A self-taught painter, Fatima Ronquillo layers her portraits with the traditional symbols and charms of classic-style portraiture — objects that meant different things in different times and have to be studied to be completely understood. Ronquillo’s subjects similarly face the viewer decorated with blindfolds, eye patches, fauns, flowers — and by pulling them into the contemporary, we are reminded us of the aesthetic value of these objects that we are free to attach our own significance to.
Hasan Kale likes to work on a small scale. How small? Lets just say that he could probably stuff an entire lifetime of work in his shirt pocket and still have room for a pack of gum. The Turkish painter creates miniature landscapes and portraits on everything from coffee beans to chili pepper seeds making Persian miniature paintings feel like massive murals in comparison. While the subject matter isn’t the most groundbreaking we can’t help but get a bit giddy about the thought of biting into a chili pepper and seeing a painting of a turban clad man staring back at us. (via)
Oakland-based artist Kara Joslyn’s work is paradoxically pop: combining bright, neo-geo, child-of-the-90′s color and pattern with dark subject matter that is somewhat empty, yet mystical—almost pre-ancient. The forms that take shape in her work seem to be tied together by a series of faint mythologies, maybe containing traces of some vague storyline buried in alien artifacts.
Her process begins with “sourcing photographic reference, which she curates by pairing selective images in dialogue with each other. This source material is then photocopied in black and white and rendered in paint—a document of a document, serving as an allegory for painting.” Her surface treatment is nice, and color choices (while not easily photographable), hit like a laser beam in front of the work.
Twisted, tangled and braided to perfection, the knots in sculptural artist Yuni Kim Lang’s work are drawn from folktales about hair. Fueled by a curiosity for superstition and magic, Lang’s work creates a space for itself between the real and the surreal, showing us how we can separate, expand and re-imagine parts of the self.
By considering the human connection to hair, she uses the sculptural medium to full effect, twisting intricate knots and braids into a discussion about the cultural significance of one’s appearance, tangled up with notions of perfection, beauty, stereotype and personal identity. Lang is currently completing the MFA program in Metals at Cranbrook.
Dan Golden lives and works in Boston, MA. He is currently working on a series of watercolor paintings of paperclips manipulated by other people. The result is a an amusing photo realistic body of work that celebrates miniature monuments and the individuals who created them. In his own words: “At one point or another, practically everyone has either consciously or not turned this ubiquitous everyday object into something other than what it was intended for. Is it possible that these miniature ‘sculptures’ somehow carry with it the distinct personality of it’s creator? In many cases, I believe they do. Therefore, I feel as if these paintings are in a sense, portraits of the individuals doing the manipulating.” (via)
Bohyun Yoon has lived in Japan, Korea, and The States. He uses these “diverse social experiences” as a point of reference for his work, which circles around societal restraints and progressive concepts of the body: possible extensions and perils with the advancement of technology/war/culture on a personal and holistic level.
His installation work “Unity” (2009), “Structure of Shadow” (2007), and “Shadow” (2004) casts light on miniature wax body parts which physically dangle aimlessly; however, when illuminated by a light source, these fragmentations create shadows or illusions which illustrate figurative wholeness.
Tethered to our bodies and systems of government, our parts and puppetry, is in essence, our humanness or machinery, or as Yoon explains, what makes us “weak and fragile, spiritless animals under certain rule, certain harsh conditions.” His work also resonates with a sense of devastation felt by veterans returning wounded from battle, physically and spiritually.
Carol Inez Charney is a photographer based in San Francisco. Her newest body of work is a series of images that resemble colorful abstractions. In reality the photographs are close-ups of water on windows as well as the colors that surround them. In her own words: “My current photographic series, Interior Landscape, uses natural distortions present in our everyday world—namely, moisture on windows—to evoke a painterly image that recontextualizes our everyday architectural landscape. While focusing on the minute details of these natural distortions, we enter a space of quiet contemplation, which simultaneously inspires a new kind of internal and external vision. After several years of combining painting and photography with mixed results, one very cold day in Minnesota I looked through a window completely covered in condensation out to the frosty distant landscape. I realized I could use the camera to reinterpret the world around me into a form akin to that of painting.” (via)
Brooklyn based duo Widowspeak released their sophomore record, “Almanac” this past January on Captured Tracks and they just played an incredible headlining set at the Echo in Los Angeles last week. The new record sounds amazing live, with the bewitching voice of Molly Hamilton and the flowing guitar riffs of Robert Earl Thomas it’s easy to see why. If you’re like me and have a soft spot for bands like Mazzy Star, then definitely seek them out.
Playing songs from Almanac as well as their self-titled debut, the band was in great spirits throughout their entire set even playing the perfect cover of Chris Isaak‘s, “Wicked Game“ during their encore.
The band is in the midst of a US tour and will be stopping in at the Mohawk in Austin on April 8th, as well as Schubas in Chicago on April 13th before heading back to Brooklyn to play a show at the Knitting Factory on April 19th. You can also check them out in late April and all of May when they head out on a UK/European tour. Check out their video for ‘Locusts’ and do your best to grab a ticket to one of their many upcoming shows.