Mauro Perucchetti’s amazing work is bright, fun, and socially accurate. Perucchetti’s work unites Pop aesthetics with social comment, addressing some of the most pressing and difficult issues in today’s society in a way that is subtle and accessible, without being trite, shocking or obscure. Mauro is above all an artist who is connected; he sees the bigger picture and world affairs and has his finger on the pulse of contemporary society. Well played Mauro.
Jessy Lanza has been quite busy lately. Not only has she just finished up a tour with Cut Copy, she’s about to embark on an even longer headlining tour of the US and Canada along with some festival appearances in Europe.
Still riding high from the great reviews she received from her fantastic debut album, Pull My Hair Back released late last year on Hyperdub, I was lucky enough to catch the Canadian singer perform last week at the Hollywood Palladium. Playing most of her new record, she entranced the early arrivals with her unique electro-R&B tinged sound that had the crowd swaying during her hypnotic set. Her beautiful, breathy voice matched with her catchy beats really strikes a nice balance that once you let in, you can’t help but to let it move you as the growing Cut Copy audience displayed during her set.
Jessy will be heading back on the road at the end of the month playing some Canadian dates, as well as some US dates before she heads to Europe. Any fans of electro-pop or R&B should make it a point to see her incredible live performance. Check out her video for Kathy Lee and grab tickets here for one of her upcoming shows.
This Is It is a London film collective that make the great handmade-style films. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is one of their latest, and uses their arts and crafts aesthetic to make a hilarious mock-children’s PSA about creativity. It’s delightfully nihilistic, self-aware, and taps into something all of us have probably felt in any sort of Creative endeavor, namely that “creativity” isn’t just the purely positive act that popular culture makes it out to be. This is one you need to watch to the end, it’s 100% worth three of your minutes. Full video after the jump!
The paintings of artist Jeff Soto are nightmarish and captivating, as they seem to glow iridescently in cool colors of greens and purples. As if from another planet, Soto’s artwork shows landscapes of an extraordinary nature, covered in shiny crystals, mossy skulls, and unforgettable owl-like creatures that stare at you with hypnotizing eyes. Each painting is a world upon a world, as many of his figures and forms sprout out from even more bizarre, living things. Even his frequently repeated spiky, happy heads contain an eerie quality. Each painting seems to have a story behind it, perhaps representing a mythical fable.
The Los Angeles based artist is a triple threat; a painter, illustrator, and muralist. As you may have guess by his surreal style, his technique is influenced by traditional painting methods, but with a razor sharp edge. Inspired by graffiti and street art, Soto’s otherworldly landscapes heavily embody a pop-surrealist, contemporary style that appears almost futuristic; like a window into the future when our planet is transformed into a whimsical landscape with foreign creatures. This is a place both frightening and beautiful, full of strange magic. His work leaves us filled with a sense of wonder, wishing that we could travel and explore these unusual places and meet these frightening creatures. Jeff Soto’s amazingly adventurous body of work draws inspiration from youthful nostalgia and pop-culture. With an ominous and haunting palette, Jeff Soto’s unique style exudes originality and imagination. (via Hi-Fructose)
In two of Aurel Schmidt’s more recent series, the artist’s highly rendered drawings depict leafy vagina lettuce and ginger toes, among other inventive combinations of body parts and edibles. Her older drawings focused more on hedonism and a kind of consumptive chaos. She created party beasts constructed from accumulations of coke baggies, cigarette butts, pabst cans etc. They mischievously smiled out at the viewer like a visualization of a hangover. Even with discarded condoms and burn holes, she’s always had a tendency for beauty, though.
In contrast, the ideas in FRUITS are refined to a few poignant elements. There is a strong focus on associative forms, and Schmidt’s choice to pair white grapes with a plump penis emphasizes the gravity in the image. The nippled melon is equally sumptuous, and it’s great to finally see melon and breast united in one. Her style is laborious, but it doesn’t show in her drawings. She’s funny, with an I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that’s present throughout her work. It’s not indignant or aggressive; it’s joyful and celebrates absurdity and decay.
Black Drawings returns to a more standard subject matter for Schmidt, and the drawings become more severe without colour, maybe even cult-ish. The bellybuttons are the most seductive, because of their subtlety and curiosity. It takes a while to identify them for what they are. This series definitely demonstrates Schmidt’s breadth of ability, where the spurting penis cross is much more in your face than the bright sunflower nipples.
What story would your flesh tell if it were splayed and flattened, digitally altered to appear as a work of art, caught between the angled sides of a camera frame? For his stunning series of photographs, titled Skin, the photographer June Yong Lee manipulates portraits of nude bodies, arranging their torsos in such a way that defies the limitations of the muscular skeletal system.
Despite the artist’s deliberate omission of common indicators of visual identity—facial features, body shape, and race—the images are an authoritative and legible document of selfhood. Pointing to the human desire to express what cannot be conveyed with language, Lee’s camera reveals tattoos, tired milky breasts, freckles, and scars.
For the artist, skin operates as a visual diary of experience. Without the guidelines of a more recognizable human form, memories— that range from the mundane to the sexually charged— are kept only through marks etched on flesh. He writes, “our skin never forgets [our past].”
The ideological tensions between body and mind are subverted as the skin organ is compressed; as if they were flowers held between the heavy pages of an encyclopedia, mounds of sin become something to be studied and read. The careful framing of each piece enhances this idea; positioned in relation to a central axis of the navel, the bisected torsos appear bound down the middle like some sort of corporeally historical book.
The phenomenal work is so poignant because in some ways, it confirms the unreliability of a subjective human memory: tattoos are faded or unreadable, and scars are healed. The images seem to blend the antique tonal richness of early Victorian photography with a morbid sense of modern forensics; as if recovered from an ancient autopsy, the slabs of flesh are somehow mournful yet objective and scientific. Our memories erode, and we die; yet through some miraculous marriage of science and art, fragments of our forgotten moments might be archived. (via Feature Shoot)
Vincent Kohler’s Turnaround series is an artistic project focusing on the theme of the baseball bat.It consists of a collection of thirty baseball bats, turned in different species of woods, each unique in form, and a book combining texts by various authors and photographs specially done on this subject.
Nicholas Nyland is a Washington-based artist who creates paintings, sculptures and installations. Stating that his work is “driven by a fascination with the life of form, the nature of creation and the will to decorate,” Nyland makes works that are abstract, but contain references to history and traditional craft sources. Embracing abstraction because as he says, “it is generous and capacious, able to absorb and then release a multitude of references,” Nyland does in fact draw from a myriad of sources. For his most recent solo show in Seattle, Physical Speculations on a Future State, Nyland incorporated inspiration from Chinese scholar’s stones, Japanese gardens, Early American decorative traditions and 1970s design. Despite such wide-ranging influences, Nyland manages to create works that are at once formally engaging and conceptually inquisitive. Nyland leaves room for a viewer to consider material, gesture and form, but enigmatic historical references also provide inquiry into the way we define and identify objects.
There is lightheartedness to Nyland’s work that borders on humorous. A viewer can tell that Nyland enjoyed making whatever object she is observing. The lack of seriousness involved in Nyland’s works further promotes active questioning about material, influence and formal choice. Moreover, the tactile quality of Nyland’s work makes it all the more engaging. Bordering on craft with some of his works, Nyland’s pieces are all distinctly handmade. There is a purposeful clumsiness to them that is charming and endearing.
Recent winner of a Contemporary Northwest Art Award, Nyland’s work will be on view at the Portland Art Museum through January 12, 2014.