For artist Felice Varini it’s all about your point of view. Varini takes this idea to its extremely literal conclusion. From the perfect perspective his painted geometric shapes seem to float in front of your eyes. However, in reality Varini works hard to make only appear this way. In reality his pieces are huge, cover entire structures (at times multiple buildings), and carefully prepared to be seen from a precise viewpoint. His large optical illusions underscore the subjective nature of art – it’s all about your point of view.
Berkeley based artist Mel Davis has just opened her latest exhibition at Eleanor Harwood Gallery entitled Begin Here. From the press release: “With these new paintings, Mel Davis explores the polarities between the natural and the allegorical, the decorative and the expressive, the representational and the gestural. She is engaged in a conversation that exists between these states, measuring the gaps between thought and language, trying to expand on her diverse visual vocabulary. Integral in Davis’s new paintings is the notion of foliage as a connecting thread, both pictorial and metaphorical, describing a taut emotional and private landscape that illustrates the potency of variation. The works are engaged in a simple pared down composition but push an expansive, dramatic and romantic use of language. Always with the goal of achieving visual pleasure, the paintings are calculations of light shifts, the space that trees occupy, the reverie that happens when looking out a window, reminding us of our fragile coexistence with the natural world and its everlasting powers.” The show is on view through April 27th, 2013.
Leah Rosenberg lives and works in San Francisco. Using layer upon layer of dried acrylic paint she creates colorful monuments that blur the line between painting and sculpture. These luscious slabs appear to be wet, ready to curl and swirl at any moment. In her own words these “…bodies of work combine systems of accumulation and elements of layering to explore how our experiences, emotions, and memories build up over time.”
Legendary artist Christo‘s newest project, Big Air Project, is more than just big. Even ‘huge’ would be an understatement. At nearly 300 feet tall Big Air Package could possibly be the largest indoor work of art ever. Housed in a venue that was once a gas holder, the project is exactly as its title describes it. Big Air Package is a massive inflated cylinder with no hard underlying structure – a giant balloon. The project’s press release explains how it functions:
“Two air fans creating a constant pressure of 27 pascal (0.27 millibar) keep the package upright. Airlocks allow visitors to enter the package. Illuminated through the skylights of the Gasometer and 60 additional projectors, the work of art creates a diffuse light throughout the interior.” [via]
Japanese artist Keita Sagaki’s intricate drawings of classical sculptures and figures are not what they appear to be. As you walk closer to the intricate drawings you’ll notice a sea of cartoonish and playful doodles that cover every inch of the drawing surface. These doodles not only differ greatly from the subject matter that you first see but they are continuously contracting and expanding to create the light and shadows in Sagaki’s pleasantly misleading drawings. (via)
“All things are composed of whole and part. For instance, The human body is built from 60 trillion cells. Moreover, Every matter is formed by an atom or a molecule. When all people live in this world, everybody belong to some organization such as a family, school, company and nation, even if we are unconsciousness. Let’s broaden your horizons. Your country is part of nations all over the world. And, The solar system including our planet is a part of the Galaxy. However, the concept of “ whole and part” is not fixed. It’s in flux. If we interpret from a different viewpoint, the wholeness which we defined is converted into the partialness. Domain in the relations of both, it never ends. The concept of my creation is the relations of borderless “whole and part”. As I draw a picture in this concept, I want to express conflict and undulation from relations of “whole and part”, cannot be measured in addition and subtraction (The whole in the grand total of the part, and the Part by the whole division.)”
Swedish photographer Christian Åslund realized that the city streets of Hong Kong looked like a giant video game while hanging out on a friends rooftop. So with the help of a few fun loving friends, his camera, and walkie talkies he orchestrated this playful and disorienting photo series that reminds us of the golden days of video games where Super Mario was king and the Power Glove was all the rage. (via)
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]