From a distance, artist Ye Hongxing’s works on canvas appear like pointillism technique, as if it’s thousands of tiny painted dots occupying a single canvas. But, as you look closer, her images are much more than that. The small spots of color are actually decorative stickers! Cartoonish dogs, cats, fruit with faces, smiling raindrops, and virtually any cutesy design under the sun make up the complex compositions. They’re a collision of subject matter, and you’ll find pop culture icons, animals, flowers, and historical references are just some of the things you’ll find in these swirling works.
The dizzy mosaic are meant to fuse traditional Chinese imagery with contemporary society. Religious statues, for instance, flow into Darth Vader’s mask. This juxtaposition is the artist’s reflection on China and how its culture has been influenced by the West. “Using stickers is a conscious challenge to traditional and conventional mediums,” she writes in an profile for the Lux Art Institute. “A sticker has an enormous amount of information in it, they reflect the time we’re living in and they are fragmented and mosaic, so I can give them a new order in the landscape I’m creating.”
Micaela Lattanzio creates works of art that go beyond the traditional forms of photography. This collection, called “Frammentazioni,” shatters photos into bits and pieces, enabling Lattanzio to play with space and texture. Her mosaic-esque pieces contain a sort of kinetic energy, suggesting form and movement in a subtle way.
Like other types of art that use human features, it’s hard not to assign emotion to Lattanzio’s work. She literally uses human images as jig saw pieces, evoking a sort of psychological depth that could be read as anxious or even playful.
Some of Lattanzio’s works are use the various pieces of photographs as pixels, rearranging them around each other but maintaining some semblance of the original shape. Other pieces lace together long stripes, looking like the result of two inkjet printers communing (via Hi-Fructose)
We have featured the work of Portland based Adam Friedman on the blog (here) in the past. He has just opened a new solo exhibition at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco entitled Space and Time, and Other Mysterious Aggregations that is on view through March 2nd. From the press release Friedman explains, “In my work, rules of perspective, distance, and light are bent. Space can become a solid object and places are folded on top of one another. Millions of years are compacted into a single instant and rocks become fluid. I strive to present a moment that defies human intervention in the landscape, and pays homage to the potential in the inexplicable.”
Robert Tirado describes his artworks as “consequence to the experience of traditional art techniques, which sometimes gives it a perfect balance between the particular look of digital work and the expression of real life painting” This up-and-coming artist explores an array of different mediums for his illustrations. AEI.UO is his new experimental project that puts together digital illustration, painting and graphic design, which intends to “break through with patterns in so-called digital art.” Tirado also has an upcoming solo show in Valencia, Spain at La Booktique Del Diseño on June 18th! So if you so just so happen to be in Spain on June 18th check it out! His work is definitely something I would want to check out in person.
Carlie Armstrong’s Work Place site is a fantastic ongoing documentary project documenting the work places of Portland creatives. Whether it’s a painter, a musician, or designer, Carlie aims to not just understand the creative process but to also document the spaces that contain them.
Tim Navis is a talented photographer and a self-proclaimed ‘professional awesometeer’. Beautiful models and gorgeous landscapes are the main subjects of his imagery. Life must be pretty fun when you’re surrounded by beauty and spend your time professionally awesometizing.
Steve Nishimoto lives and works in New York. He creates large pieces that approach abstract painting with a sense of humor. His paintings frequently examine modern subject matter such as the anonymous character featured on the display of generic ATM machines spread throughout the city or the word “Time” written as if it were a CAPTCHA on the internet. Another trademark is his magnification of the mundane and overlooked, from the security patterns within envelopes to 99 Cent Store tags Nishimoto reminds the viewer that anything can inspire.
In a sociopolitical environment wherein Western music was banned, music-lovers in 1950s Russia (who were called stilyagi, similar to our modern-day “hipsters”) found an ingenious way to pirate the popular tunes they loved: by printing the music on exposed x-ray film salvaged from hospital waste bins. The process was unrefined, but subversive; as writer Anya von Bremzen explains,
They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole. You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan — forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens. (Source)
The name given to these bootlegged records was, appropriately, “Bone Music.” The sound quality likely wasn’t excellent, but such piracy was as much a political act as the desire to listen to one’s favourite Western jazz or rock ‘n’ roll — it was a way to cleverly challenge a system that sought to regulate entertainment and youth culture. The Bone Music phenomenon was discovered by the authorities and made illegal in 1958.
The Bone Music records today are curious works of art; you can see the grooves and the circular shapes of the discs superimposed over the bones and viscera of some long-dead stranger. The concept is morbid, and beautiful. As József Hajdú intriguingly points out, Bone Music has a “double function of being both [a] sound record as well as [a] record of the internal human body; images of ribs, skulls and limbs [are] broken by sound waves and shattered by music inscribed onto the surface” (Source). What this macabre association ultimately explores is how we use our material bodies in the creation of art and self-expression, and how, after we are dead, such art becomes cultural artifacts for future generations. We imprint our historical, bodily subversion onto the art we make; and therein lies the beauty of Bone Music.
Check out Hajdú’s page for more scans and insightful thoughts about Bone Music. NPR’s article is also an excellent resource, and it explores many other ways in which people discretely dissented in Soviet-era Russia. (Via Colossal)