Jered Sprecher makes paintings that do not fit neatly into any category. At first they look like geometric abstraction, but then you realize that there is something different about the surface, it’s brushy and the edges of the shapes aren’t dogmatically hard like other geometric paintings. In his broader body of work there are images peppered in among the abstract elements, but the images are sort of soft pictures with interruptions, like paintings based on a faded calendar that was exposed to too much light in a hallway. Sprecher’s paintings seem to accept the modern idea that paintings are things, that paintings are first and foremost flat sculpture. This train of thinking says illusions are a kind of deception, which they are. Modernism goes a little further by hinting that illusions are lies that are also moral defects. This aversion to illusion brought us abstract artists like the evangelical Donald Judd, the graceful openness of Helen Frankenthaler, and the philosophical diagrams of Peter Halley. Enjoying painting as a window into an illusory world is a “mistake” everyone made until the 1940s, when some smart people came along and told us to be careful about it. Modernists say any artwork that hides its true nature is a metaphor for misunderstanding life in a bigger way. Sprecher does not seem to completely buy the modernist talking points, and like a bad political surrogate goes off message on a Sunday talk show, saying “Yes, but… I always lie!”
You can see Sprecher’s newest work in his show I Always Lie at Jeff Bailey Gallery in Chelsea until March 23rd. Interview after the jump.
The sculptures of artist Johnson Tsang are unbelievably realistic. That is, until you spot faces in the spilling liquid. Primarily working in ceramic and stainless steel, Tsang’s sculpture’s seem to be caught like photographs. Liquids spill from mugs, streams intersect, and crash to the ground. Hidden by Tsang in the flow, however, are faces. Two colliding streams of liquid are actually faces mid-kiss. His work emphasizes a temporality – time as it quickly passes and their memories. [via]
Photographer Alma Haser has often incorporated origami into her work. However, in her series Cosmic Surgery the origami is brought to the forefront. For the Cosmic Surgery Haser photographs a series of portraits. She next makes multiple prints of the portraits and folds them into complex origami objects. The origami pieces are placed back into the portrait and a photograph is taken of the final composition. Haser mixes the meditative nature of origami and transposes it onto the face of her subject, somehow injecting simple portraits with an esoteric atmosphere.
Evie Woltil Richner is a Florida based artist. She combines personal family photographs with feathery shroud like drawings creating a beautiful monument to memorialize family members that have passed on.
The sculptures and installations of MyeongBeom Kim are very dreamlike – it makes just enough sense to prevent you questioning it. Objects transform into other objects, other inexplicably float, and yet others are designed to be entirely useless. Yet, somehow, it all seems right. Also like dreams, Kim’s work is playful but not without out a latent sense of anxiety. A noose, a crutch, an axe suggest a possible dark turn toward realized fears, a nightmare.
As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing the work of Elizabeth Moran.
San Francisco-based photographer Elizabeth Moran provides quite an interesting look at space and context in this ongoing series. One can’t help but enjoy the irony captured in the lack of action in these spaces that normally get so much.
The Armory documents the ever-changing sets of the pornography company Kink.com. Private spaces are constructed for a public gaze and appear both familiar and strangely foreign. Devoid of people, the spaces allude to an activity, but leave the viewer to imagine the scene.
Kink.com was founded in 1997 by Peter Acworth while he was pursuing his PhD in finance at Columbia University. Today, Kink.com’s headquarters occupy the San Francisco Armory. Built by the United States National Guard in 1912, the Armory’s Drill Court became San Francisco’s primary sports venue for prizefights from the 1920s through 1940s. After falling into disrepair, the Armory was purchased by Kink.com in 2006 and is now one of the largest adult production studios in the world.—Elizabeth Moran
Jeremy Laffon‘s series of installations are entirely constructed from chewing gum. He painstakingly builds each of his installations with this unusual material. The precision and care he gives to his work is contrasted by the material itself. Chewing gum isn’t particularly strong or sturdy – the lattice work structure buckling under its own weight, or tiled gum easily giving way underfoot. Chewing gum is also associated with casualness, rude to chew in formal settings, spit out when finished with: a pleasant surprise in an often stuffy art world.
Chicago based Ryan Travis Christian has just opened his first Museum Exhibition at CAM Raleigh entitled Well, Here We Aren’t Again. Ryan spent three weeks on site creating a large-scale wall drawing, sculptures and floor installation specifically for CAM Raleigh’s Independent Weekly Gallery. This new body of work continues his hazy vision of dank landscapes ripe with powerful patterns, cartoon personalities, and awkward situations expertly rendered with graphite and ink.