If you noticed that I haven’t been blogging much it’s because I spent the last 2 weeks on vacation in Italy. Wifi was not always available so instead of blogging I spent my days snapping photos of various things of interest in a country that has some of the most amazing art and historical sites on earth. I’m still going through all the photos but in the meantime here’s a small collection of textures, surfaces, and dilapidated walls, doors and buildings from Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and Venice.
Ron Ulicny is a Portland-based artist who creates “viscurrealistic fabrications”, sculptural works that draw their impact from surreal change-ups in material selection. A vintage bowling pin is sliced open, and a nocturnal forest is inserted into its midsection. A hand saw’s blade is replaced by multiple paintbrushes. I wasn’t necessarily surprised, when going through the artist’s portfolio site, to find quotes from Jasper Johns, Magritte, Duchamp, and Rauschenberg, each of whom are pretty clear influences on Ulicny. But, even in emulation, Ulicny’s work is completely singular. He knows his materials so well (where does he find some of these things?), and his execution might be a little cleaner than some of his heroes. You’re gonna want to check out more of the artist’s works, so find a selection below, but hit up his website and tumblr to get the full picture.
Luis Camnitzer is a German-born Uruguayan artist who currently lives in New York. A conceptual artist, working mainly in printmaking, sculpture and installation, Camnitzer’s work explores subjects such as social injustice, repression and institutional critique. His work is often witty, if not biting, and generally has political undertones punctuated by the use of language.
With beginnings in the Conceptual tradition of the 1960s and 70s, much of Camnitzer’s earlier works are text-based. Though he has lived in New York for many years, Camnitzer’s work also deals largely with ideas tied to his native homeland. His Uruguayan Torture Series from the early 80s demonstrate his interest in social and political issues regarding an individual in society. Camnitzer juxtaposes images with text containing connotations of violence. Subtle, Camnitzer leaves the viewer to decide his or her role as a spectator to the “disappeared” in Latin America. Leftovers, 1970, consists of several boxes stacked against a gallery wall. Each individually bandaged and stained with red paint, the word “leftovers” is stenciled on the sides. The piece evokes the idea of dismembered body parts and the work as a whole represents the political turbulence and violence that was happening in Uruguay and other Latin American countries during that time.
Some have written about Camnitzer’s work as a kind of poetry whereby Camnitzer has explored the way words function visually rather than verbally. Though Camnitzer denies this interpretation, there is an undoubted rhythm to his work that feels like prose with or without the inclusion of text. His 2001-02 installation of real books cemented into place feels completely lyrical in nature. The books are fortified in place, protected for all time. This piece embodies the part pessimistic, part romantic aspect that runs through much of Camnitzer’s work.
In an increasingly global world, it seems that more is spreading than just information and culture: pollution, for one. Alejandro Duran creates site-specific art out of this manmade resource, staging hauntingly beautiful installations that draw awareness to what he calls “colonization by consumerism.”
“More than creating a surreal or fantastical landscape, these installations mirror the reality of our current environmental predicament,” Duran says in his artist’s statement. Called Washed Up, the project has seen debris from all over the world and, though the colors can be stunningly lovely, the message is unmistakably grim. Swirls of color and organic-seeming patterns and shapes are shaped out of plastic and artificially neon bottle caps.
Duran’s statement describes the way he has mapped the relationship between the world of man and the world of nature, as well as the toll it’s taken on us all:
“Over the course of this project, I have identified plastic waste from fifty nations on six continents that have washed ashore along the coast of Sian Ka’an. I have used this international debris to create color-based, site-specific sculptures. Conflating the hand of man and nature, at times I distribute the objects the way the waves would; at other times, the plastic takes on the shape of algae, roots, rivers, or fruit, reflecting the infiltration of plastics into the natural environment.”
New York-based photographer Alison Brady makes some pretty bizarre photos. Pretty and bizarre. The interesting and different perspective is what catches your eye; instead of a traditional beauty-in-the-person snap, these portraits give the car-accident-look- away urge while simultaneously pushing a strange narrative inside a beautiful anonmity. Take a look after the leap.
Earlier this week I posted the Nephicide video featuring little kids projectile vomiting blood complete with black metal face paint. To round things out on the hip-hop side of things I present Yonkers by Tyler, The Creator. Watch Tyler play with giant insects, roll his eyes in the back of his head, have random nose bleeds, and most importantly vomit. If you’re not familiar with Tyler make sure to look him up. He’s part of ODD FUTURE WOLF GANG KILL THEM ALL (OFWGKTA), an LA hip-hop collective that has been getting some much deserved attention as of late. Watch the full video after the jump.
Artist Christian Jendreiko will present the incredibly epic sounding Gottesrauschen God’s White Noise: Action for Players, Guitars & Amplifiers this Saturday at Baer Ridgway exhibitions in SF. Taking his cue from experimental composers like John Cage, Jendreiko’s compositions push the boundaries of classical musicality, with some clocking in at up to 7 hours, and performed by amateurs and professional alike. Their main focus is on documenting the body’s movement through space in unusual ways.
Vilnius, Lithuania based artist Dziugas Valancauskas‘ work is a mix of creative typography and bold illustrations. His work explores different style: from clean, vectorized illustration, to more loose, handmade lines. Not only is he a graphic designer/illustrator, he also was the art director for a Suicide Dj’s video, Sea Boat.