Chinn Wang creates an eye-catching brand of pop art. Primarily working in screenprinting, she’s executed these piece directly on wood. The work retains a charming flatness associated with screen printing while adding depth by printing on wood. Her mix of new and old imagery and contrasting colors makes her art hard to pull away from. Her Heraldry series is an excellent example. Just as medieval heraldry made use of complex symbolism, Wang crests likewise make use of modern imagery.
New York artist James Clar lived in the globalized city of Dubai from 2007-2012 where he was immersed in the arts and culture scene. Fueled by an interest in visual media communication, this experience and the larger themes of globalism, nationalism, and pop culture are apparent in his work. Clar’s light-based installations address the boundaries of technology and the way that it creates and limits new communications within our culture. Some of his work uses light more directly than others, but they all respond to the relationship of light with its surroundings. Clar’s line or geometric-based designs reflect the connections and networks that abound in our culture. His manipulation of this technology expresses the softness of light and the hardness of the forms that contain it.
If you take a peek at Danielle Nelson Mourning’s blog, you will find wonderfully candid observations about places, things, or people she’s encountered and how they influence her creative perspective. For instance, there is a post about Marchus who has Stargardt, a rare eye condition. Mourning writes about his desire to experience more smells in artwork, specifically, “leaves in a forest which change constantly depending on light.” Then, there is Tod Papageorge’s brave encounter with Garry Winogrand which leads to a lifelong art-filled friendship. Mourning talks about this pair with honest admiration.
Each quick note or meditation brings us back to Mourning’s own body of work– drawing us deeper into the magnetism which aids in cultivating her own quietly powerful narratives. It’s an appreciation for the human condition and all its ephemeral passions. Although Mourning started out in the commercial world, it’s clear her heart transcends that superficial artifice.
LA based singer Cillie Barnes (aka Vanessa Long) released a video for her very catchy song, “Brainwash” late last month and I’ve been having a hard time getting it out of my head. You’ll definitely be seeing and hearing a lot more from her once her debut record comes out on Loma Vista/Republic Records later this year.
I caught her last week supporting British singer Tom Odell at the Troubadour and was instantly taken by her refreshing voice and relaxed stage presence. Backed by a guitarist and keyboardist she had no problem engaging the sold out crowd and even got us to sing-a-long for her final song.
She’ll be performing again on May 28th at a Red Bull Sound Select concert with DIIV at the Echo in Los Angeles so try and check her out if you’re in the area. Watch the video for “Brainwash” and follow her on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new shows and of course her debut release, “Happy Valley”.
From re-blogging work by other artists to generating your own solo digital exhibition, the ability to collect and show art has never been so fast, affordable, and publicly personable, thanks to Tumblr. According to Brad Troemel, viewing art on this platform can help us “gain a greater art-informed appreciation for worthy cultural relics long deemed non-art.”
Take Tim Bierbaum and John Miller. Their online “Baguette-Me-Nots” Tumblr blog series consistently pairs a vast array of comedians with baguettes in contemporary settings. While some might simply call this series a lowbrow photo fad parallel to “planking” or “breading cats,” others might compare it to something like Dada meets “cyber” street art– brilliantly funny, evoking nonsensical play, and showcased in an egalitarian manner: on a digital wall outside of the gallery system. After all, the word Dada might have been born from Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco’s constant usage of “da, da” meaning “yes, yes” in Romanian– a word comedians and improvisers know and love fondly.
Initially inspired by an accidental discovery of Marilyn Monroe’s image embedded within the frames of Shinobi—a classic SEGA console game from 1987 Japan—Atlanta-based artist Ashley Anderson‘s multi-media exploration of the icon’s 8-bit image skims across the realm of painting, drawing, collage and animated gifs. The glitchy, pixelled-out nature of the images is indicative of Anderson’s 8-bit aesthetic, but this new body of work somehow begins to morph, to twist, and to move into something more obscure. Loaded with fragments of late 1980′s digital culture, some pieces only offer the faintest recollection of the image, requiring a bit more visual extraction to pull out the digitally reduced visage of Warhol’s Marilyn. As a whole, the investigation is an intriguing peek into the nature of digital reproduction and image appropriation.
Something feels oddly luxurious about John Breed’s strange mixed media sculptures and installations. His work largely depicts a capitalistic culture of excess and its relationship with death, the most provocative of which includes the implementation of skeletons, animal and human. In “Goodbye Paradise“, Breed portrays a silver-plated Edenic scene of human and animal skeletons, speaking to the nature of renewal that is perpetually haunted by our eventual decay. His work breathes new life into these skeletons and other found objects by coating them resin,silver, or gold, giving them an effect of purity and newness. Threaded throughout his work is the idea of monetary value and how the value of something fluctuates within a newer, shinier context. Perhaps the work that best encompasses our excessive capitalistic culture is “In God We Trust,” an installation comprised of silver-plated pig skeletons labeled with the names Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and citi bank. Breed lives and works in The Netherlands.
Beth Galton‘s series Cut Food is a side of food photography rarely seen – the inside. Galton is a prolific photographer specializing in food. While she works primarily in advertising and commercial photography, Cut Food is one of several conceptual projects from Galton. The series captures common foods, though some not so commonly sliced in half. Canned soups and a cup of coffee seem to rest perfectly in half of a container. In order to catch some of these Galton replaced the liquids in the foods with a gelatin.