow bones. His organic, abstract techniques could not be more different than his collaborator. Albeck’s work is exceptionally detailed, rendering photorealistic drawings with graphite. When you mix these two opposite methods of creating art together, the results are incredibly unique.

When Gordan and Albeck join forces, their work becomes a hybrid series of morphing, deformed faces that are not of this world. These highly expressive faces are missing many parts such as eyes, a nose, or a mouth at some times. Even the hand that is included in this series appears to have contorting fingers and twisted bones. The winding line work confuses our perception until we cannot tell which end is which, or even, which part is the inside or the outside of the head. You can see this captivating series at the exhibition Sometimes I See You Look At Me Like That at The Smoking Nun Gallery in San Francisco, Califonrnia. You don’t want to miss it, as it ends next month on July 17th.

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Sandra Chevrier Covers Stunning Nude Women With Your Favorite, Iconic Superheroes

Sandra Chevrier - Paint and Collage

Sandra Chevrier - Paint and Collage

Sandra Chevrier - Paint and Collage

Sandra Chevrier - Paint and Collage

Hasn’t everyone wanted to be a superhero at one point or another? If you have, then be jealous of Sandra Chevrier’s skillful paintings of stunning women covered in superhero. These women she depicts may not be superheroes themselves, but they are covered in iconic imagery of our favorite heroic superhero characters. The French artist creates these incredibly realistic women with paint and vintage comic book pages collaged over sections of their bodies and faces. Some of the women sport clothing made out of these comic book scraps, others display superhero stories across their faces, covering their eyes or mouth. Familiar icons can be seen sprawling all over Chevrier’s work, with images of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman morphing into one mega narrative. The images seem to multiply, creating an almost overwhelming mash of pop-culture, swallowing up each woman’s body.

Chevrier often uses specific story lines and series associated with specific characters to convey a message of social perception. She explains that the imagery is a comment on the high expectations society gives us to surpass even that of a superhero. One comic series included is The Death of Superman, which reveals the weakness of the world’s ultimate hero. This revelation of failed expectations explores the imperfect nature all humans have. Even the artist’s immaculate and beautiful women are often missing facial features due to the comic book pages transforming their features. Although Chevrier’s women exhibit astonishing beauty, they communicate an important message of living up to your own expectations.

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