Happy new year! 2011 is going to be a crazy, weird, unbelievable year full of surprises… Kind of like this video.
Scottish artist Sarah Muirhead creates mesmerizing, nude paintings that are masterful in more ways than one. Her work is masterful in that it is very skillful, but also in that the subjects of her paintings are in control of their audience. Wanting to steer clear of creating nudes that are submissive to our gaze, Muirhead creates tension filled situations where the nude subject is staring at right back at you. Her subjects are not passive, but instead embody an incredible strength that challenges their audience. Each subject has a somewhat inviting stare, but still holds a control over the situation in their powerful, contorted stances and positions. In the artist’s new paintings, many of her subjects are bound by rope or string; others have intriguing elements like white, chalky substances all over their bodies.
Muirhead’s paintings are both unique and impressive, with an incredible eye for detail and color. However, her work is not entirely photorealistic. They explore this texture of the body in expressive ways. Muirhead is interested in patterns and textures, which you can see on her subject’s skin and hair. In one painting, the hair texture is emphasized by a woman grabbing her own hair and attempting to bite it. In another painting, skin texture and color is further explored and manipulated by depicting a nude posing with digital images projected onto her body and surroundings. Each subject is in mid motion, adding another dynamic element to Muirhead’s already multifaceted work. You can see Muirhead’s wonderfully tactile paintings on view now at Leyden Gallery in London until June 27th.
In the surreal photographic worlds of father of three John Wilhelm, the imaginative play of childhood is a force to be reckoned with; motivated by childhood memories of video games and television, the university IT director spends his free time dreaming up fantasies for his three daughters, 6-month-old Yuna, 2-year-old Mila, and 5-year-old Lou.
Wilhelm’s impressive body of work, composed of images heavily-manipulated in Adobe Photoshop, is simultaneously touching, thrilling, and humorous. Most children have fantasized about the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, seduced by the adventure of it all and by the terror of the Big Bad Wolf, but this father’s retelling of the classic fairy story is a little bit different; here, the girl is just as wild and free as the wolf, for instead of being fooled into believing that the beast is a peaceable gentleman, she howls with him, tossing her head ecstatically.
The bravery of the small children is highlighted again in a poignant image in which Mila offers a tiny bunch of yellow flowers to a wizened, toweringly large buffalo, whose magnificent, uncouth hair stands in stark contrast with the girl’s miniature peacoat and knitted pom-pom hat. In these fantastical images, the smallest of humans can be the most powerful; the littlest of all, Yuna, is often shown as wreaking havoc on her befuddled parents, who wear space masks to feed her or change her diapers. Indeed, this mischievous bunch is subject to no one’s will but their own, and in this visual play land, they are granted everything they could ever wish for. (via Demilked and Bored Panda)
Superstition aside, these sculptures made from shards of mirrors were created by artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen. If you look at the photographs carefully, in addition to the sculptures a person in a similar mirror-suit moves throughout the gallery. The gallery also projects a video for this exhibit featuring a person in this mirror-suit moving through commercial spaces in South East Asia and Denmark. It is interesting noticing the virtually universal nature of mannequins. Rasmussen brings out that they allow us to imagine the way clothes will look on us, but on a deeper level we project what we want to be on them. Similarly, these sculptures literally reflect those gazing at them. [via]
Milano Chow‘s drawings are subtle and contemplative. One of the most striking elements in the work is the indelible sadness of human figures and the seemingly neglected objects that surround them. Plants and flowers reoccur but they are often wilted. The people inhabiting these snap shots mirror their belongings. They remain cluttered, isolated and damaged.
Daniel Mackie’s watercolor illustrations take the human figure, give it a few tattoos and twist, pull, bend, and turn the limbs in every which way.
Yee Jan Bao‘s paintings are captures of things off in the distance surrounded by nothing but empty land or water. Almost like a mirage.